The lesson of the day was focused on the word “community.” Community comes from the word communis, which means “common, public, general, or shared by all or many.” We discussed the meaning of community as it relates to our own lives and surroundings. We first asked the kids what they define as their community. We noticed that we lacked a clear definition of the word, so had a hard time answering the question. However, we were all able to come to the agreement that community consists of a group of people bound together — perhaps bound by location or bound to an idea, organization or affiliation. We noted our East Harlem community, the Beacon summer camp community, and finally our Cyclopedia community!
Bike riding is a great way to expand our community. By visiting the other boroughs, specifically the Bronx this week, we are broadening our surroundings, and therefore, our awareness and perspective. We finished the morning lesson by discussing some ways in which we participate in our communities, and some responsibilities we all share within the community.
Today, we ventured to Starlight Park in the Bronx. Starlight Park used to be an amusement park in the early 1900s, much like Coney Island. However, it slowly fell apart and was demolished in 1940. The new park was extremely polluted, which led to residents banding together to form the Bronx River Alliance. The goal/overall mission of the Alliance was to put pressure on politicians to fix up the park and build a greenway. To this day, Bronx residents are still fighting for this.
Word of the Day: Community
(from communis- common, public, general, shared by all or many)
After an interesting lesson about the meaning of community, the Speed Dusters headed downstairs to grab our bikes only to find out that the door was still locked with our bikes inside! So rather than leave at 9:40 as planned, we got to hang out and play basketball in the gym! We definitely have some superstars on the Speed Dusters (but we already knew that!)
Eventually we got into the storage closet and left for our ride around 10:20! Today the Speed Dusters had two new faces join us: Aaron and Priscilla (Kayelah’s god sister!) We were super excited as we prepared for our longest ride to date! We started out on the familiar East River path and went north towards our destination—the Bronx!
We went east over the Pedestrian Bridge to Randall’s Island. This week, the Speed Dusters weren’t as determined to pedal over the bridge (probably tired after doing so well over the Queensboro!) so many of us walked to the top of the bridge and coasted down. Once on Randall’s Island, we relaxed and took a few photos as we looked across the East River at where we came from. We even saw a few horses at a stable!
We continued to push ourselves over the Triborough bridge until we made it to the Bronx where we were greeted with—you guessed it… STAIRS! Except unlike the familiar stairs on the East River path, there was no ramp for us to roll our bikes down on. So Cappy showed us how to roll our bikes down the stairs with only the back wheel touching the ground. JJ was such a great helper running up and down the stairs lending a hand to everyone having trouble with the stairs!
Today was the first time riding on the street for many of our riders, but after a refresher of safety they were cruising around like old pros. On our way, the pedal fell off of Lamya’s bike! I think the Speed Dusters might have ‘the curse of the broken pedal’ as it was the 2nd time in 2 rides that a Speed Duster lost her pedal (last week, Kayelah lost hers going over the Queensboro Bridge!
This was a first time for all of us going to Starlight Park so we got a little bit turned around on the way there, but slowly and surely we made it! The park was beautiful! It was an oasis of green in the middle of the hustle and bustle of highways. We camped out on top of a hill and drank our water, and ate some oranges and granola bars. The hill was super fun to bike down, and in no time, everyone had their helmets on and were biking around the park (no breaks for the Speed Dusters!) We were especially pleased to make the acquaintance of Damian Griffin of the Bronx River Alliance who told us more about the river ecology.
To ensure that we had plenty of time to blog about our adventure, we left soon thereafter to head back to Manhattan. After a long hilly day, we rode into the Stanley Isaacs Center—tired, but accomplished. Once we arrived at the Center, Cappy handed out participation wristbands, and we have our first 25 miler of the season! Awesome job Kayelah!
After this week’s ride, the Speed Dusters have 3952 points. Great job! Keep it up!
This trip was on July 30, 2013
Programming time: 6.5 hours
Ride time: 5 hours
Ride Distance: 12.63 miles
Walk Distance: 1.08 miles
Calories Burned: About 994 Calories
Leaders: Cappy Collins, Luz Felix, Emma Bick, Jenne Ingrassia, Dan Piening
View SD: Starlight Park Ride in a larger map