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Old 07-23-14, 09:42 AM   #1
40 Cent
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Brooklyn to Provincetown - question re CT and RI coastal routes

Planning a ride from Brooklyn to Provincetown via Long Island (Orient Point > New London ferry), I'm wondering about the navigability along the CT and RI coast, potentially through Newport.

We kind of want to avoid Warwick and Providence, having biked through there on a previous trip.

I see from Wikipedia that the Rt. 138 bridge to Newport does not allow bikes but has buses that can take bikes.

Does anyone have recommendations on best routes from New London up toward the Cape?

Thanks.
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Old 07-23-14, 11:12 AM   #2
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If you look at the Long Island:Good Ride Today? thread, you will see that I just posted a route from New London to Mystic, CT via some quiet backroads and out-of-the-way boardwalks and state parks. However, in the past, when I used to make this ride annually from New London to Narragansett, RI, I would primarily follow Rt. 1 and veer off to explore roads that passed by the waterside or looked otherwise scenic. Rt. 1 gets boring, though, so if you have time to meander and see some really nice Connecticut neighborhoods, I can get you part of the way there with turn-by-turn directions.

What kind of riding do you plan to do? Are you going to hammer it out with a club, or are you looking for a nice leisurely ride with a spouse or friend?
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Old 07-23-14, 11:46 AM   #3
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What kind of riding do you plan to do? Are you going to hammer it out with a club, or are you looking for a nice leisurely ride with a spouse or friend?
Tom, I appreciate it. The ride will be with my wife and, while we don't hammer it out, we don't usually meander much either because we normally budget between 75 and 90 miles a day based on our past trips, although this year we may try to keep it under 75.

So we tend to try to find the straightest route, but if we have a prettier and safer option that doesn't add a huge number of miles, we'll take it.

I'll check the Long Island: Good Ride Today? thread and then let you know if I have questions as we piece together our route.
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Old 07-23-14, 08:52 PM   #4
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>>>I'll check the Long Island: Good Ride Today? thread and then let you know if I have questions as we piece together our route.<<<<

Regardless of how you go, I would try to pass through Mystic, CT with maybe a side trip to Old Stonington Village, Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, RI, and Narragansett Beach (Rt. 1A) in RI. After that, you can take 1A straight to the Jamestown Verazzano Bridge (not sure how to access it, but you need to do some sort of rack-n-ride thing here) and then cross into Newport on the Claiborne Pell Bridge (another rack-n-ride, I believe). There's some nice riding in Newport, but you'll probably want to just get over to the Cape by that point.

This sounds like a great ride. I'm totally envious.
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Old 07-24-14, 09:00 PM   #5
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Regardless of how you go, I would try to pass through Mystic, CT with maybe a side trip to Old Stonington Village, Misquamicut Beach in Westerly, RI, and Narragansett Beach (Rt. 1A) in RI. After that, you can take 1A straight to the Jamestown Verazzano Bridge (not sure how to access it, but you need to do some sort of rack-n-ride thing here) and then cross into Newport on the Claiborne Pell Bridge (another rack-n-ride, I believe). There's some nice riding in Newport, but you'll probably want to just get over to the Cape by that point.

This sounds like a great ride. I'm totally envious.
Excellent. Thank you. That sounds like a good way to go. I'll have to check out the bus schedule for the bridges -- hopefully they come often enough. I have memories of Misquamicut and Narragansett as a kid in the late seventies when my parents would take us down from MA. Maybe we'll have a late breakfast in Newport on our 3rd day.

Now how to cross the Bourne Bridge onto the Cape -- apparently it's just an unprotected sidewalk on one side of a busy bridge...
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Old 07-25-14, 04:13 AM   #6
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There's also a really cool bike path along the water after you cross that bridge.
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Old 07-25-14, 12:55 PM   #7
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I live in Bristol, R. I. and ride many of the roads you will be on. Info on routes and public transportation along the way: RIPTA; RIPTA bus schedules)
Rubel bike maps; Rubel Bikemaps Regional Bicycle Maps & Recreation Maps. Rubel maps are great as they show all roads best for cycling - hope you have time to order online. When you take the bus into Newport the best course is to take another bus north on E. Main Rd. (Rt. 138) to the intersection of Boyd Lane, Rt. 138 and Rt.24. Rt. 24 has a new bridge with a bike lane over the Sakonnett River into Tiverton. At Tiverton, get on Rt. 177 W to begin threading your way to the Cape. This is not easy but if you are able to latch on to a Rubel Bike Map your route finding will be much easier. There is much very pretty countryside on your route. PM if I can be of further help.
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Old 07-25-14, 07:31 PM   #8
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I live in Bristol, R. I. and ride many of the roads you will be on. Info on routes and public transportation along the way: RIPTA; RIPTA bus schedules)
Rubel bike maps; Rubel Bikemaps Regional Bicycle Maps & Recreation Maps. Rubel maps are great as they show all roads best for cycling - hope you have time to order online. When you take the bus into Newport the best course is to take another bus north on E. Main Rd. (Rt. 138) to the intersection of Boyd Lane, Rt. 138 and Rt.24. Rt. 24 has a new bridge with a bike lane over the Sakonnett River into Tiverton. At Tiverton, get on Rt. 177 W to begin threading your way to the Cape. This is not easy but if you are able to latch on to a Rubel Bike Map your route finding will be much easier. There is much very pretty countryside on your route. PM if I can be of further help.
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Bern,

