Start Location: TBA
Start Time: 7am
Ride Leader: Ted Shwartz
Lights: Required after 7pm
Distance: 200k (125 Miles)
Time Limit: 13 Hours 30 minutes
Controls: Newport, RI
Cue Sheet & GPS File: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/24711590 (Preliminary! – Not yet approved by RUSA)
Sanctioning: ACP & RUSA (PBP Early Reg Qualifier)
Registration: Register via BikeReg
RBA Jake’s Preamble: I’m very excited for this event as it’s a fun, interesting route using new territory for NER. Pay attention to the notes about the Mt. Hope Bridge. The expansion gaps are fairly large and some riders will prefer to dismount and walk on the narrow sidewalk. We give a huge thanks to Ted for designing the route, leading the event, and even offering up his house as the start/finish.
NER Narragansett Bays and Bridges 200k
Event information from ride leader Ted Shwartz:
This is a new ride for NER. It is NER’s first 200k to start in Rhode Island. We have less climbing than normal, but considerably more bridges. The route is a counter clockwise loop leaving Providence, traveling along Narragansett Bay to circle Aquidneck Island (Newport), then up the Taunton River before heading inland towards the farms and forests of Southeastern Massachusetts, lastly crossing the Seekonk River before returning to Providence.
The ride uses a mix of bike paths and mostly rural roads along with five major bridge crossings. Bridge 1 is the Providence Linear Park Bridge which is a bike and pedestrian bridge crossing the Seekonk river. Bridge 2 is the Mount Hope bridge crossing Mount Hope Bay between Bristol and Aquidneck Island (at Portsmouth). This bridge is high and with considerable exposure. Bridge 3 is the Sakonnet River Bridge crossing the Taunton River between Aquidneck Island (Portsmouth) and Tiverton. This is another bicycle and pedestrian bridge. Bridge #4 Berkley-Dighton bridge which is a minor bridge over the Taunton River. Our last bridge is the Henderson Bridge connecting East Providence with Providence.
Two of our bridges contain zero car traffic, one of our bridges has minor traffic, and two (Mount Hope & Henderson) have real traffic. If you have height, exposure and traffic issues than you might not enjoy the Mount Hope Bridge crossing, although the views are truly spectacular. A few years ago, I was interviewed by the RI Bridge Authority about riding across the Mount Hope Bridge, my response was “I ride it a lot, but never with my wife…”
The 200k will start and finish in Providence from my home, next to Brown University and the shops of Thayer Street. There is plenty of on street parking. One thing to keep in mind with this ride is there will be plenty of bicycling with wind exposure along the coast. The ride may punch above it’s weight with wind taking the place of hills.
Some of the highlights of the ride are heading down Narragansett Bay along the East Bay Bike Path and Mount Hope Bridge while the early morning sun is rising. We pass along and by the Herreshoff Marine Museum and Blithewold Mansion in Bristol (regrettably not open early in the morning).
We circle Aquidneck Island passing the Navy War College, historic Newport center, Brenton Point State Park, Ocean Drive in Newport (with all the mansions), the Cliff Walk, Eaton’s Beach, Second Beach and many other spots of interest. A short detour in Newport brings you to the League of American Bicyclists 125th Anniversary monument.
Once we leave Aquidneck Island we travel through the farm lands of Tiverton, Little Compton, Westport & Dartmouth before crossing the Freetown Fall River State Forest (aka SE Mass Bioreserve). We pass nearby to Dighton Rock before crossing the Taunton river a second time. You will travel by the Bristol Agricultural High School and then cross the farms and suburbs of Dighton, Rehoboth and Seekonk before returning to RI.
The ride will have a mix of info controls, and manned controls, along with a surprise control manned by a true friend of randonneuring in the USA. Sweet Berry Farm at mile 50.9 is a great lunch spot. Coastal Roasters at mile 64.5 has great coffee, as does Gray’s Daily Grind at mile 80.5.