Dad Falls Back in Love with Bicycles, Promises to Bring the Fun at Iceman

 

My name is Jason Stuart. I am a mid forty something year old, devoted husband and father of two boys. A little over two years ago, my passion for bikes was re-ignited. You see, when I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s, my BMX bike was my buddy, my best friend, it gave me a bit of freedom at an early age. I can remember wooden ramps and bikes with banana seats, dirt jumps with cross ups and running over some dudes brand new P.K. Ripper at my first BMX race at Baja Acres.

Bikes were rad! Then cars, or in my case a full size Chevy van, custom paint, two front seats and three on the tree came into my life. What should have been the best bike hauler race wagon ever turned into a friend hauler. Bikes all but disappeared from my life.

Fast forward to 2015. I told my wife if she ever saw me getting a beer gut to let me know. I have to laugh, one of the best and worst birthday presents ever was a kegerator she bought me for my 40th. One morning, after an all too loud rock concert, I looked in the mirror and decided I had better do something about what she had forgotten to let me know about.

This is where bikes made a triumphant return to my life. We met this tall, hippy, surfer looking guy over at Brick Wheels named Matt. If you can envision that turtle from the movie Nemo you would be spot on. Anyway, we purchased a couple mountain bikes. We then almost immediately upgraded to a couple “nicer” mountain bikes. And then realized that since we were accomplished humans and made it to and above the age of 40, that we were allowed to reward ourselves with carbon versions of those nicer bikes. Since that point we have been riding and racing our bikes together, as a family, and in my book, that is rad once again!

Last summer, my family would race the Speed of Lights every Thursday in Traverse City. My wife would ride with the kids on the mini SOL and I would struggle to make it around the adult course, or in my case, the “Masters” division. My kids acquired their first Norte! jerseys a few races in and suddenly got faster. We knew that there was something to the Orange.

Seeing all the kids, and adults for that matter, wearing Norte and supporting the great things that it is doing for the community is inspiring to see. Heck, I even had one of the Norte coaches give me a high speed “hug” at the race last weekend he liked my orange Norte kit I was wearing so much.

Where we live, we have no bike trails, no community of bikers, race teams, weekly rides or events to get kids off the couch and on a bike. We try to make it to Traverse City as much as we can, but with full plus time jobs, school, sports and homework, things get a little hectic and the time to train and ride disappear on a regular basis.

This year at Iceman, I have decided to try and raise a few bucks for the kids of Norte with what I am calling a “Fun Raiser.”

Here is a little background. My first attempt at Iceman glory came with a flat tire before Williamsburg Road. I rode the bike in on a flat and finished in like 3.5 hours. I wanted to show my kids to never give up. The 2016 Iceman was even worse for me. I ended up crashing over the bars and destroyed my front wheel. DNF. However, the time I got to spend out in the middle of the woods cheering on the other riders definitely eased my pain.  This year, for me, it is going to be all about finishing the race, under my own power and on a bike that still rolls easily.

I am looking for people who are like minded as me. Who love to see the changes in community, safer streets for bikes and the freedom and camaraderie that our youth gets when they strap on their orange Norte jersey.

I am asking for pledges of a penny!

Donate a penny for every person that I finish in front. I am hoping to finish in two hours or less.  Last year, a 2 hour finish was 1430 place overall which would come out to a $25 donation.

Straight up donations to Norte’s mountain bike program are also greatly appreciated.

Also, take a guess at what my overall time will be and get in on a chance to win a Norte hoodie, T-shirt and a hat too. Closest to actual time wins all the goodies. All penny pledgers will be entered to win Norte swag too. Tug the Golden Retriever will pick winners with his nose.

I am hoping to give back just a little to an organization that is truly changing our community right before my eyes and has helped me re-ignite, and my family to discover a passion for all things bike.

Pledge a penny and guess Jason’s time by emailing him HERE.


 

Learn more about our youth mountain bike program HERE.

