Tag Archives: Oklahoma

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Saturday’s Critters – Hochatown Deer, Snakes and Sasquatch

This past week the family spent some time at Hochatown, Oklahoma near Beavers Bend State Park for a little R&R. Since I am retired we can take a weekend getaway during the middle of the week and avoid the crowds! We are not big on crowds.

We rented a very nice cabin with all sorts of amenities. The best thing was all the deer that came by to visit early in the morning.

Deer are really graceful but very wary. As well they should be.

So we sat still on the porch as they came by.

We went hiking a few days in the park. We found this little armadillo on our first hike. They really are intriguing creatures.

But then we come across this snake that Heather almost stepped on. She thought it was a copperhead which is of course venomous. I kept telling her to get close enough to see the shape of the eyes to make sure. She refused. INaturalist confirmed it was a copperhead. It was laying right on the edge of the trail and refused to move so we just edged around him best we could. It was one of the biggest copperheads I have ever seen.

Later on during a walk around our cabin neighborhood we come across Bigfoot. Neither Heather or Kodi were afraid of him one bit.

Kodi loved our getaway. We didn’t take him on any hikes but we did lots of walks around the cabin and took him to a dog friendly brewery. He had a great time. As did we.

We went kayaking while down there, here is an action shot of Logan. We didn’t see any critters on the water except for birds.

Speaking of birds, have you tried the Merlin app. A free app and you download a bird song library and then you turn it on and it ID’s the birds by their songs. It’s amazing. The only thing is that it doesn’t locate the little buggers for you. So now I’m just taking screen shots of what it is hearing. It is truly amazing.

I’m linking to Saturday’s Critters.

Skywatch Friday – Mountain Fork River

The family went on a little mini-vacation to Oklahoma’s beautiful Beavers Bend State Park where we went hiking, kayaking, and other fun activities. Above was from a kayak outing down the Mountain Fork River in the park. It may not fit what your idea of Oklahoma is. It’s not all cows, wheatfields, and windmills.

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Tired on the Trails – Work Day on Turkey Mountain

Last Saturday a good sized group got together early on Turkey Mountain here in Tusla for a work day. On the agenda was lots of lopping of trees and shrubs along the trail and for the hale and hearty guys and gals some heavy duty dirt work. The Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition and the RiverParks Authority were over the project.

(Note: TUWC photo from their facebook site.)

Me and two others grabbed loppers and headed out to our designated trails. It was hard work especially as the day warmed up and humidity rose.

We ended up lopping on over three miles of trail. Everybody else was tired and satisfied with the work they had done. It was a good day on the mountain.

Linking with My Corner of the World

Skywatch Friday – Biking in Bixby

Monday I went on a bike ride. I wanted to check out a new (to me) bike trail Bixby put in.

The new trail section didn’t have a trailhead with parking or anything. It starts at a neighborhood entrance with no parking anything so I went into the neighborhood and parked at their association play park and swimming pool just so I wouldn’t be in anybody’s way.

So I rode 15 miles on Bixby’s bike trail system. It’s oriented three segments: northeast, northwest and southern. The new leg is the northeast segment. I started at the very northern end and moved over to the northwest and then backtracked down to do the southern segment. I’ve been on the northwest and southern segments several times before.

The northeast segment cuts in behind a subdivsion and a grass farm. Bixby grows a lot of grass sod. There is less of it all the time because the farmers are selling out to builders who are building lots of subdivisions.

The bike path goes close to several strip shopping centers.

Much of it is in big spacious green belts bordering creeks and drainage ditches.

Here is the very northern end of the northwest leg. Somebody had mowed a path through the grass so I had to go check it out.

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It looks like a homeowner put a gate in on his back fence and uses his mown path to access the trail. I’m hoping that Bixby and Tulsa get together and connect Bixby’s trail system with Tulsa extensive system. They only have two miles to go.

The southern leg goes in back of Joe’s Farm. The last truck farm in Bixby. It’s an amazing place and they do a great business.

The southern leg goes by the Bixby Police Department gun range. I’ve been by when they are shooting with their AR15 type rifles. They are not loud. They make an airy pew, pew, pew sound.

And then we are into Washington Irving Park.

