Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly
Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order No 2020-21,” putting “Stay Home, Stay Safe” in effect until April 13. We encourage everyone to follow the State’s COVID19 Website and Grand Traverse County COVID19 for continued updates to all CDC recommendations and information.
We want to highlight section 7.a.1 of the Governor’s order. It states we may leave our homes “to engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.”
Outside is not canceled. It has been deemed essential.
To navigate our way through this and come out with a stronger community, staying active, staying healthy, staying responsible is our challenge. Norte programs empower everyone to make outdoor activities part of our every day lives. Now is the time, like no other, to put that into practice. Get out solo. Explore the area around your home with your family unit. You can wave to your friends from opposite sides of the street.
Importantly, stay active responsibly. The Stay Home, Stay Safe order by Governor Gretchen Whitmer is not a suggestion, it is an order. Thankfully, it recognizes that working out the kinks and stretching our legs is essential.
Physical Distancing, Social Solidarity
During this time, we must also maintain the social support networks we have, even if that means, for the time being, it focuses on timely Facebook shout outs, friendly text messages and calls, and shouts across the street to a neighbor on their porch. Social distancing is the chosen public health term, and we can honor it with physical distancing and social solidarity.
For those who can, supporting our local businesses that remain open during is a powerful show of solidarity and will keep you energized. Here is a list of our Business Champions still open. Many of them deliver – reduce the number of people out and about, take them up on it!
- The Filling Sation – Curbside Take Out
- Oryana – Open, Curbside, and Delivery
- Common Good Bakery – Curbside Take Out
- Fresh Coast Market – Curbside Available
- Rarebird – Curbside Take Out
- That ‘sa Pizza – Curbside Take Out
Check their websites or call in advance. And for a broader range of businesses, here are lists published by Traverse City Tourism, Downtown Traverse City Association, and Elk Rapids DDA. The Village of Northport, Village of Suttons Bay, and Downtown Kalkaska are also sources for local updates.
Please peruse all of our Business Champions, many of whom will play particular roles in the eventual recovery. None more so than the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, which is seeking donations for its Urgent Needs Fund. These funds will assist vital regional services in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau Counties.
And, a special shout out to those on the front lines at Munson Healthcare – Thank you! They are in dire need of community support. Please click through to see if there’s something you can do. They need donations and medical supplies.
For the time being, we are going to cloister ourselves. These actions are for the safety and health of the community. Those walls are going to close in, so find a motivator to keep you active and friends to keep you tuned into your social support group.
Be cautious. Stay away from places like playgrounds and things like doorknobs as much as you can, but get outside. Breathe.
We’re in this together. Be strong. Be well.
Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly
Orange You Glad It’s Fall?
Forget Pumpkin Spice and Football, Bikes are the Best Part of Fall!
We’re pumped for our best fall ever. There’s just nothing like exploring northern Michigan on a beautiful fall day on bikes with friends, is there? Here are our top reasons to make this your best fall ever with Team Orange.
- School-based after school Bike Mas Project program:
- At 22 area schools
- Civic Center-based after school Mountain Bike Program:
- Farm Team practices: Tuesday and Thursday.
- JV/Varsity Team practices: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
- Vasa Domingos:
- Weekly family shred. Noon. Norte Dirt Yurt at Timber Ridge.
- Leelanau Harvest Tour: September 14th at the Suttons Bay High School
- Bike Oryana’s 6th Annual Farm Tour: September 15th. Meet at Oryana at noon to roll to Lakeview Hill Farm via the TART Trail.
- Fall Pumpkin Pedal: September 29 at the Jolly Pumpkin
- Northern Michigan Walks To School Day: Oct 2nd. Region-wide celebration of National Walk To School Day
- Take a Girl Mountain Bike Day:
- October 12 at 12 pm. Norte Dirt Yurt at Timber Ridge. Powered by Breakway Coffee COOKIES!
- Peaktoberfest Kids Mountain Bike Race as part of Peak 2 Peak at Crystal Mountain: October 19
- Traverse City Cookie Ride:
- October 27. Noon. Norte Dirt Yurt at Timber Ridge. Free.
- Traverse City Donut Ride: October 20. Noon. Norte Dirt Yurt at Timber Ridge. Free.
- Norte Does SwingShift: October 18 and December 13!
- Norte Rocks Iceman Cometh: November 2
- Cranksgiving Traverse City! Ride Bikes. Give Back. Do Good! Sunday, November 17.
And more! What did we miss? We’ll add it. Contact Ash: email@example.com
Meet Brian Buysse, one of Norte’s awesome volunteers!
Brian started coming into the Wheelhouse this spring and summer to wrench on bikes to get bikes under more bottoms in northern Michigan. His expertise is needed and very appreciated. Thank you for your time and passion, Brian!
