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admin | Category: Sole E25 Parts | 14.09.2013
Today, we’ll tell you how we raised funds for Paralympic athletes through what we call the “Virtual Ride Across Britain” – literally cycling on (stationary) bikes in each of the Cisco offices across the UK and Ireland!
I’m writing this blog in conjunction with 2 of my Cisco colleagues, Stephen Reidy and Nigel Townley. Stephen Reidy is a sales account manager in Cisco, and championed our “Virtual Ride Across Britain” across all of Cisco’s UK and Ireland offices, and Nigel Townley is a director of engineering in our “Enhanced Customer Aligned Testing Services” (or eCATS) testing team and press-ganged – sorry encouraged – tremendous participation in our Greenpark (Reading) office. This year, we achieved far higher employee participation than last year.  Inspired by the Road RAB riders and by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (which had incredible profiles here in the UK and in Cisco, where Cisco was the Official Network Infrastructure Partner), we had teams competing for distance, speed and fundraising – while at the same time having a bit of a laugh!
On fundraising, we raised more: VRAB 2012 also became the most successful to date in terms of fundraising, raising (at the time of writing) ?5,500 (Money raised + Cisco match funding).
In our Green Park (Reading) office, Cisco had 5 teams in the VRAB with 28 riders competing for the longest distance covered in 50 minutes as well as the most distance covered per team.
The VRAB Planning Team deserves a mention – this year saw Virtual Sales lead the VRAB Planning & Engagement alongside 8 site leads and a number of individuals from our Communications Team.
And finally, with social media, we shared many pictures, wall posts and banter (all in good taste!) through the Cisco RAB Facebook during the event, utilising a communication medium that is both inclusive and pervasive to internal and external individuals, enabling employees. Finally, if this effort has impressed or inspired you, perhaps you can support us at the Cisco Virtual Ride Across Britain Just Giving site, or, better still, initiate your own event, raise funds for a great charity, and have some fun while you are at it! Some of the individuals posting to this site, including the moderators, work for Cisco Systems. With the GALAXY Note 4 4G+ and Samsung Gear VR, fans can look forward to being part of the action sports experience as they surf their way with SportsFlow. Garage Entertainment has produced several VR episodes including the World First Virtual Reality Surfing footage, a point-of-view (POV) footage shoot, featuring Australian Mark Matthews, one of the world’s most renowned professional Big Wave surfers.
SportsFlow is the one of the first free sports apps in Southeast Asia and Oceania to offer VR content to users. First available on Samsung mobile devices, SportsFlow is now also available on Samsung Smart TVs across Southeast Asia and Oceania. The app is powered by content partnerships with over 150 providers across the region to aggregate and curate content for a wide range of professional sports, including football (English Premier League, Italian Serie A), motor sports (Formula 1, MotoGP), cricket, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf and more.
Courtesy photo Don Lamothe, 52, of Hudson, walks his bike along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at Hampton Beach on Saturday. Courtesy photo Don Lamothe, right, shares a hug with his family Saturday after finishing his 3,500-mile bike trek across the country as a fundraiser for cancer research. Couretsy photo More than a dozen of Don Lamothe's family members gathered at Hampton Beach to welcome him home after a 3,500-mile bike trip across the country to raise money for cancer research. In just eight weeks, the self-employed circuit designer from Hudson rode his bicycle 3,500 miles across the country, raised about $1,000 for cancer research and came back a grandfather. Lamothe, 52, started his journey June 15 in Washington state and ended the nationwide trek on the sands of Hampton Beach on Saturday morning.

