East River Ride
On Thursday in July on the second week of my summer camp, I went on my first ride for Cyclopedia, a program that involves riding bikes all throughout New York City. On that Thursday, we rode down along East River and stopped around 70th to 60th street and then went all the way back to our camp on 103rd and 2nd avenue. During that ride, we explored what was along the eastern river, going north to Tri-Borough Bridge and back. On the way we in fact tested the water’s quality and found out that it had some funky stuff in it. The tap water filtered from a reservoir was totally drinkable and we drank some tap water. After that we continued down east river all the way to the Queens Borough Bridge and down back. While we were near the Queens Borough Bridge, we had a couple of challenges to beat such as going up the steepest hill I’ve ever went up on a bike. I made it up the top in the highest gear, without stopping! Then after that, we had another challenge which Involved doing a sort of monkey see-monkey do in which we went down the hill in the speed that our group leader was going. I got that one too. To me, the hardest one to achieve was going up the hill since I didn’t have a good running start and had to maintain my speed up the hill, which was slow. Finally, we hit the final stretch which was going all the way back to the school from where we were, which was on the Queens Borough Bridge and all the way to the camp. My experience was extremely fun, I loved every minute and every second of it and I thank Cappy for bringing this program to life.
Bronx River Ride, 8/4/15
On Tuesday August 4th we went over the bridge that goes straight to Randall’s Island and then went through it all the way to the Bronx. In Randall’s Island we had went over a bridge and found these plants called Staghorn Sumac which in fact makes a type of lemonade type of flavor in your water to make it a little tastier. In order to put them in your water, you need to find a deep red colored one, not a brown or black one. Then you leave it in the water for a while until your water turns into an ice tea color it will taste somewhat like lemonade. After our experiment with making water into lemonade with a plant from a tree, we went onward to the end of Randall’s Island and all the way to the Tri-Boro bridge and took it to the Bronx. While we were in the Bronx riding through the streets of it and making our way to our first park, we finally reached the Bronx River, which was a river near the Bronx Zoo and had a waterfall flowing in between it. During our visit, we got a tour about the Bronx River and how It connects to the sewers and how fish get to cross the waterfall through a fish ladder. After the visit to River park which connects to the Bronx River, we rode to Starlight Park on our way back and found a little leaf called a Mugwort which tasted somewhat like a bitter version of Basil. Finally, we made our way to the last park called Concrete Plant Park which used to be a concrete plant but they changed it to a park after the plant was shut down. There we practiced more Tae-Kwon-do and soon headed to the final stretch to Manhattan and then made our journey home. My experience to going across some parts of New York City was fun and I had a great time and a great experience with this, I learned a lot of things in my ride and figured out how to make my own lemonade without using lemons!
Newtown Creek Ride, 8/6/15
During this ride, we went across the Queensboro Bridge and through Queens and all the way to Brooklyn through another bridge to get there to Brooklyn. I liked this ride the best because while we were crossing the bridge I had a race with one of my fellow riders and won both, going at least 30+ mph down hill while pedaling. Our whole objective of going to Brooklyn was to test the waters on Whale River which contained dangerously dirty and polluted water with a black dirty sludge packed on the bottom that was full of a bunch of nasty things. We first got a sample of the water higher than where the black sludge was or black mayonnaise which some people call it. After getting the sample of water over the black sludge, we dug all the way to the bottom of the river and took the black sludge from the bottom of the river to observe it. I didn’t touch this black sludge but I heard that it had a feel similar to paint. It is a result of our word of the day, “pollution.” Apparently this stuff covered the streets for a while and was cleaned up. But because it was under the water in Whale River it was left there. After we looked at the sludge we headed home and had to go back over the Queensboro Bridge again. It was more difficult on the way back than on the way there. Overall I liked this ride, it was relaxing and fun.
