Intro Lesson: Exploration.
Last time we talked about a bicycle having advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that it can take you farther than walking; in the spirit of exploration we headed to the East River bike path to see what we could see.
Word of the Day: exploration
(from Latin ex- = out + plorare = utter a cry)
Intrepid bicyclist Justin Downs joined us for the first official ride of the summer program. (See below for the details we transcribed from his quill-scrawled travelogue.) His repair skills came in handy as we made some adjustments to the brake cables before heading east then north along the FDR service road to cross at 96th Street. Stopping just south of the 103rd Street pedestrian bridge, we reviewed our compass directions and basic geography: Manhattan, Queens, Bronx, Ward’s/Randall’s Island, the East River. As we approached the CVII pier Cappy spotted a feathered friend diving below and resurfacing, then diving again, and not to be found thereafter. “What is that bird?” Cappy asked the group.
“A duck” came the reply.
“I thought you might say that.”
The low-riding cormorant has a snake-like neck sticking out of the water and a sharper beak than a duck. Later we saw one perched on a piling among several seagulls.
On the pier we saw a fisherman and wondered what the partly-effaced design on the ground represented. Street layout of some sort? We refreshed ourselves with snacks and water from the newly installed water bottles in their cages. Someone spotted horses across the river on Ward’s Island.
The dilapidated path was still obstructed by some caved-in sections, as has been the case for years; surprisingly, one of the most dangerous collapses was in the midst of reconstruction as we squeaked by the detour, sandwiched against the FDR barrier. Progress, it seems!
We turned around at the northern end of the path right below the Triboro bridge. And what are the “tri” boroughs? Manhattan, Bronx and Queens, as Calvin rightly answered.
Back at home base Kara helped upload the photos and Jasmine and Calvin geotagged them and played with some of the online editing tools. A great day.
From the journal: “July 12, went north up the east river bike trail. Before heading out bike repair and water bottle attachments were made… At around 11:20 a cormorant was sighted fishing for lunch, no further sighting occurred that day. Fruit treats were widely sought after on the journey, all had a safe return home. JD”
This trip was on July 12, 2012
Programming time: 4 hours (2 hours riding)
Distance: 3.6 miles
Participants: Calvin Debrecourt, Jasmine Romero
Leaders: Cappy Collins, Justin Downs, Javon Langley, Kara Metcalf, Onyx Salvador
2012 Learning Day 3