It’s 5:30am on Monday morning (10th June 2013 to be precise). “ Wake up it’s a beautiful morning” by the Boo Radleys is blasting out of the speakers at the camp site. “I shouldn’t be up at this time” is one of the lines of this songs which rings so true to me on this day. It’s not a dream although my head wishes it was. I’ve been awake since around 4am -- thanks to the and chirpy wildlife and early sunrise in the north of Scotland where the sun appears at not long after 3am. Yes I’m back on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (“RAB”) again, aiming to cycle 220 miles over 2 days, to help Cisco raise funds for the paralympic athletes via the Paralympics GB charity.
The “RAB”, as we call it, is a cycle ride from John O’Groats, in the very north of Scotland, to Lands End, in the very south of England -- top to bottom of the United Kingdom, in fact. Cisco supports and encourages us to take part -- around 50 of us were taking on typically one or two stages, with a few mad colleagues doing the whole 9 days of 100 mile+ daily cycling! Yes we had “free” days off work, away from my usual work in Cisco Data Center Services around Cisco Domain TenSM - committing to achieve a fundraising target -- however it’s not quite what most people would call a holiday! And we also had a “Virtual RAB” in our offices to ensure everyone gets an opportunity to help further the fundraising cause.
As the video shows, we cycled through some amazing scenery, connected with new colleagues across Cisco UK & Ireland, and renewed old friendships. Our fund raising is in progress and I’d appreciate any and all donations here!
This is a very challenging but definitely fulfilling event -- and I bet painful if you’re not quite ready for it! I first took part in 2011 for one day, and took on two days in quite horrendous weather in September 2012. Last year, the Cisco team raised around £20,000 (over $32,000 USD) — while the event as a whole, with over 700 riders, raised over £1 Million in total — all for paralympic athletes. With the event still in progress as I write, we’ll know in a few weeks if we’ve been able to beat last year’s fund raising.
This year, the weather (on my stages) was much kinder -- we even seen the sun on occasion! I’ll let the photos below tell more of the story of the ride -- we passed some fantastic scenery on the journey. While it was a tough ride -- definitely not for the faint-hearted -- the pain was quickly put into perspective after listening to one of the blind cyclists on the ride, who was travelling the who route (not just my ‘measly’ 219 miles!) on a tandem!
As I wrap up, I’d like to say a big thanks to my family, friends and colleagues for donating to this worthy cause -- it truely is humbling when colleagues give their hard-earned money to charity via my fundraising -- and to Cisco for having such an enlightened corporate social responsibility policy that not only supports such events, but positively encourages “Giving Back“.
Here are some of the photo highlights (thanks to my Cisco colleagues for some of these) …..