Cyclists Brave Rain To Race

Sunday, March 11th 2007, 3:20 pm
By: News On 6

Cyclists braved the rainy weather for the first annual Sand Springs Criterium bike race on Sunday. Riders competed for prize money while racing around the rain-slickened streets of downtown Sand Springs. The News On 6's Chris Wright reports some cyclists may have been leaning toward the latter Sunday, as they ignored the downpour in Sand Springs and took to the streets

"We're either really dedicated or really crazy," said Race Promoter Nathan Leigh.

"I would say it's very difficult, it slows the race down considerably," said Race Director John Moore. "It makes it more challenging, safety becomes an issue."

Sunday's race was the first Sand Springs Criterium. The race has been added to the Oklahoma-Arkansas Spring series, cyclists compete for points and some cash each week, and of course bragging rights are also at stake.

"I like to refer to it as NASCAR for dentists because it takes some money to do this sport, but we all love it, we all do it to be fit," said cyclist John Haring.

"What prize money there is is usually gas money, or to help pay for the hotel," Leigh said.

And only the heartiest of weekend warriors showed up on Sunday. All of the rain made for some sharp turns for the cyclists, but they still managed to have a good time.

"You go, you ride hard, you complain the whole time, and when it's over you want to do it again," said Haring.

Organizers intend to make the race an annual affair, and cyclists are looking forward to better weather next year, especially John Haring, who had to race in the rain and then make his way home in it.

"The sad thing is I now have to ride my bike back to Tulsa," he said.

Despite the poor weather, cyclists from six different states raced in the Sand Springs Criterium.