Just (Winter) Walk, Northern Michigan

This article originally appeared in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

One of the questions Tim Ferris asks in his book “Tribe of Mentors” is if you could put any message on a billboard, what would it be?

For some reason, I find myself thinking about this a lot. “Always bring snacks.” (My mantra when my boys were small.) “Don’t forget the sunscreen.” (My dad died young of melanoma.) “Be kind.” (Google Ben’s Bells in Tucson, Arizona.) But if the powers that be would allow me to put up a giant billboard in the Open Space this weekend, it would read, “Just Walk, Traverse City.”

You’re probably wondering, “But Ty, aren’t you supposed to be a bike guy? Shouldn’t it be, “Just Bike, Traverse City?” Nope. It’d be “Just Walk,” for sure.

It’s true that I used to hate to walk anywhere. Took forever. Why walk when you could bike and get there three times faster?

My views changed 18 years ago when I started working as a physical therapist. After treating pain and dysfunction that results from an inactive lifestyle, I became fully aware of how little we move as a society.

Drive to work. Sit at work. Drive home. Sit on the couch. Repeat.

As a young physical therapist, I used to prescribe elaborate and complicated home exercise programs. As time went on, I simplified things. Two or three exercises, some pain management techniques and walking. “Just walk,” I’d repeat to my patients.

Why? Because walking is both easy and effective. Gyms cost money. Sports require equipment. The simple act of walking is convenient, free, sustainable (people tend to stick with it), and has many health benefits. They include reduced risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes; improved blood pressure, blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels; decreased risk of obesity; improved mental well-being, energy, and stamina; and reduced risk of osteoporosis, breast cancer, and colon cancer.

Here in Traverse City, we’re lucky to live in a place where walking as part of ordinary life — like going to the library or market or park or restaurant — is, for the most part, easy, safe and comfortable. While we definitely still have work to do regarding equity and fairness (think: Barlow Street), our connected sidewalk grid allows people to be active right outside their front door at home or work.

With a $4.9 million bond to invest in more sidewalks for the Traverse Heights neighborhood, a more than $800,000 commitment to repair sidewalks in poor condition city-wide and a proposed $2 million Safe Routes To School grant that features nearly 5 miles of walk/bike-friendly infrastructure, our walkability is only going to improve in the coming years.

Walking is simple. Walking is healthy. Walking is awesome. And walkability matters.

So just walk, Traverse City. OK? Good for you. Good for me. Good for all of us.


Ty Schmidt is a physical therapist, Canadian import from friendly Manitoba now proud Michigander and the executive director of Norte.

 

 

 

Awesome People to Support More Kids On Bikes in the Grand Traverse Region for Giving Tuesday

Our high impact Estrellas balance bike program is the focus of this year’s Giving Tuesday online campaign.

We’ve created a very fun, very easy, very orange, very far reaching peer-to-peer fundraising campaign to support our ever-growing Estrellas needs now that we’re in 25+ schools across northern Michigan.

We’re looking awesome people to raise $100 each to help the Estrellas shine. 

Can we count on YOU to help us reach our goal to raise $3000 for Estrellas on December 3, 2019–Giving Tuesday?

Getting started is easy!

Simply email Ash at ashlea@elgruponorte.org with “I’m in!” and we’ll get you hooked up with:

  • a very easy-to-use fundraising page
  • tips on sharing to your awesome network of friends and fans
  • support of Team Orange

Don’t have time, but want to chip in toward our goal? Awesome. Text ESTRELLAS to 44-321 to donate now.

Who’s already in:

 

 

Happy, Healthy, Ready To Learn + Northern Michigan Walks To School Day

With generous support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, TBA Credit UnionTraverse City Track Club, Sweet Pea, and Oryana Community Co-op,  Norte is excited to once again host Northern Michigan Walks To School Day, a community-wide, multi-school celebration of National Walk To School Day on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Nearly 1100 students from across Northern Michigan walked to school last year. Can we do better than that in 2019?

We will also be crowning The Most Walk-tastic Northern Michigan School! That’s a big, big deal. Traverse Heights in Traverse City “won” last year. Help your school win the 2019 title by committing here:

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Everyone is welcome – Pre K through high school, as well as teachers, staff, and principals too.

