Day 31: Milpitas to Pebble Beach, CA

Well, I made it! 3,500-plus miles from Long Island, New York, to Pebble Beach, California. What an amazing trip! Bruce from Development and Tom, an Notre Dame alumnus, rode with me again today. It was a pretty hilly ending when we rolled into Pebble Beach on 17-mile drive. The Monterrey landscape is beautiful, with rolling sand dunes just about everywhere. We had a big dinner event on the pier at Pebble Beach with all of the golfers and guests last night. It is the largest turnout ever, since the Pebble Beach fundraiser began four years ago. Mike and Cindy Parseghian dunked the front bike tire in the Pacific with me at the evening event, signifying the end of my ride. It is going to be an incredible weekend.IMG_3530 Read more »

Day 28: Fallon, NV to South Lake Tahoe, CA

Today we left Nevada and crossed the border into California.  It was a pretty mountainous ride from Fallon to South Lake Tahoe.

We made  a special stop in Reno to visit the Hempel family. Addison and Cassidy are identical twin girls who were diagnosed with NPC in October 2007 when they were four years old. Their parents, Chris and Hugh Hempel, stepped up with extraordinary courage and perseverance and joined the fight against NPC for Addi and Cassi like so many families who find themselves in such circumstances and respond with generosity and hope. In 2012, the Hempels drove to Carson City to meet me along the Road to Discovery route. This year, Addi and Cassi met me right under the Reno sign downtown with their little specialty bicycles. Seeing them was such an incredible inspiration. At the College of Science, we always say that’s it’s not just what we do, it’s why we do it. The Hempel twins are a great reason that we continue this fight against NPC. Thank you, Hempel family, for coming out to see me. Addi and Cassi, it was wonderful seeing you again—you inspire us all!

Visit with Cassi and Addi Hempel, and their dad Hugh

Visiting Cassi and Addi Hempel, and their dad Hugh

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Day 27: Ely to Fallon, NV

Today was a long and pleasant day on the road.  We were on Highway 50 the entire day, known as the loneliest highway in the country.  There were a few climbs and many down hills today.  The temperature was just right.  It was a day that was needed after the challenge of the day before.  When you looked ahead, all you could see was the long Nevada road tens of miles ahead—some stretches felt like I would never get there.  Although it was long; overall, the day was very good.

When we arrived at the hotel parking lot, I met a Notre Dame 2009 graduate and Naval Academy graduate. They are both officers on active duty and came over to ask about what we were doing.

Day 27

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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 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 »

Day 12: Mendota, IL to Davenport, IA

Today’s ride was a little more difficult than expected. Thunderstorms were predicted, and we were were riding right into them. The rain was very heavy at times, but we were on the backroads with no traffic so we rode right through them. Even though the rain was heavy, the temperature was relatively warm so it was a warm wet ride.The sky was ominus and eerie all day even when  it was not raining.  The terrain was relatively flat as we approached Iowa, crossing the Mississippi River, and rolling into Davenport. As we rolled into the hotel, Pat (’76) and Lynda Sarb were there to welcome us.

Sunday 6-7_sky
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Day 6: Harrisburg to Pittsburgh, PA

Today was the most difficult day of the ride yet.  It was cold and rainy.  I was told it was June 1, but I did not believe it for a second.  It felt more like March 1! On top of the weather, we were riding through mountains all day.  However, the scenery was beautiful.  In my opinion, the best way to experience the scenery is on a bike.

We finished our long journey and immediately jumped in the van for three straight interviews.  They will be posted on the blog soon.

Interview with KDTA

Interview with KDTA

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Day 5: Philadelphia to Harrisburg, PA

We were very sorry to hear today that our wonderful colleague Bob Sedlack, professor of visual communication at Notre Dame, passed away after his courageous fight against ALS. In addition to being a highly honored and respected teacher, he was a great example who used his gifts to serve others, including  many underserved people in the South Bend community and around the world. Our thoughts and  prayers are with his wife, Theresa, and their children, Emma and Trey.

Robert Sedlack and his design students traveled to Pretoria, South Africa to work  on design projects aimed at addressing several issues affecting South Africa and Johannesburg.

Robert Sedlack and his design students traveled to Pretoria, South Africa to work on design projects aimed at addressing several issues affecting South Africa and Johannesburg.

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Day 4: Rest Day in Stamford, CT

After a perfect day of riding through the Pennsylvania’s Amish country, we drove up to Stamford, CT for a very special event, the annual gala reception and concert to benefit Dana’s Angels Research Trust (DART). DART is one of our special collaborators in the fight against NPC and was established by Phil and Andrea Marella and named for their daughter Dana.

Meeting the Marella family in 2011.

Meeting the Marella family in 2011.

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