He didn’t participate in the actual event, held last weekend, but instead entered as a “virtual rider” and raised money for the cause in his own way. Lamothe started in Washington state with five other riders and they biked along the border between the U.S. Lamothe said he wanted to bike across the country since he was 16, and after failing in 2001, when his partner quit halfway through, he finally accomplished his longtime goal. Lamothe has been riding his bike for charity since 2000, when his mother was diagnosed with leukemia. Since the timing coincided well with the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, he decided to be a “virtual rider” and donate the money he raised to the Jimmy Fund. He said the best part of the trip was the generosity he found from total strangers, especially when he and his fellow riders needed a place to stay. The best example of this, Lamothe said, was when he and four other riders were in Ontario, pedaling hard to get to another town before a dangerous thunderstorm struck, and a complete stranger drove up next to them in his pickup truck. The man ordered pizzas and the five cyclists stayed the night through the heavy storm that featured high winds, rain, thunder, lightning and hail. Most nights were spent in tents on campgrounds, but once or twice a week, the group stayed in a hotel to shower, do laundry and rest in a proper bed.
On his bike he had more than 50 pounds of equipment, including cycling and noncycling clothes, a tent, sleeping bag, air mattress pad, rain gear, a stove, shoes, food, bike tools, toilet paper, sunscreen, and detailed maps with pictures and information about their route.
Lamothe said he lost weight over the eight weeks, despite eating or snacking all day long to keep energy levels high as the group rode from 60 to 100 miles daily with one day off a week. Lamothe said the size of the group of riders changed anywhere from four to 10 along the trip, as bikers rode in and out along different routes across the country. When his group finally arrived at the seawall alongside Hampton Beach on Saturday morning, Lamothe said their work wasn’t done. While a few in his group decided to go farther north to Acadia National Park in Maine, Lamothe was on a mission to get back in time to see his son’s wife give birth to Lamothe’s first grandson. Lamothe said he doesn’t plan to ride across the country again, but he doesn’t rule out similar feats. For the Cisco staff that can’t get out on the road, we compete virtually on gym bikes at each of the UK offices – Bedfont, Galway, Glasgow (Trilogy), Greenpark, Langley, London City, Manchester, Ruscombe – with an objective to collectively ride the length of Britain, equivalent to the 963 miles that the road riders complete in the “actual” RAB.
With just over 260 people taking part in VRAB 2012 this is a significant improvement on the 60 or so that took part in VRAB 2011. To put this in perspective the Physical Road-RAB Riders raised ?15,000 resulting in VRAB contributing 25% to the total fundraised between RAB and VRAB. A number of teams went above and beyond the required 50 Min bike ride, with our Green Park (Reading) office completing over 1000 KM (621 Miles) alone. In total, there were 20 Individuals involved in the organisation, planning and execution of VRAB 2012, each hour contributed from spare time in what are already jam-packed, chaotic schedules.

Families, friends and customers could then see how we were making a difference for Paralympic athletes.
To earn points and badges for participating in the conversation, join Cisco Social Rewards. Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not of Cisco. We are thrilled that the first video content we are providing through this exclusive channel with Garage Entertainment is on action sports. The episodes capture Mark as he tackles 15ft waves at The Right, in Western Australia from four different video angles.
This is a truly immersive experience and one that really gets the fan right into the action, feeding them shots of adrenaline they cannot get from being a spectator. Users who purchase Samsung 2014 Smart TV models can select the SportsFlow application through the Smart Hub function to access news articles, sports updates as well as videos.
He finished his 3,500-mile bike trip on Saturday, which started in Washington on the shores of the Pacific.
He rode for the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge, a 190-mile charity ride from Sturbridge to Provincetown, Mass., that raises money for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund. And after his older brother died last year of a brain tumor, he decided to make another attempt at the cross-country trip to honor their memories.
The man said he had been mowing his lawn to get it done before the storm, saw the bikers race by and immediately stopped to catch them in his truck.
The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Cisco or any other party.
Additionally, there will also be premium content available for purchase through the Fearless channel. These VR episodes were specially created for the SportsFlow-Garage Entertainment partnership.
But he drove down to Connecticut with family members to meet the newest member of his family on Saturday afternoon. In our Galway (Ireland) office, where the chat and team competitive spirit were legendary, funds were raised for the Irish Paralympic athletes.
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