Norte Varsity Team Updates


The time to sign up for this fall’s Northern Michigan’s Youth Mountain Bike Varisty Team is today — this very second! 

  *** New this season***

Races and pre-rides (many thanks to Mr. Black)

  • Peak2Peak Saturday, October, 23. *Pre-ride 10/16 or 10/17. RSVP preference 231-883-5570. Car-pool leave TC no later than 9 am.
  • MMBA XC Finals at Ft. Custer, Sunday, October 17 (maybe? I’m working on confirmation) 

So much info on these sites:

Best of luck to our MISCA racers representing Norte this fall, Grady E. and Drew C. Again, so proud of their hard work! 

Also, Adventurama! 9/11. Get your team together — have a blast on bikes! 

Thanks for your time.

I’d appreciate any input and feedback to make this season the best yet. 

Best regards,

Sally Black


Here’s what’s next on the radar for Norte Varsity:
And, please review and fill out this google spreadsheet if are curious who else is racing or if you want to carpool: Norte Varisty Team Race Tally
Lastly, who’s in for Patrick’s Heavy Ride on Saturday, July 31? Ty has training rides every Saturday at 7 am from Darrow park. 80 miles from Charlevoix is right up Varsity’s alley.
With spring practices ending this week, how can we keep the team engaged over the summer? Please share any ideas.
We appreciate you!
Sally Black


  1. If you’re signed up for the spring program at Timber, that will begin 5/4. Look for updates on that from Ben soon.
  2. The Varsity tryout window is now open through 4/30. Know someone who should give it a try? Send them to
  3. The following shops provide shop discounts to Varsity riders (not their families and friends) for the 2021 calendar year:
    • Brick Wheels:  20% off cycling accessories, clothing, and parts
    • The Cyclery: 15% off cycling accessories, clothing for Varsity riders, 10% off bike service labor & parts for Varsity riders, $2 off 1/2 day or full-day bike rentals for direct family members of the Varsity riders
    • Einstein Cycles: 10% off store-wide at EC and 10% off BBCo.
    • Mission Cycles: Cost Plus 5% Storewide (Excluding Service/Labor), 50% off Labor/Service, and special pricing on Niner Bikes, Derosa Road Bikes, Stans No-Tubes Wheels
    • Suttons Bay Bikes: Cost + 10% on bikes, parts, clothing, and accessories.
  4. Have stuff to sell? Norte yardsale is May 2.
  5. We’re working on a list of local races to target. Did we miss anything?
  6. Question #1: Should we have a presence at MiSCA races this fall?
  7. Question #2: Would you be interested in going to Mountain Bike Nationals in Colorado this July?
    1. From Gwen
      1. “These are the UCI sources to use:

        And this one shows the schedule. Since we are highschool we would be the last two pages:

        And it is July 12-14th and would be amazing. I don’t know whether we would race D1 or D2 and Varsity or JV but I think it will be awesome either way.”

Let Varsity team Manager, Sally Black, know about MISCA and Nationals, please.


Hi all!

I hope you’ve been keeping up your fitness for that Iceman ride with Alexey. It has been hard at my house with rainy weather and no scheduled practice.

So we have an opportunity for you!

This Saturday 10/31, 2pm
Peak2Peak ride with friends.
Crystal Mtn- outside main lodge area
Each loop is about 12 miles.
Text me if you’re coming so we make sure to meet up. Sally @ 883-5570.

Next Saturday 11/7, 10am
Iceman ONB w/ Pro-rider Alexey Vermeulen and swag after.
Start/Finish VASA main trailhead off of Bunker Hill Rd.

You all will decide the distance.
Think pro-tips and photo ops!
Not just an opportunity but an honor!

Next Sunday 11/8
Cyclocross at Mt. Holiday
You can use your mountain bike!

Each lap is usually about 10 minutes long. You ride as many laps as you can in the given time. It’s really fun and you should definitely do it! Gwen, Alex and Grady all did it two weeks ago.

Congratulations to Drew Cummins on his first place at the Michigan Mountain Bike State Championships! He’s worked very hard for that win and we couldn’t be more proud of him!

As we gather at these events, let’s remember to mask and distance and help remind each other,  because it just doesn’t come natural!

