A Norte! Story: Ryan Bikes Happy At Conquer The Village


Meet Ryan. Ryan  is a 7th grader at East Middle School. We first met Ryan this spring at our weekly urban mountain bike shred, Fridays@TheCommons. Ryan showed up week after week, put in the time, worked hard and transformed himself into a legit mountain biker. In less than awesome weather, Ryan put those skills on display at the Conquer The Village race.

We asked Ryan to share his experience with us. Here’s his story:

Conquering The Village With Norte!
by: Ryan Miller

The first bike ride I went to with Norte! was a Fridays@TheCommons. I was kind of nervous because I did not know anyone.  But I have to say,I enjoyed it because everyone was really nice and they showed me where to go.  After that first Fridays@TheCommons, I realized that mountain biking was something I would be able to work for and I liked doing. 
Then I heard about the Conquer the Village Race. Mr. Schmidt told me it would be in about one month. He said if I really wanted a Norte! jersey, I could get one if I did this race. I REALLY liked that bright orange jersey and having one would make me part of this bike team. 
The week before the race, I looked up the weather. It was forecasted to be rainy and cold.  I knew that I didn’t really care about the weather and that it would be a blast to get muddy and wet.  I knew that the conditions downhill would be slick.
Race day came and Mr. Schmidt handed me my orange jersey. I put it on and I was feeling psyched.  Seeing the news cameras and hearing the loud music got me nervous and pumped up. We lined up and it was mostly a sea of orange jerseys. I went out hard to get ahead and I hit the first hill and got into a good pace. It was pouring rain and my glasses were covered in raindrops and I could hardly see.
I had to do 5 laps.  On the fourth lap I was starting to hit the wall. But as I rounded the start of the fifth lap, the music and the DJ announcer yelling “Last lap!” got me pumped. I floored it for the last lap and my head was light and fuzzy and my body was aching.  I came into the finish covered in mud and shaking cold and totally stoked to keep on mountain biking. I am hooked. Thanks Norte!.

Ryan’s Conquer The Village Gallery

Norte! has played a part in mucho Bike Happy moments in Traverse City this year. From pedaling to school to exploring our woods and trails, Norte! has empowered our local youth, like Ryan, to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

If you liked Ryan’s story and want to support more of the same, please consider donating to our end-of-year Bike Happy, Traverse City  campaign. With your continued support, we’re committed to building a more bike-friendly Traverse City by inspiring its youth through bicycles.

Gracias. And let’s ride bikes together soon.