elliptic net

Cycling in Rhode Island & New England!

Below are some bicycle routes with maps.  If you're interested in riding at Brown, you may be interested in the Brown Cycling Club (Recreation and Racing) or Bike-to-Brown (Bicycle Commuting Community).

East Bay Bike Path

 The East Bay Bike Path is a flat, scenic ride down the shore of Narragansett Bay. There are ice cream shops at frequent intervals, as well as restaurants at the end after 13 miles in Bristol.  To get there by car, take 195 East to the Veterans Memorial Parkway (exit just after crossing the river), which runs next to the bike path where it starts and has parking for the path. To get there by bicycle (a ten minute ride from Brown campus), go east from campus down Waterman St., turning right on Gano St. At the end of Gano you will pass under the 195 bridge -- immediately after passing under it, take the bike path / pedestrian ramp to your right. This will take you across the 195 bridge as a pedestrian. Watch for broken glass and potholes. When you cross the bridge you will come immediately to Warren Ave. Cross it and continue south along 1st St, and you will come across the bike path when you hit the Veterans Memorial Parkway, in two blocks.

Lincoln Woods

For mountain biking, visit Lincoln Woods, where there is a network of forest trails. To get there, take I-95 North, to Rte. 146 North, to Lincoln Woods State Park exit, and follow signs. You can also ride there in about 30 minutes.

Navigate the Back-Roads

Free Rhode Island bicycle maps put out by the department of transportation are available at local bike shops.  Rubel also makes wonderful Massachusetts bike maps.  Both maps mark hills & suggested routes, and some mark ice cream and bike shops.  Also try the books Short Bike Rides in Rhode Island and Short Bike Rides in Eastern Massachusetts, available at most local bookstores.

Here are some of the routes I take often.  Best to refer to a map to understand them, especially if there are errors (please tell me if there are!)

Escape the city to the North:

From Faunce Arch (the corner of Brown and Waterman on the Green), go north on Brown St. Left at Olney St., down the hill. Right at North Main St. (lights). Left at Branch Ave (lights). Continue on Branch Ave. until you pass under Rte. 146, and then make a right on Woodward Rd. (do NOT go right up the off ramp of 146, you'll regret that; Woodward is immediately afterward). {If you were to continue on Branch Ave. just half a block instead of turning, you would come to Providence Bicycle, our sponsoring bicycle shop http://www.providencebicycle.com/ 331-6610} At this point traffic will lighten. Follow Woodward Rd. uphill and across Mineral Springs Ave. (lights) and take the first left on a tiny street which happens to be called Angell Rd. Pass the parking lots on either side and take a left on Benjamin Dr. At Lexington Ave, go right. Follow this road (it will become Angell Rd. again) out of the city. When you see Whipple Rd. on your left, that's one way to go. Otherwise, go straight and hit Jenks Hill Rd. (Rt. 123). You can now find yourself on the free Rhode Island bike map "Guide to Cycling in the Ocean State 2001" just to the west of Lincoln Woods -- explore!  MAP

Escape the city to the East:

From Faunce Arch (the corner of Brown and Waterman on the Green), go east on Waterman St. At the end of Waterman St., veer left to cross the river on the Henderson Bridge (after Butler St. lights). Do not take the first exit ramp, but rather the second (please be careful of traffic). At the end of the ramp, go right to proceed north on Massasoit Ave. At North Broadway (lights), go left. Continue (it becomes Newman Ave) until you enter Massachusetts (after a small causeway). After a school, turn right onto Woodward Ave. Now you'll find yourself entering rural Seekonk. Refer to the Rubel Bike Map of Eastern Massachusetts and explore!  MAP

A nice hilly ride:

This ride takes about two and a half hours. Refer to a map. Follow the directions for getting out of the city to the north. Go left on Whipple Rd. Cross Rte. 7 and go right on Ridge Rd. After passing under I-295, go left on Capron Rd. At Rte. 5, go right and immediately left on Pleasant View Ave. Go Right on Log Rd. At the first fork, stay right to continue on Log Rd (instead of Mann School Rd.). At the fork after the reservoir, veer left to stay on Log Rd. Left on Burlingame Rd. At the end, left on Mann School Rd. Right on Swan Rd. At Cedar Swamp Rd. (Rte. 5), jog left to take Mountaindale Rd. At the bottom of the hill, sharp left on County Rd. Right on Wolf Hill Rd. Veer right at the fork, continue on Whipple Rd. At the end, go right then your first left to find Whipple Rd. again (steep uphill). This road will take you back along your route out of the city.  MAP

