Norte! goes to Sleeping Bear: An Every Kid In A Park adventure

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Explore your parks and public lands by bicycle with thousands of people across the country on the same day — the first ever Bike Your Park Day is this Saturday, September 24.

Bring your friends and family and join the celebration of the National Park Service’s Centennial, Adventure Cycling’s 40th, and National Public Lands Day, a free entrance day in some parks.

Also, Every Kid In A Park is a federal program that allows 4th graders and their entire family to score free access to all national parks/lakeshores, forests and wildlife refuges across the country for the 2016-17 school year.

How It Works:

Meet us at 9:15 on the Hall Street Bus Station with your bike to take the 9:30 BATA Bike-Bus to Glenn Arbor. Or just meet us at Cherry Republic in Glenn Arbor at 10:40.

Bike to Glen Haven on the trail to explore the beaches and museums.

Ride the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail to the Dune Climb for snacks/lunch.

Pedal to Empire’s Sleeping Bear Dunes visitor center to get the 4th grader’s free national park pass.

Catch the 2:40 bus back to TC from Empire arriving home at 4:00. Or pedal back to your car in Glenn Arbor if you drove.

BYO-snacks/lunch. Bus riders should also bring $3 to cover the fare to and from the park.

Every Kid in a Park pass info HERE.

BATA’s Bike n Ride schedule HERE.

Please RSVP:

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Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.org

Free Tour de TART Entries Up For Grabs

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Norte! is in for TART Trails’ 2016 Tour de TART Friday, July 22nd – look for us slinging snacks at the Bingham Road food stop – and we have 15 free kids entries to giveaway.

Winners will be selected randomly and notified by Monday, July 18.

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More info on the Tour de TART HERE.

More info on Norte! and what we do HERE.

Email questions to hello@elgruponorte.orghello@elgruponorte.org

Bike Happy, Traverse City Keeps Rollin’

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Bike Happy, Traverse  City, our year end fundraiser, is crushing it. $2360 and counting. That’s mucho dinero for Norte! but let’s keep’er rolling.

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Remember, thanks to these awesome 6 businesses/organizations, the first $3000 will be matched. Let’s not leave money on the table, folks.

With your support, Norte! will:

  • invest in bike tools, parts and supplies for El Barrio Bike Fix, our upcoming after school learn-to-wrench program at Eastern Elementary
  • fund The Bike Mas Project, our experienced-based after school empowerment program at Eastern and Traverse Heights Elementary this spring
  • purchase more balance bikes for the Estrellas del Norte!, our learn-to-ride program this summer
  • grow our Kids Bike Library to make sure that every awesome kid can ride an awesome bike no matter their family’s financial resources

Please donate today!

Norte! is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Give Online

Send a Check

Norte!
PO Box 781
Traverse City, MI, 49685

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.

A Norte! Story: William Bikes Happy On The Vasa Trail

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Meet William. William is a 6th grader at East Middle School. We met William last year when he started showing up for Vasa Domingos and Fridays@TheCommons, our weekly mountain bike shreds. By working hard, William has come a long, long way. He is now legit mountain biker; smooth through the turns, powerful up the climbs and confident through the sand.

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

Sand, Hills and The Vasa Trail
by: William Haapala

It was a scorching hot day and the sun was up at its highest peak, almost like a clock when it strikes twelve. I could barely see. My dad and I were on the Slush Cup course with a biking group called Norte!. Here we are – the huge valley sandpit. I am never going to make it up the hill, I am totally going to crash in the sandpit. Even if I do make it through I will never make it up the other side.

What are the odds that I will make it up? I don’t know why I have enough confidence to try this. And there I was creeping up the one side of the valley, my face was redding up and I could feel the sweat starting to run down my back. It felt like the sun was going to collide with the Earth. My heart was starting to thump faster and faster.

Every inch felt like an hour. The top of the hill was coming into sight and I felt like I was going to pass out. I could hear my bike talking “crunch too much sand, crunch too much sand.” I could barely hold the grips because I was so sweaty. Higher and higher I went and finally I was at the top.

It felt like it took hours. It had only just begun, now I was speeding down an extremely steep hill right for an extremely large sandpit. I could hear my bike clicking rapidly. It felt like the sun was running away from the Earth. There it was 3,2,1 it sounded like water falling. Maybe I will make it this time.

