Eager Cyclists Gear Up For Tulsa Tough

Wednesday, June 4th 2014, 10:05 pm
By: News On 6

The tough are coming to Tulsa this weekend.

The annual bike race through downtown draws thousands of people, and it is something many look forward to each year.

The start and finish line for Saturday's race will be held at Boston Avenue and Brady Street.

The event isn't just for the competitors. There are also several recreational rides happening around town.

This year's event is expected to draw more than 2,000 cyclists and more than 50,000 people just to watch.

The Tulsa Tough Divas are suited up and ready to go. But don't let their tutus fool you.

On Saturday the group will start downtown and some will cycle up to 100 miles south of town.

"I'm a little bit scared," Livia-Nina Gosnell said. "I'm signed up for the 68-mile [race]. I've done some 50s before but this is gonna be my longest distance."

Gosnell is a first timer. She used to dance professionally until an injury sidelined her .

"So my surgeon recommended that I start cycling for recovery," she said.

The group of women are part of thousands coming to Tulsa this weekend to take on the challenge.

Tulsa Tough Schedule

"The crowds have grown to incredible size, people around the country," Tulsa Tough Executive Director Malcom McCollam said. "The pros tell us nobody has crowds like Tulsa."

McCollum said the race grows by nearly 30 percent every year.

Its impact is close to 2 million for the local economy.

"Our business always quadruples," Dwelling Spaces owner Mary Beth Babcock said. "We do four times what we would normally do on a Friday night, so no question this is a direct impact."

To say Babcock is excited about this weekend might be a bit of an understatement.

"It just started with a few guys that were in to bicycles," she said. "It just takes a little passion, and then for people to believe in your vision -- now it blows my mind."

Her shop is directly along the race course in the Blue Dome District, and she has already stocked up on gear for all the fans.

"The second the races end, you hear so many people saying they can't wait for next year," she said. "It's like Christmas. Christmas ends and then you're ready for it."

If you're interested in signing up for the Tulsa Tough, there's still have time.

You can register Friday night from 5 to 9 p.m. at the registration tent located near Second Street and Elgin Avenue.

Spectators can set up anywhere along the course. There will be kid races, which begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday. They are free for kids 9 and under. Just meet at the corner of Main and Brady and bring a bike and helmet.

Training wheels, tricycles and big wheels are allowed.