There's a Tulsa Tough t-shirt that reads a little something like this: Like that thing they do in France, but in Tulsa.
I'm always a fan of simplicity, and that pretty much sums it up.
Tulsa Tough, in town this weekend starting Friday, June 4, is a three-day series of bicycle races, yes - that part is true.
But, it's also a festival. It's a champion of fitness and healthful lifestyles, too. Plus, it shows off our city.
Even the racing part isn't just winner-take-all. Tulsa Tough offers rides for everyone from the pro to the newbie, from highly competitive races with some of the area's top athletes to tour rides. There are even kids' and family rides.
And it's all set to live music. Oh, and there's lots of opportunity to do some shopping with local vendors while Tulsa Tough is in town, too, since the festival takes place in some of Tulsa's old neighborhoods, famous for their continued revitalization over the past several years.
In case you've somehow managed to not get excited about Tulsa Tough after all of that, here are 17 ways to get fired up about one of the most exciting events to (literally) roll through our city.
- Just this: Professional cyclists on a 3/4-mile course featuring eight 90-degree corners at 30-plus miles per hour. Holy moly, cannoli. Now, imagine standing right next to this kind of action. The exciting news? You can do just that at Tulsa Tough.
- If you're gonna get excited about an event, the best way is to find out all about what it has to offer, right? Do that here at the official Tulsa Tough 2010 event guide (PDF).
- Learn about the Tough Kids Challenge. This is where kids in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades get the opportunity to earn a bicycle. Check out how the kids put in their sweat equity.
- One word: Spandex. Having been to the last two Tulsa Tough events, trust me - this is definitely something to get excited about.
- New this year, all kids 12 and under can ride in the Sunday afternoon Townie Ride - a chance for anyone who is inspired by the weekend's races to dust off that old bike and take a ride with the fam - for free. Plus, there are medals and cool t-shirts involved. Get more info and register your family to ride here.
- Artbikes! Where else but at Living ArtSpace, 307 E. Brady Street.
- It's not quite a fever by human standards, but temperatures are expected to climb well into the 90s this weekend. There's only one prescription, Tulsa, and that's more cowbell. Get it at Tulsa Tough (Sunday, June 6 Races).
- Check out the maps of the weekend's races. See how the festival can't stand to stay in one place? No way - it moves around between three of Tulsa's hippest, most happenin' districts. Go all three days for a full weekend of the Blue Dome District, the Brady Arts District and the downtown section of Riverside Drive.
- Check out the schedule of events for the weekend. Take note of the various races to catch, where the music and shopping can be found and where you can stop in for a bite to eat or a cold beer. You're a cold soul if an enthusiastic squee didn't escape your lips after seeing what all there is to do at Tulsa Tough.
- Check out these kick-ass photos from Tulsa Tough festivals of years past from the likes of photogs Michael Cooper and Robert Baird. Much like Spandex on a deserving cyclist's hiney, these expert shots give me the goosepimples.
- $15,000. That's the smackaroo factor of Sunday's Men's Pro I race, and it's three times as much as Wayne and Garth were given by those network TV sleezes. Plus, there's even more cash being awarded over the course of the rest of the weekend. There's a lot of moolah at stake at this thing, people.
- Text TOUGH to 84700. Now you're sure to have the latest updates on Tulsa's hottest festival on wheels, right in the palm of your hand.
- There's plenty of parking. Take my word on this, y'all. If 35,000 people manage to park downtown each and every week day, there will most definitely be a spot for you and your SUV in downtown this weekend, and it won't be somewhere in BFE.
- Party on the Hill, Sunday, June 6. Enough said.
- Follow Tulsa Tough on Facebook and Twitter. While you're at it, sign up for the Tulsa Tough newsletter, too. There - you are now officially informed about festival goings on all the way up to your eyeballs.
- Think you'd like the be part of the event but aren't sure if you want to take to the track? Volunteer. Tulsa Tough wouldn't be possible without the folks willing to give of their time to bring a seriously awesome festival - not to mention lots of out-of-towners who might be so impressed with your friendliness that they call home to have their things sent to T-Town forevermore - to the streets of this city.
- Have you seen the badass Tulsa Tough merch? Get it at Dwelling Spaces.
I don't know about y'all, but I just peed my pants a little. I know that's not saying much coming from the mom of a two-year-old, but still. Now, off to the races with yas.
See y'all there!
Photos from the Tulsa Tough Facebook group.