Keep in touch team, be well!
Sally Black



  1. Thanks to those Varsity Team members who helped out today at Take A Girl Mountain Biking Day. Very cool. Thank you.
  2. Good luck to Drew and Grady E who are racing at the MiSCA race in Milford tomorrow! And thank you to Sally for coordinating all things MiSCA for us.
  3. We’d love Varsity to show up at our weekly Domingos rides on Sundays. Only 3 left. Tomorrow is at the Commons then Palmer 10/11 then Maplehurst 10/18. All rides start at noon. It’s nice for the young kids to have some cool big kids to look up to.
  4. Cody has organized a Varsity-only ride with Alexey (Michigan boy who won Iceman last year) on Iceman Saturday 11/7. Out (or half out – y’all can decide what you want to do) and back from Bunker. 10am. Boys and girls. No drop. Lots of swag.
  5. New cyclocross race 10/18 at 45 North. Mountain bikes allowed. Details HERE
  6. Michigan Mountain Bike Championships at Big M 10/24. Details HERE.
  7. Big thanks to the Haap family for hosting a fun gathering last week!
  8. Still lots of volunteer (for Liderato, NHS etc) opportunities here:
  9. Updated Varsity roster HERE should anyone need to get a hold of someone. Again, if your number is blank, please add.

~ Ty



  1. Welcome to Varsity, Kai Reimers, Ella Brisbois, Amelia Werner, Mazzy Johnson and Paisley Suba. Awesome job on the SOL tryout course.
  2. If you’re signed up for the fall program, practice starts Tuesday at Timber Ridge and will be led by Coach Heath and Coach Mary. We’ll have two squads this year.
  3. Varsity jerseys are at the Clubhouse. Free for fall program participants and cost for others. Remember, they’re your ticket to shop discounts if you’re interested in those.
  4. If you’re looking for volunteer hours (Liderato, NHS etc), we’d love help with the younger kids at Farm Team practice if you’re available. Sign up via the link here:
  5. There are a few teammates doing the MISCA races. If interested, contact Sally Black.
  6. Gwen and Wunger rep’d Norte at the Hickory Hills Advisory Committee meeting last week. New MTB trails there are on the horizon and it’s important we’re at the table. Thank you, Gwen and Wunger! More soon.
  7. Haap’s invitational is Sunday 9/27 at 11am. @ him for deets.
  8. Updated Varsity roster HERE should anyone need to get a hold of someone. If your number is blank, please add.


1. Gwen’s house was severely damaged by a fire and she lost a bunch of stuff. If you’re able to contribute to her gofundme, please do.
2. Our fall Varsity program will start on 9/15 and registration is open. Practices are Tuesday-Thursday 4:15-6:15 at Timber Ridge. Coach Heath will lead and I’m working on some women coaches and special guest riders as well. Sign up here:
3. MiSCA remains confident their fall season will happen. Read their latest update here. There’s a few team members interested in going to these races including Charlie and Drew. Sally Black is going to be our point person on this. Her email is
4. Big propers to Varsity team members, Drew, Gwen, Sage and Bordy for crushing the Heavy Ride this past weekend. Wilderness State Park camping was rad. Let’s all do it next year OK?
5. Haap is organizing a cool Sunday morning race thing on the Vasa starting this weekend. DM him for details.
6. With Iceman cancelled, is there an opportunity for some kind of grassroots, no-frills race late October? Norte might have 40+ volunteers from a local bank ready to help. Ideas?
7. And last but not least, welcome to Varsity, Grady Ellis! Grady crushed the SOL tryout course last week with a smoking time of 46′ and change.


Here’s a quick update:
1. Our fall program will start on time the week of 9/14. We’re open to how Varsity practice could/should look including new venues to meet. Email ideas to
2. I’m less optimistic about any local races happening however the director of MiSCA remains confident their fall season will happen. Read their latest update here. There’s a few team members interested in going to these races including Charlie and Drew. Sally Black is going to be our point person on this. Her email is
3. Drew is in for the TC to Wilderness Heavy Ride and Brody, Sage and Heath are in for the Charlevoix version on 8/15/20. Anyone want to join them. Details here:
4. Sami is leaving soon. Not sure what kind of going away celebration is in order but something is. Someone wanna head that up?
5. I’m curious how the bike shops who are supporting Varsity (Suttons Bay Bikes, Einstein, Brick) are honoring their discount commitment. Let me know.


