The ride stuff: Ex-Columbus motorcyclist promoting pregnancy care centers in seven states

Ex-Columbus resident Chad Royer is revved up about the work of pregnancy care centers — so much so that he’ll steer his 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 motorcycle through seven states next month to build awareness about their impact.

The 50-year-old, current Bedford resident, is a board member of the Hope Resource Center in that city. Royer recently sought a way to highlight their efforts, and those of other pregnancy care centers.

Royer decided to roll with the idea of taking a week off in June from his job as a post-surgical hand therapist to ride solo to seven different such centers located near towns called Hope in other parts of the country. One of those stops includes Bartholomew County’s Hope by about 1:30 p.m. June 13 in the town square.

He will then venture to Hope in Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kansas, North Dakota and Minnesota. Some 4,000 miles, all told.

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So it will be with what he is billing as Hope Ride 2020: Seven Days of Hope.

The past two years, he has done one-day, 1,000-mile rides in part for the Hope Resource Center that he serves.

“I love to ride for distance,” he said.

However, Royer also is long on compassion, and long on focusing attention on helping others.

“The frustrating thing about those (previous) rides is that so many people didn’t seem to know much about the Hope Resource Center,” Royer said. “And when I told them it was a pregnancy care center, they still didn’t know what that was, or the issues surrounding places like that.”

Pregnancy care centers, including the Columbus-based Clarity serving Bartholomew and several surrounding counties, provide everything from sexuality education to support groups for those who have had abortions to pregnancy testing and counseling.

All the ones Royer is referencing on this trip, including Clarity, are Christian-based, though their clients represent various faiths or no particular faith.

Lara Martin, the local Clarity development director, will be among staffers providing a tour of the Columbus offices for Royer after he leaves Hope shortly after his arrival. She also hopes to see some people turn out to welcome Royer in the Hope town square.

“Even if we have to social distance and cheer him on as he rides through would be a cool thing,” Martin said. “I think it’s a great way to build additional awareness and excitement about Clarity.”

When it comes to general, overall awareness of the various centers, Royer hopes to guide people to his personal Facebook page for images, updates, and a bit of education about each of his stops.

“I’m trying to get as many people as possible tuned in,” he said.

Royer himself first tuned in to the issues of pregnancy care centers about a decade ago when he attended a Lawrence County Right to Life banquet.

“The cause immediately struck a chord with me,” he said. “But then I thought, ‘What can I do as a fella? Later, the longer I thought about it, I thought, ‘It’s fine to say you’re pro-life and all, but I had to ask myself, ‘Man, what are you doing about that?’”

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Who: Motorcyclist Chad Royer, a Bedford resident who lived in Columbus from 1997 to 2000.

What: Riding to seven Hope cities with nearby pregnancy care centers to build awareness for those centers’ faith-based work.

When: June 13-20, including the Hope town square at about 5 p.m. June 13, followed by a tour of the Columbus-based Clarity, a pregnancy care center serving several counties.

Information: Facebook page for Chad Royer.

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