A Norte! Story: Ty Bikes Happy With The Estrellas


Meet Ty. Ty is 3 years old. Along with his mom, Arianne, Ty joined us for several Estrellas del Norte! meet-ups this summer. The Estrellas are our learn-to-ride balance bike squad. They play, meet new friends, ride bikes, eat snacks, and have FUN!

We asked Ty and Arianne to share their experience with us. Here’s their story:

Balance Bikes With Norte!
by: Ty’s mom

This past summer, Norte! encouraged little kids to get involved with the Estrellas Balance Bike Squad. What’s a balance bike? Basically, a bike without pedals that helps kids hone their balance and steering skills before they graduate to a standard pedal bike.

On select Tuesday evenings, a small but extremely energetic group of two to five year-olds met up at F&M to ride in the park, eat snacks and have fun. The parents set-up cones and obstacles for the tikes to try out balance bikes donated by McLain Cycle.

As the parent of an only-child, my main interest in the Estrellas was to get my three year-old son, Tyler, around kids of varying ages and abilities so he could interact with and learn from them. Ty spent most of the first meet-up running around the obstacle course and barrel rolling down the hill, but each time that the Estrellas gathered he spent more time riding.

A few of the kids had never been on a bike of any type before, and one girl had a balance bike at home but had no interest in it until she came and saw others riding around. Kids learn from other kids, and Estrellas provided the perfect opportunity. All in all, the first season was a success, and we look forward to building on it in Summer 2016.

Fortunately we had a mild-weathered fall, so when Estrellas was over, the riding continued. Ty’s big balance-bike moment of the year was doing the Iceman Sno-cone in November. This was his debut bike “race” and I wasn’t sure how he’d react to the sea of youngsters at the start line. He was a little timid, but once they took off, it was go time! My husband and I shuffled alongside as Ty gave it his best effort while wearing his new Norte! jersey. He crossed the finish with a huge smile and asked, “Dad, can we do it again!?”

We look forward to doing more with Norte! in the coming years as they introduce more families to the awesomeness of riding bikes.

Estrellas Photo 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 Ty, to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

If you liked Ty’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.