My front wheel was swerving every which way. I was getting into what the pro bikers call a death wobble. I could smell the strong scent of churned up dirt because of the ATVs. My eyes were closed so tight that my eyelids were starting to get sore, and all the sudden my wheel stopped wobbling. I think I might make it. I opened my eyes and I was coasting up the other side. There was so much sand in my mouth and it tasted like dirt. The sun was back and I was sweating again.

I was feeling a lot better about this now but still not sure if I was going to make it. My dad came up to me. “That wasn’t so bad, I thought I would have never made it, ” I said with enthusiasm. That was the easiest time I have ever gotten up a hill so big I thought. I can’t wait until next time. I can’t believe that I thought it was so hard. That was so much fun. I will always look forward to this part of the trail.

“I will never be afraid of this again,” I told my dad. He nodded in reply. Maybe this is why biking is so fun; maybe the suspense is what makes it enjoyable. It is now two years later and I still look forward to this part or the trail.

Video from Vasa Domingos featuring William

 

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

If you like William’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.

Bike Happy, Traverse City

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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, we have empowered many of our local youth to be resilient, independent, and self confident both on and off their bikes.

Check out these 12 awesome Bike Happy stories by 12 awesome kids:

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Hannah Bikes Happy On TC Rides

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Will Bikes Happy At Vasa Domingos

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Cici Bikes Happy To Go Sailing

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Jack Bikes Happy At Fridays@The Commons

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Avery Bikes Happy With Every Kid In A Park

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Carter Bikes Happy With Winter Bike To School Day

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William Bikes Happy On The Vasa Trail

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Quinn Bikes Happy To El Barrio Bike Fix

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Katie Bikes Happy To School With Friends

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Ryan Bikes Happy At Conquer The Village

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Ty Bikes Happy With The Estrellas

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Eleanor Bikes Happy To The Little Fleet

The Bike Happy, Traverse  City  campaign aims to raise funds to help support our mission while also creating awareness for bike culture in Traverse City.

Celebrating our second year as a non-profit organization, we have worked hard to advocate for active, two-wheeled transportation here in Traverse City, and are proud of our accomplishments:

As a Norte! donor , your contribution will support:

  • Active, fit and engaged young people in Traverse City.
  • A stronger, better connected, more bicycle-friendly Traverse City.
  • The next generation of bikes-for-life leaders in Traverse City.

And!! Thanks to these generous underwriters, the first $3000 donated will be matched dollar for dollar:

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Your generous donation will allow us to continue to inspire, educate, advocate and build community in this amazing place we call home.

Gracias.

Norte! is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (Tax ID 46-4861142), and your gift is tax deductible as allowed by law.

Give Online

Send a Check:

Norte!
PO Box 781
Traverse City, MI, 49685

Thank you and let’s ride bikes together soon!

Bike Happy. Bike Más. Bike TC.

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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

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.

A Norte! Story: Hannah Bikes Happy On TC Rides

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Meet Hannah. Hannah is a 3rd grader at Central Grade School here in Traverse City. She and her family, joined us on many TC Rides, our slow, chit-chatty community cruise, this summer. She even wrote a story about it:

Norte! Ride
by Hannah Pulliam

The Norte! ride is you drive down to the Peace Train. Park your bike in the back or you ride your bike down there. You get on your bike. There is a whole group of people. You follow them down through the neighborhoods and down by the hospital and end of at Little Fleet food trucks. And you get something to eat and drink.

It is fun and keeps your healthy. Then people ride back to the Peace Train park or their house. If you like having fun and staying healthy then you should do the Norte! ride. It starts at 6 o’clock. Hope you can make it there!

Hannah’s story that she turned into her teacher, Mrs. Bageris:

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

If you like Hannah’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:

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Gracias. And let’s ride bikes together soon.

Traverse City Takes A Kid Mountain Biking Day: A Photo Gallery

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80+ awesome people for ‪Take A Kid Mountain Biking Day‬ in Traverse City this past weekend. We rode bikes on dirt (and sand), ate pizza, won prizes and had FUN!

