My husband and I went to Rail Explorers for the first time a few summers ago. It was one of the things he planned as it was something he’d heard about and thought we’d both enjoy. I think he may have found out about it from a YouTube video, but either way, after he told me what it was, I was super excited about doing it.
So, a couple of days into our trip, we grabbed some Del’s and then headed over to the site in Portsmouth where we’d start our journey.
THE PROCESS TO GET IN IS PRETTY QUICK WHEN YOU PURCHASE TICKETS AHEAD OF TIME:
The process leading up to us getting on the bikes was pretty seamless. We purchased our tickets ahead of time, which is what the site recommended and honestly, I think that saved us a lot of time. We got processed pretty quickly and there was a store where you could purchase drinks or snacks if you wanted to before you biked. We waited for about 10 or so minutes until we got the okay that we were ready to get on the bikes. Once on the bikes, they took our picture, let us know what the rules were (including no speeding. -it’s meant to be a relaxing and scenic ride), and after letting the people in front of us get a safe distance ahead, we were instructed to start pedaling.
THE PEDALS DO NOT REQUIRE MUCH FORCE TO MOVE:
The pedals were very easy to maneuver and it didn’t feel like we had to use too much force in order to move it, which I liked it. Although, the entire time we kept a pretty nice pace, if we felt that were getting a little too close to the bikes ahead of us because someone may have stopped for an animal crossing or take a picture, we could easily slow down – especially since we weren’t going that fast in the first place.
DO NOT SPEED:
As I alluded to before, speeding is a big no-no. When you’re on your ride, depending on the type of ride you do, sometimes you will cross through golf courses, behind people’s backyards, and in areas where there are animals such as rabbits and squirrels. They encourage you not to speed so that if you do need to stop, you can do so quickly and ultimately so that you’re mindful of the wildlife around you and don’t end up accidentally running over a small animal. This actually happened on our ride where the riders ahead of us accidentally ran over a bunny because we encountered what was left of it on the trail. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m pretty sure this is why they encourage you to avoid doing that.
Besides, who wants to be that guy that’s speeding on a ride that’s meant to be relaxing?
Different Tours May Have Different Destinations:
I know this is self-explanatory, but we felt it was important to mention that not all of the Rhode Island tours are the same. Some of them are trips where you bike one way and shuttle back the other, while another tour allows you to bike to and from. When you sign up for the tour, make sure you fully read the description and double-check what you’re booking before booking, if you have a preference for one or the other. We booked the Northern Ramble tour because it was the only one left at the time that we booked for the days we would be visiting Newport.
It’s about $40 a ticket for the cheapest excursion, so depending on your budget and how many people are going with you, it can seem a bit steep. I will say that to us, it was worth the money because of the experience we got. You’re on it for quite a while and can see parts of the region that you would’ve never been able to see from your car. It’s relaxing, scenic, and ultimately an experience that you may find yourself wanting to experience again like we have been saying. Since our first experience with them, we’ve talked about doing it again or doing it at one of their other locations. However, affordability is very, very subjective, so keep that in mind when planning if this is something you would like to do.
WOULD WE RECOMMEND IT?
We would absolutely recommend that you try this during your next visit to Rhode Island. It’s relaxing, it’s fun, and one of those things that you cannot experience in many places. If it is something you can afford based on the size of the group you’re traveling with, it’s definitely something we’d say you should do before leaving the state.