Dedicated Irish fans bike 100 miles for season opener

A group of about 50 cyclists, many of them Notre Dame Alums, rode a whopping 100 miles Saturday, starting out in Chicago and ending up right here in South Bend to attend the Irish home opener.

It was all part of the 7th Annual Home Opener Bike Ride. The group makes a few stops along the way, but when they arrive they enjoy food and drinks before heading into the stadium.

And this whole event actually got started with an idea at 5 o'clock one morning.
“Seven years ago I woke up at five in the morning and I said, ‘the wind is blowing toward Notre Dame, I am going to ride try to ride my bike over there this morning. Would you mind following me?’ and she said, ‘sure, no problem’,” says organizer Dave Tracy.

This year, more than 50 cyclists joined the journey to Notre Dame for the home opener.

“You are with 40 plus other alumni. I mean, we are riding from Chicago, you can’t beat it. I mean people call us a cult because we just love our school,” says bike ride participant Aisha Soderberg.

But on this year's ride was something new, or should we say someone new.

“We had the good fortune of connecting with the dean of the school of science, Greg Crawford. He is a spectacular rider. He has done four cross country rides in order to raise money to find a cure for Niemann-Pick disease, which is a very rare disease which unfortunately took the lives of three of Ara Parseghian's grand children,” explains Tracy.

“They told me about what they do in fact, in Chicago about riding every home game so they recruited me to come and do it this year. Everyone was so, sort of great about the cause and helping out and we are all donating to the cause so it was just great to be with them all day today,” says Notre Dame Dean of the College of Science, Greg Crawford.

Many say Saturday’s ride was a ton of fun in spite of flat tires, some falls and a few slippery spots, but everyone made it to the university

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