Chris Winn: Ramblings From The Road


03 June 2008

The Madness That Was Tulsa.

Tulsa was just down right crazy. Mullet-men, wizards, lost skin, broken bones and a Nick Nolte/Gary Busey ringer with more money than sense. Oh and a major ass-whoopin' by Toyota-United too. Damn, where do i begin...somewhere is better than nowhere I suppose...but sit tight cause this is a long one..and enjoy the randomness that was Tulsa Tough NRC....

Friday night was an absolute riot. Night time crit! Hell yeah! I had no idea what to expect, but was pumped to the mega and hoping to avoid the first of much bad luck to come for the RMCEF women. Already we had chalked some names on the injured list with one woman face scraping the tarmac and another one with a potential busted rib.

The racing for the men didn't kick off until 9:30pm, so there was a lot of hanging around and twiddling the thumbs until we got to put on the tight stuff and strut our stuff to a nice downtown crowd. The set up was first class with massive TV screens around the place showing the action, plus the energetic Dave Towle commentary piped around the whole course, not just the main straight. Nice. Holy smoke the racing was a mix of pure insanity and awesome-ness at the same time. Concentration was needed with the constant shadowing around, not know whether guys were coming up beside you or not. The legs were feeling good early, but I pretty much paid the price for mixing up the front, dying in the crucial last couple of laps. Pretty much Toyota controlled the whole show. I mean with guys like Vogels, Dominguez, Stevic, Wherry, Hilton Clarke etc..they have some serious options. However I did manage to scare the hell outta Vogels though when I was squeezed into the gutter and used some of the old dirt riding skills to promptly execute a clean curb hop. Final verdict....a 45km/h average under lights in the warm Tulsa night with big crowds....just awesome!

Fast enough for ya...?

It was closest park we could find...I swear!

Day two was once again indeed wacky. Things were postponed for the early categories while a decent thunder-storm wrecked havoc on the course. Flash flooding was everywhere and brought heaps of mud and dirt onto the roads which made for some interesting racing for first group back.

Unfortunately this was Kat's group, and the bad luck for the women continued with her taking a nasty spill and badly spraining her right ankle. Damn. Things got much worse for our afternoon racing women however, with Rebekah getting taking down and painfully breaking her pelvis. Yes we were starting to rack up some nice ambulance time.

Jose doing some mud shovelling time outta the pit....

It was no secret too the lads I was on mid-west mullet watch for the weekend. First up was this bloke who really committed with the shaving of the sides and some ripper length down back.

This one was a Yeti sighting in the distance.....until..

...he turned out to be on event first aid! So with Kat coming down i could really work the camera angle for some gold coverage...nice perm some prime sponsor representation!

Things had dried out nicely for the Pro/1 showdown and was looking the goods for our race. Wanting to make amends from yesterday's crit I kept it cool early, staying out of the wind and letting the other teams chase and do all the work needed. Come three laps to I was feeling strong and I'd muscled my way up the front and was sitting pretty for a cash producing finish. Until two corners to go some 'insert preferred expletive here' decided he saw a line around a sharp corner that clearly didn't exist. I got chopped hard and had to get on the anchors. He, funnily enough, made it onto the grass after running out of road. So I lost all momentum and finished outside the top 30. Frustrating hell yes, but that's the way it can go sometimes. Next...

With a hospital visit the next morning to check on Rebekah, we got a pretty cool view 10 floors up of the crazy thunderstorm that just blew apart the city. Torrential rain and mega gust of wind left the roads in all sorts, flash flooding and trees/branches/power lines were down. We decided to check in to the race site to find out the latest and found....well, the pictures tell the story really..

With some uncertainty whether the racing would continue with some power lines down over the course, finally the green light was given and it was game on again for the afternoon's events. I swear if you didn't get up until after 1pm that day you would have had no idea of the morning's weather. The afternoon shone blue sky, heat and the ever present humidity. Unbelievable. The final crit circuit was the toughest of them all with a steep uphill kicker that turned a right hander into another uphill drag. However, this section turned out to be the most enjoyable to ride through. A crazy street party happened, compete with pumping music, Elvis suits, trash can lid banging, showered with the hose....just complete drunken madness going on really. So every lap despite the suffering it was pretty funny to be offered "$10 street primes" and see a guy in a Santa jump suit with a mop wig on his head run beside you.

So that was Tulsa. No real great results to speak of but a hell of a lot of random adventures along the way. Sunday night the crazyness continued as we were treated to a high class dinner by our awesome host house'r Joel at one of Tulsa's finest restuarants. We randomly met his old room mate from college there, a crazy wealthy land tycoon who proceeded to pay for all that we consumed and left us scratching our heads he was dining with 5 other ladies high as a kite wearing no shoes and board shorts. It was damn good

The Wizard. We believe he put a curse on the team for the weekend and is in partnership with Toyota-United after complete event domination...


rmullen said...

wizard give me good potion to make ammends for forgetting to cast protective spell on me during the race!


and thanks sooooo much for seeing me at the hospital! it was fantastic to have someone there other than the abusive doc and nurses!

green said...

hey roy,
looks like some random adventures mate, i am hell jealous back here but i did get to see the one and only Mr. T. Rogers live and loud last night. it was an honour and a treat!

Kat said...

The best part of the weekend was the watermelon chap stick they were handing out at the race. No injuries are yet reported from using it.