The Axel Project: Getting Kids On Bikes

the axel project

Axel Charrette enjoying his Strider bike.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.  ~Author Unknown

It takes a special kind of strength to keep going when the road you’re on bends unendurably.

By any measure, the Charrette family is special. As a mom, dad and two adorable sons, they were special when they forged out to live an unconventional life as digital nomads, exploring, learning and riding on the road.

When their road turned, it turned precipitously and tragically, and their physical family was reduced by one. Yet, mom, dad and brother have kept going. Cyclists all, they have kept pedaling, fueled by the memory of their youngest son, Axel. 

As you may have read here in March, Axel was killed in Mexico in late February. But his story doesn’t end there. And, today, I am honored to spread the word about his memorial: The Axel Project. 

The Axel Project

the axel projectThe mission of the Axel Project is to introduce children and their families to cycling and to foster a lifelong passion for the sport.

Axel’s love for all things bikes, fostered by his family’s passion for cycling, and his particular affinity for chasing his brother around on his Strider bike, led to the creation of the Axel Project, and its natural corporate partnership with Strider Sports International, Inc.

Randy Charrette, Axel’s father and Project co-founder, expressed his passion for the endeavor,

In the months after our loss we wanted to come up with a way to honor our son’s memory. We decided to set up the Axel Project. Axel loved his Strider and we loved watching him gain confidence and enjoy life as he rode around. By getting more children and families on bicycles we are helping build healthier communities and a better world.

The Axel Project’s immediate goal is to provide balance bikes to children in need.

Organizations can apply to receive Strider bikes, for a nominal fee which includes shipping, as well as instructions on teaching children the basics of riding, by filling out a simple online application on the Axel Project website.

Jen Charrette, Axel’s mother and Project co-founder, explains,

We believe biking not only builds confidence in young children but also improves health, is an outlet to express pure joy, is a foundation to a lifelong appreciation of nature, and helps strengthen family bonds because it’s an activity the entire family can do together. The Axel Project was an obvious way for us to forever memorialize Axel and everything we came to love about riding together as a family.

Ryan McFarland, founder of Strider Bikes, had only two words when he was asked if his company would be the founding sponsor of the Axel Project. “We’re in,” was his immediate, and indelible response.

Donations to the Axel Project can be made at www.axelproject.com. All donations will be used to fulfill the organization’s mission.

In addition, for every Strider bike sold on the Axel Project website, one will be donated to a child in need.

Please join me in supporting The Axel Project. Please consider a donation and please pass this on to individuals and organizations that might benefit from this generous gift of bicycles. 

Thank you! 

© 2013, Kristen Lummis. All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.

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