“It’s always fun to be a consumer, but I often find it more gratifying to be a producer”

By Ed Fleming

About the Hall of Fame

Athletic excellence: Gerlich completed RAAM 1993 on tandem with his wife, Becky. He is a five-time finisher of Cochise County Cycling Classic in Arizona, from 1989 through 2006. Gerlich has high finishes in the Furnace Creek 508 (1995) and Bicycle Across Missouri (1988 and 1990) and holds the Kansas South-to-North record (1994).

Service to the sport: Gerlich founded ultracycling events including Ride Across Indiana (RAIN), HUMOR 24-Hour Ride (Bloomington, IN), PUMP 24-Hour (Canyon, TX}, and Tour of North Texas RAAM Qualifier (Canyon, TX) and Hell Week Bicycle Adventures. Gerlich has been instrumental in creating the ultracycling online face, including the original ultracycling.com website, the original RAAM online presence, and the original ultracycling forum at majordomo, which later moved to Topica. He is a Regional Brevet Administrator with Randonneurs, USA and is on the Board of Directors of Bike Texas.

Leadership: Gerlich served as Managing Director of the WUCA and publisher of UltraCycling magazine 1994-1997 and as RAAM co-director 1996-1999 with Michael Shermer. He was elected WUCA Board President in 2008.

“It is an honor to be selected to the WUCA Hall of Fame. When I started in this sport in 1987, I had no idea it would become such a long-term endeavor. To say it has become one of the most dominant aspects of my life would be a serious understatement!”

Most important contribution? “While I have, competed in (and completed) many ultra races (and had my share of successes), without doubt my greatest strengths are in management. I hold dear all of my years organizing and/or founding such events as RAIN, HUMOR, TNT, RAAM and Hell Week. The complexities of creating memorable cycling experiences within the parameters of safety, scenery and physical challenge are the perfect mental fodder for a guy who was destined to spend his life in a university office thinking about things anyway.”

Why give back? “It’s always fun to be a consumer, but I often find it more gratifying to be a producer: Beyond this, I feel there is a social debt we all have to our various passions and pastimes. One cannot receive without a benefactor, and at some point we all need to figure out how we can give something back to that from which we have so richly drawn.