Race Across America — with FedEx SenseAware

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Since I’ve been kinda stuck in the house recovering from multiple surgeries, I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied. One thing I’ve found interesting is the FedEx Custom Critical-sponsored bike team, Ohio CycleWorks, which is participating in the Race Across America.

This race (aka RAAM) is considered the “world’s toughest bicycle race,” as it is one of the longest running sporting events in the entire world. I’ll be honest — I have not followed this race before but I am intrigued for multiple reasons.

"Ohio Cycle Works Bike Team"

courtesy of Brian Palmer

For one thing, the Ohio CycleWorks Bike Team is raising money for Akron Children’s Hospital. Not only is it a good cause, but I lived in Akron for the better part of a decade. I took my kids to Children’s on more than one occasion. Let me explain why this charity makes for a natural fit for the Ohio CycleWorks bike team.

The team is sponsored by FedEx Custom Critical, which has outfitted Ohio CycleWorks with a SenseAware device, which is “on board” with the cyclists throughout the Race Across America.  The device is linked to the web-based platform, thus providing me near real-time GPS location and environmental conditions. The involvement of SenseAware is not unrelated to the mission — SenseAware allows healthcare providers to monitor critical shipments, the kind that can help save the lives of the very children that Ohio CycleWorks is riding to support.

The Ohio CycleWorks Bike Team is committed to its cause for reasons like the one they received in a recent e-mail:

Most of you know our oldest son, Jake’s, medical history. Many of you also know that, on June 13 at Akron Children’s Hospital, he will hopefully have the final surgery of his life to implant bars in his back to help correct the scoliosis of his spine. This 8-10 hour procedure will entail two surgeons opening him from the side, removing a unneeded rib, removing the discs between his 5-11 thoracic vertebrae and using the rib to fuse those vertebrae. He will then be closed, turned over and his back opened to insert bars on either side of his spinal column. The bars will be then fused to the vertebrae. As serious as this procedure sounds, it has been performed many times before by the surgeons with the very favorable results of increased mobility, enhanced quality of life and reduced future deterioration. Unbelievably, his hospital stay will be a week or less and they expect him on his feet the day after surgery. The recovery, however, will be about two months, somewhat painful and will include a great deal of rest.

So…I get to follow the 3000-mile Race Across America with the FedEx SenseAware tracking platform. Plus, I can keep up with the team on their SenseAware blog. The Ohio CycleWorks bike team left Oceanside, California on June 16…and will end up in Annapolis, Maryland any day now. But with SenseAware, I know where they are and how the Race Across America is going for them, practically every step of the way…and I know just what they’re dealing with as they race across the country — how hot it is, what kind of humidity they’re dealing with, you name it!

  • Saturday, June 16: The team departs from Oceanside, CA. The temperature is 81 degrees.
"Race Across America Arizona Sunset"

(photo courtesy Brian Palmer)

  • Sunday, June 17: The team has made it to Wickeburg, AZ (check out the sunset above!). The temperature is 85.
  • Monday, June 18: The team is on Highway 191 in Utah. It’s about 80 degrees with pretty much no humidity.
  • Tuesday, June 19: The bicyclists have made it to Bartlett, Kansas, where it’s about 92 degrees. Yikes.
  • Wednesday, June 20: The team made it to El Dorado Springs, MO. It’s 90 degrees but luckily only about 53% humidity.
  • Thursday, June 21: They’re cruising through Bluff City, MO, where the temperature is hovering around 91 degrees but the humidity is only 42%.

By the way, I should mention SenseAware, a new program from FedEx. This is off-the-charts genius. With SenseAware, you have near real-time information regarding critical shipments at your fingertips, so you can share that information with your collaborators and measure and monitor:

  • Current location
  • Accurate temperature
  • Exposure to light
  • Relative humidity
  • Barometric pressure
"FedEx SenseAware Program"
These are things that are critically important when you’re dealing with critical shipments — like those in the healthcare and life sciences fields. SenseAware allows users to truly personalize the process — from customizing alerts regarding location and environmental data to viewing your shipment’s vital signs to dealing with unforeseen circumstances with the help of a FedEx intervention service.
SenseAware is going to change the way companies do business — as well as change (and possibly save) lives. It’s just more of the sort of excellence we can expect from FedEx. What else is new?

I received compensation from FedEx for covering the use of SenseAware® technology during the 2012 Race Across America. My ideas and opinions relayed in this blog post and any related Twitter discussions are the my own and are not provided by FedEx or its affiliates and subsidiaries. (via Mom Central Consulting)

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  1. James Scott says

    In today’s world, this gestures are becoming more and more rare! Hands down for the Ohio CycleWorks and I really do hope that the amount of money raised by them is going to be a big one!

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