THE PENULTIMATE RIDE. Meaning, “last but one in a series of things; second to the last.” Its origins are from late 17th century Latin word paenultimus and its root words are paene ‘almost’ + ultimus ‘last,’ on the pattern of ultimate. (Apparently its worth 15 scrabble points) More on the lesson will come as we go along the ride!
Van Cortlandt Ride:
Considering that we always are rain riders on our Monday rides, we thought it would rain once it got a little cloudy, but it turned out to be the perfect weather for riding! Not too sunny, but with a little wind here and there, the weather was on our side. We walked to 95th Street and rode our usual route to Central Park, and to the 110th exit. Following our handy-dandy St. Nicholas Avenue, we rode through Harlem. Just like in our Bronx River Ride we rode along the Harlem River Drive and passed under The High Bridge, The Hamilton Bridge, and The Washington Bridge. We continued on 10th AVenue and onto the Broadway Bridge to Marble Hill – the highest point of Manhattan! Trying to make it to Van Cortlandt Park by lunch, we just rode and rode along Tibbett Avenue and into the park! We stopped to have lunch and after filling our water, we continued! ONWARD!
Before we got back on our bikes, we tried to find a geocache, but it was too deep into the woods for us to really find it. Oh well, but there are many more to come on this ride. We mounted our bikes and started off a trail, which eventually turned into a bumpy, muddy ride. As we rode North, we stopped at a bridge to find another geocache. The clue said that we should bow down to the Saw, and considering that we were right next to the Saw Mill River Parkway, all of us were kneeling on the bridge trying to locate this tiny geocache. Most of us had given up after 10 or so minutes and we were heading back to our bikes, when Cappy yelled, “CAPPY WINS!” He had found the geocache under one of the steps! It was so small that we had a hard time even getting the scroll out. After signing our initials, we were back on the road.
We kept riding North for awhile, and most of us thought that we were still in Van Cortlandt Park. But it turned out that we were in Westchester County! Stopping for some water and rest, we looked for another geocache, and Cappy found this one too! He was on a roll. Here, we actually found the shell of a cicada. It was interesting to see all the details, but some of us were just grossed out by it. After putting the shell and the geocache back in its place, we took a 360 degree picture, where Omar was the photobomber. He climbed tables and trees while pretending to be a dinosaur. From here, we headed back south. We passed by the Tibbetts Brook Park and the swamp right next to it. While some of us collected the water sample, a few others also looked for ANOTHER geocache that was hidden. It’s Geocache Galore!
Continuing South, we followed Alberto as he lead us straight into a narrow path with tall bushes. We all had to struggle through it in order to be back on the road. Worried about ticks, Georgia led us in a tick check, where we looked for small seasame like bugs on the creases of our clothing. Thankfully, NO TICKS! We continued down until we saw a familiar path that we used to come up. On our way back though, we looked for an abandoned train station and stonehenges. Cappy told us that the train station was in use until they shut it down a few decades ago. It was weird to see a rundown train station that was no longer in use. It seemed out of place from all the nature. But talk about out of place. The stonehenges were on the right side of our path, and it came out of nowhere. When we were wondering why there were tall slabs of stone in the middle of nowhere, Cappy said that they were used to experiment which stone would be the best to build a train station. Depending on which stone they used, the rate of erosion would differ, and the architects wanted to know which stone would be the strongest and long-lasting. Most of us attempted to climb the stonehenges, and although it was scary at the top, the challenge and the sense of accomplishment was worthwhile. Now, it was really time to head back home!
We followed the way we came back home, but it felt so much longer because we were getting tired. In addition, all the downhills that we enjoyed on the way to Van Cortlandt Park were all uphills on the way back to Beacon. Still, we all finished the rides and got back home safe! Marvelous Cyclopediacs!
Georgia Bancheri, Cappy Collins, Judy Lee, Alberto Rivera
Miles biked: 26.6 Miles
Program time (hours): 8.5 hours
Ride time (hours): 3 hours 30 minutes
Calories burned*: calories
Water Quality Monitoring Results
Estimates based on 100lbs, 5′ 2″ ht, 13 yo, average between male and female.