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Bike-Powered Snow Plowing with NORTE! Youth Cycling

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Oh Hello, Winter!

Although we’ve just celebrated winter solstice, snow has come early and often to Northern Michigan. We’ve already had 26 inches of the beautiful white stuff this season…that’s 66cm for my Canadian friends.

Our winter bucket slinging siesta is going great! Sledding at the Civic Center, skiing at Hickory, snowshoeing at Pellizzari. We’ve also been helping out NORTE! Youth Cycling with their bike-powered sidewalk and trail plowing as part of TART’s snow removal initiative.

We’re helping to build community by clearing snow the awesome way. We’re using pedal power to make our neighborhood more accessible for walkers and cyclists. Neighbors helping neighbors. Zero emissions. Clean energy. Infinite MPG. That’s pretty awesome.

Email NORTE! at for more details.

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The Big Double: Raising Money, Riding Bikes, Doing Good

2013-10-19 14.20.10

The forecast looking terrible but Saturday was anything but. Sun. Colors. Crisp air. And, yes, even a rainbow. 50 riders/parents/volunteers, young and old, fast and slow, came out yesterday for the inaugural Big Double 50K Mountain Bike “race”. 2 laps on the 25K to raise money for TART on what turned out to be a perfect day for riding bikes in our Northern Michigan forests.

Our little self timed-find your own way-no awards-post workbee benefit “race” was actually pretty fun.

El Grupo Norte also lead a 5K practice kids’ race in preparation for the up coming Slush Cup. Thanks to Max, Amelia, Eric, Sarah, Drew, Carter, and Jameson for coming out.

A special shout-out to Eric from the Michigan Youth Opportunities (these kids are awesome and we’re so proud to be involved with them) crew for helping to organize and run the registration. Thanks as well, to the fine folks from Short’s Brewing for the raffle swag and fantastic pumpkin-y post-race recovery beverage.

And, an extra High Five to these Big Double racers who came out early to volunteer at the VASA Work Bee (mountain bikers helping skiers. well done guys):

Susan Vigland
Rachel Decker
Don Cunkle
Glen Ruczynski
Ty Schmidt

In all, we raised $193 for TART’s Snow Clearing Initiative. We think that’s pretty awesome.

Here’s the “results”:

1. Craig Webbcorp – 1:35
2. Ty IBuiltThatFence Schmidt – 1:36
3. BigRing Bottrell – 141:00
4. Hal FullGas Bevier – 1:42
5. Mike ROCkma – 1:42:25
6. Jeff GalstererER – 1:42:26
7. David Tietz – 1:47
8. Saeth Short’sRacing Gronberg – 1:56
9. Jeff Thanks-for-coming-from-Midland Adamcik – 1:57 (long-way through Timber Ridge!!)
10. Bruce DeBoer – 1:58
11. Brian ManBeard Beckwith – 1:59
12. Coast Guard Gene Ward – 2:00
13. Darcie NoFear Pickren – 2:05
14. Jim Padden – 2:05:01
15. Glen ShovelPusher Ruczynski (1 lap) – “fast”
16. Don KioskMoving Cunkle (1 lap) “really fast”
17. Susan GravelSmoothing Vigland – DNF (hope you’re OK Garbs!)
18. Laura Webb “helping Garbs”
19. Rachel GravelQueen Decker “helping Garbs
20. Marilyn Kamp “helping Garbs”

Thanks again for coming out! Let’s do it again next year!

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El Grupo Norte’s Bike To School Fridays


El Grupo Norte‘s Bike to School Fridays is sort of like National Bike to School Day except it happens every week. And it has more High Fives too.

We’re riding to both Central Grade and Eastern Elementary schools each Friday until the snow flies. You’re welcome to join us anytime. Or, if you got a different school, just hop on your bike and pedal there but be sure to send us a photo so we can post it.

Get a group of buddies to join you and commit to riding to school every Friday. It’s the awesome thing to do.