3 Breweries, 403 Miles, 2 Lone Survivors.
In the early morning of Saturday October 22, approximately 30 riders set off in the dark from Anthem Brewery in downtown Oklahoma City, heading towards Tulsa, Oklahoma. Around half would pull off at the 30 mile mark and head back towards OKC, but the others were on a quest for the day. A quest to complete the #OkBeerMuda - a tour of 3 Oklahoma breweries, covering 403 miles of pavement, hills, gravel roads, and wind. The goal was to complete at a pace of 20 mph. The plan was short stops, great support, pacelines and of course, staying on top of fuel and hydration. Below is the story of that quest, in snapshots from those who suffered and supported and endured the day. And night.
Storytellers: Andy Chasteen, Chad Hodges, Paul Papin, Jason Waddell, Chris Holliday, Biff Stephens, Geremy Rowland
4:30 am - Paul: Meditation, breakfast, pancakes. Load up truck, off to Anthem Brewery.
4:45 am - Chris: I'm awake, I might as well get out of bed.
5:30 am - Chad: Packed up but forgot breakfast, two pieces of pizza it is.
5:30 am - Laurent: Wake up, coffee, big breakfast, excited, last minute checkup, bikes are clean and sleek!
6:00 am - Biff: It's way too early, and I'm way too old for this shit.
6:00 am - Jason: Drive to the start or ride? What’s an extra 8 miles when you plan on riding 400.
6:30 am - Chad: Unloading & loading the van & SAG cars. We have a lot of food this year!
6:30 am - Laurent: Heading to Anthem with Stephan, pumped up by the voice of Yelle. Wow, big crowd! all of our friends showed up to give us a boost, and a pull to Luther.
6:45 am - Jason: What was I thinking? This is going to be a long day.
Anthem Brewery, Oklahoma City, OK
6:45 am - Paul: Shoes, helmet on, air up tires, help load vehicles. Chad gives the plan for the day. Group photo.
6:55 am - Chris: Wow, this is a lot of people riding/helping/supporting.
6:59 am - Chad: I never really know what to say when leading these roll out speeches.
7:00 am - Laurent: Feeling great, everyone is so chatty!
7:00 am - Chad: BEERMUDA! Let the fun begin!
7:00 am - Geremy: On time (for once!) and ready to go. Only two rules given to follow - Keep it at 20 mph and don’t stop more than every two hours. Check.
7 am, Anthem Brewing, 52 degrees - Andy: Long day begins with long sleeves and knee warmers.
8:00 am - Biff: Good sunlight, time to get busy taking photos. Smiles everywhere so far.
8:00 am - Geremy: Sun coming out and I feel great. Ignore my old man bladder. I can’t possibly need to go to the bathroom this soon.
8:30 am - Paul: Roll through Luther. The ones doing the normal early risers ride turn around. Legs still haven't woke up.
Mile 30 - Chad: Just a tad jealous of the Early Risers crew pulling off at Farmstead 116 for our usual mid ride cup of coffee.
9:00 am - Jason: I’ve never ate or drank this much two hours into a bike ride.
Mile 50 - Chad: Why do I have crews working today? Solve "real" work problems on my phone & stay positive.
Mile 55 - Chad: Hopefully, that wraps up "real" work. Again, why do I have crews working on #OKBeerMuda?
9:56 am - Geremy: Halfway to Tulsa, tail-cross wind and life is good. Feels fast. Becoming clear that our two rules might not stick.
10:38 am - Chris: Overheard "... if we push it we can get our average up to 22.5 mph..."
10:45 am, mile 80, Bristow, OK - Andy: One slight wrong turn in town, we miss 4 guys who had ridden from Tulsa to meet us. They are chasing.
Mile 80 - Chad: I'm pretty sure we were supposed to meet the Tulsa boys in Bristow...just missed the Tulsa boys.
Mile 81 - Chad: Does it really take this long to chase on?
Mile 82 - Chad: We sent the van back for them, right?
Mile 85 - Andy: I stop for pee break, wait for Tulsa guys chasing. Hook up with follow van and motor pace 5 minutes back up to group.
Mile 88 - Chad: There they are! Waddell, can you send the troops to the front?
