Thank you for a Bountiful 2020 Cranksgiving

Thank you to all who participated in another triumphant Cranksgiving in Northern Michigan. We had over 50 teams from Suttons Bay, Traverse City, and Elk Rapids. We collected 1821 pounds of food in Traverse City and well over 2500 pounds in total. Who says you can’t go shopping on a bicycle? 😉

Thank you to our partner, Food Rescue of Northwest Michigan, and scores of food pantries in Northern Michigan. You helped to not only make this the most successful Cranksgiving yet, but your work also ensures that families across Northern Michigan have food on the table. We’re grateful for you and your work. 

Norte encourages everyone who can to give to your local pantry and Food Rescue this season. The Northwest Food Coalition has an extensive list of pantries and ways to give.

Thank you also to our Cranksgiving sponsor, State Farm agent, Susan Sofferdine Rauser Agency. She even showed up with donuts and cider to keep everyone fueled up.

Want your team photo? The slideshow below runs through the team photos from Traverse City’s Cranksgiving. If you would like a larger file of your team photo, email gary@elgruponorte.org with your team name and the image’s number.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

9&10 News visited the fun at the Wheelhouse and filed this report: Community Members Bike to Donate Food for Norte’s Cranksgiving

 

 

🦃   Happy Thanksgiving   🦃

 

 

Everybody Vs Covid – Let’s Do This!

 

Norte cares about health—your health, the health of kids, the health of communities, and we are doing our part to protect the community. We applaud the heroes among us who:

  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid indoor spaces with others.
  • Wash their hands

It sounds simplistic, and yet, these precautions are critical. Every region that has successfully slowed this coronavirus’s spread has high compliance with these three precautions. These are steps that we all can take, and they work together. The Swiss Cheese model illustrates how these precautions work together and with others to prevent the virus’s spread. Following these precautions is not overreacting. It’s taking steps to protect your health and the health of others.


The creator of the Swiss Cheese illustration above, Ian M. Macay, Ph.D., is sharing versions in multiple languages. Read it in 18 different languages!

We are in the middle of an exponentially-expanding spike in COVID-19 cases across the country, and right here at home in Northern Michigan, too. This week, the alarms went off as health officials try to prepare the public for the rapidly-approaching holidays. They warn against indoor gatherings but know the pull of families, friends, and holiday traditions is strong. Realistically, we know that cases and deaths caused by the pandemic—already at critical levels—will increase due to these gatherings. They are asking us to avoid indoor spaces with others– follow the recommendations limiting groups to 10 people and no more than two households.

As we have all year, Norte continues to offer safe programming for happy, healthy, strong communities. And as we take pandemic precautions, we are also promoting other vital health needs of our community – namely, staying active and staying connected. As we work and learn remotely, limit our time away from home, and reduce our social circles, these foundations of healthy living and a resilient community need our support. Two current events offer both.

  • Norte’s Run Sábados is a weekly walk or run at the Grand Traverse Civic Center. We meet outside the Wheelhouse at 10 am on Saturdays, then split up and hit the track. In this time of greater isolation, weekly eye contact with a friendly face and a few words of encouragement are gifts. The brisk air in your lungs helps, too.
  • This coming Sunday, our annual Cranksgiving is a chance to stay active and give back by helping families and neighbors in need. With the new orders, we are adjusting the event to reduce the possibility of congregating. We will have more info later this week – but get your costumes ready. Cranksgiving is still a go–responsibly.

We know people are tired. I’m even a little tired of people saying we’re tired. However, we have shown what we can do as a community when we flattened the curve last spring. The Norte community stood tall all summer and through the fall, helping us safely run our most successful bike programs. Let’s continue to be leaders together and recognize our shared responsibility. Norte has your back.

Stay safe, healthy, and active – responsibly.

