A Norte! Story: Katie Bikes Happy To School With Friends

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Meet Katie. Katie is a 3rd grader at TCAPS Montesorri @ Glenn Loomis. She is part of the all girl Montessori Trolley bike train. Katie also joined us for bike2sail, bike2camp, Tour de TART “training” rides, Traverse City Walks To School Day, Winter Bike To School Day and the Cherry Fest parade. Wow. Awesome, right?!

We asked Katie to share her experience with us. Here’s her story:

Biking To School With Friends
by: Katie Clark

I like riding bicycles to school with friends because they are fun to talk with while you pedal fast.  Going fast seems very smooth and soft, like going down an ice hill and the ice is so smooth and gentle.   I really like riding by myself too, it is fun.  Then you can imagine that you are with friends on an adventure going all around the world on a bike.  It is just really fun, fun, fun. 

Katie’s Bike-tastic Photo Gallery

Norte! has played a part in mucho Bike Happy moments in Traverse City this year. From pedaling to school to exploring our woods and trails, Norte! has empowered our local youth, like Katie, to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

If you liked Katie’s story and want to support more of the same, please consider donating to our end-of-year Bike Happy, Traverse City  campaign. With your continued support, we’re committed to building a more bike-friendly Traverse City by inspiring its youth through bicycles.

Gracias. And let’s ride bikes together soon.

A Norte! Story: Quinn Bikes Happy To El Barrio Bike Fix

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Meet Quinn. Quinn is a 4th grader at TCAPS Montessori @ Glenn Loomis.  We first met Quinn when he starting riding with the Montessori Bay Express – a Norte! bike train led by his fab mom, Elizabeth – and then again at our after school learn-to-wrench program, El Barrio Bike Fix. Quinn is a heck of a kid. Smart. Independent. Confident. We like him. A lot.

We asked Quinn to share his experience. Here’s his story:

Learning To Fix Bikes = Awesome!
by: Quinn Waddle

I think Norte! is a real good thing to get you on your bike. They don’t try to make you do it, they just encourage you to do it. I choose to do it and I have a lot of fun. My mom is a bike train conductor and our train is called the Bay Express. Bike to School Fridays are fun because Mr. Clark brought donuts one day and a police man gave me a free Slurpee ticket for 7-11.

Yarro is a bike mechanic. One Friday in October he taught me how to fix my flat tire on my BMX bike. When Yarro comes I see him going around the bike racks and checking if anybody had flat tires. When you learn how to fix your bike it’s awesome.

El Barrio Bike Fix @ Glenn Loomis Photo Gallery

Norte! has played a part in mucho Bike Happy moments in Traverse City this year. From pedaling to school to exploring our woods and trails, Norte! has empowered our local youth, like Quinn, to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

If you like Quinn’s story and want to support more of the same, please consider donating to our end-of-year Bike Happy, Traverse City  campaign. With your continued support, we’re committed to building a more bike-friendly Traverse City by inspiring its youth through bicycles.

Gracias. And let’s ride bikes together soon.

The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment: An Infographic

 

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The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment, our Safe Routes To School project, is off to an amazing start. Here’s some awfully impressive numbers from this fall:

Bike To School Fridays- A Fall Recap

Bike To School Fridays: The Week 11 Numbers

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With winter on our heels – it finally snowed here in Traverse City this weekend – we celebrated the 11th Bike To School Friday of the fall the best way we know how. By taking the awesome way to school, of course. We had an amazing start to the school year, let’s keep ‘er rolling come spring!

Special shout-outs to:

  • All of the bike-tastic students across TC who helped us blow by our goal of 1100 B2SFri bikes for the fall. That’s an average of 100+ bikes per Friday, folks! We think that’s pretty awesome.
  • Our 15 dedicated bike train conductors for making it happen. We are nothing without you. Thank you!
  • Siblings, Mason and Ellie of Eastern Elementary, who have biked 52 of 53 days of school. The only day they didn’t was Halloween — because their costumes weren’t bike friendly.
  • Mr. Clark, the never tiring and always up early, bike train conductor of the Montessori Trolley, for serving up breakfast to his 13 riders. #WillRideForFrenchToast
  • The Eastern Star Express bike train who together pedaled 21 miles to and and from school today. And, an amazing 246 miles as a whole this fall. Way to go, Stars!