Just when you mentioned the Rubel map I remembered I bought the Eastern Massachusetts section a couple years ago for a different trip and just dug it out now! My map drawer is so full I would have forgotten I owned it had I not read your post.

Once we cross the bridge into Newport by bus, can we not ride our bikes from there all the way up and over the Sakonnet?
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Old 07-26-14, 10:35 AM   #9
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Yes you can ride your bikes from Newport northward. The two north/south roads have no shoulder and are very busy. Local cyclists ride northward on Burmah Rd. to Melville Road Basin where there are several boat yards. This requires finding a route through naval housing, just outside Newport, with numerous turns. From the marinas, getting to the rt. 24 bike lane is relatively easy with a good map. http://www.tenspeedspokes.com/contac...ore-hours.html Once at the bus depot in Newport, the bike shop is just across the street to the north. They probably have a map of the route to the bike lane on rt. 24.
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Old 07-28-14, 07:41 AM   #10
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Yes you can ride your bikes from Newport northward. The two north/south roads have no shoulder and are very busy. Local cyclists ride northward on Burmah Rd. to Melville Road Basin where there are several boat yards. This requires finding a route through naval housing, just outside Newport, with numerous turns. From the marinas, getting to the rt. 24 bike lane is relatively easy with a good map. http://www.tenspeedspokes.com/contac...ore-hours.html Once at the bus depot in Newport, the bike shop is just across the street to the north. They probably have a map of the route to the bike lane on rt. 24.
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Thank you! Local knowledge is the best.

We found on past trips that local knowledge beats paper maps, and paper maps beat google maps -- ideally, of course, the local is an old-timer who knows all the roads, traffic patterns, shoulder conditions, etc.
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Old 07-28-14, 08:24 AM   #11
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I agree with the "local knowledge" comment. So many of my bicycling memories were the result of tips by locals over the years.

I do think Google Maps "Street View" is an excellent resource, though. There's nothing like actually seeing the routes you'll be riding, the condition of the road surface, etc before you set out.
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Old 07-28-14, 09:19 AM   #12
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I agree with the "local knowledge" comment. So many of my bicycling memories were the result of tips by locals over the years.

I do think Google Maps "Street View" is an excellent resource, though. There's nothing like actually seeing the routes you'll be riding, the condition of the road surface, etc before you set out.
Very true. I do use Street View a lot to preview roads I've never been on.

Our bad google experience was trying to use our small phone screens a couple years ago, which led us on a few recommended bike routes that were horrendous. I've learned not to fully trust their little cyclist icon on their maps.

By the way, question for you, Papa Tom: our route via LI and the ferry to New London is not set in stone yet. I chose that because I've ridden it several times. But another option of course is the full coast of CT. Is that doable? Preferable?
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Old 07-28-14, 11:42 AM   #13
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I've done the full coast of Connecticut from Darien to the Rhode Island border and found it much more interesting and scenic than the north shore of Long Island. With the exception of a few rough spots around Bridgeport and New Haven, it is a beautiful ride. Towns like Momauguin, Indian Neck, Pine Orchard, Leetes Island. Guilford, Branford, Madison, Clinton, Grove Beach, Westbrook, and Saybrook Manor, and Old Saybrook were well worth the trip, as were Old Lyme, Black Hall, Soundview, Niantic, and Waterford. After that, it's New London, the ferry terminal, which isn't all that nice. But just past New London are Mystic, Stonington, Westerly, Misquamicut Beach, Narragansett, etc.

If you have the time, I'd recommend taking the CT route, although I'm not sure of the best route to get there from Brooklyn. The Long Island option will probably get you where you want to go faster, as it's a little less hilly. That's why the LIRR ran its tracks to Boston through LI, rather than CT, in the 1830's. However, the ride across Long Island is kind of dull until you get past Riverhead and onto Sound Avenue.
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Old 07-28-14, 11:56 AM   #14
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FYI on Rubels maps, some are out of print, have been for some time. RI DOT has a good free map. If your planning on riding over the MT. Hope bridge towards Bristol, this can be scarey but doable. Conn. bike map is online
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