Cycling Catalina Island

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.

Several miles of spectacular coastal riding await.
Several miles of spectacular coastal riding await.
Cycling toward Avalon on the coastal road.
Cycling toward Avalon on the coastal road.
The reward for cycling into the hills surrounding Avalon is spectacular views down to the village and harbor.
The reward for cycling into the hills surrounding Avalon is spectacular views down to the village and harbor.
Some of the LA-Mexico cruise shops stop at Avalon, as seen from a scenic stretch of coastal roadway.
Some of the LA-Mexico cruise ships stop at Avalon, as seen from a scenic stretch of coastal roadway.
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New Comfort Bike Technology For Scenic Easy Rides

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.

Electra Townie 21D in Seattle, WA.  21 gears, pedal forward technology, and a fun ride all in all. Electra is now owned by Trek.  We got ours at REI in Oregon to save on sales tax and get our members 10% rebate.  List for 2014 is $519.  The 2013 model had a suspension front fork and was $545.
Electra Townie 21D in Seattle, WA. 21 gears, pedal forward technology, and a fun ride all in all. Electra is now owned by Trek. We got ours at REI in Oregon to save on sales tax and get our members 10% rebate. List for 2014 is $519. The 2013 model had a suspension front fork and was $545.

Ventura – Cycling and Camping

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.

Ventura bike trails along the coast and start of the scenic coastal section of the bike-friendly Amtrak Pacific Surfliner that extends through Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara.
Ventura bike trails along the coast and start of the scenic coastal section of the bike-friendly Amtrak Pacific Surfliner that extends through Vandenberg Air Force Base northwest of Santa Barbara.
Ventura promenade trail with kite surfers out in force on a windy day.
Ventura promenade trail with kite surfers out in force on a windy day.

Cycling in Santa Barbara

Short but beautiful trail near the Biltmore.
Short but beautiful Class I trail in Montecito, southeast of Santa Barbara, near the Biltmore.  A combination of Class I and Class II routes take the rider from Santa Barbara to charming Carpinteria.  See page 64 (Ride SB1 – Option 2). Montecito is the land of Oprah Winfrey, and more recently Ellen Degeneres and Portia de Rossi.
Cabrillo Beach Trail, Santa Barbara.  Link to destinations north and south along the coast.  See maps on pages 61 & 65.
Cabrillo Beachway Trail, Santa Barbara. Link to destinations north and south along the coast. See maps on pages 61 & 65.

Surprisingly Bikeable Bakersfield

BakersfieldSign

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 Kern River Parkway is a riparian oasis with a good potential to see wildlife.
The Kern River Parkway is a riparian oasis with a good potential to see wildlife.
The east side of town is oil production land, but is scenic in its own right, especially along the riverside trail.
The east side of town is oil production land, but is scenic in its own right, especially along the riverside trail.
Ming Lake, Kern River, Bakersfield, CA
Ming Lake is in the upper section of the Kern River bike trail, on the far side of the lake as shown. This area also has a public campground, golf course and the C.A.L.M. zoo.
BakersfieldRattlesnake
Rattlesnake Trail forms part of the connection between the Ming Lake area, central Bakersfield and the Kern River Trail.
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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."