Estrellas: School Info

Skip the training wheels and learn to ride on a balance bike.

The Estrellas program consists of four 30 minute sessions once per week for 4 weeks. Each session involves riding the“road” as a class in the gym with activities becoming progressively more and more challenging week to week so that skills continue to improve. Preschoolers can go from not being able to balance to feeling the success of scooting along with classmates in just one month!

Balance bikes teach both coordination and neuro-muscular control that is paramount to safe, confident, independent bicycle riding. Mastering the gross motor skills needed to balance bike also:

  • facilitates academic learning by improving concentration
  • improves development of fine motor skills used in handwriting and drawing
  • wakes up the brain so that kids are ready to learn when they return to the classroom

Students balance biking in school are also encouraged to practice skills like these, as observed by one pre-school teacher:

  • RESPECT for other riders and their space
  • KINDNESS for those who have fallen or need help
  • PRIDE in accomplishing something we never thought we could do
  • FLEXIBILITY when the bike and helmet we used last week isn’t available
  • TEAMWORK by earning “points” for our class
  • PATIENCE by waiting for everyone to get fitted for a bike and helmet
  • RESPONSIBILITY when it’s time to stop and put the bikes away
  • DETERMINATION and GRIT when we fall and it hurts a little but we get up and try again…

What Norte provides:

  • 20 balance bikes
  • 20 little helmets
  • Cones to set up the “road” course
  • 1 trained instructor
  • Pre-program information, survey and release form
  • Portable speaker for music. Balance bikes are best with latin music!
  • Free year membership to the Norte Clubhouse, Traverse City’s community bike shop, for all Estrellas graduates
  • If desired by the teacher, one in-class bike safety presentation

What the school provides:

  • Access to the entire gym
  • A place to store bikes and helmets near the gym so we don’t have to haul them in/out each time
  • A contact person at the school
  • Assistance with sharing program information and surveys with preschool families

The program runs once a week for 4 weeks, and each session is 30 minutes. Typically, one session = one classroom, however, we can only accommodate 20 children in each session. We need the gym blocked 15 minutes before the first session for setup and 15 minutes after the last session for tear down.


$300 for the 4 week program

  • School pays 1/3 of the program cost ($100); Norte covers 2/3 cost ($200).
  • Payment is due at the end of the program.
  • Scholarships available to schools as needed; contact Ben Boyce at

Polar vortex policy: (updated Feb. 2019) if school is cancelled for inclement weather, Norte will attempt to make-up the missed day so that each school can complete 4 classes.  This may mean trying to schedule make-up days on other days of the week, or extending the program by additional weeks if the larger schedule allows that. We ask that the school remain flexible to the best of their ability as we and our instructors do the same. Norte will not invoice the school for missed days due to weather.


Scheduling now open for the 2019-20 school year HERE.

Learn more about the program HERE.

Learn more about our helmet policy HERE.

Email Ben Boyce at with questions.