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!
“You mean you can Facetime us from your camp site”, my daughter said incredulously. “From the middle of nowhere?” she continued. ”You lot are mad!” OK she was more annoyed that I was taking our WiFi-only iPad away with me as I took some time out of my day job in Cisco Data Center Services, to participate in 2 stages of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. Prior to the ride, I blogged about this challenge here, discussing the scale of the event and our target to raise money for Paralympic athletes. A nine day, 969 mile cycle over some of the most challenging terrain in Britain, the ‘Deloitte Ride Across Britain’ was an immense physical and mental challenge. From Saturday 8th September until Sunday 16th September (just passed), over 700 riders took part in this epic journey from Land’s End to John O’Groats. For the second year in a row, Cisco provided key technical support to the riders, so that they were able to focus fully on this enormous and exciting journey.
This Friday and Saturday, 14th and 15th September 2012, respectively, will be challenging days for me, and will count among two of the most physically demanding days of my life. On Thursday evening I will join my Cisco colleagues taking part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (or RAB as we call it), to raise funds for the Paralympics GB team. I’ll forsake my desk and comfortable chair, and over Friday and Saturday, I will cycle 238 miles (close to 400km!), including over 11,000 feet (over 3,300m) of climbing, from just outside Glasgow, in the west of Scotland, to Fort William, and then on to Kyle of Sutherland, which is around 40 miles north of Inverness.
On Thursday and Friday evening, I will join the camps -- yes, tents in a field, no luxury hotels here!! -- as you can see from my short video from last year’s RAB camp at one of the stages.