Tulsa Tough Saturday Gran Fondo Recap

2013 Tulsa Tough Saturday Gran Fondo: 2k riders ready to roll.
2013 Tulsa Tough Saturday Gran Fondo: 2k riders ready to roll.

I’d like to tell you an epic tale of challenges, of hardship, of triumph. Of pain and joy. Of people giving their all for one another as much as for themselves. I think it would make for an awesome story. But I can’t.

It’s not that I don’t want to; I do. And it’s not that it didn’t happen; it did. The problem is that talking about this ride – going over the climbs, the rollers, the sprints and downhills – it just doesn’t capture what we really went through. Maybe I just don’t have the craft to convey what it is our intrepid team accomplished. Maybe it’s still too fresh in my mind to put into words. I’m not sure.

As we rolled and we picked up fellow riders, our team grew, and our performance improved. Each rider added their strength, skill, determination, and support to all the other riders. We were all affected in different ways by this ride. A climb would hurt some, but not others. A set of rollers would hurt those others, but not some. What stands above it is how our unity in facing these challenges made up for any individual deficiencies.

If there is only one takeaway from this year’s Tulsa Tough, it’s this:

What I couldn’t achieve, WE could.

Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Saturday Gran Fondo
Saint Francis Tulsa Tough Saturday Gran Fondo

Climbs: Hilton Hill, Keifer Hill, Teel Rd. Hill, 44 to 33 Hill, Double-Hump to Coyote, Coyote/Hound Dog Hollow, New Prue Rd., Pogue Short Climb, McKinley Tulsa Tough KOM, Mile 98 Climb, New Osage Dr.

Distance: 109.3 miles

Elev. Gain:  5,568 ft

Moving Time:  6:07:41

Avg. Speed:  17.8 mi/h

Temp: 84° F

Wind: 15 mph SE

Semper Equitare.