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Thread: Catalina Island

  1. #1
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    Catalina Island

    Has anyone ridden on Catalina Island? What is the best route? I heard it's not technical (all fireroads) but lots of climbing and fantastic views. Sounds like an adventure...

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    I have ridden there - it is pretty nice little trip - but I have not done it for over 15 years. It is all fire roads - but nice scenery (even have buffalo) - and very little traffic in the middle of the island, which is nice.

    Some years back someone on a mtb sued because they went over the edge and were injured - so now you have to buy a permit (which is really insurance for them) to be able to ride your bike outside of town.

    A fun trip is to take the boat to Two Harbors on the opposite end of the island - and then ride from there to Avalon (the big city) - or ride there and back if you have the time.

    Kirk

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    Quote Originally Posted by kirkB
    Snow you have to buy a permit (which is really insurance for them) to be able to ride your bike outside of town.

    Thanks for the heads up about the permit. I was just talking to a friend about riding Catalina.

    Here's a LINK if anyone is interested in permits.


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    I ride at Catalina a lot. It is still all fireroads and you are right, there are some tough climbs. When you get the permit, it will state that the roads open to bikes are the main road from Avalon to the Isthmus via Two Harbors (about 20 miles one way) or the road from the Isthmus to Parson's Landing. That is a flat 9 miles. We were told by a local that you can ride any road not marked private so we have riden them all except for a few around Avalon and we have never been stopped. There is a great ride that covers the West End but you are on your own if you get hurt. Nobody goes by there except the Hummer Tour and the ocasional hiker. Beautiful views on every ride. Be warned: it gets very hot inland so bring a lot of water and don't let the weather at the coast fool you. We ride from the Isthmus and have done Avalon and back in a day but it is a long ride - nothing terribly steep except the paved road out of Avalon (a steep 3 miles). A shorter ride is to stop at the airport for lunch and then head back. The West End loop is a half day ride but be prepared to hike a bit. I ride with a really strong guy and he needs to walk some sections even though it is a fire road! I am embarrassed to say that I walk one downhill section because it is steep, loose and I can't get my hand off the brake enough to make a turn on it. It is a beautiful place to ride in the Spring - the hills are Emerald green and there are ocean views all around. Enjoy!

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    Great thread. I flew almost directly over Catalina one time and was really intrigued by the network of roads. I would think that with a bike, you could get out to some coves or beaches with pretty great snorkeling and not too many people.
    Last edited by HarryCallahan; 03-26-2007 at 06:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by REIGN 2
    Has anyone ridden on Catalina Island? What is the best route? I heard it's not technical (all fireroads) but lots of climbing and fantastic views. Sounds like an adventure...
    I took a shuttle bus (school bus) with my bike up to the airport from Avalon. I didn't need a steep 3 mile pavement grind to start things off. I rode the fireroad to Two Harbors and back on a singlespeed. Not too difficult, just long. I did ride right by some buffalo that panned their heads as I passed them.....kinda trippy. I did get the day pass too. Next time would be fun to go prepared for camping and stay over. Mine was a day trip.

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