Randy Ruhlman rides the for Lance Armstrong Foundation and for davis Phinney Foundation, as well as for training for the race car
After finishing the 2006 season of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve, Randy Ruhlman got to work again this past weekend. But rather than driving his 500 horsepower Preformed Line Products Daytona Prototype race car in preparation for the 2007 season, Ruhlman pedaled his bicycle up and down the steep Utah mountain slopes at the Moab Century Tour for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Ruhlman also presented the Lance Armstrong Foundation with a sizable contribution, donated by his sponsor Preformed Line Products and the philanthropic, Cleveland-based T.F. Peterson Foundation.
During the race season, Randy Ruhlman is a professional Daytona Prototype race car driver, but here in Moab, Utah, Ruhlman took off his driving shoes and put on his bike cleats to join 1,200 riders from all over the country to take part in this demanding ride for charity. While this was the second year that he has helped the Foundation by riding, this time Ruhlman was able to boost his support even further. After helping promote the ride through pre-race publicity, Ruhlman and former 7-Eleven/Motorola Tour de France rider Ron Kiefel both spoke to the group before the ride and had fun signing autographs and meeting the riders after the event. Randy gave the riders some insights from car racing about techniques to ride a bike down the steep 50 mph decent of the "Big Nasty" hill. At the pre-race gathering, Ruhlman also surprised the organizers by presenting them with a check for the Lance Armstrong Foundation of $12,000 from his racecar sponsor Preformed Line Products and the T.F. Peterson Foundation.
While the ride is 100-miles of challenging hilly terrain, the climb up the Big Nasty is the most demanding. With its 3,000-foot ascent in 7-miles, the Big Nasty rivals the steep elevations and infamous Tour de France hills climbs of l'Alpe d'Huez and Mont Ventoux. Ruhlman said about the ride, "After the climb up The Big Nasty, the downhill is great. The descent makes all the climbing worthwhile. You hit over 50 mph and on a bike that feels like 200 mph in the racecar. You have to use your road racing skills, on the brakes hard, setting up and then apexing sharp corners on the switchbacks. It was a blast, and even though we needed to be careful of cars, wet leaves, a few washed out sections of road, and the several hundred-foot drop-off, this definitely meets my 'need for speed'."
"The most important thing, though, is that 1,200 riders have come out to Moab to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation and ride to help raise money and awareness for cancer survivorship," continued Ruhlman. "These are inspiring people out here riding, helping an important cause. I'm also very happy to have been able to present the Lance Armstrong Foundation with such a generous donation from my sponsor, Preformed Line Products and the Cleveland-based T.F. Peterson Foundation. I'm proud to be part of this impressive ride."
The Moab Century Tour is one of the premier rides benefiting the Lance Armstrong Foundation. It reflects the hard work and dedication of the organizers and the commitment of the riders. Mark Griffith, Event Director and Founder, says, "The generous corporate donations, along with the personal donations of the riders, have pushed the amount raised by the 2006 Moab Century ride for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and cancer survivorship to new heights. I'm impressed with the number of people who tough it out up the hills and the “Big Nasty” with its 15% sustainable grades. 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 research and cancer survivorship efforts."
As an avid bicyclist, Ruhlman has found a way to combine his off-track passion with his professional life, lending his support and time to charities like the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Ruhlman is also expanding his focus throughout the upcoming 2007 season to help other bike-related Foundations. He will focus his efforts, not only on the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but Ruhlman has a strong connection to the Davis Phinney Foundation to fight Parkinson's disease and the many programs of Cleveland's University Hospital and Health Services Outreach Programs, including bicycle safety helmets and safety seats for children and seat belt awareness.
Ruhlman from Greensboro, NC has been a professional race car driver since 1990 and has extensive racing experience, predominantly in road racing in the Trans-Am Series, as well as in IMSA, ASA and the NASCAR short track series. Ruhlman drove the No. 40 Preformed Line Products Pontiac Riley in 2006 in the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Special Reserve for Derhaag Motorsports with co-drivers Ron Fellows, Paul Dallenbach, Chris Bingham and Justin Bell.
Ruhlman, who plans to return to the Daytona Prototype Rolex Series for the 2007 season with sponsor Preformed Line Products, was the top American driver in the 2005 Trans-Am Drivers' Championship in the No. 49 Preformed Line Products Corvette, holding the points lead throughout the season, and scoring a pair of wins--the season opener at the Long Beach Grand Prix and the Cleveland Grand Prix. Ruhlman was named the 2005 BBS "Most Improved Driver of the Year" and makes the record books as fourth in Top Ten finishes in Trans-Am history. In addition, Ruhlman finished out the 2005 season driving in the Wesbank Series Championship at the infamous Kyalami International Raceway in South Africa.
Preformed Line Products (PLP) is an international manufacturer and supplier of hardware and support systems for the communications and energy industries. Products include the COYOTE® Closure and GUY-GRIP® Dead-Endused in the telecommunications, cable and energy industries. Manufacturing facilities are located worldwide in the USA, Canada, China, Brazil, Mexico, England, Spain, South Africa, Australia and Thailand.
For further information about the drivers, sponsor, team, visit the following links:
Preformed Line Products http://www.preformed.com/
Lance Armstrong Foundation http://www.livestrong.org
Moab Century Tour http://www.moabcentury.com
For more biking articles and photos see: gallery Moab 2007, Moab 2006 and news