Tulsa Tough – 2024 Edition – FC Tulsa Arts District Criterium

Tulsa Tough is a series of bicycle races held in Tulsa every year during a long weekend in June. They have distance races of various lengths over two days. They have a bunch of short races close to downtown called Criteriums where the racers are on a closed course of a mile or two and they go round and round a bunch of times. One races is in the Blue Dome District, one in the Arts District and another on Riverside (Crybaby Hill). They have a bunch of categories from kids divisions to men and women amateurs of various ages and then the professional divisions. They also have a five mile or so “Townie Ride” that is free, so you just show up with your bicycle and ride.

Just the way things have been I always go check out the Riverside criteriums on Sunday. For one thing it is home of the infamous crybaby hill which is more of a drunken party with a bicycle race going on. (Check this link about my first visit to Crybaby Hill in 2015.)

I’ve only participated in one event. That was in 2019 when I rode in the “Picolo” event. The shortest distance event they offer at 32 miles or so. It kicked my butt pretty hard and I didn’t even finish. I was close to the finish line and I passed my car and said, heck with this I’m done so I pulled out of the race, and loaded up my bicycle and went home. Read about it here.

I had a conflict this Sunday so I checked out the Arts District Criterium on Saturday. It’s not near the party but it is still lots of fun.

Oh look at the time! I’ve droned on and on and spent the whole time yakking about me instead of the race I went on Saturday. Figures though, aren’t blogs just about the writer? So I’ll shut and show you the photos I took Saturday afternoon. I had places to be so I wasn’t there very long.


The thing about the criteriums is that riders are all very good and in great shape so they get kind of bunched up. At least right at first and it takes time to separate the faster ones from the slower ones.


I like the intense competition. Everybody is in it to win it and they don’t want embarrass themselves.


And also they are very close to one another. If somebody falls or makes a wrong move then a bunch of people are going down also

So I had found a spot right on a turn where nobody else was so I set up and was taking photos wondering why nobody else was there. Along comes a course marshall and we start chatting and finally ask him if I was okay where I was and he said sure no problem. Then he says hey you know something if you could get your camera down close to the ground and shoot up that might make a more dynamic photo.


So I did experimented with that a little bit with my camera down below the barricade but not intruding on the course and wow. I thought it made a big difference.


I had put the camera on sport mode so when I pressed the shutter it would take a bunch of photos until it buffered out so I ended up with a ton of photos but I only kept a few and am posting just a few of them here.

The guy had a bunch of other tips and then had to go. His last words were you need to remember that the place you are taking pictures from is also a good place to crash and if you are down low right behind the barricade and you get hit, it is going to hurt. I said yep I had already figured that out.


So any way I got to see a great bicycle race and learned something at the same time. And got out unscathed.

How about you? Have you been to any bicycle races lately?

I am linking with My Corner of the World

3 thoughts on “Tulsa Tough – 2024 Edition – FC Tulsa Arts District Criterium

  1. Jennifer+Jilks

    They had a large cycling tour last weekend. It drive me bonkers, as they drive like maniacs and get lost in our wee town.
    They go so far, and camp in Kingston. Then, they cycle back through town and into Ottawa.
    Love your photos.

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