Inwood Park Ride
On Thursday, August 13th 2015, we went bike riding all the way to the steepest point of Manhattan in Inwood Park. In order to get there, we had to ride along the East River where it connects to the Hudson River. There were three bridges that we had to go under where east river is, the High Bridge, The Washington Bridge, and the Hamilton Bridge. During our ride, Cappy had set up a challenge in which we find numerous things such as a red lighthouse atop a building that was used for a type of Internet for communication across the world. In order to signal that we spotted the object, we called out Eureka letting them know that we found it. I in fact took a picture of the lighthouse atop the building before I eve knew that It was the one we were looking for. After seeing the lighthouse, we continued down the east river even further up Manhattan, going under all of the three bridges and down to one park which we learned how to call a specific owl species and it’s call sounds similar to the phrase “Who cooks for you?”. After that, we made our way even further up town to Inwood Park and met a Native American man named Luis and was a friend of Cappy’s. He led us to the caves of some of the Native Americans who lived there previously and even now. He also told us about this princess who had united the Indian tribes and groups into one. He also explained to us about a giant thick tree that used to be in the forest of Inwood and was cut down and recently had a giant boulder placed right in the middle of where it was as a shrine for the amazing tree.
High Bridge Ride
Yesterday on the 17th of August, we went on another ride across the high bridge, a bridge that was first opened in the 1800’s and was just recently re-opened from construction. In order to get there we had to go across Adam Clayton Powell avenue all the way to the Bronx and then cross the river by the High Bridge which took us back to Manhattan and we took Saint Nicholas Avenue back home. The reason for going to the bridge was to go to the highest point in NYC and the highest point in Manhattan. While going to that altitude, we went through the wood for a little off-roading down back near 160th street, leaving the highest point. After getting back on the road, we made a stop at one man’s house, a very important man that had existed for close to 300 years now. No, he is not alive but his house still is, it was the house of George Washington, the first president of the United States. It was a beautiful house with pillars on top of the porch and a white color that made it totally different from other houses that existed back then and even now. During the visit, we practiced more of cyclopedia’s fighting style and then headed back downhill. Then, down a very steep hill, we came across another famous person’s house, Mr. Hamilton himself, the creator of paper currency. His house in fact was in three different places, first across the street from a church, then next to a church, and finally a block and a half down from the church, sort of in a display case full of fresh cut grass. After visiting the houses of these men of legend we were down to the final stretch down Saint Nicholas Avenue and made our way home.
My favorite part of the ride was going down through the woods and going across the east river by the High Bridge and overall, my true favorite part of the ride was just the ride, I liked everything about it.
Staten Island Ride
On Wednesday August 19th, we went to our final trip, going down Manhattan all the way to the ferry and taking it to Staten Island. We got there by boat and when we went to Staten Island, we went down for treasure hunting. There, we explored a castle like building and its hedge maze and then we ate lunch there. But before that we went to another building that had books in a case on the sidewalk in front of it. Inside one of the books in the case, there was a thing like the one on the last ride where you write on a hidden book or piece of paper so you could be apart of history. After that, we headed to the castle and explored the hedge maze. I took a short cut through the maze and got to the secret hideout place first and soon everyone else met up there. As soon as everyone was there, we all headed back to the front of the castle and ate lunch there, the lunch was actually breakfast but still it was better than nothing. After lunch, I chose to ride my bike around the path we took to get to the castle but what happened was my transmission sort of crashed into the part of the wheel where it got stuck between the spokes of the rims. That way, I couldn’t ride the bike anymore until someone fixed it. Luckily, someone did fix it and I could ride on and continue to follow the others down the path to the place where the next treasure was located. The next treasure was under a bridge at the bottom of a hill and it contained many different things that people left inside it, sadly we couldn’t keep any of the things but we could give the box something and we put in a cyclopedia band. After all of that, we headed back to the ferry and then took a beautiful path all the way home from the southern part of Manhattan all the way to the camp building.
My experience with all of the rides overall was great and I had fun with all of them, especially the one with the Queensboro Bridge.