Helping to create countless opportunities
Because of the continued support from people like you, more young people experienced the empowering gift of riding bikes in 2021. They learned to stay active and connected to their community. Thank you!
This year Norte’s youth bike programming taught 1,200 young riders. They learned the joy of exploring one’s community, hitting the trails, pushing themselves, and that bikes are for all. Some basic numbers:
- Summer Bike Camp — 611 riders in six communities
- Mountain Bike Team — 664 registered riders for spring and fall
- Adventure Bike Club — 102 riders across two seasons
- Bikes for All — in six schools with dozens of riders
Over the last 12 months, we expanded services to more trailheads and communities. This growth happened because hundreds of people care about Norte’s vision of happy, healthy, strong communities. For example, in Glen Arbor, Coach Ryan Schut saw an activity gap after school let out in June. So he gathered a team and made Summer Bike Camp happen along the lakeshore. In Emmet County, Coach Brad Miller dreamed of a Norte Mountain Bike team riding at Nubs Nob. He climbed the heights and attracted 40 riders in the first season. We had similar success stories from Northport to Kalkaska and across northern Michigan.
Our bike programs build enthusiasm and responsibility with every turn of the crank. It happens partly because of the impressive teenagers on our youth council, Liderato. These 30-some young adults have grown up with Norte programs; they are now leaders. In 2021, they stepped up more than ever to teach the next generation. They rode as coaches and invested in their community. They always put in the time and shine when we need them the most.
Norte also delivers outstanding programming thanks to more than 160 volunteers. These volunteers help coach our spring and fall programming. They also help with weekly Bikes for All and balance bike meetups. All told, program volunteers put in 2,400 hours of work on bikes. They are helping children expand their horizons. And doing so while in perfect balance riding bikes.
We recently heard from Sarah Payette (image above) who included a story with her donation. “Our Guatemalan son, age 17, learned to ride a bicycle this year, thanks to Norte. This gift gave him increased independence and a life skill he never expected to have. We are grateful for Norte’s work in our community that goes far beyond teaching Juan to ride a bike and gave him a gift of freedom and confidence. Keep up the good work.”
It’s stories like these that capture the enormous impact of Norte. It’s not about bikes. It’s about creating opportunities for everyone to grow into themselves and become active members of their community.
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