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Get Fit, Get Healthy: El Grupo Norte!

Get Fit, Get Healthy is a brand new segment featuring the people, businesses and organizations doing their part to promote an active lifestyle.

We all know most of us could do more.

Get Fit, Get Healthy will show you where you can find events and opportunities to burn off some of that extra winter weight.

Tonight we’re in Traverse City with El Grupo Norte!

"Because it’s good exercise for your legs."

"Because I like to bike."

“Because it keeps me healthy, and it’s one less car on the road."

These guys ride their bicycles to school whenever they can, no matter the reason. El Grupo Norte! helps make that possible. 

"We do it every Friday. Most of our trains run on Fridays, and we’ve evolved not just to include bikes, but we’re starting to encourage kids to walk and roll, too."

Ty Schmidt is the executive director of !, a cycling group focused on kids.

He wants them to learn how to ride safe, smart and together.

"That’s the reason this all started. The kids I did see pedaling to school we’re doing so in a sketchy way. They were riding on the sidewalk, not following the rules of the road, not knowing how a four-way stop works," explains Ty.

All the TCAPS neighborhood schools now have a "train" complete with a volunteer adult leader.

"Some are small, two or three, some are eight to ten, and it varies. Not every kid needs a train to get to school, but, again, it’s the social aspect of it and we also teach bike safety," says Ty. "They also get to know their town. They get to know the names of their streets, which direction they are going. They get to explore the world around them." 

And the world around them is getting more and more bike friendly, which is why Ty thought he needed to fill this void. 

"Who’s advocating for more kids on bikes, because these kids will eventually be the next generation, and as we go around, what does it mean to get around TC? It’s a great place to ride your bike. It really is for fun for recreation, for transportation, for all of it," explains Ty.

That fun isn’t limited to kids like Ash. Norte! has plenty of events that invite the community out on two wheels.

"Norte! is youth focused, but we really want to encourage moms and dads and grandmas and everybody in between to get out and do that, so I think the is a good way to start," says Ty.

"Get on your bike and come ride with Norte!"