 

 

A Very Orange and Very Kid-errific Iceman

 

Iceman is coming! 9 days till race day and we have the fever. Bad.

We are committed to helping Traverse City kids who have earned it – think showing up consistently for our mountain bike rides, being a positive Norte! ambassadorchampioning bikes at their school, volunteering at our community outreach events, graduating from The Bike Más Project – take part in arguably the most awesome mountain bike race in the US.

This year, Team Orange will be bringing more kids to the Iceman than ever before. Nearly 60 Norte! riders will be toeing the line in the Iceman, Slushcup and Sno-Cone races and we couldn’t be more excited.

 

 

Speaking on the Sno-Cone, new this year, our sponsor, Clif Bar, is bringing their pop-up bike skills park to Timber Ridge. The Clif Kid Ride Zone provides children a great opportunity to improve riding skills including: balance, pedaling while standing, bike control and handling, and subtle wheel lifts.

We need volunteers to help make the Kid Zone awesome. Please sign up HERE.

We are beyond proud of these kids. They have worked hard. They are fit. They are fast. They are legit mountain bikers: Strong on the climbs. Smooth out of the corners. Confident through the sand. They are the next generation of bikes-for-life leaders in Traverse City.

Huge thanks to Mr. Iceman, Steve Brown, for being a super Norte! supporter since day one.

Make sure to come out to Timber Ridge November 4th to cheer them on.

If you would like to make a donation to help grow our Traverse City’s Youth Mountain Bike Team please do so HERE. Gracias.

 

A Very Orange Iceman

 

Small and big people in orange unite! Iceman is coming.

From pre schoolers on balance bikes in the SnoCone to elementary school kids in the SlushCup to middle/high schoolers and adult allies in the big show, Norte! is all in for Iceman this year.

If you need some fresh very orange spandex to represent, now’s the time. Our final order of the year is going in this weekend so that they’ll be here in time for Iceman.. Deadline to place your order is tomorrow at midnight.

We also have shorts, bibs, vests, and jackets.

See the full kit HERE.

Sizing chart HERE.

order button

 


Stay up to date with Team Orange by subscribing to our once in awhile, never boring newsletter:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Adopt an Icekid: An Iceman Scholarship Fundraiser

iceman12
Help awesome Traverse City kids race the Iceman Cometh Challenge this November.

Mr. Iceman, Steve Brown, has been a super Norte! supporter since day one. He has regularly come out for our weekly mountain bike ride, Vasa Domingos, and has spent lots of coaching and mentoring time with the kids to help them have more FUN! on the bike.

2 years ago, with the help of Mr. Brown, we founded the Norte! Iceman Scholarship Fund (N!ISF). The N!ISF is committed to helping Traverse City kids who have earned it – think showing up consistently for our mountain bike rides, being a positive Norte! ambassador, championing bikes at their school, volunteering at our community outreach events, graduating from The Bike Más Project – take part in arguably the most awesome mountain bike race in the US.

Adopt an Icekid aims to raise funds to help 30 deserving young people race this November by covering half of their Iceman/SlushCup registration fee.

30 kids x $35 = $1050

Norte! needs your help.

Please donate $35 and we will pair you up with one of our young racers. Your adopted Icekid will continue to train hard by riding mas bikes in the woods, give it her/his best on race day and then write you a thank you note after the Iceman.

100% of donations raised will go to the N!ISF

donatebutton1a
Gracias!

A Norte! Story: Will Bikes Happy At Vasa Domingos

12182595_490595581121907_222379327891985686_o

Meet Will. Will is a 5th grader at Eastern Elementary. He came out to many Vasa Domingos – our weekly mountain bike shred – this fall and was also part of our first Bike Más Project class – our after school empowerment program – at Eastern too. We asked Will to share his experiences. Here’s his story:

Vasa Domingos + The Bike Más Project = Awesome Iceman SlushCup
by Will Unger

When I first started doing Norte!’s Vasa Domingos rides I had no confidence in being able to do the Slush Cup. I felt like I was being asked to ride to California and back. Luckily, I learned on the first ride that you could go at your own pace and the group would wait for you; you didn’t have to feel rushed.

