Day 14 (Friday, August 6): Bowie, Texas to Duncan, Oklahoma: “We’re Halfway There” – Goodbye Longhorns, Hello Sooners.

Sunrise in Bowie, TX

Leaving Bowie today at sunrise put us in a good mood as the sunrise was a brilliant orange. It was a big day for us: we’re halfway there! As we crossed over the Oklahoma boarder, knowing that we passed beyond our halfway point, the Bon Jovi Song, “Livin’ on a Prayer” came to mind—and we played it loudly on the iPhone:

Oh, we’re half way there
Oh oh, livin’ on a prayer
Take my hand, we’ll make it, I swear
Oh oh, livin’ on a prayer

We just love this song, and today, it was most appropriate! The winds tried pushing us back to Texas, but we fought through them and made it to Duncan, Oklahoma. Sooner or later we have to get a tailwind. The temperatures here are lower, but humidity seems much higher today. We have a long day on Saturday and will have to get a few hours in before sunrise.

Crossing into Oklahoma

Feelin' OK in OK

Riding 2,300 miles, always thinking about rain, heat, and altitude, smooth roads, timing, etc., you start to do a lot of mental back-of-the-envelope calculations. We have a very exciting new initiative this year, and it is more than just an initiative, but a brand new department with a big vision and great mission fit for the College of Science.

Solving the complex problems the world currently faces—from human diseases, such as breast cancer, to environmental concerns, such as global warming—requires deep knowledge of each problem’s nature as well as numerous tools, perspectives, and expertise, including applied mathematical and statistical modeling and computational methods. The world is going quantitative. The College of Science has recently introduced a new department whose research and training programs will provide the University with this expertise. The partnership of applied mathematics, computational mathematics and statistics brings the tools of modeling, simulation and data analysis to bear on real-world problems, producing solutions with the power to predict and explain complex phenomena. These methods, often applied computationally, are being used in a wide variety of areas in business, engineering, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. We are so excited about the new department for many reasons, but most importantly it will allow us to cooperate in a deep and meaningful way with the other colleges and schools on campus.

Go Irish!

5 Comments so far

  1.    George Cyril Pinchock, '11 on August 7th, 2010

    You are amazing me! Two weeks ago I saw you pursuing what seems like an aggressive schedule–2300 miles in a month, and I admit I had my doubts, but it seems you’re well on your way there! Keep up the great work; I can’t wait to cheer on your arrival back at campus.

    I can relate to it because this past May, when Junior Year ended, on the last possible day I was allowed to stay in the dorm, (and several hours after the deadline for being out!) I finally pushed my last box to the UPS tent, loaded up my bike with gear, heard the Basilica bells signaling the Vigil Mass, pedaled across South Quad past the flagpole, down Notre Dame Avenue, kept going, until on a quiet country road 6 miles due south of the Dome, I turned East, towards Philadelphia.

    I didn’t go far—stayed in Goshen that night, but the next day I bolted 145 miles across IN-OH. My phone rang as I crossed the state border—legendary finance professor Carl Ackermann was calling to see how I was doing, albeit he still had final exams to grade from his 525 students! Gotta love ND. It was proverbial. I was passing through cornfields, rolling hills, passed Amish lands, and then got onto straight, flat roads in N Ohio. Heading away from Junior Year and into the future leading further and further East.

    Thank you for sharing this great blog. I appreciate following your cause, and especially related to your reflections on entrepreneurial spirit, and your love of the country in one of your earlier posts. We need leadership, more than just singular achievement, so I think you have a great attitude as the head of a College. Keep it up; I believe you will inspire a great number of future leaders as you get students involved in real-world projects, aligned to a greater sense of purpose, empowered to work across disciplines at an early age. Hope to see you back at ND. Go Irish!!!

  2.    Mike on August 7th, 2010

    I saw you guys outside of Chickasha America on my bike ride this morning! Good luck!

  3.    Greg Feldman on August 7th, 2010

    Keep the hammer down guys!!! Pics are great. We are praying for you and for a tailwind

  4.    Jude & Val Langhurst on August 8th, 2010

    We’re enjoying the blog and sounds like you’re enjoying every mile!

    We met at the ND Cedar Rapids Club event on the eve of our 800 mile ride back and forth across Iowa. We’re back, had a great time, and want to tell you about our RAGBRAI Niemann-Pick encounter.

    Standing in a breakfast line we noticed a fellow wearing a Niemann-Pick jersey. He was Steve Daitch and was riding (as a team of one) and raising funds for NPC on behalf of Dillon Papier, a 7-year-old NP-C patient from Maryland.
    This link is a good read and mentions the Parseghian Foundation, it also contains a link to NP-C research efforts.

    So applause, applause all around for fighting against this horrible disease, for raising funds and raising awareness!

    Jude & Val

  5.    Gregory on August 10th, 2010


    Thank you for your nice note and for following our blog. We’re very happy to have readers like you! Look forward to seeing you at the arrival event on August 23rd. Safe biking back to Notre Dame!

    Greg and Renate