Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bike Newport, RI Part 1: Beaches and Ocean Drive

Our little Volkswagen took the three of us and our two bikes to Newport for the past six glorious days. We left our home Tuesday night to stay in North Jersey at my parents' home. Giving us a mere four hour trip up on Wednesday. Our bikes traveled well on our bike rack we had to stop at the bike shop on our way out for my new front tire and we realized the rack needed to be way tightened once that happened it was sturdy the rest of the trip.

Our first full day on Thursday we headed out from my husband's awesome aunt and uncle's home (our very generous hosts in Newport).

Based on some advice from our favorite locals we went and checked out 1st beach. Our cargo bike and pink bike were not filled to capacity but carried a fair amount  stuff to the beach. First beach was a pretty short ride, only issue was we realized it was best to cross the main road Memorial at a light as people sped and did not slow for pedestrians or bikers although they were suppose to yield to them. Bike parking was fair at 1st beach the rack was a bit outdated and when we were leaving it was packed. Another bike family with a trailer had to wait for us to leave in order to lock up.

 was our little one's first time to the beach. Shockingly he loved it. The sand and the water. It was pretty awesome. Only drawback at 1st beach was a pretty icky red algae problem so we left within a hour or so. We headed out to bike the Ocean Drive Loop.

We rode our bikes down Bellevue which is home to many of the mansions of Newport. They were of course very lovely and opulent. Bellevue itself was although bike friendly a tight fit. The pavement was large concrete pavement laid with two inch seams. They were tricky to maneuver with my thin wheels at times. The shoulder that is "bike lane-ish" went from two feet to about four feet at any given time. Most cars would give you only about a two foot space when passing. So it was not ideal situation.

Bellevue then turns into Ocean Drive where even more rich folks homes are. The drive is also home to some shi shi private beach clubs. It is a longer bike ride of inclines and declines. The scenery is mostly incredible and is very bikeable for any type of bike. We saw omafiets, cruisers, and bromptons. Only kids we saw were either in trailers or old enough to bike on their own.

Again no real bike lanes like all of Newport. The closest we got to a bike lane was on our way out of the Ocean Drive Loop there were sharrows without the arrows and the biker had no helmet. On the way out we did stop at Fort Adams park for a little down time after all those hills to rehydrate and chill out before biking back to the house.

 Second day we decided to hit a beach down at the intersection of Bellevue and Ocean. Known colloquially by locals as "reject's beach" it is only accessible by walking or biking as there is no car parking. The beach is the southeastern tip of one of the most prestigious and 1%ers only private beach clubs in Newport. There was seriously a rope going across the beach into the water showing where the rich and regular folks were allowed.

Because the beach was bikes and walkers only it was really dead and totally gorgeous. We stayed for a while and even waited out a rain storm in our pop up beach tent. As we were leaving we saw a pedicab!

Pedicabs existed briefly in Philadelphia but they were only allowed in center city. It was a missed opportunity not to allow them in tourist heavy olde city. So it was great to see them all around Newport. I sneakily snapped a picture of a bike enthusiast taking a picture with one!

We biked home from reject's without issue. That night a huge rain storm swept in and our bikes spent their first night in the rain. Our seat caps worked perfectly though.



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