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Bicyclists shut down Automobile Alley for day of street racing in Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City ProAm Classic organizers hope to develop annual sister competition to Tulsa Tough. Estimated 500-plus register for inaugural event.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: June 3, 2012

Street races shut down Automobile Alley most of the day Saturday, but it wasn't automobiles that were raced.

Instead, the inaugural Oklahoma City ProAm Classic brought bicyclists from across the region to downtown for some friendly competition.

Heats for men, women and children — beginners up to professionals — snaked through 10 city blocks all day long as part of the event.

Bill Hyman, a restaurant owner from Tulsa, gave the course and the organization a positive review after finishing his first run Saturday morning.

“They haven't posted the results yet, but I'm definitely not in the prize money,” he said.

Hyman, 45, has been racing three years with Sound Pony, a Tulsa team named after a bar and bicycle-enthusiast hangout. Saturday's race was a good tuneup for the three-day Tulsa Tough races next weekend, he said.

“This is a criterion race, which is usually about three-quarters to a mile and a quarter in length, with lots of turns,” he said. “It's not about who can go the fastest; it's about who can handle the bike, and if you have teammates out there. It's also about team tactics.”

Hyman said team racing is a pastime he picked up later in life to occupy his time and keep him active. Making short, hard sprints down city streets on a sunny afternoon is a lot more challenging than it looks, he said.

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