If you live too far from home, drive to one of our “Park & Stroll” locations below.

A 5-10 minute walk to your bus stop totally counts too.

Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE bikes but we enjoy walks to school too:

  • Walking to school is known to improve academic performance
  • Walking to school gives children good life experience
  • Walking to school gets children outdoors
  • Walking to school provides daily exercise for children

So set those alarms a little earlier on October 2nd, eat a solid breakfast, invite a friend or 6, strap your backpack on and join us.

Participating Schools:

Don’t see your school? Sign it up HERE.

Live too far from school to walk or maybe your school isn’t yet safe to walk to? No worries. You can still play:

  • Our Park & Stroll locations offer designated places to park and then walk 5-10 minutes to school with your child. Have an idea where a convenient, safe location and route could be? Let us know HERE.
  • Organize a short walk before the bell rings on campus like Cherryland Middle School in Elk Rapids.

Norte will be transforming our community-wide network of bike trains into “walking school buses” for the day to connect our neighborhoods to our neighborhood elementary schools. We’re in need of more Walking School Bus “drivers” to lead. It’s both easy and fun! Promise. If interested email Abby at abby@elgruponorte.org

2019 Walking School Bus Schedule coming soon!

Central Grade‘s “buses”:
  • Thirlby Stadium: 13th and Pine: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – TBD
  •  Oryana: 10th/Lake: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Laura Otwell
  • Open Space: Parkway and Union: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Carrie Smith

Cherryland Middle School:

  • Walk the track at school: 7:30-7:48. Bus driver – Ann DeVogel

Courtade Elementary:

  • Walk on the track at school: At the bell. Bus driver – Mrs. Fetters

Eastern Elementary:

  • Norte Wheelhouse: Meet at 8:25, walk at 8:30. Bus driver – Emily Buchholz
  • Clancy Park: Meet at 8:30. Walking at 8:35. Bus driver – Rebecca Sketch
TCAPS Montessori @ Glenn Loomis’ “buses”:
  • 10th/Lake: Oryana: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Kaitlyn Burns
  • Division/14th: Tom’s: Meet at 7:40, walking at 7:55. Bus driver – Sarah Bourquin
Immaculate Conception “bus”:
  • Darrow Park: Meet at 7:30, walking at 7:45. Bus driver – TBD

Kalkaska “buses”:

  • TBD

Lakeland Elementary:

  • River Walk Grill: Meet at 8:15, walking at 8:20. Bus driver – Becky Travis
  • Elk Rapids Apartments: Meet at 7:50, walking at 7:55. Bus driver – Stephen McDonald
  • Corner of 2nd and Pine: Meet at 8:00, walking at 8:05. Bus driver – David West
Northport “bus”:
  • Marina: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:40. Bus driver – Corrine Wetherbee

Old Mission Peninsula School:

  •  Front of our driveway on Island View Road: Meet at 8:00, walking at 8:15. Bus Driver – Dena Schweitzer
Suttons Bay “bus”:
  • TBD
Traverse Heights’ “bus”:
  • Jupiter Park: Boyd at Rose Street: Meet at 8:05, walking at 8:10. Bus driver –  Stephanie and Josh Wilson.
Trinity Lutheran “bus”:
  • 10th/Lake: Oryana: Meet at 7:35, walking at 7:4o. Bus driver – TBD
West Middle School:
  • Grand Traverse Commons barns: TBD
  • Meijer: TBD
  • YMCA: TBD

Westwoods “bus”:

  • 1122 Fisher Road. Meet at 8:15, walking at 8:20. Bus driver – Juli Tiesworth
Willow Hill’s “bus”:
  •  Darrow Park: Meet at 8:15, walking at 8:20. Bus Driver – Principal Sides-Mackay
Woodland School‘s “bus”:
  •   Meet and park at Mrs.D’s lot on Island lake at 7:40, strolling At 7:45. Bus Driver – Amanda DeBruyn.

Don’t forget to commit!

 

 

 

Our friends at Oryana will be generously providing healthy snacks at their “bus stop” for TCAPS Montessori, Trinity Lutheran and Central Grade students.

The Traverse City Police Department will also be walking to school with us. How awesome is that?

