Northern Michigan Kids Are About To Bike To School In a Big Way

The 2019 Northern Michigan Bikes To School Day, a region-wide, multi-school celebration of National Bike To School Day, is next Wednesday, May 8th and it could quite possibly be the most awesome day of kids on bikes in northern Michigan history. Really 😉

In addition to inspiring and empowering more elementary and middle school students to actively transport themselves to class via bicycle than ever before, we will also crown The Most Bike-tastic Northern Michigan School with a little friendly competition.

Traverse City’s Willow Hill won last year. Will the Falcons defend their title in 2019?

Plus we’ll have all sorts of crazy FUN! Prizes and high fives, too, of course.

1. Commit to ride your bike to school on Wednesday, May 8th. All schools in northern Michigan are welcome to participate. Once you commit, you’re promising to bike on the big day. Pinky swear.

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2. Tell your friends, teacher, principal and lunch lady about Northern Michigan Bikes To School Day and have them commit, too. Yay, lunch ladies on bikes!

3. Don’t forget, to commit and help your school win The Most Bike-tastic Northern Michigan School award. This is a big deal and we’re taking it very, very seriously. We’re going to use some math, actually.

# of pedaling students and staff á
# of total students and staff at school
x 100 =
Your School’s Bike-tastic-ness number

Highest Bike-tastic-ness number wins bragging rights for the entire year and probably a sweet trophy to show off, too.

4. On the big day, hop on your bike and pedal to school with some friends or join one of our many bike trains and pedal with A LOT of friends.

So simple. So awesome.

** If you take the bus to school, ride your bike to the bus stop. That totally counts. We’ll have a limited number of our pop-up neighborhood bike racks set up at popular bus stops. If you can talk some buddies into biking-to-bus with you, let us know HERE and we’ll try to get you one.

** Does your mom or dad normally drive you to school? Ask them nicely to leave a little earlier on Northern Michigan Bikes To School Day and drop you off a couple of miles or so from school. Then ask them to join you so that both of you can pedal to school together. That’ll be fun. Not sure where you should park to have a safe route to school? Email us at hello@elgruponorte.org and we’ll help give you some ideas.

Just don’t forget to commit. If you don’t commit, you don’t get counted.

Your school needs YOU! Northern Michigan needs YOU!

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2019 Bikes To School Day Train Schedule:

Traverse City

Glenn Loomis’ “trains”:
  • Central Grade School: Corner of 7th and Wadsworth. Meet at 7:45, biking at 7:55. Train Conductors: Sarah Bielman and Ashlea Walter
  • Oryana: Meet at 7:35, biking at 7:45. Train Conductor: Kaitlyn Burns
  • Jupiter Park: Meet at 7:35, biking at 7:40. Train Conductor: Jamie Burley
Traverse Heights’ “trains”:
  • Jupiter Park: Boyd at Rose Street: Meet at 8:00, biking at 8:10. Train Conductor: Stephanie Wilson.

Trinity Lutheran “train”:

  • Oryana: Lake and 10th: Meet at 8:00, biking at 8:10. Train conductors: Allison and John Metiva.
Eastern’s “train”:
  • F&M Park: Meet at 8:25, biking at 8:35. Train Conductor: Emily Buchholz.
Central Grade‘s “trains”:
  • Thirlby Stadium: 13th and Pine: Meet at 7:30, biking at 7:40. Train Conductor: Carrie Smith
  • Oryana: Meet at 7:30, biking at 7:40. Train Conductor: TBD
  • 6th & Maple: Meet at 7:40, biking at 7:45. Train Conductor: Judy Arnold

West Middle “train”:

  • Central Grade School – 7th and Wadsworth: Meet at 6:40, biking at 6:45. Conductor: TBD

Westwoods “train”:

  • Marley and Asher’s house – Meet at 8:20, rolling at 8:30. Conductor: Juli Tiesworth.
Willow Hill’s “train”:
  •  Darrow Park: Meet at 8:15, biking at 8:20. Train Conductor: Dan Ellis

Immaculate Conception “train”:

  • Darrow Park: Meet at 7:15, biking at 7:20. Conductor: TBD

Elk Rapids 

  • Fifth Third Bank: Meet at 8:20, biking at 8:30. Conductor: Julie Plum
  • River Walk Grill:  Meet at 8:15, biking at 8:20. Conductor: TBD

Northport 

  • Mr. Wetherbee’s House: Meet at 7:35, biking at 7:40. Conductor: Corrine Wetherbee

Are you an awesome mom, dad, neighbor who’s already biking to school with your child/fave neighborhood kid? Maybe none of the above bike trains are convenient? Start your own train. Invite a friend, classmate, neighborhood kid to join you, read our bike train conductor training manual and BAM! you have yourself a bike train.

Learn more about what it means to be a bike train conductor HERE.

Please register your new bike train HERE because more bike trains = more better.

We are also looking for extra volunteers to help keep the kids safe, count bikes at school and dish up highfives. Please get involved HERE.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Thank you, Northern Michigan Bikes To School Day Sponsors!

More Kids on Bikes! Registration for Norte’s Spring and Summer Programs Now Open

Norte is northern Michigan’s youth-focused, active transportation-centered, neighborhood-based 501c3 advocacy organization.

Our mission is to help build stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart.

Our programs are dedicated to empowering young people to be confident, independent, healthy and active for life.

Registration for our 2019 spring and summer programs is now open.

The Solution:

  • Learn-to-wrench classes for upper elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Learn more and register HERE.

Youth Mountain Bike Team:

  • After school mountain bike program for elementary, middle and high school students
  • Learn more and registration HERE

The Bike MĂĄs Project:

  • After-school, adventure-based bike safety program for upper elementary and middle school students in partnership with 22 area schools
  • Learn more and registration HERE

Traverse City Summer Bike Camp:

  • Week-long, half-day adventure based summer camp for elementary and middle school students
  • Sessions for 1st & 2nd graders, 3th & 4th, 5th & 6th, 7th & 8th graders
  • June, July and August sessions
  • Details and registration HERE

We have lots more happenings, too! Check out our community calendar HERE.

Making A Difference: 18 Impactful Norte Programs and Projects

Your support of these 18 impactful programs and projects is a reminder of the power of Team Orange — how many people doing their small part can have a big impact.

Because of you, we’ll be able to continue to empower the young and young at heart to be happy, healthy and active for life and help build stronger, better connected and more walk/bike-friendly neighborhoods in the Grand Traverse region.

Thank you for your generosity and commitment to happy, healthy, strong kids, families and communities. And we know we can do even more, together.

Every contribution makes a difference. 

Let’s keep it rolling.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

More Girls on Bikes

Because girls on bikes are healthy, independent, confident girls. Girls on bikes are strong girls. And…

$2,500 of $2,500 raised

More Girls on Bikes

$2,500 of $2,500 raised

Because girls on bikes are healthy, independent, confident girls. Girls on bikes are strong girls. And strong girls will change the world.

Funds will help provide scholarships to Norte programs for girls in needs.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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2019 Elk Rapids Strong Project Fund

The Elk Rapids Strong Project aims to help weave a culture of health into the fabric…

$0 of $1,000 raised

2019 Elk Rapids Strong Project Fund

$0 of $1,000 raised

The Elk Rapids Strong Project aims to help weave a culture of health into the fabric of Elk Rapids to help it be its best – its healthiest.

Young people in Elk Rapids learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school or the park or the library or the beach – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors and community to do the same is a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

Funds will help support this project including Elk Rapids’ Safe Routes To School initiative and scholarships for Elk Rapids’ Bike Mas Project and Estrellas program.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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2019 Northport Strong Project Fund

The Northport Strong Project aims to help weave a culture of health into the fabric of…

$125 of $1,000 raised

2019 Northport Strong Project Fund

$125 of $1,000 raised

The Northport Strong Project aims to help weave a culture of health into the fabric of Northport to help it be its best – its healthiest.

