Oklahoma may not be your ideal vacation destination. However, Tulsa is a pretty sweet town. Attendees of the Eighth annual Saint Francis Tulsa Tough cycling race were overheard describing it as “the Seattle of the Midwest” and one of the “most unique” and “chillest bar scenes I’ve ever encountered.”
If you’re going to come to Tulsa though, make sure it is the second weekend of June. That way you can spend three days drinking beer on the streets and waiting for cyclists to crash on one of the most dangerous courses in all of professional cycling. Aside from the pro-races, which are the main event, there are children’s races, amateur races, and more. If you’re driving a vehicle with four wheels around town, beware of cyclists. Enthusiasts come from all over the world to watch and race in the event and they took to the streets in mass quantity.
This isn’t the flat, boring Oklahoma that some who have never visited the state might imagine. In fact, if you were to tune into the race and watch, you’d probably think it was San Francisco or perhaps a cycling-centric village of Europe. Tulsa Tough takes place in different locations each day with bikers whipping through the tight streets of downtown Tulsa and climbing some serious hills by the picturesque Arkansas river, located in the foothills of the Ozark mountains.
You gotta make noise for the riders. Bring a Cowbell or a vuvuzela.
Bring friends and beer or setup shop in front of your favorite bar.
Watch out for this guy…
… if he passes, wait to cross the street or you might be sorry.
You know what this race needs… More Cowbell!
Want your favorite rider to see you when he/she goes by? Bring a panda.
Get there early for a cool seat… literally. Oklahoma is hot as balls in the summer.
Lots of giveaways and vendors. Free bikes?
Hold onto first place. This lap could be worth some bonus money to the leader.
See you next year…
All photos by Emily Smith. For more, check out the BTRtoday Flickr.