Mountain Bike Magazine SANI - Autumn 2018 - Page 98

TRAVEL This image: One of the crystal clear bays of Catalina Island. Below: The unspoilt coastline of Catalina. Bottom: Living the LA high life on a beautiful yacht. ago. It offers an abundance of wildlife including foxes and bison, which were set out in the 60s when many wild western movies were shot on Catalina. There are two small towns on the Island on either side, a small airport, harbour and hardly any cars. After a beautiful 1.5-hour boat trip on our luxury yacht we anchored at the small settlement of Two Harbors. Along the way we got to see whales and hundreds of dolphins. Since Catalina is a nature reserve, you’re only allowed to ride on fire-roads and you need to buy a biking permit. There are some big hills across the island and unfortunately no legal access to trails, therefore we brought our e-bikes. We came across some beautiful bays on the backside of the island with clear blue water. We passed some ranches and a few other bikers, who were first not happy to get passed by e-bikers, until they test rode my bike which changed 98 | MTB | bucket list busting their perception and attitude instantly. Before we embarked on our final descent into the historic town of Avalon on the other end of the island we opted to add on an extra loop high above the town on the Divide Road. Catalina was once owned by the Wrigley (chewing gum) family, who donated most of it to the Catalina Island Conservancy to protect these beautiful lands for the future. Avalon is a popular tourist destination, it has many hotels and restaurants and an old casino from the early 20th century. It feels like a different world although it’s only 40km off the coast of one of the biggest cities in the world. As a matter of fact, on a clear day I can see the island from my bedroom at home. This trip, and team, was the perfect way to discover this metropolis and experience many off-the-beaten track areas, trails and hoods. That’s all folks!