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Tough road ahead

Guide to Tulsa Tough 2017

David Lackey

It’s time again to watch spandexed racers lean into the sharp corners of the Blue Dome District (Fri., June 9) and feel the whoosh of air as dozens of athletes mash past you at 30 miles per hour on M.B. Brady Street (Sat., June 10). 

Onlookers ring cowbells. Cyclists crash. 

On Sunday, June 11, the costumed and half-naked will descend upon Cry Baby Hill for Tulsa’s Best Party of the Year (you voted!), dancing and hollering and shotgunning beers as cyclists race their way up that hellish hill near 13th Street and Riverside Drive. At CBH the crowd is just as much of the spectacle as the race.

Here you’ll find the Tulsa Tough race schedule, a Cry Baby Hill bingo card (print it out and take it with you!), a glossary of cycling terms, and the official rules for reveling—written by the referees—at CBH. 

See you there. 

Stay ahead of the curve

Your pocket schedule for Tulsa Tough 2017


McNellie’s Group Blue Dome Criterium
Third St. & Elgin Ave.

Tulsa Tough festivities kick off in the Blue Dome Arts District. Cyclists take to the district’s streets (and corners) at unbelievable speeds in these twilight races. It’s an exciting night to start your weekend of spectating or competing. Registration and packet pick-up is at 5:00pm. Purses range from $1,500 to $12,000. 

6:15pm | Men’s Cat III  

7:00pm | Men’s Cat I/II  

7:55pm | Women’s Pro I/II 

8:50pm | Men’s Pro I 

Fireworks begin toward end of men’s race. 

Women’s Pro I/II Awards Ceremony begins after fireworks, followed by Men’s Pro I Awards Ceremony.  



Gran Fondos 
John Hope Franklin Blvd. & 201 N. Elgin Ave.

Riders will head from downtown through Jenks, Sapulpa, Prue, Skiatook, and Sand Springs on three different routes: Piccolo (38 miles), Medio (66 miles), and Gran (103 miles). Packet pick-up starts at 6am. Course closes at 5pm. 

7:00am | Fondo rider staging 

7:30am | Ace Peloton riders start 

7:40am | Gran/Medio/Piccolo Fondo riders start

George Kaiser Family Foundation Brady Arts District Criterium
Brady St. & Boston Ave. 

In this second round, racers navigate an L-shaped course through the Brady Arts District. Women’s Pro I/II purse is $7,500; Men’s Pro I is $12,000. 

10:00am | Men’s Masters B (Cat III/IV)

10:50am | Men’s Cat V (over 35)

11:30am | Men’s Cat V (under 35)

12:10pm | Women’s Cat IV/V

12:45pm | Women’s Cat III 

12:45pm | Women’s Masters (over 40)

1:35pm | Men’s Cat IV

2:25pm | Juniors

3:05pm | Kids (under 9)

3:25pm | Men’s Masters A (Cat I, II, III)

4:30pm | Men’s Cat III

5:35pm | Men’s Cat I/II

6:50pm | Women’s Pro I/II

7:55pm | Men’s Pro I

Women’s Pro I/II Awards Ceremony begins at conclusion of men’s race, followed by Men’s Pro I Awards Ceremony.



Gran Fondo 
‚Äč15th St. & Riverside Dr.

Riders race west through Sand Springs, Skiatook, and Prattville. Packet pick-up starts at 6am. Course closes at 2pm. 

7:00am | Fondo Rider staging

7:30am | Medio and Piccolo start time

Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Townie Ride
15th St. & Galveston 

A free 8.5-mile ride for the entire family. Kids between the ages of 2 and 11 are also invited to play at The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis Kids’ Zone, open from 1 to 4pm in River Parks, on the west side of Riverside Drive.   

1:55pm | Townie Ride line-up

2:15PM | Townie Ride starts 

New Medio River Parks Criterium
15th St. & Riverside Dr.  

This is the one we’ve all been waiting for. Women’s Pro I/II purse is $10,000; Men’s Pro I is $15,000. Music on Cry Baby Hill turns up at 11:30am and includes Green Corn Rebellion, Count Tutu, DJ Dilation, and DJ Spencer LG. Mind the gap. 

8:00am | Men’s Masters B (Cat III, IV)

8:35am | Men’s Cat V (over 35)

9:10am | Men’s Cat V (under 35)

9:45am | Women’s Cat IV/V

10:20am | Women’s Cat III

10:20am | Women’s Masters (over 40)

11:00am | Men’s Cat IV

11:45am | Juniors

12:20pm | Men’s Masters A (Cat I, II, III) 

1:10pm | Kids (under 9)

1:25pm | Men’s Cat III

2:25pm | Men’s Cat I/II

3:30pm | Women’s Pro I/II

4:35pm | Men’s Pro I

Women’s Pro I/II Awards Ceremony begins at conclusion of men’s race, followed by Men’s Pro I Awards Ceremony. 

For more information, visit tulsatough.com.

The 13 Commandments of Cry Baby Float Trip

The Cry Baby Hill planning committee’s entire process is based on a fundamental belief in idiocy. This year, the theme for the annual party was a toss-up between Renaissance Fair and Celebrity, so naturally they settled on Float Trip. A subsect of Tulsa heathens has announced the only float trip they’d dress up for is one on the goddamn River Styx. If you prefer that mode of party, dress accordingly—for Cry Baby Hell.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Mind the river’s gap. 

2. Your river guides on the Cry Baby Hill River are the referees. You shall listen to their commands. Any order to get off the roaring, racing river shall be abided immediately or you will lose your river pass. 

3. While floating the Cry Baby Hill River, please pull yourself and all your arms and legs onto the gravel bar while the SS Tulsa Tough roars by.   

4. River regulations prohibit: glass, kids, and dogs. You will be asked to leave immediately if violating.   

5. Our river is the source of life. But, if you spray water or any other liquid in a racer’s face, it’s the source of you getting kicked off CBH. 

6. When enjoying our aquatic activity zone, please stay hydrated—alcohol is not, repeat not, an adequate source for hydration. 

7. The source waters of Cry Baby Hill River are pure. Your waste is not. Familiarize yourself with locations of all portable toilet facilities and trashcans. Use them—not the neighbors’ yards—or lose your river pass. 

8. Wholesome aquatic games are fun. Touching racers or other humans without their consent is a great way to find yourself thrown off, roughed up, and/or under arrest. 

9. When you first get to the Cry Baby Hill headwaters, identify where medical services are on top of CBH. Have a water safety plan.  

10. This is a protected river sanctuary. Whenever you are disrespectful to the river or its occupants, it hurts us all. Please have all the fun. But please regulate yourself and others so that we can continue to enjoy its refreshing waters year after mother******* year.  

11. Behold! When you hear, “Who are we?” The correct response is, “Soundpony!”

12. Dance like you’re stepping on crawdads. 

13. Remember: “Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.” – Emma Smith

Cycology terms

Lingo you may encounter this Tulsa Tough, or elsewhere on the city’s mean streets

Aero | Short for “aerodynamic” 

Bacon | Slang for scabs, cuts, and scars (aka road rash)

Broom wagon | Vehicle following a race that “sweeps” straggler cyclists  

Chainring tat | Mark on skin from chain grease 

Chase pack | Racers trying to catch the lead rider in front 

Cry Baby Hill | Closest thing Tulsa has to Mardi Gras

Cat I, II, III, IV, V | Categories based on cyclist skill level; 1: best, 5: least best

Carback | Car behind

Carup | Car ahead

Chamois | Pronounced “sham-wah” (most everyone says “shammy”), the pad in the seat of cycling shorts. 

Chamois butter | Cream to prevent chaffing 

Climbing | Going up a hill, or mountain

Cornering | Leaning your bike to turn around a corner

Crit | Short for “criterium,” a typically short course on city streets

Diesel bomb | Intentional belch of exhaust (in a cyclist’s path) from a diesel truck, driven by an asshole 

Drafting | Riding behind another cyclist who is blocking the wind for you

Dropped | Left behind

Eat it | Slang for “crash”

Fixie | A single or fixed-speed bike, often with no hand brakes 

Get in the drops | Put your hands on the low part of the bars

Gran Fondo | Italian for, roughly, “big ride”

Keep the rubber side down | Slang for “be safe”

Kit | Cycling outfit (note: most cyclists hate when you call it an “outfit”) 

Leisle-teisle | Left turn (use other L- and T-word combos to achieve same effect)

Mashing | Riding in the highest gear (highest resistance)

Nugslug | Pothead 

Night Sprite | Bud Light Lime

Off the back | Behind the peloton

Pannier | A basket, bag, or box, usually on the rear wheel of a bicycle  

Peloton | Big pack of riders in a race

Pulling | Riding at the front of a pace line or peloton

Purse | Prize money at a crit race 

Radler | A refreshing half-beer, half-lemonade concoction; also German for “cyclist”

Roadie | Nickname for a road cyclist

Rizzle-tizzle | Right turn (use other R- and T-word combos to achieve same effect)

Saddle sores | Chaffing due to friction from the saddle (aka the seat)

Skid lid | Helmet

Spinning | Riding in the lowest gear

Steed | Nickname for a bicycle 

Tacoing | Collapsing a wheel 

Turkey | An unskilled cyclist 

Wheel sucker | Cyclist who drafts but never pulls