Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tulsa Tough Race Reporto

The 2011 Cat 1/2 edition of Tulsa Tough was everything a Wooly Mammoth looks for in a race weekend:

I knew of all three races offered over the weekend, my best chances at a result were on Friday night. I love me a technical course and a loud, cheering crowd on city streets is more intoxicating than the suds consumed by the tifosi all weekend. I focused all my energies into bringing home a result on the atmosphere that best suited my abilities, as is the Wooly tradition. As if the course and the pace were not enough to surmount, the best way to cross the line is to not know if you really survived or are merely projecting an image to your consciousness while your soul is wandering in the space between life and death that can only be described as….

It was all gonna stay together. Twenty minutes in I rolled off the front for a few. I had plans to make a last minute ditch but the opportunity to blaze around the crowd-lined course and get some live stream time for Wooly's sponsors was too tempting early on. The ultraness of the race became apparent as the sun set. Protective Indian Spirits cloaked as storm clouds began to blanket the perimeter of the course and plan a timely attack. Race promoters cut the race short in the hopes of out foxing the looming storm by slicing off five laps. Two laps to go the lightning strike and quickly answered thunder crack was intro to fat rain drops. Half a lap later, going into the last lap, the skies opened and the noise level externally was on full blast from every source. The crowd seemed amplified. The race announcer (who was amplified) began the chant, "One to GO! One to GO! One to GO!" No longer were we the flying, confident, semipro athletes our logo laced lycra advertised us to be. We were a pack of panicky kids being forced to take an unwanted ice skating lesson. The levels internally were tranquil, tho. Every pedal stroke seemed like the last option at ground touching earth. At every turn more of the peloton washed away in the quiet of the storm as it swallowed most of its victims whole, bike and rider, to appease its appetite. I crossed the line 6th. It was death, no? The rain gods had more in store for this Wooly to complete the cycle of….

Sound Pony is the cyclist's bar in Tulsa. Saturday's race course goes right past it and it is a great place to catch all the action flying through and then watch the rest of the moves on the big screen strategically placed out front. The dance floor that night may have seen the likes of cyclists, some still in lycra and helmet, laying down moves only pro romancers are capable of. The romance became too much with one lucky Tulsa resident and the storm that, again, moved in by the Wooly supporting Indian Spirits till 5am could be a cliche comparison…

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


this is the only way to keep up with things these days: an SOS email I sent a friend. Some of it may make sense and if you're close to me you know what it's all about, but I think that might only be three people and they are tired of hearing it, I'm sure.

Gonna go build up a bike now. Hopefully I have all the parts...

Tulsa was last weekend. Friday nite storming to 6th, Saturday Soundpony dance party extending the night till almost sunrise and Sunday Crybaby Hill. What a great time. Now, I'm gonna hang up the race wheels (not as long this time) and throw some parties.

Begin transmission:


I am in need of your assistance if you are up for it.

We are throwing a Tour de France launch party with Mellow Johnny's on July 2nd. The party will include an "uphill" team time trial in the spirit of le Tour. I got the State of Texas to donate one of the parking garages across the street from the Comptrollers Office at 17th and San Jacinto. At the top there is a perfect view of the Capitol on one side and the UT stadium on the other. It should be a lot of fun and each team will have one or two riders handicapped with a non-race bike that we will provide them with. This is to keep things fun and not too serious and hopefully attendees will include a wide demographic of cyclists and everyone will have a shot at winning.

Back at Mellow Johnny's, we will have a podium ceremony, food and beverages and the first stage of the Tour will be screening.

This is where I need your help. We have a "maybe" from ____ for food but it didn't sound promising. I am nervous that if I am not proactive then I will be scrambling at the last minute to cater food for 250 people that are expected to show up and support our fundraiser. Because this is a fundraiser, we are trying to get food donated but if we have to pay for it then we will. At this point we have only the little bit of money we raised at the first NACCC fundraiser minus filing fees we've paid the city for street closures. The hunt for title sponsors is on full throttle but nothing yet. I'm only mildly discouraged at this point but looking ahead and planning for the best.

Would you be willing to ask Roberto from _____ to help provide food for our party? if not, could you do an email (re)introduction so I can ask. We've met before and I am pretty sure he remembers me but I am hoping that riding in on your coattails will strike a more personal chord with him and at this point I need to start hearing some "yes's" before I auction off one of my chihuahuas to get this party supplied.

Thanks my man and I hope all is well. Also, if you have any ideas for a podium ceremony al a Tour, please drop it on a note you shout back at me with, I'll probably love it and make it happen.

I'll leave you with this story of something that happened to me yesterday:

I had just left Bird's on 6th, tightening up the Euro mullet and walked past a bum passed out on the sidewalk near the corner at Waller. I didn't see the rise and fall of his chest to signify breathing so I turned back and was like,

"Hey! Are you OK?"

"Huh? yea." He crackled almost inaudibly.

"Well will you get off the ground and sit at the bench so I believe you?"

That's when I noticed dried blood on the side of his face. He started to get up and I continued, "Do you want me to call an ambulance for you?"

"Will you?" What a waste, I think I may have thought. But still I pulled my phone out and dialed. EMS asked me some questions and I relayed the questions and was informed that he had had a seizure. I felt mildly ashamed at my first thoughts but glad I stopped to help out.

Within minutes EMS, AFD and APD were on the scene. I didn't know if I was needed anymore so I started to walk on the perimeter of this now "save a life" scene. An officer looked over and asked if I was the one who called and I said yea. I explained what happened and she just nodded. AFD were talking to him about his seizures and just as I was about to leave someone called my name. I looked over and it was Mason O'Neal. He had rubber gloves on and he gave a quick fist punch and then moved in to help this guy out.

For some reason I felt real good then. I thought of you, man. I'm real happy for you and I hope to get a chance to visit when things settle down.

Take care,