New Skills, New Friends, New Discoveries

Last Thursday, we wrapped up the first two weeks of Summer Bike Camp. It’s incredible how much life can happen in that amount of time. First, there were the inevitable minor scrapes and bruises, forgotten lunches, and other life lessons. And we also heard tales of courage and resiliency as young riders gained confidence in learning new skills. And, of course, we’ve had plenty of exciting times on bikes exploring the community.

Today, we share anecdotes from our coaches as they reflect on the first two weeks.


“A first-grader froze with nerves when we taught him how to stand up on his bike. But we worked on it — little by little. By the end of the week, he had so much confidence standing up it was hard to get him back in the saddle.”

~ Coach Mary
“Four straight days of mountain bike adventures are difficult for the most experienced riders. ShredVenture participants knocked their four successive days of riding out of the park. As a coach, the most intrinsic rewards are observing riders gain independence and work together as a team. It’s exciting.”

~ Coach Brad

“A seventh-grader showed up with a 20-inch bike. It was past its prime but nothing unrideable. We lost her by blocks on the first day, and I considered a group transfer. The next day, we fitted her on a different bike from the Norte library. Four more gears and four more inches on her wheels transformed her riding ability, her confidence, and her experience at bike camp.”

~ Coach Charlie
“My family always jokes that three things instantly make me well up with tears: people celebrating together, singing together, and acts of kindness. After last week, that list is now four. It now includes kids calling out their teammates’ names in support. They seem to sense when a teammate needs encouragement. They support each other loudly when they fall and even louder and prouder when they get back up. It’s always going to bring tears to my eyes.”

~ Coach Abbey

“On the second week of bike camp, I experienced a young rider with the most social anxiety I’ve ever seen in 10 years of coaching. However, it was rewarding by day four to see that rider interacting with the coaches and others on the team. They were genuinely enjoying the experience. I like to think of Norte as a space for everyone, so seeing that come true in this instance was outstanding.”

~ Coach Hunter
“We had a rider who kept trying and trying to get over the rollers. He saw younger kids able to roll over them and felt embarrassed. Finally, he had enough. He threw his bike and started kicking it. I pulled him aside, and he told me about his embarrassment. I told him a story about myself and how I never seemed to be at the same skill level as the boys. I talked about the progress I’ve seen in him throughout the week and how proud I was of his skills. We sat down and ate some popcorn, and I gave him tips to make the rollers easier. He tried it again and made it all the way through. It was a super big deal. I’m so proud and glad I was able to witness it.”

~ Coach Gwen

These reflections are only a glimpse into the reward of rolling with over 100 young riders as they learn new skills, make new friends, and discover new places at bike camp. If you’re interested in coaching with Norte, we’re hiring. Even though Summer Bike Camp barely started, we’re already looking to fall programming. So let’s go, coach!

Coach with Norte


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