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: Midland to San Angelo, Tex.

MidlandToday’s ride was pretty simple – straight head. The wind was a heavy cross coming out of the south. The landscape again was pretty desolate and empty. On days with so much emptiness all around, as far as the eye can see, with nothing discernible to attract attention, in some strange way the mind is free to question everything.

In the College of Science at Notre Dame, we concentrate on teaching our students to be questioners. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics developed in the first place because of the innately human drive to ask questions. Every field stays alive and flourishing if and only if we generate new questions – new questions all the time. Questions, not answers, move disciplines forward. Questions challenge us in search for the truth, in search for solutions, in search for better ways to understand and improve our world. Read more »

Day 12: Hobbs, N.M. to Midland Tex.

Today we traveled into Texas and made it to Midland, the childhood home of President George W. Bush. Midland, midway between Fort Worth and El Paso, is an important oil town in the Permian Basin and has a booming economy. The weather is beautiful, with low humidity and more than 300 days of sun a year.

The Road to Discovery today passed through an interesting series of landscapes – past a large uranium enrichment plant in New Mexico, through vast areas of sand, to farm fields, to heavy desert brush to oil fields. The ride made me reflect on the idea of change. Change is a big deal in the modern world, where we expect that the future will be different from the present, and we expect much of the change will come from science and technology. Read more »

NPC conference highlights

Now that I’ve finished the ride, I wanted to take time to say how proud I am of the College of Science’s contribution to the second annual Michael, Marcia, and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research earlier this month. Several of the conference’s presentations highlighted research contributions from the laboratories of Notre Dame faculty and the efforts of their graduate and undergraduate research students.

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Day 20: Yuma, CO to Denver, CO

The rising sun this morning was spectacular. The rays hit the van in a way that lit up the more than 300 gold signatures we’ve collected so far. That sun got hot as the day went on with the temperature reaching nearly 100 degrees in the strong wind. The landscape is vast – miles and miles to the horizon. Four antelope joined us for a few miles of the ride, running in the adjacent field parallel to the road. It was really cool to watch them slow down for a while, then accelerate to catch up with us. They are so fast! A train came by near the road, and the engineer played his version of the Notre Dame fight song for us with whistle toots – not exactly how it goes, but a really nice gesture. Little things like that really make a big difference to me out here.

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Day 19: McCook, NE to Yuma, CO

Today was a more challenging ride – the crosswind was back, and it was blowing at 18 mph with gusts of 28 mph. It looks like we’ll have more of that tomorrow and it will be hotter, but the winds should ease off a bit. That will be nice.

I left very early this morning and the sunrise was spectacular. The sunrise is always one of my favorite parts of the day.  The prairies and wheat fields were marvelous and looked beautiful blowing in the wind.  As we crossed into Colorado, we probably could see 50 to100 miles in all directions. The train off in the distance, probably a mile long, looked like a toy in the landscape under that big blue sky. We’ll see the Rockies tomorrow as we head toward Denver.

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Michael, Marcia, and Christa Parseghian Scientific Conference for Niemann-Pick Type C Research

We are looking forward to hosting the national NPC conference in Jordan Hall beginning this Thursday, June 9 through Saturday, June 11 in the Jordan Hall of Science.  About 80 NPC researchers and 10 parents will be attending. The public is invited to the research presenations. 

View conference information.