11:20 am - Chris: Awesome, we have some help from the Tulsa crew!
Mile 90 - Chad: Now we're talking, sit in until Tulsa.
11:45 am - Chris: Holy crap, 17,000 watts up this hill, who invited the Tulsa crew!
Mile 104, Sapulpa, OK - Andy: Group crosses railroad tracks, Dustin Smith hits track wrong and crashes.
Mile 104 - Chad: Tracks! Oh, crap what just happened? Rider down! Call 911!
11:55 am - Geremy: One of the worst sounds I’ve heard riding a bike. This can’t be good. Just hope he’s okay.
12:00 pm - Jason: Played paramedic for 10 minutes with down rider. Pulled broken Oakley’s out of his face.
Marshall Brewing Company, Tulsa OK - mile 120, 22.8 mph average
Mile 120 - Chad: 15 minutes ahead of schedule! Welcome to Marshall Brewing! Take a few pics, post an update, chamois cream up, refuel & hit the road!
12:30 pm - Geremy: Tulsa friends bring us into town in a hurry and it feels good to stop for a few minutes.
12:45 pm - Andy: First brewery stop. Feeling good. Quick food, a beer, reapply chamois cream, short sleeve jersey.
12:50 pm - Paul: Arrive in Tulsa at Marshall Brewing way ahead of the goal. Andy tells me he feels better than last year. My legs feel dead from a week of recovery but, I know it's not a big deal. Food, group picture and then roll.
1:00 pm - Biff: Pictures at first stop (Marshall Brewing in Tulsa), beer, sponsors, beer, sponsors, repeat!
1:00 pm - Laurent: Marshall! Wow, that leg was fast! That beer is good! Dang that food is good.
1:30 pm - Geremy: Back in the saddle for “flattest” advertised segment.
1:30 pm - Chad: Let the headwind begin!
1:30 pm - Chris: Now we can slow it down on the headwind section.
1:30 pm - Jason: Headwind, oh glorious headwind.
Mile 132, Jenks, OK - Andy: 18 mph headwind will be our enemy for the next 120 miles. We decide to move to single file pace line, each person 3 minutes on front in wind.
2:00 pm - Laurent: Headwind! Fast pace! Dang, those pulls get harder and harder!
2:30 pm - Geremy: Headwind. Crosswind. Headwind. Crosswind. Eat, drink, hide. Rinse and repeat… Seemingly forever. 400 watts to go 20 mph. I’ll pay for this later.
Mile 142 - Andy: Crosswinds, I form an additional echelon.
3:00 pm - Chris: Uhhh, so when are we gonna slow it down? Legs are cramping! Just hang on!
3:00 pm - Laurent: Definitely above my talking pace!
3:03 pm - Chris: WHAT?!?! It’s only been 3 minutes since I last looked?
3:05 pm - Chris: IS THIS THING BROKEN???? [Repeat the last 3 steps 1000 times.]
3:15 pm - Geremy crashes: This food is great! Opening the wrapper on a tasty pinwheel and... Oh, crap! Didn’t see him slightly back off the gas. Clipped his wheel and now I’m in a heap on the side of the road. I’m an idiot... A tired, bloody and disappointed idiot.
Mile 170 - Chad: Pace is still pretty solid. Headwinds & crosswinds still. Feeling pretty good so far but the group is starting to struggle.
Mile 175, Counsel Hill, OK near Lake Eufala - Andy: Average has fallen slightly to just above 22 mph. I’m still feeling good, staying on top of fuel and hydration.
4:00 pm - Biff: Remember to not give anyone estimates as to how far we have left (long story, Biff gave some wrong mileage estimates to riders at 2015 Beermuda).
4:00 pm - Laurent: Dang, those pulls get even harder...oh shit! too fast for me!
Mile 180 - Chad: To another rider "Next time you want to slow down, you can ask Andy yourself."
4:32 pm - Chris: Too fast for me... I'm done.
Mile 185 - Chad: Finally, the first gravel section. This gravel seems way worse to ride in than last year.
Mile 186 - Andy: First gravel section. 11 miles. New layer of gravel makes for slow, sloppy progress.
5:00 pm - Laurent: This gravel section is about twice as long as last year! No?
