Saint Francis Tulsa Tough weekend set for June 8-10, 2012


The Tulsa Tough offers riders and fans a unique experience. (Photo by Philip Wilkerson, Wilkerson Photography)
The Tulsa Tough offers riders and fans a unique experience. (Photo by Philip Wilkerson, Wilkerson Photography)
Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, now in its seventh year, is a three-day cycling festival designed to promote fitness and healthy lifestyles. The 2012 Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, part of the USA Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), weekend is June 8-10, 2012.
Saint Francis Tulsa Tough offers events and spectator opportunities for everyone with professional and amateur races, recreational GranFondo rides, a family-friendly neighborhood ride, exhibitors and vendors in one weekend.
The professional and amateur men’s and women’s races begin on Friday, with additional races on Saturday and Sunday. These races, taking place in three different parts of Tulsa, attract professional and amateur cycling teams from across the country. Friday’s races occur in the Blue Dome District of downtown; Saturday’s races are set for Brady Village; and Sunday’s races are ridden along River Parks and are home to Cry Baby Hill in the Riverview neighborhood. Race maps can be found here.
“We are proud that Saint Francis Tulsa Tough has become a “must-do” for cyclists in northeastern Oklahoma,” said Malcolm McCollam, executive director of Saint Francis Tulsa Tough. “With a focus on Tulsa’s downtown arts and entertainment districts and the Arkansas River corridor, the event features professional races and rides for all skill levels. As we have grown, so has our national reputation which has given us an opportunity to share the great things about Tulsa with cycling enthusiasts from coast to coast.”
Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is also home to GranFondo rides, scenic rides that offer a distance for any skill level. The GranFondos take place Saturday and Sunday of event weekend, and offer challenging routes ranging in distance from 24 to 127 miles. This year, Saint Francis Tulsa Tough is also offering a special opportunity called Ride with the Pros during the GranFondos. Twenty-six professional cyclists, who are traveling to Tulsa to compete in the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough races, have committed to ride with the public in the GranFondo rides Saturday and Sunday.
“We created Ride with the Pros to offer a unique experience for both our professional racers and our amateur riders,” McCollam said. “Not many sports allow amateur athletes to participate with their professional counterparts. It’s not like you can take batting practice with the New York Yankees. But you can line up and go for a ride with some of this country’s top bike racing professionals.”
Other events include races for children on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, as well as the annual Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation Townie ride on Sunday.  The  Townie, designed as a family fun activity is an eight mile ride and is free to all entrants  thanks to generous support from the Taylor Lobeck Family Foundation, but registration is required.  All Tulsa Townie finishers will receive a finisher’s medal.
New to the family line up this year is a Strider Adventure Zone, presented by Spoke House Bicycles, designed for Tulsa’s youngest riders. Kids from 18 months to 5 years (and under 48 inches tall) can face obstacles and fun in the Strider Adventure Zone. This 30 feet by 80 feet closed area is reserved exclusively for the little guys and girls who want to attack ramps and zigzag courses. Strider bikes will be provided, which are training bikes that are void of pedals.
Event weekend also includes a three-day street festival, designed for spectators and riders alike. The main festival activities are located along the race course each day.

This Article Updated June 5, 2012 @ 03:55 PM For more information contact: