Summer Bucket List #8: Back in the Newport Groove

Back Bay bike ride: Northside

I’d never really understood the appeal of Newport’s Back Bay. I’d always driven by the swampy grasslands staring  at the multimillion dollar houses up on the cliffs and wondered, “Why would anyone buy an outrageous house overlooking a swamp when the beach is right there?!”

So I decided to kill two birds with one stone and cross off Summer Bucket List item No. 8 (ride my bike someplace new) while also finally give the Back Bay the chance it deserves.

I must admit, I’m still a little stumped about why people buy multimillion dollar homes overlooking the bay, but I do think – for the first time – I finally started to understand why people visit it at all. There’s actually quite a bit of beauty to be had there. Lots of birds and grasslands. It almost feels as if you’re taking a jaunt through the bayou rather than opulent Newport Beach – that is until you reach a clearing with a perfect view of Fletcher Jones Motorcars (said with an affected British accent) and its fleet of Mercedes. Still the Southern end of the bay is a quiet refuge with only the occasional reminders of civilization. During my 15-mile bike ride (making the loop from my house in Corona del Mar), I came across joggers, couples and their newborns out for a stroll, bikers both accomplished and amateur and a cute little group of ducks. I finished my ride at an RV park beach that seemed straight out of a movie – complete with giant water slides, a plastic whale, all kinds of rentals and a swing set.

All in all, it was the perfect afternoon adventure – and I think I’ll look at the Back Bay with just a little more admiration from now on.

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