Day 10 (Monday, August 2): Brownfield to Synder, TX: 100 times 2.

Do we look beaten up enough?

Wow, it is already the tenth day of our tour. Today we rode 100 miles and the temperature crept over 100 degrees before we were done for the day (hence 100 twice in the day). There was not a cloud in the sky so the sun ‘beat’ down on us all day long. There is no way to sugarcoat today’s ride—it was a grind. Everything was unfavorable—the temperature, the sun, the wind, the road surface, the climbs, and the flies. We started out today at 5 a.m. (which our bodies interpreted as 4 a.m. as we had just entered the central time zone the day before) and we were still caught in the heat.

Renate made it to the parking lot of the hotel but no farther!

Although it was a very tough day, we raised awareness and more dollars for our cause: Niemann-Pick research and our relationship with the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. We are 100 miles closer to the Dome and one day closer to our goal; and we are one day closer to seeing our girls! We can’t wait to see them at the Chicago event on August 20th.

Putting ice on the wrists to cool off

We are getting stronger every day. The photograph of Marcia, Christa and Michael Parseghian on the side of the van kept us moving today. Just looking at that photograph gives us strength. Renate painted her nails purple, Christa’s favorite color, the color of hope and therefore the color for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation. This is a daily reminder of why we are doing this. This was our girls’ idea and a very symbolic one. In addition, our daughters gave Renate a purple biking shirt in Tucson—you will see her wearing that shirt in many of the photos.

We are using Skype in the hotels as much as possible to keep in touch with our own girls at home and to keep up with meetings at Notre Dame. We got so used to Skyping to hear about the girls’ day, their soccer tryouts, friends, and other happenings that when the Internet was out when we came in from our long, hot day, we were sorely disappointed. It is a great ending to our day to see them and catch up “in person” even though we are so far away from them. We miss you, girls!

I was thrilled to hear that Professor Ikaros Bigi stopped by my office today with a Desert to Dome donation in hand. After a recent illness, Professor Bigi has returned to campus. I am so delighted that he is back—he is a fighter and I knew he would be back! Professor Bigi, your determined spirit is an inspiration to us all. It meant a lot to me to hear that you stopped in to support the ride. Best wishes from Texas! A warm welcome back to campus! We all missed you, Professor Bigi.

5 Comments so far

  1.    Kristy Kruggel on August 3rd, 2010

    You guys don’t look beat up at all. I so admire your dedication to this. We are all pulling for you. Keep up the good work. Kurt and Kristy

  2.    Mimi on August 3rd, 2010

    I’m a student at ND right now (summer MBA courses), and got a phone call from my brother at home in Texas this morning–he saw you riding through and wanted more information. Thanks for what you’re doing–and enjoy the Texas heat!

  3.    CHUCK LENNON on August 3rd, 2010

    Way to Go team…you are the best and on behalf of all our Alums,THANK YOU BOTH and your girls,for doing this for the Parsegians and for Notre Dame. I look forward to seeing you on the 23rd…stay alert and BE SAFE. Chuck and Joan Lennon

  4.    Gregory on August 3rd, 2010

    Hi Mimi,
    Thanks for your comment and for your interest! We are dedicated to finding therapies and treatments for Niemann-Pick and every mile we bike (and there are many miles in Texas!), we are closer to this goal. We hope to see you on August 23rd when we bike into Notre Dame.
    Thank you again for your note–we certainly are enjoying those beautiful Texas sunrises.
    Study hard!

  5.    Peg Queen on August 4th, 2010

    How do you have the energy to keep up the blog??? I’m exhausted just READING about the ride!!!! I envy you in some ways because you are seeing the beautiful Southwest the way it should be seen; not going down the highway 60 mph! Stay safe and we’ll see you on Notre Dame Avenue!