Erich Wallace, parishioner at St. Francis Xavier in Merrill, trains to participate with Biking for Babies as a support crew missionary. (Submitted photo)
Catholic Herald staff
Merrill native Erich Wallace will be involved with the pro-life initiative “Biking for Babies” this summer. Seeking to renew the culture of life “one pedal stroke at a time,” Wallace summarized Biking for Babies’ mission as “educational, financial and physical.”
Biking for Babies targets young adults to increase awareness and involvement in the pro-life movement. Biking missionaries raise funds and awareness through sponsored donations that benefit pregnancy resource centers and maternity homes.
Riding 600 miles over six days gives riders and support persons a glimpse of the commitment and perseverance needed “to make the the difficult and oftentimes scary decision to choose life,” Wallace said, “and to offer the suffering that comes through this physical training and discomfort as a prayer for the women in these situations.”
Wallace shared that his participation will be as a support crew missionary, “driving the vehicles, handing out water and food, navigating, coordinating route stops, doing laundry, etc., but (I) have bought a road bike also, so some training to offer up for these struggling women and the riders I will be supporting!”
The 31-year-old graduated from UW-Madison in 2012 with a degree in history. He taught for a time at St. Francis Xavier Catholic School in Merrill and worked as the parish and school youth minister before spending a year discerning the priesthood through a program in La Crosse.
Since Wallace’s return to Merrill, he has started a construction and remodeling business and continues to engage in and learn more about his Catholic faith.
“I’ve decided to become a missionary with Biking for Babies because I believe it is an organization that is putting faith into action to renew the culture of life by educating people, supporting pregnancy resource centers who are providing help to mothers and families in need, and by uniquely using the physical suffering that comes through cycling to offer up for women in crisis pregnancies and raise awareness for the pro-life cause,” Wallace stated.
Wallace’s fundraising pledge goal for the July 11-18 northern route ride is $5,000. General information can be found at bikingforbabies.com. Wallace’s personal support page, with an option for financial support, is located at https://bikingforbabies.com/Erich-Wallace. In addition, the website for the beneficiary Wallace is partnering with – Mary’s Inn Maternity Home in Dubuque, Iowa – can be found at www.MarysInnMaternityHome.org.
Since the first Biking for Babies ride in 2009, more than 25,000 miles have been pedaled, with $800,000 raised to support 65 pregnancy resource centers.