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Palm Springs biking: six trails, great weather.

Five leisurely bicycle loops, 3 to 13 miles long, provide a perfect introduction to Palm Springs, a city too sprawling to cover on foot and too pretty in winter to drive. A sixth bike path, now halfway complete, follows Tahquitz Wash, a broad natural riverway that cuts through the heart of the city. We list the six trails--from longest to shortest--and tell you where to rent bikes nearby.

The city's flat desert terrain translates into forgiving bikeways. Where routes follow major thoroughfares, trails are recessed into flowery landscaped banks.

Palm Springs Bikeways maps five intown routes; it's available free from the Department of Community Services at Baristo Road and Cerritos Drive; call (619) 323-8265. Or get it at City Hall at Tahquitz-McCallum Way and El Cielo Road. The department will also guide you to the Tahquitz Bikeway.

Citywide Tour. A 13-mile ride that circles the town is the best way for out-of-towners to get their bearings. It takes you from the posh North Canyon residential district to teh golf courses, country clubs, and retirement condominiums on the south end of town. It also passes the Palm Springs Desert Museum (101 Museum Drive), which houses art, cultural, and natural science exhibits. November shows are "Drawings by Maynard Dixon: The Edith Hamlin Collection," until December 1; "Great Australian Desert," until December 8; "Works in Bronze: A Modern Survey," November 15 through December 31. "Basket Makers: the Cahuilla Indians" shows a hundred examples from the museum's collection. Hours are 10 to 4 Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 to 5 weekends. Admission: $3, under 8 free.

Civic Center Tour. A 5-1/2-mile loop passes the airport and takes in the Palm Springs Mall, the Civic Center, and the Sunrise Plaza recreation complex, which includes a public pool, library, park (a prime picnic spot), and the community services building.

Canyon Country Club Tour. Loop 4-1/2 miles around the country club residential area on the south side of town. Be prepared to stop for golf carts crossing the street.

Deepwell Tour. A 3-1/2-mile ride takes you through the city's older, picturesque, palm-lined residential streets.

Tahquitz Bikeway. Now 3-1/2 miles long, it begins were Palm Canyon Drive meets Tahquitz Wash and goes as far as the Palm Springs Golf Course. It will eventually lead to Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage.

Downtown Tour. This 3-mile loop provides "back door" access to popular shops and restaurants while avoiding the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Palm Canyon Boulevard. The route also takes in the desert museum.

Where to rent a bike. Burnett's Bicycle Barn, 429 Sunrise Way (at Ramon Road); (619) 325-7844. Rentals: $2.50 to $6 per hour, $9 to $15 a day (no overnight rentals). Hours: 8 to 5 Thursday through Mondays, 8 to noon Tuesdays.

Mac's Bike Rentals, 700 E. Palm Canyon Drive (at Camino Real); 327-5721. Rentals: $2.50 to $6 per hour, $9 to $15 a day (24 hours); will deliver. Hours: 9 to 5 daily until May 1.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Dec 1, 1985
Words:494
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