2015 AS: Roosevelt Island

2015 AS: Roosevelt Island

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Word of the Day:
Marginalize (verb): to confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing

Intro Lesson:
Roosevelt Island, Randall and Ward Islands, Rikers Island, North Brother Island…you may have heard of one or all of these NYC islands, but do you know what they have in common? Today, co-leaders Georgia and Stella, taught the All Stars that all these islands historically hosted (and in some cases, still host) marginalized populations. We asked the All Stars what kind of people they think would be marginalized. As our co-leaders explained, a good way to think about what it means to be marginalized is to think of the MARGIN on a piece of paper, and how you avoid writing outside the margin !

We learned that Typhoid Mary was quarantined on North Brother Island, and that Rikers Island is still the city’s main jail complex. As interesting as all the islands are, our focus today was Roosevelt Island. Previously known as Hog Island, Blackwells Island, and Welfare Island, Roosevelt Island was known for hospitals, a prison, and an asylum.

Roosevelt Island: Once we learned all about how interesting the islands are, we used our map skills to label NYC: the boroughs, bridges, and of course, islands, that we would be visiting today. Co-leader Katie taught us a great acronym to remember the compass directions: “Never Eat Soggy Waffles,” corresponding with “North East South West” in a clockwise direction. With Katie’s help, all the All Stars helped us successfully label the map- great job! We then grabbed our bikes and headed to the East River. We were joined today by a returning Cyclopedia co-leaders: our fleet-master (also Cappy’s cousin!), Justin. We missed our leader Cappy today, but a big thanks to Justin for leading the way !

After reviewing our safety rules and gears, we split into smaller groups each with a co-leader head, and biked over the 103rd Street foot bridge and over to Wards Island. We were greeted by a “HELLO” sculpture made out of leaves as soon as we got onto Roosevelt Island. We took a quick water break and then set up our science experiment for the ride: a solar oven! Estuardo asked to put his cheese sandwich from lunch into the tin foil-lined oven, hoping to have a grilled cheese sandwich by the time lunch rolled around.

We biked around the southern end of Wards Island, and headed to the Triboro Bridge. We shifted to our lowest gears, and embarked, slow but steady, up the ramp to the bike path across the bridge. And the tough uphill was definitely worth a spectacular view on top! Tiffany, Tymel, Awa, and Estuardo enjoyed the “numbers” clapping game as we took a break on the top of the bridge.

Once we got across the bridge, we were in Queens! You know what that means – everyone got their Queens Badges today !! In Queens, we rode to Socrates Sculpture Garden to have our lunch break. Checking our solar oven, we were happy to find that the strong sun had some benefit: Estuardo got himself a grilled cheese sandwich! We enjoyed lunch and sang Happy Birthday to Yalo (the birthday boy to-be!) Tatiana found some beautiful flowers to save for our plant identification later in the week. We then filled up our waters before heading to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We were pumped to finally be on Roosevelt Island! We rode south on the island to Four Freedoms Park, and stopped at the ruins of the Smallpox Hospital. The hospital, overgrown with ivy, is also known as Renwick Ruin after its designer, James Renwick Jr., who built the hospital in the 1850s. Today, we were lucky enough to enter into the FDR Freedom Park. We saw a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline from the park. Yalo and Tiffany spotted a whole island of Cormorants, too!

We took a quick break by the old hospital and filled up our waters, and prepared ourselves for the final push back to P.S. 38. We quickly made it back over the Roosevelt Island Bridge and into Queens, but still had one more bridge to conquer before our day was over: the Queensboro Bridge!!

The bridges were hard and tiring, but the All Stars saw some beautiful views and everyone was a trooper! Tymel, Awa, and Cherlin powered through the uphills, and helped lead the All Stars back. We headed up 1st Avenue and back to P.S. 38. Tired but rejuvenated after a long day, we now have ride #2 in the books ! Great job, All Stars!


Jude Appiah, Georgia Bancheri, Claire Castellano, Stella Chong,Justin Downs, Raven Lee, Katie Litman, Katelynn Pan,

Ride Statistics
Miles biked: 12.9 miles
Miles walked: 0.63 miles
Ride time: 5 hours
Calories burned: 687 biking (road cycling, low intensity) + 40 walking = 727

Water Quality Monitoring Results
pH : 9
Nitrate : 0
Nitrite: 0
Hardness: 425
Chlorine: 0
Pesticides: Weakly Positive
Lead: Negative
E.Coli: Present

Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, 12 yo, average between male and female.

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