We are looking for extra volunteers to help keep the kids safe, count walkers at school and hand out highfives. Please sign up HERE.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

 

Thank you, Sponsors!

Thank you, Community Partners!

 

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.

And more! What did we miss? We’ll add it. Contact Ash: ashlea@elgruponorte.org

 

Bikes. Friends. Adventure: The Bike Más Project to Empower Kids to be Active For Life at 22 Schools in the Grand Traverse Region this Fall

The Bike Más Project teaches confidence, independence, and bike safety skills to 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th graders through empowerment, education, and adventure. Mucho adventure!

Bike Más Project kids will:

  • Learn how to bike safe and bike smart
  • Develop bike repair and maintenance skills
  • Become a bike handling ninja.
  • Build confidence. Get fit. And have FUN!

Fall 2019 schedule:

Each session meets immediately after school and is 90 minutes long. The program begins/ends at school except for a few schools which will meet at the Clubhouse or Wheelhouse. Transportation from the school to the Clubhouse/Wheelhouse is not provided.

We meet once a week for 4 weeks and sessions start the week of September 16, 2019.

Mondays:

  • Children’s House (Meets at the Wheelhouse at 4:30pm)
  • Eastern (group 1)
  • East Middle (meets at the Wheelhouse at 4pm)
  • Elk Rapids-Cherryland Middle School
  • Northern Michigan Partnership (meets at the Wheelhouse at 2pm)
  • Northport (3rd-5th graders)
  • Westwoods
  • Woodland
  • Central Grade (group 2)

Tuesdays:

  • Central Grade (group 1)
  • Long Lake
  • Old Mission Peninsula (meets at Clubhouse at 4pm)
  • West Middle

Wednesdays:

  • Willow Hill (group 1)
  • Traverse Heights
  • TCAPS Montessori @ Glenn Loomis
  • Cherry Knoll
  • Northport – 6th-8th graders
  • Grand Traverse Academy (meets at the Wheelhouse at 4:30pm)
  • Elk Rapids – Lakeland

Thursdays:

  • Blair
  • Pathfinder (meets at Clubhouse at 4:30pm)
  • Silver Lake
  • Eastern (group 2)

Fridays:

  • Courtade
  • Immaculate Conception
  • Trinity Lutheran
  • Willow Hill (group 2)

Helpful Information:

  • Bring a water bottle, helmet, bike and snack to all sessions.
  • Sessions are limited to five (5) participants. If 5 participants do not register, the session will be canceled and a refund provided.
  • Participants will meet the instructor in the school library immediately after dismissal.
  • If the host school is closed, no after school activities will be held per school policy. There is no guarantee of a make-up date in the case of inclement weather. Missed sessions will only be made up if schedules allow.
  • Bikes are available for participants to borrow from Norte’s Bike Library if needed.

Every Bike Mas Project participant will also receive:

  • a sweet Norte shirt – if you already have a shirt, you can score $10 off something in our very orange online store
  • a free family membership to our Clubhouse

    Program requirements:

  • A positive attitude
  • Can comfortably ride 5-8 miles (4th-5th grade) or 8-10 miles (6th-7th grade)
  • Cost:

  • $35
  • Registration:

    Program scholarships:

    Huge thanks to our sponsors for supporting happy, healthy, strong kids:

 

Norte is Hiring! Join Team Orange

Passionate about bicycles? Like working with kids? Want to build stronger, better connected and more walk/bike-friendly communities?

Join us.

Norte is Northern Michigan’s youth-focused, bike-centric advocacy organization that is dedicated to empowering the young and young at heart.

OPPORTUNITIES

After School Youth Mountain Bike Coach

After School Bike Mas Project Instructor

To apply, email your resume to Ty Schmidt.

Questions? Get at us via email or call the Clubhouse at 231-883-2404.

Norte Does Shoreline West: Notes From The Road (Part 2)

Day #1-3 Recap HERE

Day #4: Rest Day in Traverse City

The team took it easy today. We slept in on our beds and it was glorious. Little beach, little relaxing and then we did TC Rides ’cause that’s what we do on Wednesdays in Traverse City. Plus it was Ainsley’s 13th birthday.