Happy summer, team.
With school sports cleared to start practice tomorrow, I’d like to get Varsity together 2-3x/week in groups of 10 or less following the attached rules.
Coaches will be meeting this week and we’ll let you know the plan soon.
PS. If you have 30 minutes this week we could REALLY use some help returning cans. Please and thank you. Info here:


  1. Jerseys are in. Order here:
  2. D. Cummins, Kushman, Day, Schmidt and Bozung all went under 48 minutes for the boys on the tryout course (welcome to Varsity, Remy and welcome back, Carter)
  3. Schwartz had a HUGE couple of back-to-back days for Coach Bunger’s challenge and came darn close to completing it. Well done, Alex. Attaboys, to Happ and Wunger for some solid efforts too. Let’s go, team! 5 days left.
  4. Our 5-week virtual mountain program started today featuring drills practice and structured workouts. For free. Opt for the advanced program. Sign up here:
  5. Got a couple of hours? We need help picking up cans by bicycle this and next week. Sign up here please:



  1. Coach Bunger has organized a super fun challenge that starts TOMORROW. More details and scorecard download below.
  2. Varsity jerseys still aren’t in. Delayed by COVID. We’ll let you know when they arrive.
  3. Varsity tryouts remain open through next Sunday. So far only Kushman and Day have gone under 48 for the boys, no ladies under 55 yet. Let’s see whatcha got!
  4. Our 5-week virtual mountain program starts 5/4 featuring drills practice and structured workouts. For free. Sign up here:
  5. Can you help raise some $$ for Norte by helping to pick up cans by bicycle next week? Sign up here please:

From Coach Bunger,

Happy Spring!  Though it isn’t 100% happy as we cannot all be together…  ride together… have snacks together….   but in an effort to put some excitement back into this otherwise “interesting” Spring, we have put together an extremely fun challenge:  the 2020 Varsity Spring Challenge.

The Challenge is comprised of a list of segments that are each assigned points for completing.  Complete the segment, get the points.  AND… there are bonus points for doing more.  Perform the bonus activity, get the bonus points.  When the dust has settled and all score cards are submitted and tallied, we will recognize and award our top 3 finishers:

1st Place:   $50

2nd Place:  $30

3rd Place:  Norte shirt of your choice

The Challenge begins tomorrow, Monday, April 27 and concludes Saturday, May 9.  This gives you 13 days to ride and be rad.  Score cards must be turned in NO LATER than Sunday May 10.

Download the score card with all of the juicy details below

If you have any questions, comments, or clarifications, just ask.

We are looking forward to the day we can all ride together again and in the meantime, be safe… be healthy, have fun, and get out and ride!



  1. New Varsity jerseys will be in soon. We were hoping to give them away with the spring program registration but with that canceled, we’re going to sell them online at cost here (let’s wait until the shipment arrive before paying though):
  2. Once the shops open back up, your jersey will be your ticket (until everyone gets to know you) for team discounts which are here:
  3. Join our new invite-only Strava Varsity Club here (not on Strava, please consider joining, it’s free):
  4. I’m going to need everyone’s help to set the benchmark for our Varsity tryouts. With the Vasa pathway clear, please go do the 2018 SOL course full gas. We’ll use these times to figure out what it will take for others to make Varsity.
  5. With track canceled, know any fast distance runners who might want to try out for Varsity? Send them here:
  6. Thanks to everyone embracing our #coolkidsgosolo campaign. No group rides, please.
  7. Love seeing everyone tackling Kolo’s segment challenge. Congrats to Sami and Gwen for going 1st and 5th on the women’s side and Drew for 9th on the men’s last week. Who’s tackling Wayne this week?


1. Send Chuck some good thoughts as he’s getting his collarbone surgically repaired tomorrow. Too much sendy for him but you gotta love his panache. Heal up quick, Charlie.
2. Spring mountain bike program is in definite jeopardy. We’re going to wait and see what the schools do before canceling. More on that later.
3. Varsity jerseys have been ordered. ETA mid-April. Once in, you’ll be able to take advantage of some sweet deals at participating bike shops >>>
4. Once the Vasa is snow-free, we’re going to need help setting the benchmark (both boys and girls) for Varisty tryouts on the SOL. More on that later too.
5. Weather looks rad for the next few days. Once you get your schoolwork done, make sure to get out. Solo, please. Here’s a clever Strava challenge from our friends at Kolo >>
​6. ​If anyone wants to come work on their bike in the Wheelhouse, just let me know (solo or family units only, please).
7. We might be helping Oryana with some deliveries via bike and we’ll need volunteers to ride our cargo bikes. Seems perfect for Varsity 😉 Stay tuned on that.
Keep awesome. And healthy, Varsity.