What does explore mean? “to find things!” “to walk around!” were some of the answers shouted out by the Jumpstreeters during the morning lesson. Juleon introduced our trip today, where the Cyclopedians learned that they’ve been explorers for weeks now! He emphasized that exploration was looking at our surroundings purposefully, and seeing things that you wouldn’t see without paying attention. And when we find it, of course we shout, ” Eureka!” Each rider was tasked with finding three things (pictures, places, ideas, animals, anything!) on the trip that they wouldn’t have seen without looking for it.
Word(s) of the day
Latin: ex from + plōrāre to cry out; probably orig. with reference to hunting cries
Greek: heureka “I have found (it)!”
Inwood park ride:
The past few rides have all taken our Cyclopedians up, down, and across the East River, but today our intrepid explorers ventured westward towards Central Harlem and all the way to the West Side Highway. We began our trek by cycling up the 1st Avenue bike lane, watching our local surroundings change from Yorkville to East Harlem. The Jumpstreeters were very excited about the relative lack of hills this week and were full of energy as we traveled westward on 111th St. where we happened to run into our bike sponsors and friends at the Heavy Metal Bike Shop. Once we hit Central Harlem we were able to travel up Saint Nicholas Ave. and despite the lack of bike lanes, our riders swiftly and carefully rode north taking in the beautiful pre-war buildings that still line the street. The further north we traveled, the more trees we saw and we knew we were headed the right way.
Leaving the loud city streets behind we rode through Hamilton Heights and hopped on the somewhat secret bike path next to Harlem River Drive. Despite a few mechanical problems, the whole fleet rode up the path together under and around the High, Hamilton, and Washington Bridges that connect Manhattan to the West Bronx. The view across the Harlem River was beautiful and the riders took the opportunity to stop along the route and take some excellent riverfront pictures. Eventually we emerged out of our greenway, but within minutes (and over one small hill) we had arrived at our destination, Inwood Hill Park. We stopped here and munched on some lunch while looking out on the convergence of the Harlem and Hudson Rivers.
After a relaxing lunch, our riders continued their exploration of the Park, and with the help of master tracker/trip leader Cappy, we found the Indian Caves! Every one of the Jumpstreeters eagerly climbed the rocks and got to explore the nooks and crannies that were once used by members of the Wiechquaesgeck tribe as a summer camp. When everyone’s fascination had been sufficiently satisfied the group decided it was time to head home, but instead of backtracking down the East coast of Manhattan on the Harlem River decided to venture down the Hudson on the Westside Greenway. This was right about when the heat had started to bear down on our fearless riders, but with a little encouragement and a lot of water the Jumpstreeters plowed on.
To help everyone with their exploration goals, Cappy told everyone to look for three things on the way back: a Greek pavillion, a pumpkin house, and a light house. With our fine-tuned exploration skills we found all three leading to shouts of “Eureka!” echoing across the bluffs of New Jersey. We continued down the Hudson, and after a quick break at the West Harlem Piers we crossed back to the East Side re-tracing some of our tracks from earlier. Our seasoned explorers took one last pit stop in Jefferson park before coasting back into the Stanley Isaacs Center to complete our longest ride of the season!
Miles biked: 17.33
Miles walked: 0 miles
Programing time: 6.5 hrs
Ride time: 4 hrs
Co-leaders: Torin Barnes, Cappy Collins, Justin Downs, Janet Lee, Elyse Meltzer, Juleon Robinson, Itai Sengre, Jess Wygoda
View 2014.08.05 JS Inwood Park in a larger map