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National Cherry Festival Offers Bike Valet, Encourages Bikers

With so many people here, navigating Traverse City traffic and trying to find a parking spot this week can be a real headache.

But there’s an easy solution for the visitors here.

Hop on your bike.

"TC is becoming more of a bike city year after year and I think we are on the verge of bike greatness,” Ty Schmidt, Norte said.

Trading four wheels for two, it’s a trend that’s catching on in the cherry capitol.

And programs like the Bike Valet are making it easier than ever.

"I think this provides a convenient up front rock-star parking for people to come and enjoy the festival because you don’t’ have to deal with traffic, you don’t have to deal with finding a parking spot, you get to enjoy a beautiful rid along the bay for me it’s a no brainer,” Schmidt said.

Ty Schmidt started the organization Norte dedicated to making Traverse City as bike friendly as possible.

This is the 3rd year they’ve sponsored the valet program.

"At first I didn’t think that cherry festers would actually ride their bike to the fest, but they do in big numbers, so the first year was just over 1,000, last year over 1,200, and this year we had a huge weekend so hopefully over 2,000 bikes parked all fest long," Schmidt said.

AAA also decided to get involved this year, to help promote their new service, helping bicyclists.

"if you had a breakdown on your bike on the Tart Trail, all you need to do is walk you bike to the nearest road and with the AAA App, or you can call on your call phone, a wrecker service will come pick you up and take you to where you started from, so it’s pretty cool we’re pretty excited about it,” Mark Allen, AAA branch manager said.

No better way to take in the sights, get some exercise and enjoy summertime in Northern Michigan.

"This is free and it’s fun and you get to ding your bell and wave at people as you roll, it’s a really great fit for Norte,” Allen said.

The Bike Valet is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for the duration of the festival.