Sunday morning I ventured down to the Tulsa River Parks to watch the River Parks Criterium segment of Tulsa Tough. Tulsa Tough is a three day series of races of all kinds here in Tulsa. The River Parks Criterium is a short cycle race that loops from river level up a steep hill overlooking the river and then back down to the river via a 120 degree hard right turn at high speed at the base of the hill. And then they do it again, and again. It is brutal.
There are about fourteen races in all on this course lasting about a half hour each.
The course is not for the faint of heart. The leaders are working the whole way. Y
This is where they head up the hill, and they are just flying.
Not only are they going fast, they are going fast while being close together. If one guy or gal goes down then the risk is high that others are going down also. It looks nerve wracking to me.
They alternated the pace cars. This one was a Jaguar. They run a couple hundred yards ahead along with a motorcycle to alert everybody to get out of the way.
The races are very exciting.
The riders are concentrating hard.
At the of the hill is Cry Baby Hill. It is kind of wild. It is in a residential area with not many sidewalks so you have to stand in the street. The residents have parties in their front yard. It is quite the party. I left about noon so I think I missed the peak of the madness.
Everybody is there to cheer on the riders and spray water and beer on them.
There are marshalls in zebra shirts with whistles and flags to keep the crowd behind the line. I guess this guy lost his shirt or something.
Lots of cowbells and a band cheer the riders on.
And toy baby dolls if you didn’t bring one.
It is quite the spectacle.
As I left people were still piling in.
And the races were still going on.
Addendum #1 Not my video – a collection of crashes from Tulsa Tough.