Young people in Northport learning to move and be physically active as part of ordinary life – like going to school or the park or the library or the beach – and then inspiring their parents, teachers, principals, neighbors and community to do the same is a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

Funds will help support this project including Northport’s Safe Routes To School initiative and scholarships for Northport’s Bike Mas Project and Estrellas program.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Team Orange Operations

It's not sexy but paying rent, insurance and salaries are a necessity that allows us to…

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Team Orange Operations

$0 of $6,500 raised

It’s not sexy but paying rent, insurance and salaries are a necessity that allows us to do what we do.

Funds will help support Norte’s day to day operations.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Family Clubhouse Memberships

The Clubhouse, our community bike shop at the Civic Center, is a space to learn, fix,…

$0 of $1,000 raised

Family Clubhouse Memberships

$0 of $1,000 raised

The Clubhouse, our community bike shop at the Civic Center, is a space to learn, fix, create, tweak, align, repair, maintain and adjust.

We share our tools, benches, bikes, and knowledge with our members to strengthen community and advance our mission of building a stronger, better connected and more bicycle friendly Traverse City.

Every $25 will go to fund a year family membership.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Grand Traverse Region Youth Leadership Council

We believe young people are to be seen, heard, and valued by their community. We believe…

$0 of $2,500 raised

Grand Traverse Region Youth Leadership Council

$0 of $2,500 raised

We believe young people are to be seen, heard, and valued by their community. We believe in their abilities to take action and contribute to making their neighborhoods safer and healthier places to live. Norte is committed to not just being youth-focused, but youth-driven too.

El Liderato, our youth leadership council, empowers young people to stand up, speak up, get involved and do good in their community.

The council is made up of a small group of awesome young men and women aged 13 – 18 who are dedicated to helping Norte advocate for stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities in the Grand Traverse region.

Funds will help support this work.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Grand Traverse Region Safe Routes To School

Norte administers the Safe Routes To School initiative across the Grand Traverse region. Our programs, projects,…

$0 of $5,500 raised

Grand Traverse Region Safe Routes To School

$0 of $5,500 raised

Norte administers the Safe Routes To School initiative across the Grand Traverse region. Our programs, projects, and events are dedicated to empowering students of all ages to actively get themselves to school.

Funds will help support this work.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Grand Traverse Region Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocacy

Norte is committed to building a stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities in the…

$0 of $3,500 raised

Grand Traverse Region Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocacy

$0 of $3,500 raised

Norte is committed to building a stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities in the Grand Traverse region.

We believe that people of all ages and abilities have the right to safely access schools, parks, neighborhoods, beaches, businesses, and public transit by bike or foot.  Our Pro Walk/Pro Bike team pushes for best practice walk/bike infrastructure, forward-thinking policy, and smart community design for stronger neighborhoods in the Grand Traverse region.

Funds will help support this work.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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2019 Grand Traverse Youth Mountain Bike Team

Norte's youth mountain bike team is made up of 100+ stellar elementary, middle and high school…

$10 of $3,000 raised

2019 Grand Traverse Youth Mountain Bike Team

$10 of $3,000 raised

Norte’s youth mountain bike team is made up of 100+ stellar elementary, middle and high school students in the Grand Traverse region.

The team’s goal is to unleash confidence and independence through FUN! while also empowering young people to be fit, fast, strong, and gritty.

This is an ongoing fundraising campaign with a goal of $3,000. Funds will help support jerseys, race registrations, coaching, and SNACKS in 2019.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Tools for The Solution

Help us purchase two complete toolsets for The Solution, our learn-to-wrench community project. Norte is a…

$0 of $1,500 raised

Tools for The Solution

$0 of $1,500 raised

Help us purchase two complete toolsets for The Solution, our learn-to-wrench community project.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Helmets for Norte Programs

Help us keep our kids' noggins safe! Funds will help purchase helmets for our Estrellas, Amigos,…

$0 of $1,000 raised

Helmets for Norte Programs

$0 of $1,000 raised

Help us keep our kids’ noggins safe!

