Ward and Randall’s Island Ride
We started our journey at PS 198 around 11 o’clock. We had some bike difficulties in the beginning but off to smooth sailing after some needed tinkering! After that we headed down to the Bobby Wagner Walk bike path and onto the Ward’s Island Bridge where we could overlook the Harlem River. Once on the island, we biked along the water with a much-needed cool breeze whipping in our face! Upon seeing a garden, the seven of us stopped to look around at the beautiful flowers in bloom. An environmentalist of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance asked if we would like a tour and we gratefully accepted! Jill taught us a great deal about the biodiversity of the wildlife and plants harbored in the garden.
After that, we got back on our bikes and rode until we hit a mulberry tree planted near a baseball field. We all stopped and stood on our tippy toes to pick a few to nibble on (well some of us shorter ones did at least!). After we all got our full, we continued biking around the island and stopped at Hell’s Gate to look at the construction for the pedestrian bridge. No progress has been made so we will have to continue hiking up Triborough Bridge to get into Queens for our future rides. We rode around the northern part of Randall’s Island and biked back towards Ward’s Island via Little Hell Gate Bridge where we happened upon some staghorn sumac! We picked some, put them in our water and shortly after some marinating we had ourselves some homemade lemonade!
We looped around Randall’s Island again stopping at Icahn Stadium where Usain Bolt lived up to his surname and set a new world record in the 100 meter dash! We left the island via the Triborough Bridge, which was quite the feat! The pedestrian bridge up was quite steep and my heart was thumping like a drum by the time I had made it up to the top! We stopped to look at the Bronx and Harlem to the north of us.
After we got off the bridge, we biked to our trusty bike shop to meet the gang. Afterwards we walked over to a local community garden to have lunch. There were strawberries, raspberries, eggplant, kale, peppers and many other tasty treats! Once our bellies were full, we got back on our bikes for the final stretch back to the school. Biking downtown on Lexington Ave. was smooth sailing until we hit East 102nd St. and its steep hill! We pumped and pumped until we made it up! After which, we stopped at East 101st St. to look at the street Holly Whyte deemed an ideal community street. We then biked up to 96 St. and over to 3rd Ave. where our trip came to a stop. We then did a bike inventory to make sure our fleet was ready for our cyclopedia buddies! Lots of tired were pumped, gears where checked, and seats were fixed. All in all, we’re off to a great start!