Day 22: Granby to Craig, CO

Today started out very cold for biking; it was just over 40 degrees when we left.  I must say that the ride from Granby to Craig was the most beautiful stretch of the trip so far. There was hardly any other traffic on the Road to Discovery, but every direction presented sheer cliffs, sagebrush, and the white rapids of the Colorado River. Most of the mountains still have snow on them.

Granby to Craig, CO Read more…

Day 21: Denver to Granby, CO

The day started off wonderful with an interview with KUSA/NBC and a visit to Marley Coffee in Denver.  Marley has been such a great supporter of our cause.  The company’s headquarters in Denver is the coolest headquarters ever. I was even asked to ride my bike through it.  It was great to meet the wonderful Marley employees. Thanks for all of your support.

Interview with Gary Shapiro at KUSA in Denver

Interview with Gary Shapiro at KUSA in Denver

 

Today’s journey was perhaps the roughest I have experienced in all five rides. It started off so well.  Jim, a recent Notre Dame graduate and captain of the Notre Dame Cycling Team last year, joined us for the first part of the ride to Estes Park. On the way, we climbed to 8,000 feet and then descended to about 7,000 feet.

Jim and Greg

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Day 20: Yuma to Denver, CO

The ride was a bit wet today. There was mist in the air most of the day as we climbed from about 4,000 feet to over 5,000 feet. You can definitely feel the effects of the change in altitude on your breathing. We began the day in Yuma, which is a quiet and small town, like many small towns on today’s route, and biked to the busy and vibrant city of Denver.

We had a wonderful alumni event at the Spire.  Cindy and Mike Parseghian were there and Cindy presented her family story about their fight and the loss of their three children to NPC. No matter how many times I listen to the story, it never gets any easier to hear.  Because of their fight, courage and devotion, the Notre Dame family has rallied behind their cause. Erica from the Notre Dame Federal Credit Union also visited the event. NDFCU has been such a wonderful sponsor over the last four years. The credit union has a new program called Elevate that further supports our fight against rare diseases. Read more…

Day 19: McCook, NE to Yuma, CO

Beautiful sunrise in Nebraska

Beautiful sunrise in Nebraska

Today’s ride from McCook, Nebraska to Yuma, Colorado was a really nice ride.  The terrain was sharper with bigger hills and valleys, and a plush green landscape with lots of cattle as far as the eye could see.  With it being Sunday, it was a lonely road and we did not see too many people or cars, but the vast and lively landscape kept me engaged.  Not sure why, be we saw lots of turtles crossing the road today. As we approached Hagler, Nebraska, there was a sign that said Kansas one-half mile south.  Since I have not been to Kansas on any of my previous bike rides, we took a little detour.

Welcome to Kansas!

The Road to Discovery stops in Kansas for the first time.

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Day 18: Kearney to McCook, NE

The ride today was really beautiful—from the farms lands of Nebraska in and around Kearny to the western side of Nebraska where the landscape is rolling with cattle over scattered over the rolling acres of land. It was partly cloudy and the temperature was just right. We had to fight a headwind most of the way. You probably getting tired of reading that this was uneventful day, but it was.

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Day 17: York to Kearney, NE

Today was a very uneventful biking  day. There was a bit of a headwind and it was a cloudy day—the temperature never reached 70 degrees.

I had to burn a lot of calories from my big steak dinner from the night before with  Jim and Chances. At the end of the bike ride, I had an interview with Nebraska TV.

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Day 16: Omaha to York, NE

Oh boy, today was really wet. The storms were so heavy at times that we had to stop for a bit until they passed. We’d get back on the road, but then another wave would come. There was so much rain so fast that it left ponds on many of the Nebraska cornfields. They weren’t really thunderstorms—not much thunder and lightning—but the water came in torrents, and the sky stayed dark and ominous.

Stormy sky enroute to York

Stormy sky on the road to York

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Day 15: Des Moines, IA to Omaha, NE

Today we went through more rolling hills, long and steep, in a challenging 6,500 feet of climbing today. I must say that I had forgotten how hilly Iowa and Nebraska are. It was nonstop.

We had two events tonight. First we met with the Notre Dame Club of Omaha and told the group about our efforts in the fight against rare diseases. Two incoming freshman joined us—one is going to study mathematics and physics, the other student is going to major in preprofessional studies.

Notre Dame Club of Omaha

Notre Dame Club of Omaha

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Day 14: Iowa City to Des Moines, IA

Today’s ride was hot, humid, and hilly. Who said Iowa was flat? The rolling hills were never-ending, and the farm fields stretched in every direction as a far as the eye could see. Deer were everywhere. It was a great day for riding.

Interview with NBC in Des Moines

Interview with NBC in Des Moines

It was also a great evening with the Notre Dame Club of Des Moines at Tursi’s Latin King Restaurant, a well-known Italian eatery. They had the best chicken I’ve ever tasted, and the meatballs melted in my mouth. I gave a Universal Notre Dame Celebration talk about Father Hesburgh, and included an update on our progress in the fight against NPC as well as our broader efforts against rare diseases.

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Day 13: Davenport to Iowa City, IA

Today we rode from Davenport to Iowa City, a wonderful place that is home to the great University of Iowa. The day was sunny with a slight headwind—nothing to complain about—and the fields were green with fresh growth as far as the eye could see.

As we pulled into Iowa City, a reporter called and asked me to meet him at Kinnick Stadium, home of the Iowa Hawkeyes and named for the 1939 Heisman Trophy winner, Nile Kinnick.

Iowa City Read more…

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