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City-Wide Bicycle Tour Report

March 11th, 2017

          Today’s GOPS City-Wide Bicycle Tour proved a delightful way to welcome early Spring weather. Scott Connelly and I led 17 Great Outdoors Palm Springs bicycling members on a wide-ranging excursion through many of the City’s neighborhoods, Downtown business district and Civic Center.

          Our 14 mile loop took us from Smoke Tree Village and Smoke Tree Commons shopping centers over the not-quite-raging-waters of Tahquitz Creek and then through the Civic Center area. Along the way we passed the Palm Springs Police department headquarters, Palm Springs International Airport, Palm Springs Fire department headquarters and City Hall.

          Continuing north on Avenida Caballeros for a couple of miles we then turned west a block south of Vista Chino before reversing our direction and heading towards Desert Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Entrance (which proved not needed, this time). We then crossed North Palm Canyon Drive heading west towards the highest point on our tour near Stevens Road and Rose Avenue. After a lengthy rest stop (more than 90 seconds) we turned south on Rose Avenue where we enjoyed more than a mile of relatively smooth downhill riding (some would say “coasting”).

          After pausing for a forced group photo opportunity, the ride continued past Temple Isaiah and then through downtown, passing Palm Springs Art Museum, Casa Cody and several other nearby bed and breakfast Inns. We heard a brief lecture about the annual Walk of the Inns evening that occurs each December while pausing for another of the not-quite-too-many water breaks.

          Continuing south we fearlessly pedaled the pedestrian bridge over still-not-quite-raging Tahquitz Creek to Camino Real on the other side. Our Royal Road route continued and we crossed East Palm Canyon near Koffi South. The day’s final push was the attractive ride through Indian Canyons to Murray Canyon Drive, followed by another long downhill stretch via Toledo Avenue. We reached the Smoke Tree Village end of our ride a few minutes into the noon hour.

          The two-hour ride turned out admittedly warmer than expected, however, all who undertook the excursion managed to survive most of the route. Saturday’s relatively light vehicle traffic contributed to the day’s enjoyment and, of course, the personal challenge each undertook in doing the ride merits applause. So, to RSVPers Daniel H, Vegbear Henry, Doug D, John T, Pat M, Steve B, Peter G, Scott C and seven others, Congratulations and welcome to bicycling Survivor Valhalla where each will surely “Live long and prosper”.

Bond Shands
March 11, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

A Super Bike Ride Sunday

February 5th, 2017
 
          Today Scott Connelly and I led a Sunday morning bicycle ride for members of the local GOPS (Great Outdoors Palm Springs) chapter. Fourteen of us met in front of the Demuth Park Community Center starting point at 10 am. It was a perfect day for a bicycle ride with moderate temperatures, just enough cloud cover to provide protection from the sun and almost no wind.
 
          Our planned ride via the Tahquitz Creek Loop bicycle route started through portions of DeMuth Park, continued onto a path bordering the Tahquitz Creek Golf Course greens, under the Gene Autry bridge and then past the Water Park. Continuing east to Golf Club drive we next headed south past the Tahquitz Creek Resort entrance to the crossing at South Palm Canyon wash. Leaving the Tahquitz Creek Loop we turned east on the future CV Link Connector bicycle path (bordering the wash) and continued via the Jenkins Trail to the Cathedral Canyon Drive crossing. Our route in Cathedral City continued along the Whitewater River trail east, under the Date Palm Bridge, up behind Palm Springs Motors and on into Rancho Mirage towards Frank Sinatra Drive. Crossing the Whitewater River on Frank Sinatra Drive we entered Michael Wolfson park where we encountered the Butler-Abrams trail heading south to Country Club Drive. On our way we detoured to view a long wall designed to appear as a bookcase, followed by a stop facing a farm of future goat parents. After members satisfied their goat viewing quest we proceeded to the turnaround point at Country Club Drive. We then retraced our route until exiting the Jenkins Trail where we headed south on Calle Arriba and then west on Bolero Road until it terminated at Golf Club Drive where we rejoined the Tahquitz Creek Loop trail. We then proceeded south on Golf Club Drive until East Palm Canyon where we headed west to Escoba Drive then east to El Cielo Road and north to Mesquite Avenue. We turned east and ended our ride at the Demuth Community Center at 12:15 pm.
 
          Our route consisted of dedicated Class 1 bicycle paths, Class 2 bike paths adjacent to vehicle lanes, and a few unofficial bicycle paths (not maintained) that included dirt, sand and gravel surfaces. A portion of ride included the path in the Whitewater River wash and we were able to observe places where rushing water had left its mark. Walking our bikes though one short sandy section of the path proved beneficial.
 
          This was a ride where those with plans or need to leave the group proved easy. By ride’s end only three of us were left in the group that returned to our starting point. However, from reports heard during the ride all appeared to have enjoyed the 16 mile opportunity to spend a few hours on their bicycle.
 
 
Bond Shands
February 5, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

A Saturday GOPS Bicycle Ride

January 14th, 2017

          Today I led my first bicycle ride for members of the Great Outdoors Palm Springs chapter. There were sixteen of us who started out together and twelve continued for the entire two-hour, fourteen mile route.

