Tag Archives: Bicycle Races

Our World – Cry Baby Hill – Tulsa Tough Bike Races 2021

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One of the huge sports events in Tulsa is Tulsa Tough. A series of bicycle rides and races over three days that includes everything from a “Townie Ride” of a few miles to long distance rides and everybody’s favorite the Criterium Races which are short races on a closed loop of multiple laps. The criterium races attract professional riders from all over the world. Most of the riders though are talented amateurs.

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Last Year’s Tulsa Tough was cancelled as were all sorts of other events all over the world. This year it was back bigger than ever.

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I participated in the the shortest distant event two years ago at about 30 miles and got my butt thoroughly kicked. I didn’t even finish. We were going by where my car was parked and I was like, I am cutting this agony short. I hope you are not too shocked by my cowardly craven decision. If you are, that is kind of your problem (just kidding folks.)

So Sunday it was hot and I went out to the Criterium Course, officially something like the RiverParks Criterium but everybody calls it CryBaby Hill. It is a short course that starts on the Riverside Drive and then climbs up a steep hill and then comes down the hill and turns back on to Riverside a turn well sharper than 90 degrees. Do this about 14 times and you have the race. Sunday it was done in 90 degree temperatures.

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These guys and gals are very tough and very fit. I walked one loop Sunday and I was done. I left well before noon before it got hot.

So you got a race going on but you also have a big party that has approached legendary proportions. I’ve always left over the years before the legendary part.

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I’ve never spent too much time on Crybaby Hill. For one thing it is in residential neighborhood with no sidewalks so it is kind of crowded. Plus I don’t do well when I’m hot. I’m told the party really gets crazy after 3 pm.. Well Sunday I was gone before noon. So sorry, I missed it.

I think everybody is really glad to get back to normal. I just hope that we are not doing it too soon. I don’t feel too threatened since I am vaccinated and try to stick with outdoor events. Our world has forever changed though. But for these last three days Tulsa celebrated a return to normalcy.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday come check it out!!

Previous Years Tulsa Tough Posts

2015 Crybaby Hill Report

2016 Crybaby Hill Report

2017 Crybaby Hill Report

2018 Crybaby Hill Report

2019 The Year I actually participated in Tulsa Tough. Epic Failure with a good name “Grand Fondo” and a heck of bike ride. Didn’t go to Crybaby Hill

Tulsa Tough 2017 – River Parks Criterium and CryBaby Hill

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This past weekend was the annual Tulsa Tough bicycle racing festival. A collection of bicycle races and other events over the course of three days. The popular events are the Crit Races or Criterium Races which are races over a relatively short loop with multiple laps. The first two crit races are close to downtown and Sunday is the day for the River Parks Criterium which features a loop that includes a steep hill and a very sharp turn onto Riverside Drive coming off the hill.

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Tulsa Tough also has longer road races, called Gran Fondos, and for posers like me they have a short Townie Ride. I was going to do it this year but maybe next!!

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I attended the River Parks Criterium again. For fans it is like two different races. Down on Riverside drive there is a long straightaway and corporate hospitality tents and everything is very calm and sedate.

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Above shows the high speed sharp turn off the hill back onto Riverside. Lots of crashes happen here as the riders are bunched up, turning, and braking to get back on the long straightaway.

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This tent is close to the sharp turn onto Riverside. The bags of mulch are to protect the riders who lose control of their bikes and crash into the tent. See the Red Cross flag at the far right. I was standing there when one of the medics told me. “Hey Dude, do what you want but we put the medic tent for a reason, when they lose control off the hill they land right here, so if you stay, be alert.” So I moved.

Riverside Drive is where the Starting Line is and everybody stays pretty mellow.

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At the top of the hill on the other section of the course is Crybaby Hill. The course is a relatively narrow residential street and and this where things get interesting. The races are going all out to get up the hill and the fans are there yelling at them and ringing cowbells and having a good time. There have enough people that they have the people in the referee shirts above who are charged with keeping a lane open for the racers. “Minding the Gap” they call it.

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I always get there kind of early and leave kind of early so I’ve never seen the party in full tilt. When I’m there you have people getting warmed up for the party.

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The racers are working very hard though. They come from all over the US and overseas to compete. The popularity of the event is growing rapidly and it really is a Tulsa happening. Especially Crybaby Hill.  Below is a short video of the racers coming through. I would be good for one loop but these guys and gals do it over and over.

I’ll be back next year!!

2016 Tulsa Tough and Cry Baby Hill

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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.

Copied from TulsaTough.com I hope they don't sue my butt

Copied from TulsaTough.com I hope they don’t sue my butt)

There are about fourteen races in all on this course lasting about a half hour each.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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The races are very exciting.

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The riders are concentrating hard.

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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.

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Everybody is there to cheer on the riders and spray water and beer on them.

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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.

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And toy baby dolls if you didn’t bring one.

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It is quite the spectacle.

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As I left people were still piling in.

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And the races were still going on.

Last Year’s Tulsa Tough Post

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday

Addendum #1 Not my video – a collection of crashes from Tulsa Tough.