 

– Gary, Advocacy Director

 

For the latest on Michigan’s coronavirus fight,

please visit michigan.gov/coronavirus

Elk Rapids Update: Cranksgiving is Coming, Folks! 🌽

Cranksgiving Comes To Elk Rapids

The leaves are falling. The sun is shining. Yet, there’s a briskness in the air to remind us that winter is approaching. With that comes the reminder that we need to bundle up, put our hats on, and find ways to get outside even when the weather starts to turn.

I remind you to keep pushing yourself to find ways to get outside and enjoy all the seasons of Northern Michigan. And, remember, Norte is here to help.

This November, you can do your body right and help others. Norte’s annual Cranksgiving bike ride and food drive is on November 22. There are opportunities in Traverse City, Suttons Bay, and, this year, our very own Cranksgiving in Elk Rapids – our first year! Thankfully, we have the Chain Hub at Rotary Park to use our starting point because of many of you – thank you.

Cranksgiving is a national event that is a “food drive on two wheels. Part bike ride, part food drive, and part scavenger hunt. All you need is a bike, a bag, and a lock!” This year we add a mask, but the fun stays the same.

Are you ready to ride bikes, give back, and do good? You can register your team at Norte’s website. If you have any questions or are looking for some costume ideas, shoot me a reply.

I also wanted to shout out to all our coaches and volunteers who helped make our Mountain Bike Team at Maplehurst and Glacial Hills such a huge success. We had full registration at these locations and received so many positive survey results.

So, thank you, coaches. Thank you, volunteers.  We love you and can’t wait to ride bikes in the Spring.

– Lauren + Team Orange

 


Whether it’s having a role on the Project Team, or volunteering once in a while, or just staying up to date and coming out for a slow ride, get more involved by completing this form:

 

Cranksgiving: Food and Fun on Two Wheels

Our Cranksgiving Presser:

Norte invites Northern Michigan residents to form a team and sign up for this year’s Cranksgiving. The event combines a fun bicycle ride – costumes encouraged – with food collection to benefit local families. The annual event started in New York City in 1999 and launched in Northern Michigan in 2018.

This year’s Northern Michigan Cranksgiving begins at 11 am on Saturday, November 22. This year at three locations: Traverse City, Elk Rapids, and Suttons Bay.  

Cranksgiving riders will need a bicycle, a lock, a mask, and a minimum of $25 to purchase groceries and household items from participating Northern Michigan businesses. To collect all of the items on the shopping list, it helps to ride as a team, but solo riders are welcome. Registration for Norte’s 2020 Cranksgiving is free and currently open at the organization’s website, elgruponorte.org/cranksgiving.

“I love Cranksgiving. It’s a blast to see families and teams come out in the cold to have some fun, get a little ride in, and to do some good,” said Ty Schmidt, Norte Executive Director. “We have two categories, one for folks who want to ride 5-6 miles and another for a more leisurely 2-3 miles. Cranksgiving is a family event intended for people of all ages.”

This year, Norte is hosting Cranksgiving events in multiple locations in Northern Michigan. Currently, Elk Rapids, Suttons Bay, and Traverse City will simultaneously host events. However, Norte is interested in collaborating with other communities to hold Cranksgiving drives as well. “If your community is interested, let us know, and we can help you make it happen,” said Schmidt.

All Cranksgiving events will begin at 11 am, with check-in spread out from then until noon to allow for social distancing. At check-in, teams will be giving a shopping list and further instructions. When groups finish, they return the items to the starting spot. Norte will work with Food Rescue and area pantries to deliver the goods to families in need in the region. The ride should take around two hours.

To help keep everyone healthy and help stop the spread of COVID-19, Norte asks that all riders stay home if they have any symptoms before the event. Teams are required to wear a mask and maintain social distance. Although this is not a race, teams receive bonus points for posting to social media pictures of their team washing their hands.

Food Rescue will distribute items collected by the riders to the Northwest Food Coalition’s food pantries in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, and Leelanau counties. “I look forward to spending the day with friends to have fun and do good. But Cranksgiving is something more, too,” said Taylor Moore, Food Rescue Manager for Goodwill Northern Michigan.

“Cranksgiving gives me the opportunity to think about why we need to have this event: because every year so many people struggle to buy their Thanksgiving meal,” Moore continued. “The Norte community knows better than most the power of collective action. Just as we can envision new trails and roads where vehicles take more notice, we can envision kids riding their bikes to school with stomachs full of nutritious food. This Cranksgiving, I’ll be envisioning new reasons to bike, and a Thanksgiving free of COVID and hunger.”

This year’s Northern Michigan Cranksgiving is presented by Norte Business Champion, State Farm Agent Susan Rauser. More information on Cranksgiving can be found online: https://elgruponorte.org/cranksgiving/

Norte’s Volunteer Awards for 2020 – Whoop!

Our fabulous 2020 volunteer award recipients: from left to right, Yarro Ireland, Charlie Pryde, Jason Plum, and Lisa Molmen. (Not shown, Sami Maldonado and Shea O’Brien).

None of Norte’s work is possible without hundreds of wonderful people who donate their time, energy, and financial resources to support happy, healthy, strong communities and active-for-life kids. This past weekend we honored this year’s volunteers who went above and beyond to help Norte pull through this crazy year. Thank you, Lisa, Jason, Sami, Shea, Yarro, and Charlie.

We’re overflowing with gratitude for all our wonderful volunteers – thank you.

2020 VOLUNTEER of the YEAR AWARD RECIPIENTS 


The Paul Deyo Service Award is given to a volunteer who has gone above and beyond. His/Her contributions support Norte’s mission of encouraging happy, healthy, strong kids in the Grand Traverse Region.

 The 2020 Paul Deyo Service Award goes to Lisa Molmen.


The Leadership Award recognizes those who have helped Norte establish, improve, or grow a service. They may have also built a team or established connections within Team Orange. The leadership award goes to those who aspire to create change and inspire others to roll along with them. Jason Plum

The 2020 Leadership Award goes to Jason Plum.


The Youth Award recognizes volunteers that have played a crucial role in Norte’s youth leadership efforts. This award is given to an individual 18 years or younger who has positively impacted lives in the Grand Traverse region.

The 2020 YouthAward goes to Sami Maldonado.


The Advocacy Award category recognizes substantial efforts to influence public outreach and advocacy. These individuals keep the ultimate goal in mind and steer efforts accordingly. 

The 2020 Advocacy Award goes to Shea O’Brien.


The Golden Wrench Award  recognizes a volunteer who has gone above and beyond to help maintain our sweet fleet of Norte bikes. This volunteer has been committed to providing the Grand Traverse Region with safe, easy to ride bikes that won’t disappoint.

The 2020 Golden Wrench Award goes to Yarro Ireland.


The Community Captain recognizes an individual who has given time to making their own community a part of Norte’s grander vision – to make the Grand Traverse Region a safe, happy and healthy place to live. 

The 2020 Community Captain award goes to Charlie Pryde


Are you energized to work with happy, healthy, ready-to-learn kids and/or make your community a stronger, better connected, more walk/bike-friendly place to live? We want to hear from you. Volunteer with Norte.

Access. Connection. Health: A 2020 Bright Spot in a Northern Michigan Neighborhood

In 2018, Norte, along with many citizen advocates, pushed hard for more sidewalks in Traverse City’s Traverse Heights neighborhood – a historically underserved area. This effort was a continuation of years of work by multiple organizations, City staff, elected officials, and citizens from across the community. I hear Bob Otwell was doing the math and groundwork for increased sidewalk spending in the late ’90s when he served on the City’s Planning Commission. Thanks, Bob!

Today, we’re full of gratitude for all that work. And we can’t give enough thanks to the City of Traverse City for investing $4.5 million to build 9.2 miles of new sidewalk.  This sense of urgency and commitment speaks volumes about what we value as a community.

With the first year of that investment complete, we already see an incredible improvement in access, connection, and safety—a 2020 bright spot for sure. These new sidewalks support active living, social cohesion, and health.

Thank you to those awesome people who spoke up for a better Traverse Heights and more complete neighborhoods across the city.

And thank you, the City of Traverse City. Let’s keep it up!

Are you interested in making your neighborhood more walkable and more bikeable?

We’re here to help.

 

The Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation + Active-For-Life Kids: 3 Years of Growth and Impact in 3 Graphs

In 2017, five individuals helped the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation put Team Orange on rocket fuel with a three year investment.

The growth and impact from that partnership – seen here in three simple graphs – has been incredible.

#1 KIDS IMPACTED

#2 BUDGET

#3 DONORS

 

What’s next for Norte? 

This pandemic has provided a once in a century opportunity to bring enduring change to this amazing place we call home. Our multi-year ambitious strategic plan, the Big Orange Promise, to help transform the culture of health in the Grand Traverse region.

The goal is to help develop more – 8000ish more! –  independent, happy, confident, active for life kids who are empowered, move more, sit less, and be guardians of their health. 

Fueled by stubborn optimism, we’re 100% committed to using our talents to do good every day and benefit the lives of those we’re committed to serving; our kids.

We’re pressing on for them. Full gas. 

On behalf of thousands of these kids and families, thank you, Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation.


 

Read our Annual Report online or download a PDF version below.

Download “Norte's 2019 Annual Report” NorteAnnualReport2020-final.pdf – Downloaded 220 times – 25 MB

 

 

VIDEO: Northern Michigan Walks To School Day

We love this video by our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan from last year.

Northern Michigan Walks to School Day is a community-wide, multi-school celebration. It’s a day for taking bold, strong steps to get to school and is part of the National Walk To School Day. This year, Northern Michigan Walks to School Day is next Wednesday, October 7.

Last year, over 1100 students from across Northern Michigan walked to school on the annual event. 2020 is throwing us a few curveballs, but we still believe that walking to school deserves a celebration. This year, we invite you to participate anyway possible. If you are attending school virtually, you can still count by including a walk as part of your school day. If you’re going to school, we invite you to organize your own class or a small pod to meet up and walk to school. Park and Strolls totally count. And, as always, if you’re taking the school bus, that stroll to the bus stop counts as well.

This year we will once again award The Most Walk-tastic to the school that shines the brightest. The 2019 recipient was Northport Public School. The award goes to the school with the most students walking on Walk to School Day.

Help Your School be The Most Walk-tastic

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Northern Michigan Walk to School Day is made possible with generous support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of MichiganTBA Credit Union, and Traverse City Track Club. In addition to the 1000’s of students, over two dozen schools across Northern Michigan participated in the 2019 event. There is no age requirement. Everyone from pre k to 12th grade, including teachers, staff, and principals are welcome to join the walk.

 

 

The Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library Opens Branch in Elk Rapids

In partnership with Bayfront Beach and Bike and McLain Cycles, we’re thrilled to expand our bike library to Elk Rapids to provide a much-needed community service that provides access to physical activity and transportation.

The Elk Rapids Kids’ Bike Library aims to keep awesome, elementary-aged students pedaling by making sure their bike always fits, no matter their family’s resources. Young people are able to borrow a bike for as long as it fits them. Once they outgrow the bike, they return it to Norte in exchange for the next size up. For free.

Norte believes that bicycles change lives and this new Bike Library will empower the young of Antrim County to ride more, venture further and embrace a happy, healthy lifestyle.

“Thanks to Bayfront Beach and Bike and McLain’s Cycles, families in Antrim County now have access to awesome bikes that they can use year after year. It is so important to get kids on bikes that fit them well, are comfortable and are functioning at their best to encourage them to ride more,” shared Lauren Dake, Norte’s Antrim County coordinator.

“We are excited to work with Norte to get access to quality bikes for all ages. We are happy to help Norte in whatever way we can to encourage more happy, active kids,” said Shaun Quinn, owner of Bayside.

“We are grateful to have a new relationship with Elk Rapids to get a Norte Bike Library off the ground. The more kids on bikes, the better,” said Kris McLain, owner of Mclain Cycles.

Sizes (check HERE for bikes currently available):

  • 12 inch (ideal for 3-4 year olds)
  • 16 inch (ideal for 4-5  year olds)
  • 20 inch (ideal for 5-6 year olds)
  • 24 inch (ideal for 6-10 year olds)

We also have some balance bikes to share during the summer for a small fee.

In return, we simply ask that the kids promise to:
  1. take good care of the bike
  2. ride the bike as much as possible
  3. be a positive Norte ambassador

Here’s how it works:

Help keep the Elk Rapids Kids Bike Library free. 100% of donations go to support operations including helping pay for supplies to maintain the bikes.

 


Norte | Happy. Healthy. Strong.

Norte is the Grand Traverse Region’s active transportation-centered, youth-focused, neighborhood-based 501c3 advocacy organization.

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

Higher Grounds’ Coast Coffee to Again Benefit Kids On Bikes in the Grand Traverse Region

We are thrilled that our friends at Higher Grounds have brought back their delicious summer blend, Coast, to once again benefit more kids on bikes in the Grand Traverse region.

A smooth medium roast with a milk chocolate, brown sugar, and white peach profile, Coast is going to be your new fave coffee. Promise.

We believe that kids 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, community to do the same is a powerful means to sustainable well-living and healthfulness.

Independent, happy, confident, ready to learn youth are empowered to be guardians of their health, develop lifelong habits to move more and sit less and be leaders in their neighborhood.

Funds generated by Coast sales will help this vision happen.

Coast can be purchased online HERE.

 

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The Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library, 1,000,000 Cans + You

THANKS TO MANY, MANY AWESOME PEOPLE, WE SMASHED THE “MOST RETURNABLES PICKED UP BY BICYCLE IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN EVER” RECORD WITH AT LEAST 1,000,000 RETURNABLES 😉

Now it’s time to return them and we need your help reach our goal to fully fund our Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library for 2020, a total cost of $6,200.

This innovative Bike Library aims to keep awesome, elementary-aged students pedaling by making sure their bike always fits, no matter their family’s resources.

Thanks to our many supporters, young people are able to borrow a bike for as long as it fits them. Once they outgrow the bike, they return it to Norte at the Civic Center in exchange for the next size up. For FREE!

HOW THE GREAT TRAVERSE CITY CAN RETURN WORKS:

  1. Commit to returning at least 200ish cans (there’s a limit of 250 per trip) for Norte by completing the form below.
  2. Whenever is convenient for you between June 11 and June 22, swing by to pick a few bags out of the trailers parked by the Clubhouse.
  3. Whenever is convenient for you, return the cans and bottles.
  4. Whenever is convenient for you, bring the $$$ to the Clubhouse, we’re open 12-6pm weekdays.
  5. 100% of proceeds to benefit our Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library which gets awesome bikes to awesome kids no matter their family’s resources. THANK YOU!

COMMIT TO RETURNING 200ISH CANS FOR MORE KIDS ON BIKES!

 

NOT DOWN WITH SLINGING CANS BUT WANT TO HELP THE BIKE LIBRARY?

$485 of $6,200 raised
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Donation Total: $25.00

 

 

THANK YOU, BIKE LIBRARY AND CAN RETURN SPONSORS!


STAY HEALTHY, STAY SAFE

 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes and high-fives with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

 

Visit the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus for the latest statewide updates.

Making the Grand Traverse County Civic Center Better: Youth Voices Needed

We love calling the Grand Traverse County Civic Center home and being part of this amazing community in arguably the region’s finest park.