Day #5: Traverse City to Charlevoix

Bad news: After our layover in Traverse City, just one “Hero of the Road” showed up at the Clubhouse to continue north to the Bridge in support of the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ important work.

Good news: We had a special guest join us for the first 20 miles today. Patrick Cotant of Patrick’s Heavy Ride With Friends rode with us to Elk Rapids and we rocked it. A beautiful 60ish miles along the shore of Torch Lake through Eastport to Charlevoix.

Day #6: Charlevoix to Harbor Springs

Another wonderful morning. Today we rode around the west arm of Lake Charlevoix to East Jordan, Boyne City, Wallon Lake to Petoskey before jumping on the Wheelway trail to Harbor Springs. We had a stiff headwind the last 20 miles but the legs were good and finished strong.

Day #7: Harbor Spring to the Bridge

Today we finished off the Shoreline West tour with the shortest stage. We rode the tunnel of trees into Wilderness State Park to Mackinaw City for a total of 48 miles on some amazing road along the shore of Lake Michigan. We made it!


Big thanks to the amazing tour staff and volunteers who made this week special. We had a blast. Thank you!

We’re so close to reaching our goal of $7,200 for the League of Michigan Bicyclists. We’re just $300 short. Donate a couple of bucks HERE.

Norte Fall Program Registration Now Open

Off the couch. Off the screen. Let’s get outside and ride bikes with friends in this amazing place we call home.

Norte has mucho bike-y happenings for happy, healthy, young people all fall long here in northern Michigan.

Our programs are dedicated to empowering young people to be confident, independent, happy and healthy.

Civic Center-based After School Mountain Bike Program:

  • For elementary, middle and high school students.
  • Learn more and register HERE

School-based After School Bike Más Project:

  • Adventure-based bike safety program for upper elementary and middle school students in partnership with 22 area schools
  • Learn more and register HERE

Civic Center-based Bike Mechanics Classes:

  • A series of bike mechanics classes for the young and young at heart hosted at the Wheelhouse.
  • Learn more and registration HERE

Free happenings:

Get Involved

    check all that apply

Norte Does Shoreline West: Notes From The Road (Part 1)

5 members of our youth leadership council, El Liderato, are riding 360 miles from Montague to the Bridge in support of the League of Michigan Bicyclists’ important work. Here are some notes from the road of our first 3 days of the 2019 Shoreline West tour.

Day #1: Montague to Ludington

We had a rough start as we lost Amelia to a crash early on today. She’s bumped and bruised but okay. The rest of the team rallied and rode strong through Silver Lake Sand Dunes and Pentwater on our way to Ludington.


Day #2: Ludington to Frankfort

Fantastic second day as we rode through Manistee, Onekama, and Arcadia. We tackled a couple of stiff climbs before cruising into Frankfort.


Day #3: Frankfort to Traverse City

We had the home-field advantage today as we rode some very familiar roads from Frankfort to Empire to Glen Arbor to Maple City to home. Couldn’t have asked for a better morning considering the heavy storm last night.


We have a rest day here in TC tomorrow and then it’s back on the road to Charlevoix Thursday. Help us reach our goal of $7,200 for the League of Michigan Bicyclists. We’re just $400 short. Chip in a few bucks HERE.

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 ÷
# 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 Más 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 $5,000 raised

More Girls on Bikes

$2,500 of $5,000 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…

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2019 Elk Rapids Strong Project Fund

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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

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Team Orange Operations

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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,…

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Family Clubhouse Memberships

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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…

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Grand Traverse Region Youth Leadership Council

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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,…

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Grand Traverse Region Safe Routes To School

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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…

$25 of $3,500 raised

Grand Traverse Region Pro Walk/Pro Bike Advocacy

$25 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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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

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 Más 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…

$245 of $3,000 raised

Scholarships for Norte Programs

$245 of $3,000 raised

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

The Solution, bike mechanics class for the young and young at heart= $15

The Bike Más 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: $35.00

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Bikes for The Bike Más Project

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

$100 of $1,600 raised

Bikes for The Bike Más Project

$100 of $1,600 raised

Help us purchase 4 bikes so kids without can still participate in The Bike Más 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 Sábados, 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: