We’ve been labeling boroughs this whole season, but on this last ride of the season we finally explored the term. Borough means, walled fortress, and the boroughs we’ve been labeling function as fortresses around the harbor. Staten island was the particular borough we were visiting, and it’s often called the “forgotten borough” because of how far away it is!
Word of the day
Old English: burg = town, walled fortress
Staten Island ride
The final ride for the hotwheelers was also the final ride of the 2014 summer season. Luckily, Janet, Elyse, and Abby were generous enough with their time to help out with the trip. The hot wheelers set out Tuesday morning instead of the usual Thursday so the rest of the week could be dedicated to time trials and other end of the season celebrations. Initially we thought there would be a small crew with just Steven, Estuardo, and Ontus. With some major cajoling, begging, and the promise of a ferry ride we also managed to recruit Christina. That’s not all though! As the hotwheelers rolled their bikes downstairs they were met by the latecomers Cayla-monee and Tijon. They quickly went upstairs to get geared up, and met their teammates outside for the final group photo. Eager to get started, the hotwheelers headed off onto the beautiful east river greenway. Breezing by the familiar dog park and favorite hill where they all earned their hill master badge, the team hit the city streets on the car ridden second avenue. The bikers whizzed through the traffic, making sure to stay in the bike lanes (or as close to the left as possible when there was construction). After a few blocks we made it back to the east river and rode south to catch our 11:30 ferry! Along the way we took a quick break to look at the faint outlines of newtown creek which we visited on the last ride.
Shortly the hotwheelers arrived under the large reflective words, “STATEN ISLAND” and were greeted by a black labrador. The hotwheelers cooed and aw’ed but unfortunately the lab paid us no real attention and moved on after giving each rider a quick sniff. Still in high spirits, the jumpstreeters filed into the waiting room and waited impatiently for the ferry to arrive. Once boarded, the hotwheelers parked their bikes and ran off to explore the different levels of the ferry. Everyone said goodbye to the manhattan skyline as the ferry rolled out into the waters.
Upon arrival, the hotwheelers pulled out onto the streets of Staten Island and into the beautiful little heaven that is Snug Harbor. Cappy led the team across gravel grounds right to the not so secret secret-garden. Cayla-monee and the co leaders sat down to have a nice picnic, Tijon and Ontus ran wild experimenting with new biking techniques, and the rest went off into the maze to explore. Unfortunately time was short, and all too quickly the jumpstreeters had to saddle up on their bikes and leave.
We rushed off to catch the ferry back to manhattan, speeding down the hill to the ferry station. After taking a few moments to admire the views on the ferry, the hotwheelers wrote their journals the old fashioned way with pen and papers so we could cut down on computer lab time. They reflected on the staten island ride, and the cyclopedia season as a whole coming to realize that it was really all ending! The final stretch back to home base included a long, (8.9 miles) but smooth ride back north up the Hudson greenway, and a cut across central park. But before we could get onto the greenway, one of the screws from Ontus’ bike came off! A trip to the bike shop was inevitable. After a swift discussion it was decided that Cappy would take Ontus and Tijon to the closest bike shop while the rest of the crew continued back home.
Eventually we all made it back to MS 114 to wrap up the senic 22.7 mile ride, marking the end of the cyclopedia summer 2014 season! Thanks to all the participants for a great season, and the co-leaders for making it all possible!
Miles biked: 22.7 miles
Miles walked: 1.0 miles
Programing time: 6.5 hrs
Ride time: 4 hrs
Co-leaders: Cappy Collins, Janet Lee, Elyse Meltzer, Abigal Rosenberger, Emily Bai