Last month I checked out the 10th annual Saint Francis Tulsa Tough bicycle mega event. I had heard about a big bicycle event held downtown in prior years but hadn't taken the time to learn much about it.
This year I thought "I could use some time practicing panning the cyclists with my camera." I hadn't tried that much in the past and figured on going downtown for maybe an hour to get some practice.
I got more than I bargained for. The three day schedule included over 30 criterium races and six Gran Fondo events of different lengths.
I was completely blown away by the intensity of the cyclists and enthusiasm of the spectators. Instead of an hour, I spent about four hours Saturday photographing several criterium races from different locations in the Brady district. In addition to my attempts at developing some panning ability the whole atmosphere lent itself to a great venue for street photography as well.
After four hours on Saturday I went back Sunday for the criterium races along Riverside Drive and up Cry Baby Hill. Again I thought I would spend another hour and get just a few more shots. I got there in time for the last few laps of the Women Ncc Stage Pro/Cat I & 2 and stayed through the Mens Ncc Stage Pro/Cat 1. The racing was amazing and the crowd was ... colorful.
I think I'm hooked. I'll certainly try to get back for this next year. I only shot the criterium races this year. Next year I'll have to try to catch some of the action in the countryside on the Gran Fondos.