The County is currently developing a master site plan for the Civic Center so the park can continue to serve generations to come in the best possible way. They want to hear from our region’s youth about what they would like to see at their Civic Center Park in the future.

If your child is 17 years old or under, please help them take this very important survey HERE. Giving some love for improved access and connection so kids can walk, bike or roll to the park more safely would be rad, of course. So would supporting a new traffic garden and pump track 😉

The survey will be live until June 18th.

 

Norte is pressing on. Full gas. Are you in?

This pandemic has fully tested Norte’s bedrock principles: gritty optimism, collaboration, and creativity.

Though our traditional program rhythms have been disrupted—which has had sincere impacts on our revenue model—we have evolved in innovative ways to continue to reach families across the Grand Traverse region.

Instead of taking a break or hibernating until “this is all over,” Norte is doubling down on our important work of active living, access, connection, and equity.

We’re pressing on. Full gas.

Can we count on you today for a gift of $25 to invest in our community’s happy, healthy, strong future? 

Norte’s vision of ‘happy, healthy, strong’ is more important than ever. Although we always knew that walking, biking and safe routes to get people of all ages and abilities to the places they need to go was always essential, the pandemic is shining a light on it for the world to see.

Thank you for considering a gift of $25 and helping Norte remain vibrant.

With health and hope,

Ty and Team Orange


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Donation Total: $25.00 One Time

On Balance Bikes, Libraries, Previously Loved Bicycles, Summer Camps and Pandemics in the Grand Traverse Region

One silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic is that we have seen a huge demand for the humble bicycle. Bikes have been a surprise superstar of the lockdown, for sure.

In response, we are working hard to get bikes of all sizes in the hands (legs?!) of all ages, abilities, and budgets in the Grand Traverse region. For health, for transportation, for fun and for inspiration.

From used bikes for sale to balance bikes to borrow to donating bikes to getting on the summer camp wait list, we get a lot of questions, emails, texts, and phone calls every day so we thought we’d share 13 of our FAQs here:

  1. To look at bikes for sale from home
  2. To sell a bike by consignment
  3. Want to donate a bike? First please text us a photo with description to 231-883-2404
  4. Want to look at a bike for sale? Make an appointment here.
  5. Dropping off a bike? Make an appointment here.
  6. Picking up a bike? Make an appointment here.
  7. How do I pay for a bike? Gracias!
  8. Rent a balance bike for the summer? Si. So fun!
  9. How do I pay for a balance bike rental?  Gracias!
  10. Interested in borrowing a bike from our Grand Traverse Regional Kids’ Bike Library?
  11. Is Traverse City’s summer bike camp happening in 2020? Sure is.
  12. Want to get on the Traverse City summer camp wait list?  We’re happy to have you.
  13. Want to support Norte’s great work with a contribution? Gracias.

Keep riding strong and smiling big. Outside still not canceled!

Other questions? Email us or call 231-883-2404

COVID-19 Pandemic Considerations

We want everyone to stay healthy and to stay active – responsibly. The health and safety of Norte’s employees, volunteers, and community are a priority. We are using all reasonable measures to prepare for and mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission to our employees, volunteers, and community while continuously delivering services to our community.

Norte has instituted enhanced cleaning protocols, and we are practicing safe social distancing for any in-person contact and are avoiding it when possible. We’re also wearing masks and washing our hands a lot. Best practices have been communicated to employees for protecting their health, and we are integrating those practices into our programs and communications.

Prior to visiting the Norte Wheelhouse,  please fill out a health assessment.  If we need to make other arrangments due to the showing of symptoms, we can do that. All Virtual Yard Sale exchanges will be a contact-free and the number of people allowed inside at any one time limited. If possible, all exchanges will take place outside. 

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 encourage everyone to follow the best prevention measures for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace a high-five with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

 

Who’s Ready for Northern Michigan Bike Month?

