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 31: Myrtle Beach, S.C. to Dunn, N.C.

NorthCarolinaToday’s ride from Myrtle Beach to Dunn was fantastic. It started out with a lot of patchy fog but then the weather was cool, overcast and comfortable. We had plenty of dogs running with us, but they were the nice kind, not aggressive, and they kept their distance in parallel. Dunn is near the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle that includes N.C. State University, Duke University and the University of North Carolina. More than 50 years ago, those institutions and other collaborators established Research Triangle Park, now the largest research park in the world and the oldest in the United States. The park has more than 170 companies on its 7,000 acres, including large operations of major firms such as IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco. It is a thriving center of entrepreneurship an economic development, a shining example of the difference that research universities can make to their communities, the nation, and the world. Read more »

Day 27: Fayetteville to Sandersville, Ga.

Despite the perfect weather and the accurate routes, today’s ride was a brutal challenge – long miles of rolling hills and 6,000 feet of climbing. It was one if those days I had to pull out all the stops to finish. At one of the food stops, I took a walk around the van and looked at all the signatures. I know so many are behind me. Then I saw the photo of Michael, Marcia and Christa Parseghian; the little magnet picture of Jessica and her little saying “never give up;” Shanna’s “thank you” next to her name and the bandana she gave me; the notes and the Clu bracelet from Amy and Amanda. I saw the reminder of Dana, who so recently finished her fight with NPC. These are extraordinary kids and inspiring families. I got back on the bike and pushed it to Sandersville. Read more »

Day 16: Austin to Brenham, Tex.

Renate riding into BrenhamWe got a surprise gift as we left Austin – a tailwind, the first of this trip. It was a challenging day, but the weather was beautiful and Renate was with me. She’s riding for the next few days and did great on the road again. Renate is a real trooper and so passionate about the NPC cause.

Leaving Austin, all I could think about was innovation and entrepreneurship. I learned that the University of Texas- Austin is building a new medical school, and so much of the university’s focus is very entrepreneurial. I always believed in an entrepreneurship university – with entrepreneurship defined as not just as starting companies, but more broadly as pursuit of opportunity.   Read more »

Day 3: El Centro, Calif, to Yuma, Ariz.

Day 3.1Today was supposed to be an easy ride – fewer miles than normal, no climbing whatsoever on the flat terrain, and we would start early enough to get off the bikes by 10 a.m.  However, the roads were terrible – the worst roads I have ever ridden for such extended periods of time. My arms and legs were getting beat up, as well as my bike – it was just a bad, bad route.   Read more »

Our talented students

One of the things I love most about working in the College of Science is that we work hard to develop our students to become innovative scientists who will apply their scientific knowledge to solve some of the most challenging problems in our world.  I want to share a few examples of some of the exciting things our students are doing this semester.  There are many accomplished students in the College of Science. Here are just a few.

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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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June 22 – Day 10: Lynchburg, VA., to Winston-Salem, N.C.: Dog Days of Summer

Greg is Missing Indiana

Today we had a very challenging ride on rolling hills, punctuated by several encounters with dogs. The first one was very small and chased us down the road for quite a while, at a safe distance. The second one looked like a pit bull, and we were a bit concerned because he was missing one ear. When the third one showed up, Greg dropped his water bottle behind the bike to distract him – and when we went back for the bottle, the dog was guarding it. With the fourth and fifth dogs, we figured out that a squirt from the water bottle is most effective at discouraging them. It was enough to give even dog lovers like us some second thoughts. Read more »