RI Gems – 1

8 Jul

Since I’m extremely broke and about to take out an ENORMOUS graduate student loan, I’m pinching pennies this summer. This means I’m stuck at home in Rhode Island until August.

With many of my good friends having already shipped off to various ends of the earth for wonderful summer adventures/internships/projects/important stuff, I’ve decided to chronicle my time – *yawn* – back home. My hope is that I’ll stumble across some gems in RI that I never really took the time to notice while growing up here.

One aspect I’ve enjoyed so far: cycling around the state. I didn’t really become an avid cyclist until after I went off to college, so I never actually got a chance to check out the routes around town in RI.

    Here’s a little glimpse of cycling around Block Island – a magnificently pristine chunk of land about 13 miles off the mainland RI coast. It was recently deemed by The Nature Conservancy as one of the “Last Great Places on Earth”. Bikes are allowed on the ferry for $6, and it’s definitely worth it – cycling is the best way to get around this place. The terrain was actually a bit hillier than I anticipated, so I was only able to snap some good pictures while riding near the coastline.

The draw of Block Island for me is its untouched quality. Granted, there’s not much to “do” there; many of my family members dislike going because of the lack of classic attractions. I’m perfectly fine with riding around, stopping at the beach, and getting some ice cream at Block Island’s original homemade ice cream parlor. (I’m drooling just thinking about the heaping pile of maple walnut ice cream I devoured.)

I was relieved to find that drivers on the island knew how to treat cyclists–they’re used to them. Unfortunately, this is not the case back on the mainland, where I’ve had all sorts of vehicles just absolutely baffled by me minding my own business in the shoulder — honking, slowing to my speed and riding my tail end, yelling out the window — you name it, it’s happened. Rhode Islanders, please get on the bicycle wagon. There are a lot of us. Get used to it.

Anyway, despite the mainland drawbacks, I’ll be touring more parts of the state by bicycle in hopes of coming across scenes like this one. Block Island is a definite gem.


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