How long have you been volunteering with Norte?
Just a few weeks wrenching but have assisted on a few rides and also helped paint the Wheelhouse last fall.
What’s your bike background?
I’ve done multi-day tours, mountain bike races, then moved into road cycling. After getting burned out from my IT career, I decided I needed to do something completely different. I shadowed a neighbor on the finer points of bike mechanics then shortly after, I moved from Lansing to northern Michigan after finding a job at a bike shop in Beulah. I also owned and ran a bike shop in Manistee for a few years and spent 15 years total as a professional in the industry.
Why do you share your time and passion with Norte?
I want to give back. I’ve seen how bike shops can exclude people who don’t know much about bikes and I want to bring my knowledge and mechanical expertise to Norte to help combat that. Bikes can bring people together and give them a sense of freedom on the road and on the trail. Bicycling can also help people find joy. But there’s nothing worse than getting kids excited and then giving them a bike that doesn’t work; they can lose interest pretty fast. I want kids to have a positive experience with bikes. So, someone with my mechanical experience can not only fix up bikes and help Norte with its bike lending programs, but I can also help kids and volunteers learn bike maintenance. My goal is to find the best fit and contribute what I can and, again, spread the joy that bikes can give people, both young and old.
Want to be awesome like Brian and share your time and expertise with Norte? There are a lot of different volunteer opportunities to fit your schedule. Thank you for making the magic happen!
Why language matters and accidents aren’t accidents
by Gary Howe, Advocacy Director
Implicit bias in the language we use to discuss walking and biking was a key topic through the 2019 Grand Traverse Advocate Academy. For example, we talked a lot about windshield bias and how it informs policies, designs, and use of public spaces. It’s a large part why we need pro-walk, pro-bike advocacy. There’s also a need for citizen advocates to be aware of how their own language shapes discussions. Too often, we use language that categorizes people based on their mobility choice; our fellow citizens become pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists. This puts our neighbors, and their behavior, at a distance from ourselves.
The reality is that how we choose to move about the community doesn’t define us. Most people I know use many different modes of travel depending on their needs, comfort level, and what’s available. I’ve challenged myself to embrace the multi-modal within me and within every one of us. I strive to have empathy for everyone I meet on the road of life, regardless of how they are moving about. I believe it will lead me to be a better advocate: if I advocate for improvements that benefit everyone, instead of just a few, my efforts will be more effective. (See the Language Matters Cheat Sheet below.)
Another aspect of language bias is found in the media and police reports covering traffic crashes. We don’t have to look very hard to find language bias in media as often the headlines are enough to give many of us pause: ”Pedestrian Hit by Car.” It’s as if autonomous vehicles are already here! Or this one from the 2006 Traverse City Record-Eagle: “Car strikes, kills pedestrian.” This passive, clinical language obscures agency. In addition to dropping pedestrian, cyclist, and motorist, try replacing “car” with any other inanimate object and see how it sounds. “Man hit by hammer.” “Piano strikes, kills woman.” “Banana slams into drugstore.”
In a recent Outside Magazine piece, Joe Lindsey examines the issue of language’s legal impact, highlighting two studies that connect language bias in media coverage and police reports. Quick-breaking news coverage laden with implicit language bias tends to anchor blame on inanimate objects, regardless of the facts. There are real consequences for everyone involved, legally and personally.
Forging a Better Path
Team Orange can commit to more accurate and inclusive language. We can check ourselves when we fall into categorizing others based on mode choices. And we can catch ourselves when we use the word “accident” to describe predictable and preventable traffic crashes. Consider signing your name to the “Crash Not Accident” website: pledge to stop saying ”accident.’
Saying accident instead of crash is most unhelpful framing. First and foremost, it suggests that nothing could have been done. And it suggests that our car-centric land use, street designs, and policies are unchangeable. This is unacceptable. As a society, we must demand answers and accountability for the 6 million car accidents crashes and 40,000 deaths a year on US streets and roads alone.
These so-called accidents are preventable. As Lindsay notes:
‘Accident’ conveys inevitability. You can trace virtually every crash to something upstream, whether human error, poor street design, or something else. Almost every crash is preventable.
I will not call traffic crashes “accidents.” I will educate others about why “crash” is a better word.
What’s your experience?
*Above graphics from, Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting
- How We Talk About Drivers Hitting Cyclists (Outside Magazine)
- When covering car crashes, be careful not to blame the victim
- If You Want to Get Away with Murder, Use Your Car
- Editorial Patterns in Bicyclist and Pedestrian Crash Reporting
- We don’t say “plane accident.” We shouldn’t say “car accident” either.