After a few weeks of doing the Norte! rides, I had way more confidence and actually had somewhat a belief of being able to do the Slush Cup. Now, I felt like I was being asked to ride to Kalkaska, not impossible but hard. As weeks passed, I gained more and more confidence. I felt stronger. I could go through sand pits and make it up most of the hills without walking. I felt like I could do it in just over an hour. On race day I finished the race in my goal time because I had done the Norte!’s Vasa Domingos rides.

The Bike Más Project also helped me do the Slush Cup because I learned communication so I understood what the other riders meant by “on your right.” Also I learned bike maintenance so I could check if my tire release is tight enough or if my brakes work. I certainly didn’t want my tire to fall off or my brakes to stop working while going down a hill in the Slush Cup. Also The Bike Más Project allowed me to see what it is like to ride in a group. I learned how much more fun it is to ride in a group that communicates and lets you know exactly what is going to happen. I loved riding through town joking around with my friends. Our leader, Cody Sovis, always had a joke ready.

The Bike Más Project is a lot of fun and the Norte! rides are a ton of fun too.

Will is also involved with Class Chat, a student run video series at Eastern. Check out this episode featuring our very own, Cody Sovis:

 

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 Will, to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

If you like Will’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.

You can give here:

download

 

Gracias. And let’s ride bikes together soon.

Iceman 2015: A Very Orange Photo Gallery

An amazing day at the 2015 Iceman!

Norte! put on a great show in a sea of orange….thanks to those (big and small) for representing us and supporting our mission. So proud of the efforts, smiles, positivity and courage.

Special thank you to Mr. Steve Brown for helping us bring mas Traverse City kids on bikes to the Iceman. Learn more about the Norte! Iceman Scholarship Fund (N!ISF) HERE.
See you next year.

Viva Norte!

Slush Cup Start:

Bike Happy. Bike Mas. Bike TC.

Mr. Iceman And Más Kids On Mountain Bikes In Traverse City

10262106_335571876624279_6678564236560771647_n

Iceman is coming! 17 days till race day and Norte! has the fever. Bad.

Mr. Iceman, Steve Brown, has been a super Norte! supporter since day one. He has regularly come out for our weekly mountain bike ride, Vasa Domingos, and has spent lots of coaching and mentoring time with the kids to help them have more FUN! on the bike.

2 years ago, with the help of Mr. Brown, we founded the Norte! Iceman Scholarship Fund (N!ISF). The N!ISF is committed to helping Traverse City kids who have earned it – think showing up consistently for our mountain bike rides, being a positive Norte! ambassador, championing bikes at their school, volunteering at our community outreach events, graduating from The Bike Más Project – take part in arguably the most awesome mountain bike race in the US.

This year, thanks to an incredibly generous donation to the N!ISF, Mr. Brown will be helping bring más Traverse City kids on mountain bike to the Iceman. In less than 3 weeks, nearly 40 Norte! riders will be toeing the line in the Iceman, Slushcup and Sno-cone races and we couldn’t be more excited.

We are beyond proud of these kids. They have earned it. They are fit. They are fast. They are legit mountain bikers: Strong on the climbs. Smooth out of the corners. Confident through the sand.

They are the next generation of bikes-for-life leaders in Traverse City.

Make sure to come out to Timber Ridge November 7th to cheer them on.

If you would like to make a donation to help grow the Norte! Iceman Scholarship Fund you can do so HERE. Gracias.

Bike Más. Iceman Más.

A NORTE! Story: Amelia And The Iceman

unnamed-2

My Iceman Race
by Amelia Werner

In June I had never mountain biked before.  At the time my dad and I were going to do the Iceman SlushCup on a tandem. Then we started biking with NORTE! Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt convinced me to do it on my single.  I was signed up now I had to do it.

Finally, it was race day.  I was in the fourth wave to start. Then I was at the start line. Three, two, one bang, I went. I biked as hard as I could for the whole ten miles.  At last I saw the finish.

