First Day: Boston to Sturbridge, MA

Today was a nice ride – temperatures in the mid-60s and, believe it or not, a tailwind most of the way. We had a little misty rain, but overall the day was very pleasant. This was the shortest leg of the whole ride – only 75 miles. Passing through Boston was a somewhat surreal experience – it was Boston College’s graduation day, and we were zipping through all that traffic with our Notre Dame van and our jerseys on full display. I was a bit nervous, and we did catch some beeps and bleeps, but we made it through Eagle country without incident and rode to Sturbridge, MA, which is right on the Connecticut state line.

Ara and Greg on the road

What made today really special was having Ara Parseghian, Coach Parseghian’s grandson and namesake, on the ride with me for the first 20 miles. Ara just graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine, so his mom and dad, Cindy and Mike, happened to be in town to help send us off. As a symbol of the start of the cross-country ride, we dipped our rear tires into the Atlantic – and then on the day we arrive in Pebble Beach, I will dip my front tire into the Pacific.  The water level was so low that we had to hang on to each other as we leaned over the side!

Dipping our bikes into the Atlantic

Mike, Ara, Greg, and Cindy in Boston

Right after we arrived in Sturbridge, I had a meeting with John, president of Carestream Health, in Connecticut.  Notre Dame has collaborated with Carestream in the area of molecular imaging.  John and I talked about molecular imaging, entrepreneurship and intellectual property. When we walked out to the parking lot, we found an 8-year-old old boy admiring the van.  His mom told us his goal is to come to Notre Dame – Class of 2026.  He signed the van and was so happy with the Notre Dame t-shirt we gave him. He told us his birthday is coming up in two weeks, so he will count the shirt as a birthday present.

Tonight we had an event with the Notre Dame Club of Hartford at Bellini’s Restaurant, just outside of Hartford.  It was a great night.  The club members from Hartford were wonderful and gave us a really warm welcome. The club is actively engaged and very informed about the cause and they have been reading the blog.  Kristin, a Notre Dame undergraduate studying accounting, joined us with her parents.  We handed out t-shirts, and of course everyone signed the van.

Thank you, Hartford Club, for welcoming us to your city.  We had a great time.  Thank you, Jim, for organizing the event.

6 Comments so far

  1.    Phil R. Williams on May 22nd, 2012

    I hope you all do well on this trip across the United States. We will see you when you are in Elyria. Have Fun and raise a lot of money.

  2.    Bob Williams on May 22nd, 2012

    F Cubed wishes you good lunch and have fun. The candle is lit at the Grotto > good weather and safe ride.

  3.    Nicolle Haley on May 22nd, 2012

    What a great way to kick off the ride! Here’s to many more pleasant ride days and to more terrific club events!

  4.    Annette Ruth on May 23rd, 2012

    Wishing you the best of fortune and weather your way from for the long haul ahead! I wish I could be at the Notre Dame event, but I’m down in Haiti again through June 6. Everyone here at CRS admires ND’s biking dean! Cheers!

  5.    Bob Kelley on May 24th, 2012

    Great start Greg! Can’t wait to see you in Denver on June 10th.