Thank you sponsors: Tim and Jody Pease

Thank you community partners and volunteers: Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, McLain Cycles, Brick Wheels, City Bike Shop, Keen Racing, Recycle-a-Bicycle, and Thatsa’ Pizza.

And remember! If you liked #TKMDB, you’re going to love our weekly mountain bike shred at Timber Ridge, VASA Domingos.

Let’s ride mountain bikes together again soon.

Norte! Goes To Sleeping Bear Dunes: An Every Kid In A Park Photo Gallery

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Norte! had a blast spending the day with a bunch of awesome 4th graders at Sleeping Bear Dunes this past weekend!
We rode buses. We pedaled bikes. We climbed sand dunes. We ate ice cream. And we scored our Every Kid In A Park passes. A wonderful day.
Some very special Thank Yous to:
  • BATA’s Bike-N-Ride bus for getting us out to Empire and home from Glen Arbor.. The bus ride could not have been better and we had a lot of parents (and trail users at the park) ask about how they can use Bike-n-Ride service next summer – and several kids asked if they can do it again every weekend!
  • Cherry Republic for the super special, rockstar treatment, hospitality and yummy ice cream, of course. A special treat after getting up those big hills on the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail.
  • Mr. Clark, Norte!’s board member and Chief Adventure Officer (CAO) for organizing/leading/awesome’ing this great outing.
Enjoy your national parks this year, kids, and we’ll do it again next year.

Read more about our Sleeping Bear Dunes Adventure for 4th graders HERE

Drink Yummy Coffee. Support Kids On Bikes In Traverse City

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Norte! is thrilled to announce that Higher Grounds’ delicious new summer blend, Coast, will benefit our after-school program, The Bike Más Project.

A smooth medium roast with a milk chocolate, brown sugar, and white peach profile, Coast is going to be your new fave coffee. Promise.

The Bike Más Project had a great start this spring at Traverse Heights Elementary and we are excited to continue to develop the next generation of active, healthy, engaged young leaders in Traverse City through bike repair, education, safety and adventure.

Read more about The Bike Más Project and why its awesome HERE.

Mucho gracias to our friends at Higher Grounds for supporting kids on bikes in Traverse City.

Ordering info for Coast coming soon. Stay tuned.

Bike Happy. Bike Más. Bike TC.

A Very Orange And Awfully Muddy Photo Gallery: Norte!@ConquerTheVillage

Mucho gracias to Rob Meendering Photography and Beth Price Photography for the great shots.

A Very Orange Mud, Sweat And Beers

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Another special day at Mt. Holiday yesterday. An impressive sea of orange was on display at the 2015 edition  of Mud, Sweat And Beers. We raced. We cheered each other on. We ate snacks. We had FUN!

Highlights from #MSB 2014:

  • Kyan and his solid 3rd place in the Pale Ale race.
  • Kyan sticking around all afternoon and cheering on his teammates in the Ginger Ale and Root Beer races.
  • Nate, Reese, Drew C, William, Jameson, Natalie, Carter D, Peter, Drew H, and Carter S on rockin’ the short but hilly and sometimes crash-y Ginger Ale race.
  • Ethan, Sarah, Parker and this “Super Girl” on crushing the Root Beer race.
  • Big People in Orange! Thank you Katie, Eric, Dave (are we missing anyone?) for wearing orange and rep’n Norte! 
  • Heroes of the day. Herculean effort by these generous families for cleaning up post-race: The Haapalas, The Kiteleys, The Blacks, The Wordens, The Luyts, The Olshoves, The Schmidts.
  • Mr. Kerhoff on the mike! Our most fave emcee ever for making all the kids feel like Rock Stars.
  • MSB organizers for supporting Norte! and our mission of inspiring Traverse City youth though bicycles.

Let’s keep riding bikes together! Join us for our weekly MTB-shreds:

Friday@TheCommons

Vasa Domingos (staring this Sunday, May 10th!)

Bike Happy. Bike Mas. Bike TC.

10 Reasons Why The Northern Michigan Bike Rodeo Rocks

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Norte! is teaming up with Remember To Love and the Cherry Capital Cycling Club to host the 2nd Annual Bike Safety Rodeo on Saturday, May 16th from 10:30-2:30 (it’s an “open house” so come when’ev) at The Traverse City Central High School.

