We are thrilled and honored to receive the 2015 League of Michigan Bicyclists’ Ralph Finneren Encouragement Award handed out in Lansing yesterday at the annual Lucinda Means Bicycle Advocacy Day.
The award is named after Ralph Finneren of Lake Orion who was struck and killed by a car in 2011 while riding his bicycle home from work.
Norte! co-founder, Ty Schmidt, and son, Jameson traveled to the State Capitol to accept the award on behalf of Norte!
“Ty and Johanna Schmidt, along with their bicycling children Carter and Jameson, have taken Traverse City by storm. In 2013, they founded Norte! to “advocate for more active, engaged, and bikes-for-life leader’s in Traverse City. Their work as individuals and through their non-profit Norte! has created an accessible network for people to enjoy bicycling year round. They’re organized bike to school rides, rides with elected officials and more. Their son Carter even has a bicycle-powered compost business. Although Ty and Johanna are both elite level cyclists, they said they are most proud of watching their sons fall in love with bikes. They see bikes as powerful tools to help youth increase independence, freedom, confidence, active transportation and a sense of community.”
Ty and Jameson also met with Judith Finneren, Ralph’s widow. Judith has made a wonderfully moving documentary on love and forgiveness called “Ghost Bike” to tell Ralph’s story. Please watch it.