          The ride closely followed the Palm Springs signed City Loop route. Our 10 am starting point was from the parking lot fronting the U.S. Post Office in the Smoke Tree Village shopping center on South Sunrise Way. Portions of the route were on sidewalk bicycle paths, signed and striped bicycle roadway lanes, signed “Bicycles May Occupy Entire Lane” roadway routes and quiet residential streets. The weather was excellent for bicycling with temperatures near the 70s, blue skies with attractive cloud patterns, slight breezes and satisfactory humidity levels. Riding in the sun required minimal clothing needs and several appeared comfortable in their short sleeve shirts and shorts.

          The City Loop is a nice way to cycle through differing Palm Springs neighborhoods including Sonora Sunrise, Sunmor, Sunrise Park, Movie Colony East, The Movie Colony, Old Las Palmas, Vista Las Palmas, Historic Tennis Club, Tahquitz River Estates, Twin Palms and Indian Canyons. The route took us past the Mesquite Canyon Country Club golf course, Palm Springs High School, the Palm Springs Police Department headquarters and K-9 Unit area, Riverside County Administrative Center, Palm Springs City Hall and Dog Park, Ruth Hardy Park, Katherine Finchy Elementary School, Desert Healthcare Wellness Park, Desert Regional Medical Center, Wellwood Murray Cemetary, Temple Isaiah, O’Donnell Club golf course, Palm Springs Promenade, Palm Springs Art Museum, Casa Cody Historic Palm Springs Inn, Tahquitz Creek Channel bicycle-pedestrian crossing bridge, Cahuilla Elementary School, ACE Hotel, Indian Canyons Golf Resort North,  Smoke Tree Stables and more.

          The ride ended shortly after noon at our starting point in front of the Post Office. Afterwards several in the group had lunch in the popular PHO 533 Vietnamese restaurant located nearby.

          There are many bicycle maps and guides to routes in Palm Springs. The Palm Springs City Parks & Rec, Palm Springs Sustainability Commission, Palm Springs Visitor Center and many tourism businesses all provide maps. There’s also a Palm Springs Bicycle Trails website at http://www.visitpalmsprings.com/overview/play/palm-springs-bike-trails/10470 with online maps. It’s all waiting for residents and visitors alike. The key is to get out on your own, borrowed or rented bicycle and enjoy some of Coachella Valley’s biking paradise.

Bond Shands
Saturday, January 14, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Forty Thousand Miles

October 10th, 2015

          Today my Trek 4500 bicycle odometer registered 40,000 miles. It’s a heavy-duty mountain bike that requires a bit more energy to handle and ride but the wheels easily accommodate thick tires and tubes which do a great job resisting punctures.


40,000 Miles 2015-10-10
          The Trek is 12 years old and one of three bicycles I own and ride. However, in recent years I’ve been spending more time on the Trek and racking up around 5,000 miles every eleven months.

          Although the Trek folks no longer manufacture their products in the United States. mine is from the generation when they did.

          I’ve spent more than its original price in repairs over the years but haven’t seen anything comparable on the market that I’d deem a worthy replacement. So am planning on riding it for many more years.

Bond Shands
October 10, 2015
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.DesertObserver.com
The Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Twitter – @BondShands

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Also posted to the Palm Springs Local Government page at www.facebook.com/groups/PalmSpringsLocalGovernment

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Grueling Morning Exercise Activities

August 16th, 2015

           This morning’s 5:30 am three mile walk was a rather warm experience for the outdoor temperature was in the 90s. It later seemed a piece of cake compared to what I experienced during my 22 mile bicycle ride starting at 7:30 am. By the time I finished the temperature under the hot sun exceeded 100 degrees and the 46% humidity made it seem even warmer. My two water bottles barely proved sufficient for their task of keeping me hydrated. Yesterday’s ride was similarly a grueling experience and I’m definitely looking forward to cooler weather starting tomorrow. Today’s high is expected to be 119 degrees but things will cool down to a predicted high of only 114 degrees starting tomorrow. Tuesday I expect to be seeing the evening Pageant of the Masters outdoor theatrical presentation in Laguna Beach. The temperature there is expected to range from 63 to 81 degrees, so will be taking a jacket, gloves and binoculars. 🙂

          I’ve worn a Fitbit activity wristband for almost a month and have become accustomed to tracking its reports. The product appears to be quite accurate in measuring number of walking steps, heart rate, activity levels, amount of sleep, and estimated calories burned. It allows me to post data about calories and water consumed, and specific exercise activities (walk, bike, run) undertaken. It also counts stairs climbed but does not separately record my bicycle rides. Instead it responds to bicycling by increasing the walking steps count and also records pedaling as stairs climbed.

          Fitbit provides graphs and other data fields on an hourly, daily, weekly and monthly basis. This permits me to compare today’s activities and goals with past achievements. I monitor its data reports on my SmartPhone and check the results several times daily.

          My fascination with Fitbit motivates me to engage in daily exercise activities even when, like yesterday and today, I can think of a gazillion reasons to remain indoors and skip a day. I’m not certain I could face Fitbit at day’s end if my daily exercise totals documented little more than couch potato mental gymnastics. Fitbit is yet another example of how completely I’ve managed to turn control over my life to machines. When Robots join us and take over, I’ll be ready.

Bond Shands
August 16, 2015
The Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.DesertObserver.com
Twitter – @BondShands

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