A few years ago I bought a comfort bike and I just love it. It's been to Burning Man three times and I love to take rides along the canal paths.
I'm closest to the Consolidated Canal so I usually pick that up between Baseline/Guadalupe and ride south. I tried riding north into Mesa once and it was disappointing. The trail was just a rocky, rutted path and there were no improvements at all. It was really rough.
Yesterday, though, I gave riding north another try and wow! Mesa/SRP have been busy! I rode the trail down to Southern last night and again today down to Broadway and it's great! Nice smooth paths, lighting and even seating and rest areas. Past Broadway it's paved but lighting has not been added so this is still a work in progress (also evidenced by the "Canal closed to recreational use until April 2014" signs that I and all the other bikers/walkers were clearly ignoring).