This season we have introduced sleek new touring bikes from Martone Cycling Co. for our houseguests to enjoy, complimentary, of course. Designed as a fashionable urban bicycle, they are also perfect for exploring the nooks and crannies of the Ocean Drive. Our horticulturist Leita and I took them out for a spin and were pleasantly surprised at how light and easily maneuverable they were, not to mention the number of envious looks we received. Even the helmets we provide are light and stylish. Start planning your cycling outfits now and pack a blanket. We are going on a picnic.
Our plan was to travel along the Ocean Drive, stopping here and there to get a closer look at the beauty of the ocean, as well as the mansions and the boats, the rocks and the greenery, and all the things that converge to make our corner of the world a delight to the senses – all within a mere thirty minutes of Castle Hill. With the waves crashing seemingly at our peddling feet and the breeze lifting our spirits we set off towards Bellevue Avenue. We had a few stops in mind but discovered others along the way.
At the bottom of Bellevue Avenue, we made a stop at Reject’s Beach, which is the public appendage to the ultra-exclusive Bailey’s Beach. No amount of money or fame will give you access to Bailey’s Beach, only a solid Newport pedigree, and that is part of what makes this town what it is. Reject’s is popular with young people who live and work in town. There is no parking. It is the most unofficial place in the universe. It is also the farthest reach of the Cliff Walk and connects to the most inhospitable stretch of that famous pathway.
Aside from enjoying scenes that a car or your feet alone can’t provide, we also discovered on our bike ride, that we felt just like kids again!
We had packed a nice little picnic for our outing (provided by the Lawn restaurant at Castle Hill Inn, of course). We chose Rovensky Park, which sits at the lower end of Bellevue Avenue, across from historic mansions, and offers many leafy specimen trees to provide a shady spot for our repast. The park is maintained by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
We now felt accomplished and well-fed and were ready to head back. So as not to travel back the same way as we came, we headed over to Ruggles Avenue and made a stop at Ballard Park, another fitting cycling destination as there is no parking.
We discovered that Ballard Park has a labyrinth of trails more suited to a hike than a leisurely stroll, but it was certainly worth a look, if only to imagine the terrain of the area before much of it became manicured lawns for Newport estates.
We decided it was time to head back. We could have continued along Ruggles Avenue, but it was a little easier to take Hazard Road and cut back to the Ocean Drive. We were ready to get back to our beach house. Wait! We don’t have a beach house. We work at the Inn. But we will always have the memory of our jaunt along the Ocean Drive in those light and maneuverable, fashionable and liberating, Martone bicycles.
by Shea C Nelson and Leita Lord