5:15 pm - Geremy: Yippee! This must be the easy gravel section I heard about. Wait, what is this? This is all freshly dumped gravel, about 3-4 inches thick. Plus, the headwind that never leaves. Who is the sadist that did this to me?
Mile 190 - Chad: The group is shattered, lead & follow cars all behind us. Hopefully, this is the right way, I'm not up for a wrong turn.
Mile 197 - Andy: Pit stop at end of gravel, group has split and needs to reunite and refuel. 50 miles to Krebs.
Mile 197 - Chad: First gravel section is behind us! Stop to regroup, refuel & don't ask Biff how far we have left to go.
6:00 pm - Jason: 200 miles in and gravel, and headwind.
6:00 pm - Laurent: Aaron and I at the back of the line pushing each other to stay on.
6:00 pm - Paul: A strong headwind has dropped our pace slightly to 22. A few of us are sprinting for city limit signs knowing we shouldn't and will pay for it later. Then gravel, group splits there's about six of us in the lead group with a plan to stop at the end and regroup. A few have packed it up and got in the car. I still feel good, legs are good. 50 miles to Krebs.
6:00 pm - Geremy: 200 miles down. I’ll feel better now that the gravel is gone and every bounce doesn’t make me want to shoot myself in the head.
6:15 pm - Geremy: Nope. Pace is still fast, wind is still cooking and my brain and body have checked out. 204 miles and I’m climbing into the truck.
7:00 pm - Biff: Stay away from the riders and don’t talk to them. Headwind, gravel.
7:00 pm - Laurent: Got a bit of a second (third or fifth) wind... Getting back in the rotation... Make it to Krebs! Make it to Krebs!
Mile 224, Quinton, OK - Andy: The return to pavement, refueling of the body, and somewhat of a wind block from trees surrounding Lake Eufaula has reinvigorated group. The pace has increased.
Mile 238 - Chad: At least the scenery is nice around Lake Eufaula. Pace is picking up & we can just about taste Krebs.
7:30 pm - Jason: Headwind and darkness.
Pete's Place, home of Choc Brewery, Krebs, OK - mile 252, 21.7 mph average
8:08 pm - Biff: Some of the best spaghetti I have ever had.
8:08 pm - Jason: Remove shoes, eat spaghetti, prepare mentally for slog home.
8:08 pm - Laurent: Choc here we are! Shoes off! Sit down for a beer and a good meal... I feel ready again.
8:08 pm - Andy: Second leg completed, feeling surprisingly good, nice pasta waiting on us, eat way too much, drink a beer. Ibuprofen, knee warmers, jacket, 5-hour energy, front and rear lights, clear lenses on glasses. Katy joins us to help get us home. Back on road.
8:10 pm - Paul: Rolling into Krebs, feeling way better than last year. I'm getting food and drink every thirty minutes. We've lost a few more, only 6 left with 3 more along to help with work. Avg is good 21.8 with 150 miles to go and the same amount of climbing as the first 250.
Mile 252 - Chad: The goal was arrive between 8-9 pm... We did it! Pete's Place really rolled out the red carpet this year! Only 150 miles to go! Headphones in, computer screen dark... NO DATA.
Mile 253 - Chad: I didn't really eat THAT much but feel bloated.
Mile 255 - Andy: Climbing begins immediately. Last 150 miles will have almost 7,000 ft of climbing. Doesn’t sound like much unless you’ve just ridden 250 miles.
Mile 260 - Chad: Maybe that salad wasn't such a good idea. Bad acid reflux & heartburn.
10:00 pm - Laurent: Well, that feeling did not last! Able to keep up on the flat, but pedaling backward on the uphills.
10:05 pm - Laurent: I'm no help! I'm only slowing everyone down. Why am I here again?
10:06 pm - Laurent: Fuck that gravel hill! Lights off! Get in the car!
Mile 260 - Andy: My stomach starts disagreeing with me.
10:30 pm - Jason: Great. Who designed this freakin’ route?!?! Gravel roads, gravel climbs reaching 15%, downhills on gravel in the dark. This is not sane.
12:00 am - Biff: People are dropping like flies, getting in the car, packing it in. Brutal.
