Loop de Palm Springs

City loop bike path

The things you learn

Update, 14-Jan-04. Tony says, "Is this the missing Loop de Palm Springs info?" Yes. Thanks, Tony. I looked all over trying to find a map. embarassed

Yesterday I got out the bike to work off some excess carbs I had loaded the night before. Rather than aimless wheeling about, I decided I would follow the city-wide loop bike path to see where it would take me. It was very educational.

• I learned where the police department stables its horses. Not far from city hall I detected a distinctive odor — not the reek of bad government, as one might suspect, but the sweet smell of horse manure. This would have been inconclusive, of course, since police horses are not known for distinctively scented droppings. Rather, it was the clearly-marked police horse trailer that clinched the identification.

• I learned that Palm Springs has a dog park where a gazillion dogs had come to meet and greet. I did notice that most of the dogs were small dogs. It would have been fun to see a rottweiler unleashed to play.

• I learned that Palm Springs does have an avenue. Mostly we have drives and roads and ways. A few places and circles, but until yesterday I had never seen an avenue nor a street. To be sure, there are lots of avenida this and calle that, but nary an avenue nor a street. But in the Las Palmas district the bike path followed N Rose Avenue.

I was completely shocked by the discovery of an avenue, but I had little time to savor the uniqueness, for N Rose Avenue goes straight up a humongous hill! It's hard to be appreciative when you're gasping for breath.

• I learned that a loop is not necessarily a loop, at least as I understand a loop. My concept, refined over three-score years and more, involves a closed curve, roughly in the shape of a circle or elipse. The city-wide loop, however, seems to cross over itself willy-nilly. Perhaps the person who laid out the loop was loopy.

• I also learned that there are serious gaps in the city-wide loop signage. The signage was ample from Chez Paul to near the airport and past the police horses, but from there it became sparse. After I was pointed down Alejo Road I saw no more signs until crossing N Indian Canyon Drive. I suspect I wasn't really on the bike path; parts of Alejo are too narrow to comfortably accommodate both bikes and cars.

The ultimate gap was shortly after reaching the top of N Rose Avenue. There was a completely unnecessary sign there, since there was only one way to go. A short distance later was a sign indicating a right turn, but at the end of that block was a T intersection with no indication whether left or right was the way to go. I went left and never saw another bike path sign until I had made my way back downtown on my own. I was not about to retrace my route to follow the right-hand turn, however, since that would have involved going back uphill, and I chose the path of least resistance.

Perhaps I'll try this route on another day. See if I can't manage to find a way to go down N Rose Avenue instead of up. And I must investigate who lives in some of the houses I passed. For example, I'm greatly intrigued by a house with a canvas-covered stretch limo parked in the driveway. The person who lives there must be a muckety-muck, at least in their own mind.

And, I still haven't seen a Street.