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  1. #1
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    Catalina Gran Fondo?

    Anyone signing up this year?
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  2. #2
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    Isn't that 40+ miles of steep up and downs?
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  3. #3
    007
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    There's a 14 mile course, the 35 mile course and the JimN route (55 miles). I'm thinking about doing the 14 miler . . . . 14 miles, 2400 feet of elevation. First climb looks comparable to Brown Mtn.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  4. #4
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    Is the climb up on the twisty/turny paved road above Avalon?

    I thought this was a do it all/all do the same course ride??? There's options?

    BTW, the Catalina Ferry frowns on bringing bikes aboard so be ready for that drama.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  5. #5
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    Is the climb up on the twisty/turny paved road above Avalon?

    I thought this was a do it all/all do the same course ride??? There's options?

    BTW, the Catalina Ferry frowns on bringing bikes aboard so be ready for that drama.
    Oh, but the race has coordinated with a private ferry company. $60 RT WITH your bike

    Yes, there are 3 courses. As for the short route, I have no idea . . . . Geoladders -- Catalina Grand Fondo Ridge Line Route
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Oh, but the race has coordinated with a private ferry company. $60 RT WITH your bike

    Yes, there are 3 courses. As for the short route, I have no idea . . . . Geoladders -- Catalina Grand Fondo Ridge Line Route
    OMG!!!! Can you imagine the gigantic pile of bikes on that ferry?! That sounds scary as hell, LOL!
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  7. #7
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    OMG!!!! Can you imagine the gigantic pile of bikes on that ferry?! That sounds scary as hell, LOL!
    Catalina Gran Fondo?-underwaterbike.jpg
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  8. #8
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    ^ I strongly suggest that the diver lubes the chain after that dive ride.

    BTW, don't get any ideas about underwater riding across to the island to avoid a crowded boat. The San Pedro Channel is one of the deepest in the world at well over 2000'!!! Thats a lot of huff'n and puff'n under water.
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambassadorhawg View Post
    ^ I strongly suggest that the diver lubes the chain after that dive ride.

    BTW, don't get any ideas about underwater riding across to the island to avoid a crowded boat. The San Pedro Channel is one of the deepest in the world at well over 2000'!!! Thats a lot of huff'n and puff'n under water.
    It's kool . . . Scientist will hook me up.
    Catalina Gran Fondo?-dive_suit.jpg
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    It's kool . . . Scientist will hook me up.
    I'd pay cash/money to see you ride a bike wearing that thing above water, let alone below!
    ...and proud member of the anti-sock puppet desolation

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 007 View Post
    Anyone signing up this year?
    Sounds fun, have you done it before?

  12. #12
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    Anyone ride last year/know anyone who did and have some beta on tire choice? By the looks of the YouTube vids floating around, it all looks to be hardpack but thought I would ask.

    -Brendan
    "We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man."

  13. #13
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    JimN rode it last year . . . PM him.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShep View Post
    Anyone ride last year/know anyone who did and have some beta on tire choice? By the looks of the YouTube vids floating around, it all looks to be hardpack but thought I would ask.

    -Brendan
    If you're shooting for a fast time on the course, a hardtail with race tires would be the way to go. Last year I rode my Pivot Mach 429 (XC Fully) with Specialized Captain Controls on the Two Harbors course, since I wasn't expecting to be at all competitive. However, a hardtail with semi-slicks would've been fine. It's not really a race but more of a fun event. My moving time on the course was around 5 hours 45 minutes, and that was at a very social pace.

    The Geoladders link from the event website indicates that the course is 54.5 miles with 7,531 feet of elevation gain. I and pretty much everyone else I know came up with different results. I think my Garmin display showed 52 miles with 8,800 feet of climbing when I looked at it after crossing the finish line. Uploaded to Strava, it shows 52.2 miles with 8,977 feet of climbing. Uploaded to Garmin Connect, it shows 51.93 miles with 8,097 feet of climbing. Not sure why the same file registers differently on those two interfaces. Anyway, I think it's safe to say that there's a bit more climbing than is advertised.

    Most of the course is indeed on smooth, hardpacked dirt roads and pavement. There were a couple of loose, bumpy sections of dirt road, but they were short. You will ride a couple of singletrack sections along the top of the island - I don't remember anything challenging about them. There are only two sections where you will be wishing for meatier tires and/or full suspension: The doubletrack climb out of Two Harbors is miserably steep, exceeding 25% in spots. I recommend NOT trying to be a hero by attempting to clean the whole thing, a mistake I made last year. It just takes too much out of your legs. Better off to hike-a-bike the steepest spots on that climb. Immediately following is a surprisingly technical ridgeline descent. It's narrow, steep, loose in spots, lined with cactus, and presents you with some decent rock drops. It's all rideable if you're willing to wait for the people walking their bikes down to clear the trail, but of course you'll have other riders/walkers coming up behind you while you wait for the trail to clear. Looked to me like 90% of the participants were walking portions of that descent. Main issue is that you'll likely land in cactus if you pick a bad line and have to bail. I was able to ride it all, but it was a major pain in the behind and involved a lot of stopping and waiting. You'll get through it much faster if you're willing to get off your bike and run it down the difficult spots where the riders/walkers bunch up. Most importantly, consider running tubeless with latex sealant for sure. There's a ton of cactus on that section as well as the other singletrack sections on the top of the island.

    What seemed to surprise most riders last year was how much climbing there is after passing the final aid station and heading onto Main Divide Road. Every time you turn a corner you see another climb. It just goes on and on, so be in the right mindset there.

    I don't know how the private charter will work this year. However, I can say that the Catalina Express was great last year. They were well prepared for all the bikes and did a very good job of organizing the loading and unloading. At least that was my experience.

    Enjoy your trip! It's a really fun event and the island is beautiful this time of year.

  15. #15
    "Away baby let's go!"
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    JimN: You rock! Thank you so much for the beta. I am really psyched for Catalina. I wanted to ride it last year but could not find a friend to join me.

    I am definitely not trying to post a fast time but just have the "right tool for the job" given I am sure I am going to be shot after all that climbing! I will probably go with race tires such as a Bonty XR-1 on my rigid Air9.

    Thanks for the tips on the hike-a-bike. No need to be a hero and ruin my day.

    Woo hoo!
    "We want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man."

  16. #16
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    JimN has it correct ... I live & ride here, will be riding this Saturday, PM me for any details
    I ride solo 98% of the time

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    Coming up this weekend, weather looks good.

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