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 11

 

 

Bike To School Fridays: The Cold, Wet and Windy Week 10 Numbers

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Despite some nasty weather, Bike To School Friday (B2SFri) rolled on with some gritty and inspiring performances. Some intelligent clothing choices, too. Love these tough/smart Traverse City kids.

Special shout outs to:

  • Beatrice and Charlie of the Eastern Star Line Express for rocking their train with style despite wind, rain and cold. This 3rd and 1st grade, sister/brother duo pedaled 1.3 miles each way, folks. An easy choice for “The Most Awesome Bike Train Of The Week” award. Way to go, Star Line.
  • Ted of Central Grade Limited fame for continuing to keep his school awesome. He’s biked to school all but 3 days this year (not just on B2SFri!). One of those was for TC Walks To School Day which we’re pretty sure still counts. Attaboy, Ted! Norte! is proud of you. #BikeToSchoolEveryday

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 9 (2)

Bike To School Fridays (On A Wednesday): The Week 9 Numbers

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No school on Friday last week – Iceman holiday here in Traverse City – so we rode bikes to school on Wednesday. And it was awesome.

Special shout outs to:

  • Mother Earth for a glorious, incredibly warm fall day. We set a record with a high of 76F?! That’s 24C, folks. Amazing.
  • Central Grade for one their biggest showings of the fall….22 bikes! Way to go, Super Stars!
  • Principal Biz of Eastern Elementary for riding with the High-lander bike train…her 3rd different Eastern train of the fall. With 5 Eastern trains in all, she only has to ride the Special and Star Line Express to be perfect. Awesome, right!?
  • Mr. Clark and Grandma Ann of the Montessori Trolley bike train for serving up donuts to mucho riders: 17 students + 7 adults/volunteers/siblings = 24 awesome people! #WillRideForDonuts
  • Westwoods Elementary, one of our fave outlying schools, for an impressive 13 bikes!

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays: The Week 8 Numbers + Costume Contest Photo Gallery

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Bike To School Friday +  Halloween costumes = Awesome!

Thanks to everyone who dressed up and rode on one of the darkest mornings of the fall.

Special shout outs to:

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 8

Week 1 numbers HERE

Week 2 numbers HERE

Week 3 numbers HERE

Week 4 numbers HERE

Week 5 numbers HERE

Week 6 numbers HERE

Week 7 numbers HERE

More info on Bike To School Fridays HERE

Read more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE

Learn more about our City-wide network of bike trains HERE

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Bike To School Fridays: The Week 7 Numbers

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A brisk, beautiful morning to Bike To School Friday and kids across Traverse City came through big time as we counted over 100 bikes in our neighborhood school racks. How awesome is that?!

With just 3 more Bike To School Fridays left this fall, we’re on track to break 1000 bikes total before Thanksgiving. Let’s keep ‘er rolling and don’t forget our Bike To School Friday Costume Contest this Friday. Info on that HERE.

Special shout outs to:

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 7

Week 1 numbers HERE

Week 2 numbers HERE

Week 3 numbers HERE

Week 4 numbers HERE

Week 5 numbers HERE

Week 6 numbers HERE

More info on Bike To School Fridays HERE

Read more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE

Learn more about our City-wide network of bike trains HERE

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Bike To School Friday: The Week 5 Numbers

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What started out as a cold, wet, windy morning turned into a beautiful Northern Michigan fall day and Bike To School Friday rolled on for our 5th week of the school year.

Special shout outs to:

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 5

 

Week 1 numbers HERE

Week 2 numbers HERE

Week 3 numbers HERE

Week 4 numbers HERE

More info on Bike To School Fridays HERE

Read more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE

Learn more about our City-wide network of bike trains HERE

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Bike To School Friday: The Week 4 Numbers

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Time to bust out those mitts, kids! Maybe a hat too. Fall has arrived here in Traverse City and so has its brisk, beautiful mornings. No biggie, though. We dressed smart and had another great turn out for Bike To School Friday.

