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Word of the day:Network
(noun) a system of lines, wires, etc., that are connected to each other
Disease as a result of bad drinking water was very common in New York City during the 1800’s. In an effort to reduce the burden of disease, the High Bridge was built in the 1860’s. It served as an aqueduct bringing fresh, clean water from the North to the city. The water flowed down from the North along the Hudson River through the High Bridge and down to a large reservoir where Bryant Park and the main branch of the New York Public Library are now!
The High Bridge was a network that connected New York City to clean water via ducts and pikes. There are other forms of networks that deliver services that we use today. These include satellite networks, which a GPS system uses to tell its location; cell phone towers, which allow us to send texts and talk to our friends; and radio towers, which send far reaching electromagnetic waves to radios to make them work. Speaking of radios, Justin hooked up a bike-powered radio to Katie’s bike so that when her wheels were moving the radio would play!
High Bridge Ride
We started our ride by biking up 1st Ave. Along the way, we looked at the different construction signs on the streets that indicated different networks. Daniel was in charge of identifying orange signs, which was indicative of networks involving communication. Luis was in charge of identifying yellow, which indicated gas; Celine was in charge of blue representing water lines; and Selina was in charge of red identifying electricity. It was a hot day, and we were relieved when we found a fire hydrant spraying water that we eagerly rode through!
We then made our way up 7th Ave. to Macomb’s Dam Bridge where we could see the H.W. Wilson lighthouse. We passed Yankee Stadium, after which we stopped to decide which route we wanted to take. Our options were: a steep, challenging hill or a slow, easy incline. The All Stars, living up to their namesake, opted for the challenge! And a challenge they got! The hill was long, trecherous, and winding! Everyone including the co-leaders were huffing and puffing! But the All Stars did a wonderful job! Selina and Daniel rode up the hill without stopping!
The challenge was certainly worth our efforts because at the top was our destination- the High Bridge! We stopped to catch our breath, eat lunch, and find the geocache! We had to first decode the hint, which we did by scrawling the code and message on the ground with some rocks. We decoded the hint to be: Lurking in the old LPC, which we learned to mean the lamp post cache. We ran down the stairs in an effort to find an old lamp post! We looked inside one and found a small canister, inside which was a tiny scroll upon which we wrote our names.
After our treasure hunt, we rode across the newly re-opened High Bridge to get back into Manhattan. We came across a banner that thanked the restoration team for its work, and we added our names to the banner! We continued on but rather than ride along a path we went off-roading! Thank goodness we had our sturdy mountain bikes!
After our adventure through the woods, we road along cobblestone streets up to the oldest house in Manhattan- the Jumel-Morris Mansion, where George Washington lived during the American Revolution. We stopped to take stately pictures and Tae Kwon Do master Katelynn taught us some new kicks and how to squat together while linking arms!
We then road through Hamilton Heights, where we stopped to learn about Alexander Hamilton. We saw the Hamilton Grange, his house that was moved two times, and the church that was blocking his house from the second move! In order to move the house, they had to lift it up and over the church!
We saddled up for home. Along the way, we found another fire hydrant spraying water. We filled our water bottles at the hydrant and collected a sample for our water quality monitoring to assure we weren’t drinking bad water like the New Yorkers of the 1800s! Luckily the water was clean and we made it back to the school disease-free! Great job All Stars!
Jude Appiah, Georgia Bancheri, Stella Chong, Cappy Collins, Justin Downs, Raven Lee, Katie Litman, Katelynn Pann
Miles Biked: 11.3
Miles Walked: 0.35
Program Time (hr): 3.75
Bike Time (hr): 2
Calories Burned*: 572 (biking) + 37 (walking) + 76 (taekwondo) = 685
Water Quality Monitoring Results
Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, 12 yo, average between male and female.