Psst — Outdoors

The Great Outdoors — See it on a Segway, and Planning a hiking trail from East Valley to West.



Architectural tours by Segway

Segway to Architecture

By Janice Kleinschmidt
Photo credit: Taylor Sherrill

After nearly five years of presenting midcentury modern tours by minivan (and, more recently, double-decker bus during Modernism Week), Robert Imber has begun guiding architecture buffs on Segways.

Victor Blumenthal, who owns Segways of the Desert, approached Imber about a joint venture after a visit from Blumenthal’s son, an engineer in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

“I have [Segway] tours in Palm Desert,” Blumenthal says. “My son came out, was interested in Palm Springs and the architectural front, and suggested I get together with Robert Imber [of PS Modern Tours].”

While Imber’s traditional tours cover houses, churches, commercial buildings, hotels, and even gas stations, Segway tours are limited to the Las Palmas residential neighborhood.

“It’s really the [comprehensiveness] of the tour that is different and the amount of ground we can cover,” Imber says, pointing out that his minivan tour encompasses 35 miles. Additionally, about a half-hour of the Segway tour time is used for training on operating the personal transporters.

Nevertheless, the new tour costs $60 more ($125 versus $65) in order to cover Segway rental costs. But Imber reports that people are willing to pay the difference for the two-wheeled version.

“It’s not just a tour, but it’s an experience of the one-on-one, the open air,” Imber says.

Segway tours are offered the second Saturday of the month and by appointment by calling 318-6118.

 


 

The Ultimate Trail

By Janice Kleinschmidt
Photo credit: Courtesy Coachella Valley Community Trails Alliance

One day you could walk from Palm Springs to the Salton Sea — the point being not that you could walk the 50-some miles in a day, but that there could be a trail connecting the east-west ends of the Coachella Valley.

That’s the mission of the nonprofit Coachella Valley Community Trails Alliance, whose executive director has established alliances to develop a valleywide system of paved and earthen paths for bicyclists, hikers, joggers, equestrians, and the mobility impaired.

“No public entity has the resources to plan, advocate, and build an urban regional trail system,” says LeGrand Velez, CVCTA’s executive director and only paid staff member. “You need someone to keep the focus, to coordinate with all the jurisdictions, and to keep the pressure and advocacy on a regular basis.”

In addition to working with the Coachella Valley Water District and Riverside County, the CVCTA is working with Coachella Valley cities to develop trail plans and funding for trails through developer fees.

“It’s interesting that the genesis of this is coming out of the development community,” says Velez, who holds a masters degree in natural resource management and has held public works positions that involved planning, constructing, and managing parks and trails. While visiting with family, he met Palm Desert developer Michael Granum, who, upon learning Velez’s background, told him about his idea for a regional urban trail system. Granum and Sam Belzberg, a developer from Canada and part-time Rancho Mirage resident, provided seed money to establish CVCTA.

Velez, who sits on the Riverside County Parks and Open Space District Trails Committee, says money to build the trails will come through city and county funds and developer contributions through conditions of building permits. “And there are federal and state funds that we can apply for,” he adds. He anticipates the project will take 25 to 30 years. “We hope to start building some sections within the next two years, probably starting in La Quinta and then Coachella.” The East Valley, he points out, is an easier starting point because it is not as built out as the West Valley.

Meanwhile, the CVCTA worked with Riverside County on a map of existing bike lanes and urban trails.

Edit Module
Palm Springs Life
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

SilverRock Resort's Randy Duncan Solid as a Rock Amidst Changes

Randy Duncan, SilverRock Resort’s general manager and director of golf, has been a fixture amidst as renovations to the course and now talk of hotel expansion has brought all kinds of buzz to the La Quinta course.

Toscana Country Club's North Course Shaping Up to be Desert Marvel

Scheduled to debut in November of 2015, Toscana Country Club's North Course designed by legend Jack Nicklaus will mark the desert's first championship course opening since 2007.

The Fazio Factor

Tom Fazio's first two golf courses designed in the Coachella Valley, The Desert and The Mountain at The Vintage Club, marked the birth of a new standard of excellence in country club living.

Bryan Lebedevitch Lends His Expertise to My Ugly Swing

A teacher at PGA West Golf Academy since 1998, Bryan Lebedevitch has been a fixture in Golf Digest's "Best" instructional ranks in recent years, and recently lent his expertise to writer Judd Spicer's game.

Desert Willow Golf Resort Makes Short List to Play

Desert Willow Golf Resort makes the short list of courses for inquiring minds who want to know where to play golf in the Greater Palm Springs area.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Fashionista Friends

Fashionista Friends

Experience the glitz and glamour of Fashion Week El Paseo 2015.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.