Being a Norte Bike Train Conductor: An Essential Handbook

Norte is dreaming big to bring more bike trains to more schools in northern Michigan.

Thank you for being awesome by helping us grow our network of bike trains.

We are nothing without our volunteer bike train conductors. So muchas gracias. Truly.

Norte bike train conductors lead trains to/from neighborhood elementary and middle schools on Fridays for Fridays Fantastico.

We are obviously for “bike to school every day” but for now, we’re just asking our conductors to commit to leading their trains on Fridays.

Our trains roll on non-foul weather Fridays in the fall through Thanksgiving and then start up again after spring break through the end of the school year.

Some conductor pro tips:

Be your train’s #1 cheerleader:

  • Invite the neighborhood kids to join your train
  • Have your child invite his or her classmates and friends to join your train
  • Invite kids standing at the neighborhood bus stop to join your train
  • Invite families who live far away to “drive to bike” by dropping off at your station
  • Promote your train on social media with photos/videos of smiley, happy, healthy, ready to learn kids

Your train is the fun-est way to get to school. It really is.

Be firm with the Fridays Fantasticos “rules”:

  • Helmets required. Safe riding mandatory. Smiles and high-fives encouraged.
  • Trains should stay together. They should roll as a group. Trains should travel at the pace of its slowest rider as biking to school is not a race and shouldn’t be treated as one.
  • Trains riders should signal turns and stops. Every time.
  • Train riders should point out debris/potholes in the road and call out “Car back” or “Walker up” etc. to communicate with the group.
  • Every bike train trip is a teaching moment. Be a teacher. Educate on safe, smart riding. Teach your riders to become independent, confident, intelligent cyclists. These videos are helpful to share with your riders.
  • Trains put safety first. They always ride predictably. They always follow the rules of the road.
  • Trains put FUN a close second! Ring your bell, sing, wave at neighbors, practice spelling words, and smile!
  • We can’t be late for school, therefore, the trains must leave on schedule.
  • There are exceptions but our trains do not ride on sidewalks.

Read our bike train safety policy HERE.

Trains are reliable and dependable. If you can not lead your train please give us at least a 24-hour notice so that we can find a substitute conductor.

Train routes must be on safe routes. If you’re not sure about your route, please ask. We’re here to help.

Parents are responsible for getting their child to the bike train station on time and (if the train provides return service in the afternoon) for picking them up there after school

Volunteers can get involved HERE to help out with one of our existing bike trains.

Sign up HERE to start your own bike train.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org