June, 2017 — This spring I traveled down to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a race called Tulsa Tough. On Friday morning I got up at 3:45 am, to get on the road at 4:30 am. We drove out on I-70 all the way to Salina, Kansas. Then we took I-135 all the way through Wichita, Kansas and into Oklahoma. We turned off I-135 and went all the way to Tulsa. The Trip was 10.5 hours. When we got to the Hotel in midtown Tulsa, I kitted up to go do an opener workout along the Arkansas River. That night I got my pre race burrito. Then I went over to the Blue Dome District to the watch the pro men and women race their night crit. The races were awesome. In the men’s race, Team Cyclence demonstrated a great leadout train and got the win. At the race I met up with my teammate, Ociel Borjas. After I watched the race I went back to the hotel and went to sleep.
The next day I traveled to the Brady Arts District for my first day of racing at Tulsa Tough. Ociel and I set up our trainers in the shade to stay out of the hot and humid air of Oklahoma. We raced for 35 minutes. Off the line the group blew up leaving Ociel and I in the 2nd group. The headwind all race was awful, but good when the crit went uphill. But the headwind made it feel flat when you where going downhill. I finished 3rd with Ociel in 2nd.
After the race I got to talk with some of my friends that where racing there too. One of them is Abi Yates and she is from Dallas, Texas and she races for Matrix Cycle Club/RBM. The other is Aubrey Drummond and is from Oklahoma and races for DNA Cycling. Also, I won 30 dollars for getting 3rd in the race which was awesome because I never had won money for racing bikes. I went back to my hotel and rested before going to watch the pros race again.
The next day was Crybaby Hill which is known worldwide for a good hard crit. It was a great race, the best part was Crybaby Hill because there were so many people lining the street cheering you on and it feels like you’re in the Tour De France. There’s writing on the road just like in the big world tour races too. The hill wasn’t as hard as I expected, but it was still tough after going up it 11 times. The race was hard with this guy from Texas, Brett Ross, from Rockwall Racing attacking at 3 laps to go and winning solo. He did this both days. The wind for the race was a strong tailwind on the sprint. It was so hot in Tulsa on Sunday that the only thing that gave you any coolness was the breeze along the Arkansas River.
After the race, a reporter from the Tulsa World came over to Ociel and I and interviewed us about our experience at Tulsa Tough and how we liked it. It was so cool being interviewed as it was my first time. After that I collected my 60 dollars in race winnings and went back to the car to change out of my kit and go back to watch the pros tackle Crybaby Hill. It was a party up on Crybaby Hill. The pro races were great to watch with some exciting racing going on. Then it was time to leave the race and head back to the hotel and rest up for Monday’s long drive back to Colorado.
The drive back to Colorado felt way longer than the drive to Tulsa because I think I didn’t really want to go home because of all the fun I had there. It was a great trip and I’m hoping I can go next year too. — Graham Outlaw
Someone in the crowd yelled,” How do you feel about Crybaby Hill?
Here is the Podium for Sunday’s Crybaby Hill. Brett Ross is 1st, I’m 2nd and Ociel Borjas is 3rd.
Above: Ociel and his family.
Above: A reporter from the Tulsa World came over to Ociel and I and interviewed us about our experience at Tulsa Tough.
We love our Giant bikes and Clement tires.
Our race machines.
Above: This is me racing in the Brady Arts District Crit.