Grace and I took the drive up to Tulsa on Friday night to see The xx at Tulsa’s historic Cain’s Ballroom this last Friday evening. Since we both had to work on Friday, we already knew it was going to be a big rush to get there and then we ran into horrendous traffic on the way resulting from a crash between a car and a bus carrying prisoners. We were over an hour late and a little stressed out, but we really shouldn’t have been worried. The modern concert style of being at least an hour late for starting the show served us well.
The opening act was a group called Austra about which I had heard great things, but in person didn’t do much for me. Thankfully, the convenient layout of Cain’s with the bar next door gave us a place to sit and a chance to run into our friend Aaron and catch up.
The xx in Rainbow Light
The xx put on a great show. Moody, atmospheric almost electronica music might not always work live, but with them it did. And even if it hadn’t, the amazing light show they put together would have made it worth while. They maintained a great emotional mood and sounded amazingly tight as a live group. While I haven’t enjoyed their second album, Coexist, much at their amazing self-titled début, but I really enjoyed both live.
My only complaint may just be an old-fogey moment, but I was astounded by the number of people who maintained ongoing, loud conversations throughout the show. Now, I must admit that this may not be a new thing, because in my youth I primarily listened to such loud bands that conversations wouldn’t have been audible under any circumstances. However, no matter how long this has been going on, it was more than a little irritating to hear an amazing din of conversation over the top of a live band.
Fleet Feet Sports in Tulsa is organizing a duathlon this Sunday to honor cyclists Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds:
A duathlon organized by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa will take place Sunday to remember Christa Voss and Matthew Edmonds, cyclists killed by a drunken driver while riding their bikes on Oklahoma 51 near 161st West Avenue on June 9, 2009.
The race benefits the Edmonds & Voss Memorial Fund, which has supported the families of Voss and Edmonds as well as benefiting drunken driving prevention and the Tulsa Zoo fund, among other causes, according to event coordinator Kate Critchfield. The race includes a 5K run, a 30K bike ride, and another 5K run.
Tulsa is doing a little bragging about their bicycle trail system and on paper, it seems well justified. Unlike the OKC system, Tulsa’s seems well designed for both recreation and transportation which is a big bragging point.
It connects neighborhoods to downtown and that’s not the case in many cities.
Since 1999 the system has grown from just 25 miles to about 100, with a lot more trail work being planned.
The Oklahoma chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society opened their Art Bike Tulsa show today at the Williams Tower Two lobby.
Art Bike Tulsa 2012 is an installation of colorful, uniquely-designed bicycles that have been transformed by local artists to raise awareness about Multiple Sclerosis and the MS society’s annual bike ride/fundraiser.
Bike sharing programs are the rage around the world and across the nation (the photo above is of the DC bike share program, Capital Bikeshare). Oklahoma City first announced the program back in August and additional details were announced yesterday at the Oklahoma City Council meeting. According to NewsOK, the program has been given an official name of “Spokies” and will consist of 95 bicycles (up from 90) placed at six stations in the downtown Oklahoma City area. The money for the bikes and stations is coming from a federal grant.
While the locations haven’t been fixed, NewsOK is giving some initial indications of how the stations will be scattered:
The kiosks will have locking bike stands attached. The locations aren’t firm, but the idea is to have them within easy cycling of the Oklahoma City National Memorial, Bricktown, Midtown, Chesapeake Energy Arena and the adjacent Cox Convention Center, Deep Deuce, City Hall and the Civic Center Music Hall.
The cyclist was found by a passing motorist but was unable to describe the car that hit the cyclist. A silver sedan was seen in the area around the time of the crash, but police are not sure the vehicle was involved in the crash.
After being FreeWheel Director for six years, Ellen Proctor has stepped down and Joy Hancock has been appointed as the new Director:
The Board of the annual cross-state bicycle tour, Oklahoma FreeWheel, is proud to announce that Joy Hancock has been appointed Director, starting October 2011.
Joy, 31, brings a history of event and volunteer management and is an avid cyclist, having competed in a number of triathlon and cycling events, including FreeWheel in 2008 and 2009. Her involvement in Freewheel has gone beyond just riding – she has also given talks at FreeWheel seminars on how to train for this cross-state bicycle tour.
Hancock, reflecting upon the new position, said ‘I’m delighted to be the new Director of FreeWheel. I hope to build on the great organization that former director Ellen Proctor has helped establish, and work to make FreeWheel the best event that it can be, both for the communities we visit and for the participants.”
Additionally, Ellen Proctor, Lee Griffin, Laurie Daugherty, and Amy Shackelford will join Tom Brown, Ross Snider, and Barbara and Don Pike on the FreeWheel Board of Directors. This group of dedicated volunteers hopes to continue to improve on the great success of this ride, as they give hundreds of hours of time to helping FreeWheel be the best it can be.
FreeWheel, the nation’s second longest-running cross-state tour, traverses a different area of the state each year. It generally follows a south to north route to take advantage of the prevailing winds, and is not a race. The ride is limited to 1000 participants, who stay in host communities along the route. Part of the entry fee goes back to the communities which host the riders.
2012 will mark the 34th edition of Oklahoma’s premier bicycle touring event.
I found this interesting article on The Atlantic about the areas of growth in bicycle commuting. While we’ve all seen the large number of articles regarding the growth of cycling commuting, it is interesting to see the geographic concentrations of this growth. Unfortunately, Oklahoma City shows no growth (we sit at a 0.1% so not any room to drop either). However, Tulsa shows 200% growth, though that only represents an increase from 0.2% to 0.6% of the population, but that is still substantial growth.
As OKC expands the city’s bicycle trails network under MAPS 3 into a system that can start to be used for transportation, it will be interesting to see if we can see similar amounts of growth as Tulsa.
The Oklahoman has a nice story about last weekend’s MS 150:
In April, walking across a room was challenging for Robin Tilly, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009.
During the weekend, Tilly, 54, joined 567 cyclists in the 26th annual Bike MS: The Mother Road Ride — a trip along Route 66 from Tulsa to Oklahoma City to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Oklahoma.
“It was wonderful this year,” she said. “It’s a very loving, supporting community.”