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4 Spokes of a Powerful Orange Wheel

As a newsletter reader, you are part of a connected group of people that makes Norte go. Like the spokes on a wheel, you are essential to the stability and development of the organization. Our future is bright because of people like you.

In 2021, 300 volunteers invested over 5,000 hours at Norte. They maintained our fleet of bikes for programs like the Grand Traverse Regional Kid’s Bike Library. They also cleaned, painted, and knocked down walls — and now our tiny Clubhouse has never felt so grand. Our volunteers share their time, skills, and experience because connecting and contributing is rewarding. And being a part of something larger feels good.

Our coaches form another spoke, an important one. This spring, we will welcome 53 lead coaches and 55 assistant coaches to support our programs. Coaches will lead roughly 600 young riders through challenges and victories. They’ll guide them on the streets, on trails, and, for our youngest, through their first bike skills course. We can’t wait to hit those rollers!

Our dozens of partner organizations provide a collaborative strength to achieve more together. This year, to highlight a few, we’re deepening our relationship with Single MOMM, Child and Family Services of Northwest Michigan, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Women’s Resource Center. Each serves our friends and neighbors who might benefit most from a Norte experience. To help, we will reserve spots in the most popular programs. Together, we will ensure our youth scholarships serve those who will benefit the most.

Our grantors, Business Champions, and individual donors are more spokes of this ever-turning wheel. Generosity is a hallmark of a strong community, and we’re blessed in northern Michigan. At Norte, the impact of charitable gifts puts more children on bikes, and encourages all to stay active and connected. The bottom line is that financial investments in Norte create smiles for our youngest to oldest participants.

Spokes of a wheel support the structure and play a critical role in a bike’s maneuverability, flexibility, and shock resistance. A typical bicycle wheel has 32 spokes; some have more and others fewer. While fewer spokes give an aerodynamic advantage, more spokes equate to a durable, long-lasting wheel. We’re leaning into the latter here at Norte.

There are countless pieces that help deliver on Norte’s promise to northern Michigan. And we can always add more. So I invite you to be part of that effort and part of the wheel that is Team Orange. We are building for the future — so let’s have some fun and get to work.

Thank you for being a supportive, essential part of Norte, and for creating a happy, healthy, strong community.

Now, let’s ride!


Jill, Interim Executive Director

📷 Jill pictured with her husband, Andy, on a much warmer day on the Vasa Single Track — more of that soon!


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