2015: LT Bronx River Ride

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Word of the Day: community – a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.

Root – “communis” meaning common, public, general, shared by all or many

Starting with a lesson: We started the day asking each other what the word community means. Noor and Jewel gave us a great answer about how a community might be within where we live or places we are. We asked the Looney Tunes if everybody in the room was part of a single community and they all nodded in immediate affirmation. Gina spoke up to clarify that we were a community because we share the Cyclopedia experience together, and that’s what makes us a community! We talked about how different communities can look differently as well. Hector correctly pointed out that our community was in a nice cityscape. We described that other potential communities might have more trees and houses, or more industry and construction. We were looking forward to seeing many different communities that day on our way to the Bronx.

The day’s final destination was Starlight Park. We talked to the Looney Tunes about how Starlight Park used to be a really great amusement park where people could go to free events and performances. Unfortunately, it eventually stopped being used and fell into disrepair. Lucky for us, the Bronx River Alliance (they all repeated “Bronx River Alliance”) decided to clean it up so the community could use it again! Only Jerry had been there before, so we were all excited to go see what was there!

On the road: Once we got saddled up, we started in our familiar route down 103rd and 102nd to the East River and Ward’s Island Bridge towards Randall’s Island. We made it through the west side of Ward’s Island, the pedestrian bridge, and up to the tip of Randall’s Island! On the pedestrian bridge the Looney Tunes got an interesting challenge to put a funny looking flower/pinecone in their waters to brew some homemade tea! We are awaiting their diligent plant identification results to see if they can crack the code on what flower that was. At the tip of Randall’s Island we crossed the Triborough Bridge to be greeted by a “Welcome to the Bronx” sign. It was a steep but fast journey up the ramps, and the cyclists wore the faces of cool and collected experienced ramp-climbers while working their legs!

In the South Bronx, Cappy stopped us and asked us if we could notice the different communities and how they lived. He asked us if it was a community they might like to live in or not. We traveled to Port Morris (a heavily industrialized area) and other areas with more trees and houses. The Looney Tunes sharply observed they would prefer not to live in a highly industrial area or next to the Triborough Bridge traffic! We went to the tip of Port Morris to go look at North Brother’s Island and South Brother’s Island. We also saw some planes landing in LaGuardia Airport. After awhile, the smell of nearby industrial sites became too overwhelming and the team unanimously voted to quickly bike away. Nonetheless, it was an interesting experience for all of us!
We climbed further and further north and were surprised and proud of ourselves when we finally stopped near the Bronx Zoo on 180th street. We had lunch right by a beautiful section of the Bronx River where Cappy pointed out a fish ladder so the Herring could travel up the dam. The Looney Tunes ate their lunch and mingled with some fishermen in the quiet park. After we filled up our water bottles, reapplied sunscreen, and used the bathroom, we were ready to go again!

A short distance away was the beautiful Starlight Park and the entire team sat peacefully in the grass to rest our legs. After recharging, we re-energized with a Tae Kwon Do lesson with Katelynn. We did some team stretching, learned to count to ten in Korean, and learned our Front-Snap Kick! The team learned to not push their hamstrings without stretching properly, which Bryan can attest to. After concluding the lesson with team push-ups, the Looney Tunes grumbled but still high-fived each other! Then we found some mugwort to try, and the Looney Tunes earned their Mugwort badges. They found it bitter but refreshing (the refreshing part may have been an addition by the author’s optimism) and learned a little about what mugwort means!

It was a breezy trip on the way home, and it seemed much shorter the second time around. We accomplished the “Bruckner’s Sprint” for the second time too (which was making the entire stretch under the Bruckner Expressway without leaving any teammates behind). We all were tired but had fun screaming “Charge!” the entire time. We must have seemed very intimidating as a biker gang of Cyclopedians! We quickly made it back around the west side of Randall’s and Ward’s Island and across the Ward’s Island Bridge.

The Looney Tunes did a great job that day, and we are so proud of how much they can handle and accomplish on the bike! Each and every one of them have improved so much!

Participants
Noor
Jewel
Gina
Jerry
Hector
Jon
Bryan

Coleaders
Jude Appiah, Georgia Bancheri, Claire Castellano, Stella Chong, Cappy Collins, Justin Downs, Katie Litman, Katelynn Pan, Raven Lee, Meryem Tangoren-Masood

Ride Statistics:
Miles biked: 14.76 miles
Miles walked: 2 miles
Program time: 6 hours
Ride time: 5.5 hours
Calories: 892 calories

Water Quality Monitoring Results
pH : 9
Nitrate : 0.5
Nitrite: 0
Hardness: 425
Chlorine: 0
Pesticides: Weakly Positive
Lead: Negative
E.Coli: Negative

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