First word of the day: Eureka!
early 17th century: from Greek heurēka ‘I have found it’ (from heuriskein ‘find’)
Definition: a cry of joy or satisfaction when one finds or discovers something, “I have found it!”
Second word of the day: Spelunking
1940s: from obsolete spelunk ‘cave’ (from Latin spelunca ) + -ing
Definition: the exploration of caves
Today we started our ride with talking about what “Eureka!” meant. The Cyclopediacs knew that people shouted it when they found something or had an idea/epiphany. Cappy taught us that this word is famous because the mathematician Archimedes shouted it when he solved a problem for the Greek king. To calculate how much gold that the king had, Archimedes was contemplating very, very hard and was having such trouble! But, the genius Archimedes found his answer when he decided to take a bath. He realized that when he sat in the bathwater, the water level rose, allowing him to calculate the mass of his body by the volume displaced. “EUREKA!” he exclaimed!
Today, we were looking for three Eureka moments. The clues that Cappy gave us were Pavillion, Pumpkin, and Lighthouse. Pavilion, pumpkin, and light house??? In New York? What is Cappy talking about? It was time for us to head out and find out.
Inwood Hill Park Ride:
Today was the 7th ride of the season! We were trying to head out earlier, because we knew this would be one of our longer rides, but alas, we were out the door by 10am. Better Safe than Sorry! Although a few of us thought we would take Westside Greenway, Alberto told us that we would take a similar path as we did for the High Bridge Ride. So, we rode up 95th to Central Park. Once we followed the bike path to St. Nicholas Ave, we rode North into the Bronx. On the Harlem River Dr., we continued heading North. On the bike path and saw the cluster of three bridges: the Washington, Hamilton, and High Bridges., and soon we were at the racing track. Not officially a racing track anymore, we were all confused at why Cappy called this a racing track. Apparently, the dirt road that we saw before us used to be a racing track for horse carriages. So, to understand the experience of racing on the track, some of us paired up and competed down the race track!
Then, we stopped at a green, flowery area of Swindler Cove, where we learned about an owl call used by ornithologists. First, you cup your hands around your mouth and call out “Who cooks for you~~~~?” We also tried looking for a geocache, but came back empty handed. No geocache in this area for two years in a row. Shucks. After that, we continued North towards Inwood Hill Park. Alberto and some of Cyclopediacs went too far away and missed a left turn to the park. Luckily, they realized soon enough when they reached Broadway Bridge that goes all the way to Marble Hill. Interestingly, Inwood Hill Park is not the most northern point of Manhattan – Marble Hill is. Marble Hill used to be connected to Manhattan with the Bronx River going around its perimeter. However, for convenience of water passages, people constructed another waterway between Marble Hill and Inwood Hill Park that allowed the Bronx River to pass through without curves.
At Inwood Hill Park, we had lunch as we waited for our friend Luis Ramos, an Earthkeeper at Inwood Hill Park. While we had lunch, Jiamei and Yuehao fixed a flat tire on a disk brake bike. This kind of bike had slightly different parts. As soon as we were done, we rode a little further and stopped in front of a rock. This rock symbolized the place where the Native Americans and Peter Minuit. It was good to hear about how Peter Minuit believed that he had bought the land from Native Americans, whereas the Native Americans believed that he was simply borrowing the land for his stay. The difference in culture and the lack of understanding around the idea of land ownership had eventually led to driving the Native Americans from their land. Then we went to explore the caves, where we found that these caves were created when the glaciers melted and the rocks tumbled down to make the caves. In here, we also found some kittens that were being taken care of by their mother. We were sure to keep ourselves from touching them, to not leave our scent behind. We also visited a place nearby the caves where the Native Americans used to cook. In this area of the woods, it was heavily littered and in need of care from the public. Luis told us that although the Earthkeepers try to pick up trash and educate the public on the importance of preserving these areas, it is difficult to manage a park as big as Inwood without the help of everyone.
After meeting with Luis, we rode down the West side of Manhattan. We checked out the three Eurekas that Cappy had told us about in the beginning of the ride. The Pavillion was a beautiful place to the side of the highway that overlooked the Hudson River. There was also a great view of our next ride destination, the Palisades. The Pumpkin turned out to be a house that looked exactly like a Jack-O-Lantern. While Jiamei and Yuehao fixed another flat tire, we rode down a very, very steep and curvy hill and saw the last remaining lighthouse in Manhattan. We took a quick break in the park next to the lighthouse and looked for another geocache, without success yet again. Then, it was time to go back home.
Today was an important day where we were all thinking about how history has shaped public spaces today. We also thought about how educating people about the history of these places motivates us to take good care and treasure the remaining historical monuments. Well, it was certainly a tiring ride, but it we learned a lot. Ready for the next ride? To New Jersey we go~!
Georgia Bancheri, Cappy Collins, JiaMei Huang, Judy Lee, Alberto Rivera, Yuehao Wong
Miles biked: 18.3 miles
Program time (hours): 7 hours
Ride time (hours): 2 hours 57 minutes
Calories burned*: 502 Calories
Water Quality Monitoring Results
Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, 13 yo, average between male and female.