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Old 03-13-13, 06:35 PM   #1
here2day
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Looking for information about riding in the Palm Springs area

Wife wants to move to Palm Springs. Need some info on riding there.

I've seen some Strava segments which helps a bit. I know the century is notorious for the wind.

If anyone has spent time riding the area and could help I'd appreciate it.

While I don't know what I don't know, some initial questions are -

- Is there any good climbing in the area? The 74 looks like it has potential but I don't know what the bike lane and traffic situation are like.
- Are there reasonable bike lines?
- Are the roads east of the 10 in reasonable shape?
- Are there good LBS' in the area?
- How cycling friendly is the area?

We'd be there approximately Nov - May.
Thanks in advance for any beta.
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Old 03-13-13, 07:18 PM   #2
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I've only ridden there during the Tour de Palm Springs, but there are a number of bike lanes that are long and straight. Motor traffic is also fast as all the roads are long, wide and straight. While there are a lot of lanes, I don't really feel its all that friendly. On the tour we take Dillon Rd, Thousand Palms Canyon Road and Washington St and they were in fine shape.
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Old 03-13-13, 08:33 PM   #3
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I'm sure you are aware that during the months of June, July and August it tends to get rather warm out there ?
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Old 03-13-13, 10:06 PM   #4
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I'm sure you are aware that during the months of June, July and August it tends to get rather warm out there ?
He did say November to May.

Actually, I thought the roads we rode on for the TDPS were in fantastic shape with a few minor exceptions. Loads of retirees in Palm Springs though, I'm sure the demographic affects the presence of cyclists.
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Old 03-13-13, 11:52 PM   #5
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He did say November to May.
Ooops, I didnt catch that.

But it still gets hot out there, lol.

I was in Joshua Tree over Christmas break one time and it snowed like crazy.

Very weird weather out there in the desert.
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Old 03-14-13, 03:54 AM   #6
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there is good climbing but it is all on the edges of the coachella valley. palm springs tram road has 3.4 miles of hell for you. frank sinatra rd has a nice little 1/2 mile
leg stretcher. 1000 palms rd on the north side of the 10 fwy is a scenic climb-about 3.5 miles-that doesn't get above a 4% grade. hwy 74 is a great hill for repeats
from hwy 111 to the beginning of the switchbacks (about 3 miles) but dicey afterwards and not recommended due to high speed traffic, bad sightlines (for autos) and
no shoulder or bike lane. mecca hills road ascends east from indio area and meanders at a 2% grade or so towards the joshua tree national park southern entrance. scenic but
not a huge workout. cycling through joshua tree national park is highly recommended. if you want some really sustained long climbs, there are plenty about a hour's drive away
heading into the san bernardino mtns or from hemet up to idyllwild.


bike lanes are pretty evident throughout the coachella valley. if there isn't one, the road is generally wide enough so it's not uncomfortable. very few curvy streets so cyclists
can be visible from a good distance.


roads on the north side of the 10 fwy are few but are in decent shape with one big exception. ramon rd north/east of the 10 fwy is pretty beat up for about 4 miles unless it
just got repaved.


i used palm spring cyclery and was happy with them. there are some smaller lbs' in the valley but no experience with them.


fairly cycling friendly throughout coachella valley but, as always, gotta be vigilant.
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Old 03-14-13, 09:01 AM   #7
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I've only been out there for short vacations, but you can hammer. The climate is great in Nov-May and its not very windy for much of the winter. As noted above, Tram Rd. is one of the steepest 3-4 mile climbs in So Cal and it was just repaved. Its considered the fastest descent if you are foolish enough to ride that fast. For me, the downside is monotony of flat, straight road in the coachella valley. There is a lot of it and plenty of bike lane.

Ride with this group. You'd be surprised at the horses out there. Especially the retiree ones.

http://www.cycleclub.com/
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Old 03-14-13, 09:16 AM   #8
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Yeah Hwy 74 is not very bike friendly, after the Big Horn CC the shoulder get significantly smaller and in most cases there isnt one. There also lots of small sharp rocks littered. Best to do when there is little traffic. On the other hand there is always the Tram Climb! I though there was another bike club out there but I may be wrong. Besides road riding there is also good mtn bike riding. But with the desert everything is centered around the weather HOT or windy can kill your chances.
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Old 03-15-13, 12:12 PM   #9
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Haven't used them as a resource yet: http://www.cycleclub.com/

We go out to PS every spring and I bring my bike. There are some nice ride areas, and some scary areas. And a lot of older drivers...

If you do find good roads, they are nice. It is not a great destination cycling spot, but I still like to bring my bike. I just look at popular Strava segments near the hotel we are staying at.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:58 PM   #10
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and i've always found the main road thru the desert communities from palm springs to indio-hwy 111-to be very rideable with decent surfacing even though it carries a lot of traffic.
i do, however, pay extra special attention thru cathedral city as it is the 'skinniest' part of 111 and in the river shopping complex area in rancho mirage. drivers really seem to enjoy
speeding up from the nearby light at bob hope dr and making slamonthebrakesandturnright manuevers into the river parking lot by the movie theaters there.
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Old 03-16-13, 12:19 PM   #11
here2day
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Thanks everyone for the information. I'll be out there this month and may bring my bike for some "diligence" rides.

I'm unable to respond to PM's due to my low post count - thanks again.
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Old 03-18-13, 08:01 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
and i've always found the main road thru the desert communities from palm springs to indio-hwy 111-to be very rideable with decent surfacing even though it carries a lot of traffic.
i do, however, pay extra special attention thru cathedral city as it is the 'skinniest' part of 111 and in the river shopping complex area in rancho mirage. drivers really seem to enjoy
speeding up from the nearby light at bob hope dr and making slamonthebrakesandturnright manuevers into the river parking lot by the movie theaters there.
I've ridden that stretch through Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage on 111. Its very ridable, but I'd rather take the long way around on surface streets like Dinah Shore and Monterey. I frankly forget which ones have good bike lanes, but of the large straight roads seem to have them.
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