TOWN OF RIDGWAY Riding in for the Axel Project
By Bill Tiedje
Bicyclists from across the country will visit Ridgway on Aug. 30 to participate in the Axel Project Bicycle Classic, including 80-mile, 40-mile and kids' routes, plus live music and a post-ride celebration in Hartwell Park.
With all proceeds benefiting the Axel Project, the charity ride will support the project's mission of introducing cycling to children and young families.
The Ridgway-based charity was founded in memory of two-year-old bike lover Axel Charrette, who died tragically in Mexico in 2013.
Departing Ridgway at 8:30 a.m., organizer and Axel's father, Randy Charrette, said riders would enjoy views of the Sneffels Range as they climb over Dallas Divide, riding to Telluride and back.
The shorter 40-mile loop is an out-and-back route to Placerville.
Charrette said, "I got an e-mail the other day about people from New York coming for the ride."
"It's been a crazy August," commented Charrette, who recently returned from the Tour of Utah professional cycling race and is headed to the Tour of Colorado this week.
Joining cyclists on the Axel Project Bicycle Classic will be Tour of Utah Champion and Durango native Tom Danielson of Team Garmin-Sharp.
After the race, Good Times Music Company will perform and kids' activities will be offered in Hartwell Park, including bounce houses and the Strider bicycle adventure zone.
Medals will be award for first through third place finishers in a Strider balance bike race.
Colorado Boy Brewery in Ridgway has also created a special pub ale, the Axel Ale, for the event.
Registration for the Axel Project Bicycle Classic is ongoing at www.axelprojectride.com.
Charrette explained participants that register now will be mailed their complimentary race jerseys and musette riding bags after the race.
Starting at 10:30 a.m., registration for the kids' ride will take place before the race in Hartwell Park.
Heading down the Uncompahgre RiverWay trail, the kids' ride will pass the Axel Charrette Memorial in Dennis Weaver Memorial Park before returning to Ridgway.