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My Tulsa Tough Experience - Part 3: Settling In

Kindly suggest you start with  
Part 1: Meeting Shawn Brett
Part 2: The Schedule

When I last left off, I had been waiting at the Tulsa International Airport for Tonja and thinking about my upcoming weekend. I kept expecting Shawn to come flying around the corner in a van and throw the door open so I could jump in - Course Marshal style.
Exergy Tour Course Marshal Van - Shawn's head in rearview

That didn't happen, but he did send the text with Tonja's number. I sent her my location and out she walks. She was picking up her mom and they were inside by baggage claim.  We laughed at the circumstance and quickly piled in the van making a beeline for the Primal Pro Women's Cycling Clinic.

We arrived at a large property that used to be a mobile home park and now is used for police training.  The Divas were scattered around in groups learning different techniques like paceline riding, criterium positioning, and bike maintenance.  I was obviously too late, but thought maybe I'd build up the bike and do a quick spin.
Divas working on their skills

I found Shawn and gave him a big hug and settled in for the latest news.  We hadn't talked since Sunday and plenty was going on.  While he was telling me about all the cool stuff that he had planned for Tulsa Tough, he pointed out all the Diva success stories.  

He and his wife, Carol, are doing amazing things with the Diva program.  Many of the women hadn't been on bikes or even off a rail trail and now they had the confidence to ride in the GranFondo!
Welcome to Tulsa Tough

Overall, Shawn was amazingly calm considering what was about to go down over the next 3 days.  It was obvious that all the work was done and it was time to Tulsa Tough!  

I wasn't thinking about riding at this point, which was good, since the bike wasn't ready.  But somehow Shawn had arranged for the bike shop mechanic to come in an hour early the next morning to work with me on the fit!  Ever since last Sunday, I was getting the Diva treatment and now it was continuing.  As they say in Tulsa, It's Good to be a Diva

Carol eventually rolled up and we finally got to meet.  I realized almost immediately that Shawn was right, we were going to enjoy hanging out all weekend.  She played college volleyball, raced bikes before her girls were born, skis, and had ridden in France on some of the same climbs we had, in the same year!  
Carol, me, and Flat Lucas Euser on Friday
Carol just after we saw the real Lucas Euser on Saturday's ride

We piled her bike and my backpack into her car and headed to the house to settle in.  I put my stuff in their youngest daughter's room, which was perfect.  There was plenty of space (once I moved a few stuffed animals) and a bathroom across the hall.  

There was also a collection of cowbells on the dresser.  How cool to grow up with so much cycling around you.  Shawn and Carol had planned to host one of the women's teams but it didn't work out, which was awesome for me.  I obviously scored the best host housing in town!
My Host Room

Once Shawn finished up with the clinic, the 3 of us got in the Tulsa Tough pace car.  Yes, you heard me right, Shawn drove the car all weekend and it got a lot of attention.  We enjoyed a nice Italian dinner at Tucci's and then called it a night, the next 3 days were going to wear us all out.
Tulsa Tough Pace Car

Friday morning's schedule was going to be tight due to the special bike build.  Both the Diva ride and the mechanic were starting at 9.  Ideally, the ride would start late, but Plan B was for me to try and catch everyone once the bike was ready.  I went to bed hoping my legs were up for the challenge and my high-altitude lungs would give me an advantage.

You'll have to wait for the next post to see how the ride turns out.


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