Portion of Ocean Drive will go car-free for bikes and pedestrians on Sunday

Right on the tail of last week’s successful car-free Farm to Farm Ride in Portsmouth comes Newport’s first-ever car-free event on a segment of the iconic Ocean Drive. The Farm to Farm Ride was enjoyed by 750 people, but let’s be honest – the kids ruled the road. With no fear of car traffic, kids and kids-at-heart will return to enjoy 2.8 miles of coastal Rhode Island for two hours this Sunday, May 19th when Bike Newport throws the second car-free road party of Bike Month 2019 – Elliot’s Ride for Everyone!

“You asked and we listened,” explains Bike Newport’s Program Manager, Jordan Miller. “For so long Newport residents have been asking for a bike ride with no cars, somewhere they can ride freely and comfortably with friends and family. Where else in Newport can you do that?”

This is the day when everyone, regardless of experience, can ride together along two miles of ocean and salt marsh – through Gooseneck Cove and along the shoreline. Families, friends, and neighbors of every skill and interest can ride, walk, roll and stroll without cars and without worry. Elliot’s Ride for Everyone promotes inclusion in cycling and the Rhode Island community. 

Susan Taylor, Newport’s Vice Mayor, shared “I am excited to see families enjoying this stunning section of the Ocean Drive, when biking and walking are honored and elevated, so that we all may pursue our path in our own way, in our own time – and feeling free to be distracted by the sheer beauty of our surroundings!”

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The Bit Players

The ride will begin from Rogers High School on Wickham Road, where registration begins at 8:00am. Parking, pre-ride information, bike checks, minor repairs, helmet fittings, and refreshments will all be available, as well as several bikes to borrow on a first-come first-served basis. Parking is also available at Brenton Point, but please note that the closed segment of the road begins 1/4 mile east of the east end of Brenton Point parking. Bike Newport will also be hosting a ride, from Bike Newport 62 Broadway at 7:45am, to Rogers High School for those wanting to ride their way to the event.

Bike-On, the RI-based adaptive cycling company, will bring several specialty bikes for people in wheelchairs or with mobility challenges to borrow and ride – or be piloted – so they, too, can enjoy the salty air with friends and family. The bikes will be located at Rogers HS at the start of the ride and will move to the intersection of Hazard Road and Ocean Avenue during the ride. Please call Alison Darrell at 860-460-8901 for more information about using the adaptive bikes. 

Police and volunteer marshals will be along the route to assist participants as well as drivers who need to detour. Portable restrooms will be provided along the route. 

“It’s not a road closing, it’s a road opening! – to people biking, walking, rolling, and strolling,” explains Bike Newport’s current blog post. This event invites people to leave their cars behind and explore scenic vistas safely, comfortably, and car-free. It is a big FIRST for Newport’s built-for-cars Ocean Drive. “Let’s all come out and claim the road for more than cars and the fearless among us,” encourages Miller, “Let’s give our kids places to ride free.”

Bike Newport’s annual community ride honors the life and safe cycling passion of Elliot Kaminitz, a much-loved dentist and bicyclist who lost his life while riding on Memorial Blvd in Newport in 2012.

This event is possible thanks to the Newport City Council and Gold Sponsors KVH and Teri Degnan Real Estate, as well as Standard Modern Printing, Discover Newport, VHB, ecoRI News, P3GM Newport Bike Share, Newport County YMCA, RIDOT Highway Safety, and Reynolds DeWalt.

For more information, visit elliotsride.org.

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