Scenic Roads Go Car-Free: Middle Road in Portsmouth and Ocean Avenue in Newport will close to cars and open to cyclists and walkers

Participants enjoying the 2018 Farm to Farm Ride in Portsmouth

“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. Two upcoming community events invite people to leave their cars behind and explore Aquidneck Island’s scenic vistas safely, comfortably and car-free. It’s a second success for Portsmouth, and a big FIRST for Newport’s iconic Ocean Drive. But it’s only for a few hours so plan ahead!

May 11th is the Farm to Farm Ride in Portsmouth with the full length of Middle Road, lined with family farms and scenic vistas, open to bikes and walkers – from Hedley to Union. 10am-1pm.

May 19th is Elliot’Ride for Everyone – with all of Hazard Road and two miles of Ocean Avenue – from Carroll to Harrison – open to bikes and walkers – for the first time ever. 9am-11am.

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 “Last year’s event was a such a huge success – we’re proud to host this wonderful, family-friendly event again!” said Daniela Abbott, an organizer of the event and a member of the Portsmouth Town Council. “This ride really showcases the best of Portsmouth – scenic ocean views, historic family farms, and welcoming neighborhoods. We hope this will become a cherished tradition for our town.”

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!”

For both events: Police and event marshals will be on site along the route to assist participants and drivers who need to detour. Bike Newport volunteers will be on hand assist with bike checks, helmet fittings and minor repairs. Restrooms will be provided along the route. The rides are free of charge.

Additional details for Portsmouth Farm-to-Farm Bike Ride on Saturday, May 11th  from 10am to 1pm

Two miles of scenic Middle Road, will be CAR FREE so families, friends, and neighbors can safely explore and enjoy the experience of riding together. Along the way, participants will pass six family farms: Escobar farms, DeArruda Farm, Quonset View Farm, Portsmouth Nursery, BAW Farm, and DeCastro Farms.

Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. behind Escobar’s Farmhouse Inn at 133 Middle Road. Participants may park at Town Hall and the School Administration Building at 29 Middle Road. Velofix, the mobile bike shop will be on site to help with bike fixes.

Grand Marshals Louis & Jane Escobar will mark the official start of the ride at 10 a.m. Members of the Portsmouth Historical Society will be along the route with information about the town’s agricultural history. Those who wish to assist Clean Ocean Access clean-up along the route can pick up materials at the Admin Building.

Coffee from Clement’s will be available at registration and plenty more refreshment at Escobar Farm – Rhody Roots, RI, Red’s Rhode Island, Flat Waves, My Rolling Café and Rhody Fresh. Restrooms will be available at Quonset View Farm and Anne Benson Stables.

This event is possible thanks to the Portsmouth Town Council and Gold Sponsor Teri Degnan Real Estate as well as Bristol Marine, Newport Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, EcoRI News, Newport County YMCA, Rhody Fresh, Clean Ocean Access, Aquidneck Land Trust, Aquidneck Island Planning Commission, Town of Portsmouth Public Works, Portsmouth Historical Society, Premier Landscaping, and Countryside Children’s Center. Escobar’s Farmhouse Inn is graciously hosting the event and has donated a two-night stay for our raffle.

Additional details for Elliot’s Ride for Everyone on Sunday, May 19th from 9am to 11am.

Bike Newport’s annual community ride honors the life of Elliot Kaminitz, a much-loved bicyclist and safe cycling advocate who lost his life while riding on Memorial Blvd in Newport in 2012. This year – for the first time – the Elliot’s Ride route becomes CAR FREE.

Two miles of Newport’s beautiful Ocean Avenue, and Hazard Road – through Gooseneck Cove Salt Marsh. Families, friends, and neighbors can ride, walk, roll and stroll to enjoy the beauty of our coastline without cars and without worry. People of every skill and interest are invited to come out for two hours of fun on a beautiful Sunday morning. The more, the merrier, and the better chance of making it happen more than once!

The ride will begin from Rogers High School on Wickham Road, where parking, pre-ride information and refreshments will be available. Participants are welcome to enter the event area from any point along the way, including the two Ocean Loop end points – Harrison Ave at the west end and Carroll Ave at the east end. People may also park at Brenton Point. Volunteers will be present to assist. Please note that the car free segment of Ocean Ave begins ¼ mile east of Brenton Point parking.

This event is possible thanks to the Newport City Council and Gold Sponsor KVH, 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 event updates for both rides, follow Bike Newport RI on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. For more information please contact Allyson McCalla,allyson@bikenewportri.org, (401) 619-4900.

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