Safety A Top Priority For 2014 Tulsa Tough

Thursday, June 5th 2014, 10:55 pm
By: News On 6

Bicyclists from across the country will be pushing the limits of speed and endurance at this year's Tulsa Tough races; and safety has become a top priority.

Tulsa Tough is expecting 2,000 to show up for the event this weekend. This year you can expect more police escorts and world-class start and finish areas.

Bike shops all across the city are gearing up for Tulsa Tough. It's going to be a weekend full of long rides and hot temperatures.

6/5/2014 Related Story: Tulsa Tough Races Scheduled, Rain Or Shine

Garrett Grow, with T-Town Bicycles, said, "You'll probably want to fill these things four or five times."

Starting Friday, riders will be barreling around corners through the Blue Dome District, but if you're more about the distance, you might be heading out on the many Gran Fondo courses mapped out this year.

Tulsa Tough Director Malcolm McCollam said the weekend rides are getting popular.

"So really you're taking an event that kind of went from the grassroots to a very popular regional event to a national caliber level," McCollam said.

Gran Fondo is Italian for "Big Ride" and courses can range from 30 to 100 miles. Rides will go as far west as Kellyville and as far north as Osage County.

Extra police will be on hand to escort riders through the hilly parts of the course.

This year, Tulsa Tough is making it a little easier to navigate the rural roads in and out of the city.

"Instead of pavement markings we have produced over a thousand separate signs," McCollam said.

Cyclists say weeks of preparation and hydration is key to surviving a 100-mile bike ride.

"You've got to spend some time on your bike. You can't just go and expect to pull that off and enjoy it and even when you do put in a lot of miles, the last 15 miles are tough miles," cyclist, Pat Allen said.

Mechanics at T-Town Bicycles are busy with customers needing last minute tune ups.

Grow said riders need to keep an emergency kit with them in case you get a flat.

"You want to make sure all the nuts and bolts are tight on your bike," he said. "You want to make sure your tires are aired up and are able to keep the pressure."

Online registration for the Gran Fondo races are closed, but walk up registration is open at the Tulsa Tough tent at the Blue Dome District Friday night.