2013 RR: Fireboat

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Intro Lesson: Our ride today was to the retired John J. Harvey fireboat along the Hudson River in Manhattan. The boat was originally designed in 1931 to be a powerful asset for fighting fires on boats and other structures accessed from the water. We learned that this particular fireboat actually has the capacity to pump 18,000 gallons of water per minute! Her strength has even enabled her to shoot water over the George Washington Bridge’s roadway in the past! Although the NYC Fire Department retired her in 1994, she played a particularly important role on September 11th, 2001. In the midst of chaos after the attacks on the World Trade Center, the fireboat was utilized to pump water from the Hudson River to the disaster site when many of the fire mains had been damaged by the destruction. The fireboat saved lives many lives that day by transporting people to safe locations, as well as by pumping water at the site for over 80 hours until the water mains were restored.
The lesson today included another brief recap on geography to re-orient our riders. We had the students label the 5 boroughs, as well as New Jersey, on a rough map of the New York City area.

Word of the Day: Intrepid
(from Latin in- not + trepidus alarmed = unshaken, undaunted)

Fireboat : After a lesson from Emma about the meaning of “intrepid,” the Ruff Ryders headed downstairs to gear up for our ride. We had a record breaking eight Ruff Ryders today, so we used all of our helmets and water bottles!

Our day started out with a quick ride over to Lexington Ave to Maggie’s Garden, a local community garden and a fellow recipient of CCNYC funds! We stopped by and Cappy explained the importance of community gardens, and linked it back to our word of the day from last week’s Starlight Park ride—“community.”

Then we kept biking over by Mt. Sinai where Dan, Jenne, and Emma work with Cappy during the week, and entered Central Park to cross over to the West Side. First we saw a ginkgo tree, which has really smelly fruit. There’s no fruit this time of year, so we admired the fan-shaped leaves. We also learned that it is the oldest species of tree on the planet, and the only tree in its family! As Ethan pointed out—it’s a lonely tree. We continued through the park, onto the west side and onto the Hudson River bike path.

Having such a nice path was a welcome change to the road riding that we’ve been doing. To get onto the path after leaving Central Park we had to do a little more cycling on the road—up and down a few hills, but the kids did great! Ontus and Darien deserve a special shoutout because it was their first ride with us, and biking on roads can be daunting! But they showed us the meaning of “intrepid.” The ride was quick and easy once we made it to the Hudson, and the kids did a great job staying in a single file line, giving a lot of space to other people on the path. We passed by the U.S.S. Intrepid, a topic on which the Ruff Ryders were already experts. For their post-fifth grade trip, some of them slept over on the ship! Justice arrived at the ride today already sporting a U.S.S. Intrepid tee-shirt!

Once we arrived at the fireboat John J. Harvey, we admired the water cannons and took some photos. Then we relaxed and enjoyed snacks and water! The boys discovered acorns on the tree and held a contest to see who could throw them farthest into the Hudson. Torin seemed to do the best, but, as the staff leader of the Ruff Ryders he was not eligible for competition. The riders also surrounded a lounging Dan and tried to throw him into the Hudson as well! Luckily they stopped short of launching him like an acorn.

The Ruff Ryders started a leisurely ride back to the Stanley Isaacs Center, and we stopped in the sculpture park to take some photos, and in the Hudson River we saw our mascot—A CORMORANT!

We continued on our way, and after pedaling up a big hill, Cappy told us that there were train tracks directly under our feet, and when we looked down, we saw that he was right! We even heard a train pass underneath as we continued on out way!

Back at the Center, we uploaded our pictures and wrote out some comments! We also awarded red wristbands to our three newest 25-milers—Justice, Ethan, and Steven! Awesome job! Next week, we’re super excited to take the Ruff Ryders to Newtown Creek in Brooklyn to learn about “black mayonnaise.”

After this week’s ride, the Ruff Ryders have a remarkable 7851 points. Great work!

This trip was on August 8, 2013
Programming time: 5.5 hours
Ride time: 3.5 hours
Ride Distance: 12.5 miles
Walk Distance: 1.2 miles
Calories Burned: About 708 Calories


Ethan Cuevas
Estuardo Bustamante
Michael Romero
Darien Smith
Steven Henriquez
Alexis Reynolds
Ontus Bangura
Justice Burgos

Leaders: Cappy Collins, Emma Bick, Dan Piening,Jenne Ingrassia, and Torin Barnes

View RR Fireboat in a larger map

Comments ( 10 )

  • Michael romero

    I like that picture because i like then and i play assualt hoson about airplanes.one thing that was hard was when we went up the hill but i was ok so i just stop. ☺☻

  • Estuardo.bustamante

    The reason I chose this picture is because a some one that has help us when we needed help with our bicycle or anything that we had problem with she always help as well as all the other cyclopedia leaders. the most challenging part of the day was when we had to ride between the cars and make sure we did not fall and hit the cars. will miss you Emma.

  • Steven henriquez

    This ride was like AWESOME :D. My favorite pic’s were the ones with the space shuttles .3. Cant wait till we go on other rides 😀

  • Alexis reynolds

    I took a picture of a man wearing underpants. it was a fake man. An underpants statue with heels on. He was an old man and he had sailors with him. I took this picture because its funny and hilarious. Taking pictures and the acorns i picked was my favorite part of the day. It was amazing. But it was hard going down the hills and going on the roads when there was cars around it but i was able to get over my fears.

  • Ethan cuevas

    The reason i took this picture is because this is a Gingko Tree. The most intresting thing about the tree is that its a tree that is one of a family,its a lonely tree.The leaves might smell like dog poop but its not dog poop its leaves.The most challeging part about the ride is that we were driving in the street and the cars were in the way and we did not fall at all at the ride.

  • Steven henriquez

    The space shuttles were my favorite because i think there really cool and 1 of the most challenging part was the part were we had to go down steep hills D: but the MOST challenging but part was when i almost hit a 4 or 6 feet truck, i though i was a gonner D:

  • Justice burgos

    this picture was when we were in central park riding on the bikes when we found a gingko tree which is the oldest tree in the world.what i didn’t like about the ride was the cars that were passing by but it was still cool because i had fun with my friends on a ride that was 13 miles which was my farthest ride and it was super cool and what i did like was that we were going super fast.

  • Ontus.bangura

    the picture is the fire boat. i took this picture because i thought it is interesting. my favorite part of todays ride was when we were going down the hills. when we were going up the hills, that was the challenging part.

  • Darien.smith

    I liked the fireboat’s water shooter because it put out the fire from 9/11. The biggest challenge was riding the bike because it is too tall. My favorite part was the short breaks we took.

  • Hey Guys!! Way to go!! I loved reading your posts. What I am especially impressed by is how you all are learning how to ride in the street safely – overcoming your fears – and working through these new experiences as a team. Great Work!!!!

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