Randy Ruhlman rides for Lance Armstrong Foundation in Moab 'Century Tour' -- "100 miles on the bike to help raise money for Cancer Survivorship"
Randy Ruhlman got to work again last week. But this time instead of driving a 650 horsepower Trans-Am race car, he pedaled up the steep Utah mountain slopes of Moab for the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Pelton Project's 'Century Tour'. The 100-mile bike ride helped raise over $14,000 for cancer survivorship.
During race season, Randy Ruhlman is the driver of the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette in the Trans-Am Series and was just named Trans-Am's 'Most Improved Driver of 2005'. But here in Moab, Ruhlman took off the driving shoes and put on the bike cleats to join 1100 riders from all over the country to take part in the demanding ride for charity. More than 700 of the participants began the full Century ride, enduring the strong head winds and 45 mile hour gusts, on a course that took riders up and down a hill climb, named the Big Nasty, and down along the Colorado River. With its 3,000-foot climb in 7 miles, the Big Nasty is reputed to rival the steep elevations and infamous hills climbs of l'Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux in the Tour de France.
Ruhlman, who won two Trans-Am races this year, the Long Beach and Cleveland Grands Prix, said after finishing the 'Century Tour' on the bike, "Wow, that was my first Century ride, but it definitely won't be my last. This was fun and demanding, and the scenery can't be beat. That hill was really pretty tough, but I loved the challenge. We were in a nice group, rolling along uphill against the wind. Each one of us looked around to see if we were the only one riding in the small gears, only to look up to see a sign stating, "Climb ahead!" That was a surprise. I think that was where we all looked at each other and wondered where we were going to find another gear. There was that much wind."
"After the big hill and that climb up The Big Nasty, the downhill was great. I hit 50 MPH on the bike. I got to use my road racing skills, setting up and apexing corners, braking early. It was a blast. And even though we needed to be careful of cars and the 3000-foot drop off, this definitely met my 'need for speed'. It was fun. But really, the most important thing is that all 1107 of these riders have come out to Moab to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and ride to help raise money and awareness for cancer survivorship. These are some great people out here, helping out a great cause, and I am proud to be part of this impressive ride," stated Ruhlman.
The Century Tour is one of the premier rides of the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Pelton Project. It reflects the hard work and dedication of the organizers and the commitment of the riders. Mark Griffith, Event Director and Founder, says, "I'm impressed with the number of people who tough it out up the hills and the Big Nasty. It is so admirable. They say 'I can do this!' And though we provide the support, these people are climbing and riding on their own. And they are doing it with purpose, whether it is honoring a person, riding for charity pledges, or as someone touched by cancer, they all ride with that sense of purpose that supports the Lance Armstrong Foundation's Peleton Project and cancer survivorship."
On the race track this year, Randy Ruhlman captured second place in the 2005 Trans-Am Driver's Championship in the closest battle ever-in Trans-Am's 40-year history, finishing the year with another podium at Montreal. Ruhlman in the #49 Preformed Line Products Corvette had four podium finishes in 2005, including a pair of wins--the season opener at the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Cleveland Grand Prix.
Randy Ruhlman held the lead in the 2005 Driver's Championship for most of the season beginning with the first race at Long Beach. He followed that up with a second place finish at Portland and a win from the back at Cleveland. Edged from the points lead in the final week of the season when chief rival Klaus Graf won the Road America race, Ruhlman fired back at Montreal, qualifying second for the race, as Graf scrambled to take the pole. With only Ruhlman and Graf in Championship contention, the fight was on in Montreal. Graf got the win and Ruhlman took third, and Ruhlman finished the season with a hard fought second place overall in the Driver's Championship. Ruhlman was recently honored by his fellow competitors who selected him as the BBS 'Most Improved Driver of the Year'.
Ruhlman finished third overall in the 2004 Trans-Am Driver's Championship behind Paul Gentilozzi and Tommy Kendall in what had been, until this year, the closest points battle ever in Trans-Am history. In 2004, Ruhlman scored seven straight top five finishes, including three podiums: a second at Road America, another second at Toronto, and a third at Infineon. He was the pole sitter for the Road America race and sat on the front row for the Cleveland Grand Prix. Randy Ruhlman is fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history.
Another Lance Armstrong Foundation Peleton Project event is scheduled for early March--the Skinny Tire Festival. The four-day event will feature several rides of varying lengths, all helping to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Event information for this popular riding event is located at http://www.skinnytirefestival.com
Go to http://www.randyruhlman.com/gallery for photos of the event.