 

In times like these, the humble bicycle — a staple of the streets — proves itself as one of the most efficient, convenient, equitable, and safe ways to navigate our communities. Resiliency is built into its history. Once forgotten bicycles are being brought out of garages, cobwebs are being swept away, chains are being oiled, and helmets are being dusted off. Bike purchases are at an all-time high.

As states and cities are considering which businesses are essential, most are finding, either initially or eventually, that bicycles also fall decidedly into that category. Not everyone has the luxury of working from home — and not everyone has access to a car or public transit. Here are a few ways bicycles are meeting the needs of the community.

  • Bicycles are essential for many to source food, groceries, or other goods.
  • Bicycles are essential for workers who need a more active or cost-effective mode of transportation.
  • Bicycles are essential to connect friends and family.

As we adapt to the ever-changing needs of our community, let’s keep looking for ways to bring equity into the conversation and recognize the humble bicycle as an essential tool.

To that end, a very modified Northern Michigan Bike Month is a go. Its goal this year, as it is every year, is to build awareness for the growing presence of people of all ages and abilities on bicycles here in this fantastic place we call home.

THE 2020 NORTHERN MICHIGAN BIKE MONTH CALENDAR:

OTHER NORTE OFFERINGS DURING COVID:

OUTSIDE REMAINS 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 everyday 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. 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. 

When you do have to leave home, please follow these preventive measures for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold recommended by public health officials.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes and high-fives with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

Norte continues to respond to the COVID-19 threat by implementing protective safety measures according to the latest from U.S. Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, and Grand Traverse County Health Department. We are proud to lend our voice to help build awareness of COVID-19 and best practices to curb the spread of the virus. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly.

We encourage everyone to follow the State’s COVID19 Website and Grand Traverse County COVID19 for continued updates to all CDC recommendations and information. 

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.

From School-Based To Neighborhood-Based: We’re Keeping It Rolling

With COVID-19 canceling our school-based, in-person spring programs, we’re excited to offer our programs virtually to families in the Grand Traverse region.

Our three school-based programs, The Bike Más Project, Estrellas and Mountain Bike, teach confidence, independence, active living and bike safety skills to all kids of all ages, preschoolers to high school seniors. Our virtual programs will allow kids to learn new skills and increase their physical activity while being safe in their neighborhood.

Join lots of other kids from across the 5 county area here in Northwestern Michigan to ride bikes and learn new skills together, but separately. All abilities and experience levels welcome. Thanks to generous support from our donors, these programs are offered free of charge to families.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN:

OTHER NORTE OFFERINGS DURING COVID:

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 everyday 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, focusing on timely Facebook shout outs, friendly text messages, and calls, virtual meet-ups, 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. With that in mind, we will be adding activities to the list below to help keep us busy. 


Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly.  We’ll get through this together.  We encourage everyone to follow the State’s COVID19 Website and Grand Traverse County COVID19 for continued updates to all CDC recommendations and information. 

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.

When you do have to leave home, please follow these preventive measures for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold recommended by public health officials.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes and high-fives with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

Visit the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus for the latest statewide updates.

Let’s Keep It Rolling: Happy, Healthy, Strong Families and Your New Favorite Shirt

 

Awesome news, our friends at Tee See Tee have just released your new favorite t-shirt!

Proceeds will benefit our work of empowering kids – and those who love them – to be active for life here in the Grand Traverse region.

Adult and youth sizes are now available for order HERE.

Norte Programs Go Virtual

With COVID-19 canceling our school-based, in-person spring programs, we’re excited to offer our programs virtually to families in the Grand Traverse region.

Our three school-based programs, The Bike Más Project, Estrellas and Mountain Bike, teach confidence, independence, active living and bike safety skills to all kids of all ages, preschoolers to high school seniors. Our virtual programs will allow kids to learn new skills and increase their physical activity while being safe in their neighborhood.