Funds will help purchase helmets for our Estrellas, Amigos, Bike MĂĄs Project and Mountain Bike programs.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Scholarships for Norte Programs

So kids can participate in our after-school and summer programs no matter their family's means. The…

$110 of $3,000 raised

Scholarships for Norte Programs

$110 of $3,000 raised

So kids can participate in our after-school and summer programs no matter their family’s means.

The Bike Mås Project, after-school, adventure-based bike safety program for upper elementary and middle school students= $35

Farm Team, after-school mountain bike program for elementary students = $85

Traverse City Summer Bike Camp, week-long camp teaching knowledge, confidence, and independence through adventure for elementary and middle school students  = $110

JV (middle school) & Varsity (high school) Teams, after-school mountain bike program = $135

Learn more about these programs HERE.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

 

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Donation Total: $85.00

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Bikes for The Bike MĂĄs Project

Help us purchase 4 bikes so kids without can still participate in The Bike MĂĄs Project,…

$0 of $1,600 raised

Bikes for The Bike MĂĄs Project

$0 of $1,600 raised

Help us purchase 4 bikes so kids without can still participate in The Bike MĂĄs Project, our adventure-based bike safety program for elementary and middle school students.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Bikes for the Amigos

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids no matter their ability. We believe in…

$2,250 of $5,000 raised

Bikes for the Amigos

$2,250 of $5,000 raised

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids no matter their ability. We believe in inclusion and that every child should have the opportunity to experience the joy of riding a bicycle.

The Amigos is an educational program that teaches confidence, independence, and bike/pedestrian safety skills to young people with special needs through empowerment, education, and adventure.

Funds raised will help purchase more adaptive bikes (price range: $1,000 – $2,000 per bike) for the Amigos program.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Shed for the Estrellas

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids in the Grand Traverse region no matter…

$0 of $3,000 raised

Shed for the Estrellas

$0 of $3,000 raised

Norte is for happy, healthy, ready to learn kids in the Grand Traverse region no matter their age. We are also huge fans of balance bikes and believe that there is no better way to teach children how to ride.

Estrellas, our learn-to-ride program for preschoolers using balance bikes, started in 2016 and is growing quickly. We have many bikes but nowhere to store them when the kids aren’t using them.

Funds will help fund supplies and labor to build a storage shed next to the Clubhouse to store the balance bikes.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Ramps and Mountain Bike Features for the Clubhouse

We need more things to play bikes at the Clubhouse so Farm Team practice - after…

$0 of $2,000 raised

Ramps and Mountain Bike Features for the Clubhouse

$0 of $2,000 raised

We need more things to play bikes at the Clubhouse so Farm Team practice – after school mountain bike program for elementary students – will be awesome’er.

Funds to help support supplies and labor to build the ramps, jumps and features.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Supplies for the Wheelhouse

The Wheelhouse is Norte's new community space for learning at the Grand Traverse Civic Center that teaches…

$0 of $6,000 raised

Supplies for the Wheelhouse

$0 of $6,000 raised

The Wheelhouse is Norte’s new community space for learning at the Grand Traverse Civic Center that teaches and reinforces bike education through a variety of programs as well as independent and self-directed learning activities:

1) The Traverse City Community Bike Shop: Sharing tools, benches, bikes, and knowledge with the public so they can repair and maintain their bikes.

2) The Grand Traverse Kids’ Bike Library: Ensuring awesome kids have awesome bikes no matter their family’s resources.

3) El Barrio Bike Fix: A weekly summertime community bike fix where we fix, create, tweak, align, repair, maintain and adjust bicycles together.

