MEDINA TWP. — About 100 bikers rode about 100 miles Saturday in the inaugural Ride 4 Recovery, a fundraiser for Hope Recovery Community, a new addiction recovery center in Medina.
The ride started at 10 a.m. outside Heartland Community Church on Weymouth Road in Medina Township and headed northeast to Peninsula, south past Akron to New Franklin, southwest to Wooster and northwest back to Medina Township.
Along the way, bikers picked up “recovery chips” at Brandywine Ski Resort, Portage Lakes State Park, Hartzler Family Dairy’s Ice Cream Shoppe and Buckeye Woods Park. The ride ended about 3 p.m. in the parking lot of Cornerstone Chapel on Granger Road in Medina, where bikers enjoyed a cookout, live music and raffles. Each biker donated $25.
One of the riders was Ariel Soto of Lafayette, a member of Heartland church, where Hope Recovery Community organized its first meeting in October.
“The center can help everybody, not just those addicted to drugs or alcohol,” Soto said. “Whatever the hurts, habits or hang-ups, they can help.”
Soto and fellow riders Dan Grahovac of Strongsville and Alexandra Bastos of Brunswick said the center, for example, can assist those dealing with overeating, porn addiction or even loneliness.
“Anything you have a hard time letting go of,” Soto said.
Stefanie Robinson, executive director of Hope Recovery Community, said the center hopes to move into its new digs, the former home of Children’s Center of Medina County on Highland Drive, in about a month.
Until then, Cornerstone Chapel will continue to host free dinners every Saturday for center members and those in recovery. The dinners are sponsored by businesses, nonprofits and families.
Another of Saturday’s riders was Ashley Dasen of Mogadore. She works in the addiction-recovery field and heard about Ride 4 Recovery through friends.
Dasen said she supports Hope Recovery Community and participated in Saturday’s event because such events draw attention to the problem of addiction.
“The more aware people are, the more it can help the community,” Dasen said.
Bob Dunlap of Lafayette, who also rode Saturday, said he’s taken part in similar motorcycle rides in the past, like those organized by Bikers Against Heroin. He said the son of a friend died of a drug overdose.
Dunlap said he enjoyed the ride but it was a little rough in spots, due to less-than-ideal road surfaces.
“We got off track because there were detours we weren’t expecting,” Dunlap said. “We had to stop a couple of times and ask for directions.”