Striding with the Axel Project

    This spring a family lost their precious boy to a senseless act of violence.  I wrote about Axel and the Charrette family back in March and now continue to be deeply moved not by the tragedy (which no parent should ever have to live through) but by their STRENGTH and ENERGY to do good.  It takes special people to move forward as they have (though I am sure every day continues to be a struggle.)

    Image courtesy of the Charrette family

    Image courtesy of the Charrette family

    I wanted to share the Axel Project because I believe in it so very much.  The mission is simple:  Get kids on bikes and foster a love for family biking from an early age.  We talk about balance bikes often here – we think they are the best ~$100 you could spend on your toddler.  They teach confidence, overcoming obstacles, a love for the outdoors and provide a family-friendly way to be active.

    Obviously not every family can afford them, and this is where the Axel Project comes in.  Axel Charrette (aged 2) loved his Strider, racing his bike and riding with his brother.  They want to pass that love on.  For every Strider Bike purchased through their site, one bike will be donated to a child in need.  As a family, we have been personal fans of Strider Bikes for years now.  Their generosity and willingness to help with this mission just makes us love them more.


    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 All donations will be used to fulfill the organization’s mission.  You can also find updates on the project through their Facebook Page and on Twitter.  Besides bikes, you can also support the mission by buy and wearing t-shirts and stickers.

    Please join me in celebrating Axel, balance bikes, kids, families and biking.  Let’s help make this mission go big!


    © 2013, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

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      1. Thank you for sharing this amazing story & foundation. My daughter has a balance bike and LOVES it!


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