Bike-Powered Snowplow: Clearing Sidewalks. Getting fit. Building Community.

2013-11-25 10.25.11-1

As part of TART’s awesome Snow Clearing Initiative, NORTE! will be using pedal power to plow our neighborhood trails and sidewalks. Using custom bike plows built and designed locally by our neighbors, Mr. Otwell and Dr. Auer, we will be part of a team responsible for clearing the Boardman Lake Bridge trail, Murchie bridge underpass and neighborhood sidewalks including those on the Cross-Town TART Route.

Dads/Moms are also using the plows to pull in front of their kids on the way to school. These plows are the only reason why our Bike To Fridays are still happening. They help make biking to school in TC a four season reality. Our Bike Trains would certainly be snowed-in without them.

Pulling the plow isn’t easy though. You will work. Your legs will burn. Your heart will pound. But, you’ll have fun doing it. A workout with a purpose. Get fit and help your neighbors in the process. Way better than going to the gym or spinning your trainer in the basement.

No special equipment required. A regular mountain bike will do the job in most conditions. Knobby/aggressive tires are recommended as is low gearing because it gets tough when the snow is deep. Our Winter Bike Share is open for the season so if you need a beater winter bike to pull the plow with, you can check one out. Beater bikes make the best winter bikes.

Thanks to a collaboration with TART, the Auer Wedge plow will be available for purchase at well under cost. Norte! TC and TART are helping to bring more bike plows to more neighbors in more neighborhoods. We are harnessing the power of the winter bicycle to build community. To make TC a more accessible place for walkers and cyclists. Neighbors helping neighbors. Zero emissions. Clean energy. Infinite MPG. That’s pretty awesome.

If you want to build your own, we’ve also open-sourced Dr. Auer’s design to bring the Traverse City Bike Plow to the greater DIY/maker community. How-To Instructional here.

A Photo Gallery of all of our plows can be found here.

Mucho gracias to Meredith Barack from 9&10News for her story and Nate Payne/Keith King from the Record-Eagle for their story on us. Read it here.

We are looking for a few volunteers/donors to help pull, build or sponsor a Auer Wedge plow. If interested, email us at