When I finished I had to get my award.  I thought I got fifteenth place, but it turned out I got first.  I was very happy!  So, I got my award and we went to my parents’ friend’s cabin to eat.

**UPDATE**

10437784_350266615154805_3265734772571017844_n

The best way to become a better mountain biker is to ride your mountain bike more. Amelia showed up nearly every week for our VASA DOMINGOS ride. From May to November, she transformed from a complete beginner to a legit mountain biker. Strong on the climbs. Smooth out of the corners. Confident through the sand. We’re pretty proud of Amelia and the rest of our crew for their hard work and determination all season long. Let’s do it again next year!

A special gracias to Mr. “Iceman” Brown for donating a few race entries to N!YC and leading a Slush Cup Practice ride on Take A Kid Mountain Bike Day. Read TC RIDES With Iceman HERE.

~ Ty and Johanna

____________

A NORTE! Story is a blog series highlighting N!YC riders/volunteers/supporters in our first year of inspiring Traverse City youth through bicycles. If you like Amelia’s’s story and want to support more of the same, please consider donating to our end-of-year KIDS ON BIKES + YOU campaign. Levels and awards can be found HERE.

Gracias.

And let’s ride bikes together soon.

N!YC @ The Iceman Cometh Challenge

We hope everyone had an awesome Iceman! Here are a few Racer Profiles that we featured on The FB in the week leading up to the big day:

2013-11-01 15.30.49

Name: Ethan
Age: 7
Grade: 2nd
School: Willow Hill
Favorite Subject: Reading and Math
Favorite Food: Pizza
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Swimming, Legos, Reading, Running
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Hammering the RootBeer Race at Mud, Sweat and Beers Race: SnoCone

248128_575408259156217_690584084_n

Name: Luke
Age: 8
Grade: 3rd
School: Children’s House
Favorite Subject: Math
Favorite Food: Pigs in a Blanket
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Basketball, Soccer, da IPAD
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Rocked the SlushCup last year at 6 years old!
Race: Slushcup

969413_10201542328709642_275443815_n

Name: Nathalie
Age: 11
Grade: 6th
School: Children’s House
Favorite Subject: Math Favorite
Food: Calamari
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Soccer, Skiing, Basketball
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Crushed the entire VASA single track
Race: SlushCup

2013-09-03 07.45.04-1

Name: Carter
Age: 9
Grade: 4th
School: Central Grade
Favorite Subject: Reading
Favorite Food: Pizza
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Wrestling brother, MindCraft, Slinging buckets, Books
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Biked to school in the winter with a TON of snow! Race: SlushCup

2013-10-27 11.46.56-1

Name: Erin
Age: 10
Grade: 5th
School: Central Grade
Favorite Subject: Language Arts
Favorite Food: Moomers Butter Pecan
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Reading, drawing, running, swimming
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: 23 mile ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, VA
Race: Slushcup

543877_339939982816424_1781123142_n

Name: Parker
Age: 4
Grade: Pre-School
School: Central Grade
Favorite Subject: Recess
Favorite Food: BBQ Chicken Pizza
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Playing with his sister
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Jumping off this rad ramp
Race: Snocone

2013-10-29 08.19.57

Name: Jameson
Age: 6
Grade: 1st
School: Eastern
Favorite Subject: Music Class
Favorite Food: Apples
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Drawing, Digging, Building, Eating, Wrestling
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Riding no handed for an entire block
Race: Snocone

2013-10-28 08.12.39

Name: Grady
Age: 9
Grade: 4th
School: Woodland
Favorite Subject: Science
Favorite Food: French fries
Hobbies other than Mountain Biking: Building, modifying and taking things apart.
Most awesome thing you’ve done on your bike: Popping a front wheelie!
Race: Snocone

Some SlushCup Podium Photos:

Girls 12&Under

2013-11-03 03.04.35

Boys 10&Under

2013-11-03 03.02.10