I finally made it to a Tulsa Tough Bike Race and Crybaby Hill today (Sunday). I’ve missed out in past years but this was my year.
Tulsa Tough is a series of bike races held in Tulsa every June. It has grown and grown. It includes everything from a “Townie Ride” open to everybody to amateur and professional level criterium events. A criterium race, I’m told from Wikipedia, is a race on a short course consisting of closed off city streets. The race is a set number of laps. In other words they go around and around.
The formal name for the Crybaby Hill event is the “River Parks Criterium.” It is brutal. The riders start on Riverside drive and go for a short while and then climb up a steep hill and then make a right turn and then back down to Riverside drive down a very steep hill and then a greater than 90 degree turn. And then they repeat the lap, over and over. It looks brutal. Check this Tulsa World link for the story behind the Tulsa Tough races and Crybaby Hill.
They have classes all the way from youth to old guys and gals and professional levels. All sorts of very skinny yet muscular people speaking foreign languages this week in Tulsa.
Crybaby Hill is also a party. Check here for the origin of the name (if you didn’t before). Basically people get to the top of the hill and cheer the riders on.
I left today before it really got crazy. Next year I’m staying for the whole thing.
People wear strange outfits to the event.
In between laps the contractor handing the portapotties was racing to finish the installation. Everybody was yelling “clear the way for the *******. The orange lines are where the spectators are supposed to stay behind. They had to put those in because in years past, from what I’m told, the gap the riders could ride through got narrower and narrower as the day went on.
My favorite sign. Take that Westboro Baptist so called Church. The guys in the striped shirts are the supposed to keep everybody behind the orange lines. They enjoy their jobs.
The theme was “Under the Sea” so I guess that makes this guy King Neptune or something.
I’m not sure what she was supposed to be.
And some more characters. Notice the baby’s for sale. This is Crybaby Hill after all.
This is a brief video of the scene at the top of the hill where the riders are just about tuckered out and the crowd is cheering them on with cowbells, whistles, sirens and beer.
And this is a video at the bottom of the hill where they have to make a greater than 90 degree right turn on a steep downhill. You’d better have a precise line and good brakes to get through this unscathed.
Anyway a good time was had by all. And bikes were raced.