A nice flat ride:

This ride takes about an hour and a half. Refer to a map. Follow the directions for getting out of the city to the east. Go out Woodward Rd. Take a left at the end on Prospect St. At the end, go left and immediately right onto Homestead Ave. Go left on Rocky Hill Rd., then immediately right on Ash St. Left on Fairfield St. Left on Agricultural Ave. Left on Tremont St. Left on Cross St. Cross St. will lead you onto Pine St., and from there, go left on Brown Ave. This will return you to Rte. 152, where you will make a left, to retrace your route back into the city (you will pass Woodward Ave. on your left).  MAP

From Providence to Boston (route by Rafe Jones)


Rafe notes that this route includes Branch St. on the way out of Providence, which no longer exists.  See the map above for a suggested alternative.  -- Kate.

>       I've ridden back and forth to Bostona few times, and have worked
> out a route that I really like.  It's about 67 miles from one end to the
> other (that is, from Brown's campus to Davis Square), and not too hilly.
> In the description below I assume that you've got a Rubel bike map for
> Eastern Mass -- they're the green ones and are excellent maps in my
> opinion.  Provbike has them, and Esta's might too.  There are a lot of
> turns on my route and it might be annoying the first time you ride it to
> have to keep consulting the directions.  But I think the payoff in
> scenicness and lack of traffic is worth it.
> Here it is: from campus, ride down to Blackstone Blvd (Lloyd St. will get
> you there).  Take Blackstone heading north, and turn right onto Alfred
> Stone ave just before Blackstone ends.  Bend around to your left onto
> Pleasant street, and pretty soon there will start being some streets to
> your right.  Pick one and jog over one block to the right to get on Taft
> st, which parallels Pleasant.  Continue straight on Taft for quite a while
> (it becomes Roosevelt Ave at some point), through several traffic lights.
> Eventually you will cross the river and Roosevelt will bend to the right,
> up a hill.  There'll be a road that continues more or less straight
> (Branch St.).  Take it.  Now basically follow the river (on your left)
> though there's a weird right/left thing you have to do to at one point.
> You'll wind up on Ralco Way, and in not too long turn right onto Abbott
> St.  After about 4 blocks turn right onto Havens St.  Its a tiny little
> thing with speed bumps at first, but it turns into a nice road (and
> becomes Curran St.)  Stay on it for a long while.  It crosses 123, then
> goes on and on, until going around a big turn to the right.  Turn left on
> Depot (not marked, but it'll feel like the proper way to go).  go 400m or
> so, then turn left onto Mendon Rd (also unmarked, but a larger road that
> immediately goes up a hill).  All this should take less than half an hour.
>        Stay on Mendon for six or seven miles (it becomes Abbott Run rd.
> or something) until it Ts on Nate Whipple Highway.  Turn left, then after
> 300m or so turn right onto 114.  After 1 km or so, turn right onto
> Reservoir Rd.  Follow it through the big reservoir and beyond, until you
> come to Burnt Swamp Rd, which will be the left fork at a Y intersection.
> (Great name, no?  How do you burn a swamp?)  Follow it (crossing RI/MA
> border), til you hit 121.  Now I'll assume you're looking at your Rubel
> map.  Take Sheldon to Summer, go through Franklin and get on Lincoln St.
> At Medway, get on Holliston St.  (This was the worst street on the whole
> trip when I rode it, and still not that bad.)  It becomes Norfolk.  Then
> Fiske-Mill-Goulding-Lake-Farm-South.  Then left on 16 for just a bit, then
> right on Everett and right on Cottage into Natick.  Then
> Walnut-Bacon-Oak-Rathbun.  Rathbun Ts onto Winter.  Go right, then left
> when it Ts on Highland.  When you hit Weston, take Merriam St. and Weston
> Rd. to Lincoln, then Bedford Rd. across 2 to 2A.  Right for a bit, then
> right onto Mill.  Then Lincon St. to Worthen to Mass Ave. to the Minuteman
> Bike Path
.  That takes you at least into Davis Square and likely farther
> (I've never ridden it past Davis).  It's very poorly marked and confusing
> at Arlington and Alewife.  Either ask someone or follow people who seem to
> know where they're going.
> I hope this is useful.
> Best,
> Rafe Jones