The Angelenos: Jordan


The way I got to know this fella is quite an interesting story. When Jordan was visiting Los Angeles, we were introduced by a mutual friend whom he grew up with in Oklahoma. A few months later, he was back in LA and told me that he moved here for a new job at a sick bicycle shop out in Monrovia, Empire Bikes. We hung out one night at a small beer bar in Ktown with our mutual friend and Jordan and I got into a serious convo about bicycles (if you don't know much about me, I am an avid cyclist and can sometimes geek out on topics regarding cycling) which led to a conversation about races and specific professional cycling teams - a topic I am only beginning to learn more about. Then he asked me a question most people ask when they're more well-acquainted with each other:

"Do you want to go on a road trip with me to Oklahoma?"

Now, that wasn't all there is to the question. He explained that there was this huge bicycle race that a bunch of professional cyclists attend in Tulsa, Oklahoma, called the "Tulsa Tough". It's a 3-day criterium race series (kinda like the nascar of cycling) that takes place consecutively on different courses throughout the city. He tells me most people come out to watch the races, drink tons of beer (I'm not joking, each person might as well babysit a keg per day), and have a good time.

Then he tells me about "Crybaby Hill", the final course on the last day of the race.

Crybaby hill is not for the faint of heart. It's a two-part steep climb up a hill, down, and then repeated at least 10 times, as fast as your legs can spin in the heaviest gear you can use to climb with. Basically, you would rather tear your legs off than try to walk after the race is over.

This sounded all so exciting to watch and I needed to get out and make some more photographs, so I said yes and agreed to share the driving duties with Jordan over the course of a 24-hour drive straight to Tulsa, Oklahoma. During that drive, we bonded over lots conversations, stories (we both love to do things for a good story), and music. We listened to a hell-of-a-lot of music during that drive, all of which we shared a common interest in.

Throughout that whole trip, we drove, we made photos, we drank (a LOT of beer), played with guns (everyone owns multiple guns in that state), and ate some good food. I never thought Oklahoma would be such a fun city with the nicest people in the world. Reminded me of my hometown in Cleveland, Ohio, but on a whole 'notha level.

I'm glad to call this guy my friend. He is almost always down for the craziest things and is a very genuine person. You don't come across folks like him often.

To more crazy stories in the future. Cheers.

Oh, and here's a snippet of the craziness of "Crybaby Hill" during the Tulsa Tough. I'll post more images from the race soon:

My sunburnt self on the far left photographing Jordan for the photo below.

My sunburnt self on the far left photographing Jordan for the photo below.