4) La Solucion: A bike mechanic apprenticeship program that trains local high schoolers to become employable at local bike shops.

5) The Civic Center Traffic Garden: A future Safe Routes To School project to allow elementary students to learn bike safety skills in a safe setting.

Funds will help fund the supplies needed for these projects.

Norte is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

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Happy. Healthy. Strong: How Norte Did in 2018

Thanks to many, many awesome people, community partners, and sponsors, 2018 rocked for Team Orange.

Here’s the highlight reel:

Please help us keep it rolling by making a donation.

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Become a monthly donor and join El Colectivo, a group of awesome people dedicated to happier, healthier, and stronger communities.

What to support a specific Norte program or project? Check out our current needs HERE.

What’s Next for Traverse City’s Youth Mountain Bike Team?


What a year! From a successful after-school program to our best season of Vasa Domingos ever to an action-packed summer of kids on bikes at Speed of Light, 2018 rocked. The fun isn’t over, though. Let’s keep it rolling.

What’s next? Here are 5 super fun things coming up:

1. What to do between Iceman and the opening of Hickory/Mt. Holiday/the xc ski trails? Run, of course. Run Sabados start tomorrow – and happen every Saturday morning until it’s ski time! 9am at the Wheelhouse.
2. Farmland is December 1st and we’d love to see lots of orange. Use code “NorteRocks” HERE to score $5 off an entry.
3. Don’t want to race Farmland? We need volunteers. Help raise some $$ for our mountain bike team by signing up for a slot here.
4. Join our Downtown Light Parade entry next Saturday night, December 17th. RSVP here.
5. Traverse City’s first ever Cranksgiving (part community bike ride, part food drive) is next Sunday, December 18th. Register here. (No registration fee but teams should expect to spend $25 for local food pantries)

Want to get involved with our team? There’s no cost or commitment.

New Weekly Family Shred to Launch at Glacial Hills Trails

Glacial SĂĄbados, a family-friendly, weekly mountain bike group ride on the Glacial Hills Trails in Bellaire, launches this Saturday.

This shred is where we ride bikes on dirt, meet new friends, get fit, explore the woods, build confidence and have FUN. Probably eat some snacks after, too.

WHEN?

We ride every Saturday through the fall:

To Labor Day: Meet at 9:45. Rolling at 10.
Labor Day to Iceman: Meet at 10:45. Rolling at 11.

WHERE?

Eckhardt Trailhead at Glacial Hills
3171 S. Eckhardt Rd., Bellaire, MI

WHO?

From preschoolers on balance bikes to high school seniors on 29ers, all ages and abilities are welcome.

While routes are easy to follow, this is not a guided ride but rather a group ride for families. We 100% support kids who know their way and have the necessary skills to ride alone/sans adult but we ask that parents ride with their child if not.

HOW FAR?

Family/Warm-up Loop – The flattest of the Glacial Hills trails provides a great introduction to mountain biking for novices and also serves as a nice warm-up loop for bikers entering the trail system from the Eckhardt parking lot. The shortest loop (A-B-short C-D) totals about .4 miles with relatively straight and wide trails. Adding the .35 mile long B-C loop adds two small hills and a few tighter curves to help new bikers practice shifting and bike control.

Rolling Hills Loop – This loop serves bikers who want all the hilly fun of Glacial without the longer climbs and faster declines found elsewhere on the trails. The approximate 6.5 mile distance works well for those out for a fun ride.

The Outside Loop – For those seeking the longest climbs, fastest descents and tightest trail simply follow the Outside Loop. From any parking lot, consistently stay left or right (depending on the direction of travel) at each intersection. Distances vary from 12 miles to almost 20 depending on whether riders choose to head east of Orchard Hill Road.

FREE?

You betcha. No need to sign up either. Just show up. Bring a friend or three too.

QUESTIONS?

Contact David Griffin at 361.815.3193

 

Get involved with Norte’s youth mountain bike team: