Susan and I recently spent a week in Palm Desert, CA (next door to Palm Springs) bicycling and hiking.
First stop Tri A Bike, for our rentals. We found them to be the best price for good aluminum rentals.
As of this writing (December 2013), KHS, Cannondale or similar bicycles were $99 a week.
They also provide a saddle back with basic flat repair/replacement tools.
Carbon fiber bikes are available at a step upgrade price.
The shop seems constantly busy, but with three or four people there, we were taken care of quickly.
They will swap seats (or bring your own) and pedals to suit.
Victor, our mechanic, was completely attentive to making sure the bike fit as well as it possibly could.
Although I had several rides mapped, he took the trouble to map out one more.
It was about 50 miles, but easily shortened or lengthened from the map he gave us.
The Riding was interesting.
We started all our rides from our hotel, Embassy Suites in downtown Palm Desert (also a really good deal).
Many of the roads have designated bicycle lanes, though sometimes that becomes an optional shared sidewalk.
The rides are often routed to avoid those.
Where a straight run would go from bike lane to no bike lane and back again, the rides would often route you around that so you could stay on roads with bike lanes or roads with less traffic.
We rode from small city streets, to western suburban with lots of gated communities, to the edge of the desert as we left the city.
For real adventure, head out to Coachella Nature Preserve. That will take you through the city and out into the desert.
You can do a 45 mile loop where about 20 miles are in the middle of nowhere.
We rode in less deserted areas.
One ride took us south then north to edge of where the desert starts, and back home again.
Another time we rode was south east into Indio. While you ride past desert and sage, on this route you are always within 1/2 mile of civilization.
All in all a different experience.
There is a bicycle club in the area, but their group rides were too fast for us. We did get alot of info from their website, however.