Catalina Island MTB Gran Fondo

Where: Catalina Island, CA

When: May 17

How far: 14, 26, 41, or 55 miles

Price: from $105, active.com

Why it's a must: You'll calm race-day jitters with a soothing 30-minute boat ride to this small island off the coast of Orange County, CA. You'll also get a glimpse at Hollywood history. Several films, many of them of the pirate variety, have been shot here. But that's not what makes it alluring are the epic climbs (the 55-miler racks up 8,000 feet), fluid singletrack, pavement, gravel, and roaming herds of buffalo that stand out.