Do you have the urge to visit a Mediterranean Island? If you can choose a warm sunny day, which can happen any time of year, a visit to Santa Catalina Island can be a sublime experience. There is no car ferry to the island so the only vehicles are from the residents of the village of Avalon. Most get around on golf carts. You can bring your own bike, or rent from a couple of concessions. It’s a great way to get around, combining a bike ride with the other activities that range from mini golf to zip line to scuba diving. There are no shortage of shops to engage you and plenty of restaurants to savor. The 20+mile ferry crossing takes about 1- 1.5 hours from several ports in Orange and LA Counties, and accommodations range from high end B&B’s and inns to a campground. More adventurous mountain bikers can get a permit and cycle the length of the rugged 22-mile island.
If Catalina has a theme song, it’s 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) by the Four Preps from 1958. Here is someone’s slideshow set to the song.
Comfort bikes are all the rage, especially with those who prefer not to ride hunched over on a traditional bike. Bikes with pedal-forward technology allow the rider to put their feet on the ground while sitting in the site, adding to their stability and feeling of security. It also makes pedaling either and combined with the upright handlebars allows for a relaxing ride while taking in the scenery along the way, rather than staring down at the road. I started my pedal forward years on an Elektra Townie 21D (21 gears) and it was a game changer for me.
And now comfort moves to a new level with the e-Townies that I have graduated to. Can you be in love with an inanimate object? This comes close. I own the TownieGo 8D ($2200). I’m glad they changed the term “women’s bike” to “step through” because with a rear carrier it’s very difficult to lift your leg all the way around to get on or off. The only problem is it’s hard to go back to a regular bike after getting used to an e-bike. Although I vowed to go back and forth when I got the e-bike… I haven’t unless when necessary like when the e-bike was in the shop for a couple of days once.
Ventura is a popular spot for RV campers to stay and enjoy the beaches. Bike trails along the coast and up to Ojai make the area a scenic cycling paradise. A new trail parallel to Hwy 101 along the coast connects cyclists’ favorite Rincon Parkway to Rincon Beach just south of Carpinteria.
Bakersfield has an active bike culture and bike advocacy group, http://www.bikebakersfield.org, along with the 32-mile scenic Kern River Parkway bike trail. The http://www.kernriverparkway.org group is working to add even more bike trail miles. Cycle out past riparian vegetation along the trace of the Kern River from near I-5 to the west, east across town, past SR 99. Connect to the pretty Ming Lake area, the Basque restaurants downtown, and Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace that celebrates the city’s country music heritage. enCYCLEpedia Southern California describes these routes in detail.
The easy scenic cycling adventures of Richard Fox, author of the 2014 (2nd Ed 2017) guidebook "enCYCLEpedia Southern California – The Best Easy Scenic Bike Rides."