It’s going to rock.

Here’s 10 reasons why you should come:

1. Chance to win one of 2 Trek mountain bikes in a free raffle.
2. Moomers!
3. Free bike tune ups by Recycle-A-Bicycle and area bike shops.
4. Show off your bike handling abilities in the skills course.
5. Dominate your buddies in the slow race contest.
6. Get your helmet on right with Munson Trauma/The Kohl’s Foundation.
7. Learn the “rules of the road” with the Traverse City Police and Grand Traverse Sheriff’s Departments.
8. Score swag! Lights, a bell, and safety lit for each rodeo’er. Plus that cone of Moomers, of course.
9. The Traverse City Fire Department will be teaching basic first aid skills.
10. Learn more about Norte! and what we do including The Bike Mas Project, The Great Traverse City Bike Train Experiment and Traverse City Bikes To School Day.

Huge shout-out to our NM Bike Rodeo sponsors:

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Of Michigan
Dr. Scott Schulz Orthodontics
Oryana
Munson Medical Center
Central, Boardman and Slabtown Neighborhood Associations

A free day of fun for bike-tastic elementary-aged kids. Bring your bike and your helmet (if you don’t have one, no worries…we’ll have lots) and we’ll see you anytime between 10:30 and 2:30. Ding Ding.

Bike Happy. Bike Mas. Bike TC.

Estrellas del Norte! : A N!YC Balance Bike Squad

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Norte! is for kids on bikes in Traverse City no matter their age. We are also huge fans of balance bikes and believe that there is no better way to teach toddlers how to ride.

Estrellas del Norte! is N!YC Balance Bike Squad dedicated to helping those 2-5 years old experience the joy of wheels. The Estrellas get together at a neighborhood park to ride, play, meet new friends and have FUN! They usually eat lots of snacks, too.

Where?

F&M Park in beautiful Oak Park neighborhood.

When?

Tuesdays during May, June, July and August @ 6:30.

Bring your helmet and your balance bike if you have one. Norte! has a fleet of demo balance bikes for families to use but are we’re always looking for more. If you have one collecting dust, please consider donating it to Norte!. We promise to put it to good use.

Free, yes FREE!, snacks will be provided. But you have to eat dinner first!

Email Arianne, our Queen Estrella, at ariannepetersen@hotmail.com with questions.

Bike Happy. Bike Mas. Bike TC.

Adan Needs A Bike. Let’s Help Him Win One.

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Meet Adan. Adan is a 1st grader at Traverse Heights Elementary. This spunky 6-year-old doesn’t let CP slow him down.  He loves to go!  Adan would love to be able to ride a bike but needs one to fit his needs. Let’s help this special kid win a special bike!

The Great Bike Giveaway is a national contest in which children with special needs can win their very own adaptive bike.

Adan is in the contest to win a Rifton bike but needs your vote.

Please take 2 minutes and help make it happen. Vote —> HERE. And then share this link wildly with your friends. Gracias.

As his mom writes, “For Adan to win the Rifton bike, would be an amazing gift! It would give him independence, mobility, family bike rides, summer fun! Every kid needs wheels!”

Go, Adan, Go!

We’re cheering for ya, buddy, and hope to ride bikes together soon.

A NORTE! Story: Grady And The El Barrio Bike Fix

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El Barrio Bike Fix
By Grady Luyt (and mom)

I’m 10 years old and love to tinker and create things. I also enjoy riding bikes with NORTE! El Barrio Bike Fix blends these two things perfectly. I loved working with the bike gurus at McLain’s, using real tools and figuring out how to tune-up and fix bikes.

Hands-on learning? Check. Fun with friends? Check. Pizza?? Huge success.

Thanks for providing a creative, bike-centered Makerspace for kids!

**UPDATE**

Our El Barrio Bike Fix also helped tune-up/clean-up 31 bikes for McLain‘s Christmas donation to the kids at KAIR in Kalkaska. Mucho Gracias, too, to Mrs. McLain for the pizza and the McLain Race Team for hanging out with us.

Kids building bikes for kids is awesome! A special day at Bikes For Tikes community bike build. NORTE! kids and families helped build 80+ bikes which will be given as Christmas presents to local youth.

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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 Grady’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.