Join lots of other kids from across the 5 county area here in Northwestern Michigan to ride bikes and learn new skills together, but separately. All abilities and experience levels welcome. Thanks to generous support from our donors, these programs are offered free of charge to families.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN:

OTHER NORTE OFFERINGS DURING COVID:

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 everyday 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, focusing on timely Facebook shout outs, friendly text messages, and calls, virtual meet-ups, 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. With that in mind, we will be adding activities to the list below to help keep us busy. 


Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly.  We’ll get through this together.  We encourage everyone to follow the State’s COVID19 Website and Grand Traverse County COVID19 for continued updates to all CDC recommendations and information. 

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.

When you do have to leave home, please follow these preventive measures for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold recommended by public health officials.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes and high-fives with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

Visit the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus for the latest statewide updates.

Bicycle Grand Traverse: Essential Transportation For People in the Grand Traverse Region

Bicycle Grand Traverse is a community campaign to connect people with quality used bikes to people in need of reliable, economical, and independent transportation.

HOW IT WORKS

  1. Have a quality, functioning adult bike to donate?  DONATE A BIKE.
  2. Need a bike to get you to the places you need to go to? REQUEST A BIKE.
  3. Have the skill, space, and tools to work on the occasional bike donation to make sure it’s safe? HELP TUNE-UP BIKES and volunteer to work on bikes in your home shop.

At this time, you must live in Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau counties to donate, request, or volunteer.

Questions? Let us know hello@elgruponorte.org


Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Active, Responsibly.

When you do have to leave home, please follow these preventive measures for viruses like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold recommended by public health officials. 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least six feet away from others when in a public setting.
  • Replace handshakes and high-fives with a friendly wave from 6 feet away.

Visit the Michigan.gov/Coronavirus for the latest statewide updates.

 

Raising My Words: I Advocate

 

For better or worse, I’m pretty soft-spoken. If only I had a nickel every time someone’s first response to me was, “Come again?” Or, my favorite since becoming a teacher, “Use your teacher voice, Kaischa.”

The irony is, when I use my “teacher voice” in my classroom, I don’t generally raise my voice. Instead, I have a small microphone, almost endlessly strapped around my neck. I like it because it allows me to project without shouting, yelling, or screeching. In essence, I keep the peace and raise my words.

Over the last year, I’ve been inspired to raise my words more outside of school, in my community of Traverse City. The inspiration? Being hit at 35 mph while using the Grandview Parkway crosswalk near Elmwood Avenue. The crash devastated my body, which required extensive treatment and a year of physical therapy to recover. It did not, however, devastate my spirit.

I’ve come to the profound realization that living is not anything to take for granted. Moreover, my existence, my message, have meaning and power beyond what I used to recognize. Driven by that gratitude and a desire for positive social impact, I’ve found an avenue to share my voice with Norte’s advocacy efforts. I share their passion for happy, healthy, strong communities and fully support the effort of safe, accessible, and connected places to walk and bike.

Last year, Norte helped me tell my story. I spoke with reporters, AM talk show hosts, and met with transportation officials. Since then, the Michigan Department of Transportation has improved what I affectionately call “my crosswalk” with signals that stop traffic for people crossing the street. I’m thankful for that improvement, yet at the same time recognize we need growing effort and investment that prioritizes safety across the community as standard.

My question to you is: How are you using your voice? How do you raise your words? In Norte, I’ve found a community where my voice is respected, valued and part of something larger than myself. Transformation happens when voices join, and I invite you to be part of a healthy, happy, strong transformation.

—-

Kaischa Smith is a teacher at Willow Hill Elementary and currently sits on Norte’s Pro Walk/Pro Bike/Pro Place Committee. She told this story in Norte’s first-ever Annual Report.

Read the 2019 report online or download a PDF version below.

 


Download “Norte's 2019 Annual Report” NorteAnnualReport2020-final.pdf – Downloaded 220 times – 25 MB