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Word of the Day:
- Old English: burg = town, walled fortress
The final ride of the season began with a lesson about boroughs from our co-leader Katie. Cyclopedians learned that borough means walled fortress, which means that the all the boroughs that we have ridden to (Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn) are all fortresses around the NYC harbor. We also learned that the largest and smallest boroughs are Queens and Manhattan respectively. Cyclopedians were excited for today’s trip to the Staten Island, which is often known as “the forgotten borough” because its far distance from rest of the NYC boroughs.
Staten Island Ride
Traveling to Staten Island meant that the Cyclopedia Crew was on a tight schedule, however all of our Cyclopedians were prepared to make the 11:30 Staten Island Ferry. Led by Cappy, the crew set off from the school to the East River Esplanade where Cyclopedias rode past familiar sights: Roosevelt Island, dog park, the hill where Cyclopedias earned their hill master badge, and the Queensboro Bridge. The crew hit the city streets on Second Avenue. Cyclopedians rode along the bike lane in perfect pair formations all the way to 38 street where we made a left turn and headed back onto the East River greenway. Half of our crew was separated when some Cyclopedians missed the turn. Fortunately, the rest of the Cyclopedians were in good hands under the leadership of Justin and Rob who both lead them back to the East River Esplanade where they rejoined Cappy and the crew.
Riding along the East River, we saw helicopters landing on the platform. As we continued riding toward the S.I. Ferry, we passed by another three iconic NYC bridges: Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn (perhaps, one day Cyclopedians will get to ride across these bridges!) We were very lucky to have made the S.I. Ferry, which was about to leave right when we just arrived at the station. Our bags and bikes were sniffed by the adorable black Labrador. Finally, we were on the S.I ferry and on our way to Staten Island. On the ferry, Cyclopedians were able to spot the New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.
Once we arrived at Staten Island, we rode quickly to Snug Harbor. Cappy told us that there were two treasures hidden around the area. Cyclopedians were able to find the first treasure at the New Brighton, Unitarian Church of Staten Island. The clue for the treasure was “Find the Fairytale House”, which was the church. We were able to spot a small bookcase outside the church. Cyclopedians kept searching for the treasure until Yalo found it. The treasure was a geocaching book log; all of the Cyclopedians were excited and decided to make their mark by writing their names in the book log.
We continued toward Snug Harbor where we stopped at the Connie Gretz’s Secret Garden. The garden was dedicated to Gretz by her husband after her death; the garden was inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, The Secret Garden. We explored the castle, which had a hedge maze inside. All the Cyclopedians made their way through the beautiful hedge maze. After the exploration and lunch, Cyclopedians were off to find the second treasure. The crew deciphered the clue, “Under the Bridge, Above the Rocks”, so Cappy led the Cyclopedians to a nearby stream where there was a small bridge. We searched everywhere for the treasure, but still could not find it even after 10 minutes. However, we made a new snail friend named Gary as we were searching. Still, Cyclopedians did not give up and continued until Cappy finally found the treasure tucked away out of sight under the bridge. The treasure was a small box where all the fellow treasure hunters left one of their prized possessions such as a metro card, Pokemon figurines, and fake severed finger. The Cyclopedia Crew decided to put a white Cyclopedia band in the box and signed the treasure scroll.
After all that fun at Snug Harbor, it was finally time for Cyclopedians to head back to the school. Before we boarded the ferry, we stopped in front of the old courthouse where we took our final group picture. We made funny and geeky faces at the camera. Instead of the usual “cheese”, we smiled and said “Cyclopedia~!” On the ferry, Daniel and Selina challenged each other in doing tricks like flips and handstands. Everyone laughed and had a great time. Heading back, we rode along the Hudson River on the greenway and through Central Park. Finally, we made it to the school after the longest ride ever, marking the end of the 2015 Cyclopedia Summer Season! Thanks to all the participants for a great season, and the co-leaders for making it all possible!
Cappy Collins, Justin Downs, Jude Appiah, Georgia Bancheri, Alberto Rivera, Raven Lee, Stella Chong, Claire Castellano, Cecilia Castellano, Katelynn Pan, Katie Litman, and Rob
Water Quality Monitoring Results
Pesticides: Weakly Positive
Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, average between male and female.