12:00 am - Jason: I’m still on my bike. Only 5 or 6 or 7 more hours to go…
Mile 275 - Chad: I know I should be eating & drinking but my throat hurts too bad & stomach is still too full.
Mile 290 - Andy: Surprise sections of gravel zapping energy and motivation.
12:15 am - Jason: I’ll just start taking long hard pulls to try and get this over with.
Mile 300 - Chad: Waddell only mentioned there would be one additional stretch of gravel.
Mile 310 - Chad: Who designed this route, and why are we doing a 400 mile ride with at least 10% gravel?
Mile 310 - Paul: Mentally doing great. We stop for a break, fill up bottles, get food, Jason and I take a selfie. Roughly 90 miles out. More gravel on three different occasions and the hills are steep.
Mile 315 - Chad: I should have made a better playlist.
Mile 317 - Chad: Sturgill Simpson is great, but maybe not 15 hours into a ride.
Mile 320 - Chad: Is Paul cracking? Nope, he's psyched again.
Mile 330 - Chad: What the heck is Waddell doing?
Mile 331 - Chad: I'm rolling the dice, this is Waddell's Wheeler Crit big pull before he peels off & grabs a beer & heckles the rest of us.
1:43 am - Jason: I don’t want to ride my bike anymore. Get in the van. 339 miles, 16.25 hours is enough.
Mile 339 - Chad: Yep, there went Waddell. Why the heck are we on gravel AGAIN!
2:00 am - Paul: Mentally good, physically not as good. Hills are hurting me. Figure 3 to 4 more hours and the pace to do it in. We continue as a group of three, at this point the avg is still 20.7. Trying to find the humor.
Mile 340 - Chad: Don't look at your computer, stop thinking & just pedal.
Mile 340, Maud, OK - Andy: Pit stop. All my stomach can handle is an avocado. 60 miles left. Paul, Katy and me decide we’ll stop one more time with 30 miles left for refuel.
Mile 342 - Chad: Why are we stopping? Andy wants to strategize...60 miles left, brain says three hours, Andy says four hours...GAME OVER. I don't want to ride my bike for four more hours.
Mile 360 - Andy: Katy has taken a monster pull and I tell her to go back to van to recover. Paul and I press on. I’m wrecked in the saddle, still good legs when standing up out of the saddle. Entire body aches.
3:00 am - Biff: Directions are hard to follow in the dark (making a wrong turn will piss a lot of people off)… Can’t tell where the riders are behind us… Make us nervous I think we were the only car that had two people awake.
Mile 370 - Andy: Paul and I want to stop, follow car is nowhere to be found and we press on. Paul is a basket case of bipolarism, one minute screaming about how awesome the ride is and the next in the deepest of black holes.
4:00 am - Paul: 30 miles to go now there is 2 of us, me and Andy. We both finished last year, and I know at this point we will both finish no matter how long it takes.
Mile 375 - Andy: Follow car catches us. We stop. Peanut butter sandwich and water (stomach has only been able to handle water for the last 60 miles).
Mile 383, Draper Lake - Andy: We have just completed the hilliest section of the entire day, 13 miles on SE 149th Street.
Mile 387 - Paul: He's killing me up the hills, I'm pushing well over 300 watts. I tell him ease up. I try to help pull for a while. Not hard just steady. Then comes another dreaded road of hills 104th. I'm pissed, but we're so close.
Mile 390 - Andy: Starting to sniff the end, and what little energy is left in my flailing body is on point.
Mile 400, Oklahoma City, OK - Andy: Rolling into downtown. Paul and I fist bump for a job well done, and almost crash.
Back To Anthem Brewing, Oklahoma City, OK
Mile 403 - Andy: Horns honking. Paul and I roll into the parking lot literally on fumes. Beers and celebration. We look and feel like death.
5:30 am - Paul: Stoked. Ready to finish, but I'm taking it all in. We finish. Andy has his beer, we get our #okbeermuda finisher shirts. Grab my stuff, go home, eat pancakes. Gratitude for what I've accomplished and knowing if it wasn't for the support throughout the day, none of it would have been possible.
6:00 am - Biff: Done and Dusted!