Special shout outs to:

Complete numbers:

Bike To School Fridays- Week 4

Week 1 numbers HERE

Week 2 numbers HERE

Week 3 numbers HERE

More info on Bike To School Fridays HERE

Read more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE

Learn more about our City-wide network of bike trains HERE

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

The Westwoods Rebel

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The Westwoods Rebel is a Norte! powered bike train that connects the Long Lake neighborhood to Westwoods Elementary for Fridays Fantastico.

The Rebel departs from its Station at Principal Tiesworth’s house at 1122 Fisher Road at 8:25. With a nod to the lightweight, streamlined Diesel-electric trains of the 1930s, the Rebel enjoys a short but sweet ride and awfully straight ride to school.

About a 0.5 km ride.

The Rebel is a perfect “drive2bike” train for those students in the Long Lake area who don’t live within biking distance. Parents are welcome to avoid the car line by driving the students/bikes to the Station so that they can pedal the last bit to school

A Norte! volunteer will lead the Rebel to school. Parents are responsible for getting their child to the station on time as well as picking them up at school.

Our trains pride themselves on being punctual. We can’t be late for school therefore the Rebel will not wait for anyone.

Fridays Fantastico rules apply:

Helmets required
Safe riding mandatory
Smiles and High Fives encouraged

Please email Juli Tiesworth, the Rebel’s chief Conductor, at TieswortJu@tcaps.net if you’re planning on riding the train.

Learn more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org.

Bike To School Fridays: The Week 1 Numbers

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Well that was a very impressive start. The first Bike To School Friday of the year rocked. Special shout-out to the Willow Hill Comet for the largest train of the day and to  Eastern Elementary for boasting the most bikes at school with 46.

Principals On Bikes is next week. Make sure to invite yours and we’ll see you on Friday.

Bike To School Fridays- Week 1 (1)

Read more about The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment HERE.

Learn more about our City-wide network of bike trains HERE.

Being a Norte Bike Train Conductor: An Essential Handbook

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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:

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

Be firm with the Fridays Fantastico “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 should signal at turns and stops and point out debris/potholes in the road. Trains should 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.

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!

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.

We can’t be late for school, therefore, the trains must leave on schedule.

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.

There are exceptions but our trains do not ride on sidewalks.


Learn why being a Norte bike train conductor is both easy and awesome HERE

Volunteers can sign up HERE to help out with one of our existing bike trains.

Or sign up HERE to start your own Bike Train.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Traverse City Bikes To School Day: The Week 3 Numbers

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Traverse City Bikes To School Day is just 1 week away!

The Highlights from the past 7 days:

TC Bikes To School Day- Week 2 (2)

A Traverse City Bikes To School Day Update: The Week 2 Numbers

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Two weeks to go and Traverse City Bikes To School Day is officially a thing!

The Highlights from Week 2:

If you’re not already committed for TC Bikes To School Day, you should be —> http://goo.gl/forms/cdUM3J4o2R

TC Bikes To School Day- Week 2

The Eastern Elementary Flyer

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The Eastern Elementary Flyer is a Norte! Bike Train connecting the Orchard Heights Neighborhood to Eastern Elementary for Traverse City Bikes To School Day and Bike To School Fridays.

The Flyer departs from its Station at Clancy Park at 8:35. It enjoys a lovely ride down East Orchard Drive to Eastwood to Eastern Elementary. That’s a lot of “easts”!

About a 1 km ride.

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The Flyer is a perfect “drive2bike” train for those students on Old Mission who don’t live within biking distance. Parents are welcome to avoid the pickup/drop off line by throwing a bike in the car and dropping them off at Clancy Park.

The Flyer will arrive back at its Station after school  at 4:20.

A Norte! volunteer will lead The Flyer both to and from school. Parents are responsible for getting their child to The Flyer Station on time as well as picking them up there after school.

Our trains pride themselves on being punctual. We can’t be late for school therefore The Flyer will not wait for anyone.

Bike To School Fridays rules apply:

Helmets required.
Safe riding mandatory.
Smiles and High Fives encouraged.

Please email Mary, the Flyer’s chief Conductor, at superiorcoaching.mantei@gmail.com if you’re planning on riding The Flyer.

Email questions regarding our community-wide bike train network to biketrains@elgruponorte.org.

Bike Happy. Bike Más. Bike TC.