Disastrous tornadoes, severe weather and flooding in Oklahoma has wreaked havoc in the region, including areas scheduled to be used in one week at the Tulsa Tough Gran Fondos on June 8 & 9.
Event organizers are scrambling to reroute the gran fondos due to flooding, but the National Weather Service reports the flood-weary region should expect more severe weather.
Tulsa’s Riverside Park (now flooded) was a key feature in the original gran fondo routes, with the course running south on Riverside Dr to 71st, across the Arkansas River bridge, out to Sahoma Lake in Sapulpa, back across the Arkansas River at Keystone Lake, and eventually out to Skiatook Lake. The Arkansas River is currently above flood stage levels.
“When you get up north you have that whole watershed up there that includes Bird Creek and all of those other tributaries,” event director Malcolm McCollam said, “and it’s just a mess. Bill (Hadley, the Gran Fondo director) is essentially designing entirely new routes so that we can move away from the northern watershed, and away from the Arkansas River, and still give people a good experience. Even as we speak, Bill is out driving new Fondo routes for Saturday, and then potentially Sunday.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to publish redesigned routes in a few days for the Saturday Fondos. After we tackle that, the next thing we’ll do is tackle Sunday’s Fondo routes.”