RAID expeditionary force invites you to join them on a remarkable adventure to some of the best-kept secret gravel riding to be found anywhere! We'll venture into the remote San Gabriel Mountains behind L.A. for 2-days of steep & deep canyon riding before we hop over to the desert island of Catalina, 22-miles off the coast of Long Beach, for 2-more days of truly epic gravel routes.
You won’t experience any of the aggressive drivers L.A. is known for. Join us on our annual SO-CAL gravel ride. The weather is beyond dreamy, the food edgy and the riding is dazzling!
This gravel grinder is designed for the intermediate and advanced gravel rider. Daily distances & elevation will average 30-55 mi & 2,500-5,000 vertical feet of climbing with optional longer routes available. Expect 90% of our routes to be on mixed terrain, gravel roads, some trail & pavement.
A morning arrival into Burbank Airport will be followed by a transfer to Pasadena, the City of Roses. After we check into our hotel, we will take a short spin before heading off to dinner at Bone Kettle in Old Town Pasadena. O/N Vagabond Inn-Executive- Pasadena
The Verdugos are a small transverse mountain range that parallel the San Gabriels and divide the La Crescenta and San Fernando Valleys. It is literally a small island wilderness in a sea of urban development. We ride up Hostetter Fire Road, following the twists and turns to the Verdugo Motorway which meanders along the ridge of the Verdugos and has great views of greater Los Angeles. On a clear day, you'll see downtown Los Angeles, the piers of San Pedro, and the Channel Islands. It is truly an amazing view to behold. O/N Vagabond Inn-Executive- Pasadena
The locals will tell you this is possibly the best ride out of Pasadena. This loop takes in a number of steep climbs and technical descents. You'll suffer a bit as we ascend high above the city. We take in the majestic views that the San Gabriel mountains have to offer before we begin our flowing single track descent all the way back down to Pasadena. Enjoy a dip in the pool, relax with a cold beer or visit any number of galleries in Old Town Pasadena.
Tonight we will take a short drive into the foothills to the small village of Sierra Madre. We will first stop at a mom & pop brewery for a fine crafted ale or two, and then head to Yui Sushi for dinner.
Yui Sush isn't just a sushi bar in Sierra Madre, it's a doorway to Tokyo, something very special, with a menu that changes daily. Be it blue fin tuna belly (honmaguro toro ), albacore toro and salmon toro, they're wonderfuly indulgent slices of fish, arguably as good as anything we've had in the stalls surrounding the iconic Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. Which is serious praise, indeed. O/N Vagabond Inn-Executive- Pasadena
This morning we will transfer to Long Beach to catch the AM Catalina Express ferry to Avalon, the main town on Catalina Island. Crystal clear blue waters & sandy beaches await our arrival. After lunch, we climb steeply on a narrow double track road up the tall peaks behind Avalon. We cruise along the spine of the ridge taking in stunning views of the island and mainland in the distance, and keep an eye out for the island fox and bald eagles. Some may want to ride out & back to the airport for their famous chocolate chip cookies. With a fast descent back into Avalon, we will go for a swim before checking into our hotel & enjoying a night out on Avalon. O/N Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island
We will ride the entire length of the island today, from south to north. The start sees us climbing steeply from Avalon through a Eucalyptus-lined road. We continue along the ridge lines exploring the craggy dirt roads in the remote and exposed interior. Adventurous types have always favored Catalina's wide-open interior and we love its labyrinth of mountainous dirt roads -- traffic free and perfect for gravel bikes. Long climbs are welled earned with panoramic 360 degree views of the mountainous island. Keep an eye out for the wild bison that have called this island home since 1922. We finish the morning outing with a gorgeous ride with a sweeping descent into Two Harbors for lunch. A slightly different route takes us back to Avalon. We will dine beach-side tonight before heading to Luau Larry's to get your wiki wacked. O/N Holiday Inn Resort Catalina Island
We will depart the island this morning back to Long Beach, from where we will provide a shuttle to Burbank Airport (45min) Book your return flights after 3pm this afternoon. You can also depart from L.A.X airport as well.