I revisited Mr. Irving. He camped overnight here on October 12, 1832 during his tour of Oklahoma accompanied by U.S. Rangers back then. He wrote “A Tour on the Prairies” about his travels.

We have had rain so the river is up but not near flooding.

There is a map of the Arkansas River set in concrete. It is a really long river. It originates in the Rocky Mountains near Leadville, Colorado which is only 85 miles from where my sister lives in Colorado Springs.

The old bridge across the Arkansas is now a pedestrian bridge called the Harmony Bridge. A fun area with seating, shade, and entertaining things for kids and childish adults, like me, to do.

And the turn around is this cool play park.

And doubling back to the car, this was my only stop. On Harmony Bridge looking upriver.

So that was my fun little adventure.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday.

Aerial Shadows of Tulsa

A drone shot at about 50 meters over the back yard showing the shadows from the fence and trees and on the west side of roofs. The orange square is my takeoff and landing pad. So I am somewhere on the patio next to the landing pad.

View looking west where from the same spot. Maybe 10 meters lower. Showing my neighbors shadows from their trees and fence lines.

And from another day a droneselfie of the drone pilot sporting his brand new Dallas Cowboys hat.

I’m linking with Shadow Shot Sunday

Pelicans on the Arkansas River

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I took a bike ride on Tulsa’s RiverParks trails alongside the Arkansas River. There were lots of pelicans out and about that day.

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Some standing on a sandbar preening themselves.

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Others jostling for position just downstream of Zink Dam.

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They are such funny looking creatures except when they fly. Then they are very graceful.

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Sorry for the fuzzy closeup.

I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters.

One Extreme to the Other

We have been having storms in Oklahoma. Twenty five or more tornadoes last weekend causing lots of devastation in some places. In Tulsa we have had lots of rain. No tornadoes though.

From 50 meters over house looking northeast. Ominous clouds. The greenbelt is flooded (by design.)

Looking west. More clouds.

Monday was a great day!! I went on a bike ride on the Arkansas RiverParks trails. This is where I started, close to the south end. That is Turkey Mountain across the river there. I know, it doesn’t look like a mountain but Turkey Mountain sounds better than Turkey Hill don’t you think?

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Looking across the river to the Tulsa Power Station. It hardly ever runs. It looks like they have it up and going.

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And then one of the refineries on the river.

And then from the other side of the river looking toward downtown.

And toward midtown.

Since then we have had more rain!! I’ll take the sun and the rain but you can keep the tornadoes. There might be a song in there somewhere?

I’m linking with Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday – Sunset, Eclipse, River Views

I went on a walk one evening and found this sunset at the end.

We got a new backyard fence a couple months ago. I finally got my weather station reinstalled.

My sister and her husband came to visit. One day we had an eclipse party in the backyard. Everyone had the special sunglasses except for Kodi the dog but he doesn’t care about eclipses so it was all good. After this shot, I wished I had thought to launch my drone. Not to look at the eclipse but looking down at this group as it went up in the air. It would have simulated the rapture for me. Don’t worry, I’m not a rapture but I thought it would have been fun to simulate it.

I took a short bike ride and checked out the water behind the new dam on the Arkansas River here in Tulsa. The river sure looks like nice full of water.

I feel kind of guilty because the Arkansas River is braided prairie river. They have sandbars and multiple channels and support lots of wildlife. So I am conflicted. But the “new” river sure makes nice photos.

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And another Lego animal from our trip to the Tulsa Botanic Garden a few weeks ago.

So that is it for this week. I am linking to Skywatch Friday and My Corner of the World.

Suburban Backyard Critters

The wind blows here in Oklahoma and with a motion sensitive trailcam I can get hundreds of photos of nothing really fast if I point it to a hanging bird feeder or trees. Wind the wind blows I point it at our bird bath or a stationary feeder.

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We get a lot of robins showing up for a drink.

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And doves

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At the stationary feeder we offer whole peanuts and sunflowers seeds. Those are popular with squirrels, grackles,

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and blue jays.

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Not in our backyard but from the Tulsa Botanic Garden a monochromatic lego lion!!

I am linking with Eileen’s Saturday’s Critters