Being A Norte! Bike Train Conductor: An Essential Handbook


Norte! is dreaming big is to connect more Traverse City neighborhoods to more Traverse City neighborhood schools to empower more Traverse City students to bike to school than ever before.

Thank you for being awesome by helping us grow our network of bike trains as part of The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment.

We are nothing without our volunteer bike train conductors. So Muchas Gracias. Truly.

Norte! bike train conductors lead trains to/from neighborhood elementary schools on Fridays for Bike To School Fridays.

We are obviously for Bike To School (every)Day but for now, we’re just asking our conductors to commit to leading their trains on Fridays.

Our trains roll on non-foul weather Fridays in the fall through Thanksgiving and then start up again after spring break through the end of the school year.

Be your Train’s #1 cheerleader:

  • Invite the neighborhood kids to join your train
  • Have your child invite his/her classmates/friends to join your train
  • Invite kids standing at the neighborhood bus stop to join your train
  • Invite families who live far away to “drive2bike” by dropping off at your Station
  • Promote your train on social media

Your train is the fun-est way to get to school. It really is.

As part of the Safe Routes To School grant, we need to track train numbers.

Please email (, text (23ONE-7ONE5-167TWO), or Facebook message (Ty Schmidt) ASAP on Fridays with # of students/#of others (parents, siblings, volunteers etc)/# of bikes in the school racks after the morning bell rings.

Example: If your train consisted of 4 students, a mom, a young brother and an extra volunteer with 31 bikes counted in the racks, simply email/text/message: 4/3/31

Be firm with the Bike To School Friday “rules”:

Helmets required
Safe riding mandatory
Smiles and High Fives encouraged

Trains should stay together. They should roll as a group. Trains should travel at the pace of its slowest rider as biking to school is not a race and shouldn’t be treated as one.

Trains should signal at turns and stops and point out debris/pot holes in the road. Trains should call out “Car back” or “Walker up” etc. to communicate with the group.

Every bike train trip is a teaching moment. Be a teacher. Educate on safe, smart riding. Teach your riders to become independent, confident, intelligent cyclists.

Trains put safety first. They always ride predictably. They always follow the rules of the road.

Trains put FUN a close second! Ring your bell, sing, wave at neighbors, practice spelling words and smile!

Parents are responsible to getting their child to the bike train station on time and for picking them up there after school.

We can’t be late for school therefore the trains must leave on schedule.

Trains are reliable and dependable. If you can not lead your train please give us at least a 24 hour notice so that we can find a substitute Conductor.

There are exceptions but our trains do not ride on sidewalks.

Unless told differently by mom/dad, it is assumed that those students who ride the train in the morning will bike back with the train to the Station after school.

If you aren’t doing the afternoon pick-up, please communicate with the  Conductor who is and let him/her know the names of who will be biking home with them. This is muy importante. We can’t leave anyone at school!


Learn why being a Norte! bike train conductor is both easy and awesome HERE

Volunteers can sign up HERE to help out with one of our existing bike trains.

Or sign up HERE to start your own Bike Train.

Email questions to

Bike Happy. Bike Más. Bike To School In TC.