05/02/2014 - POST-RACE UPDATE

The second annual OGRE (Ozark Gravel Road Expedition) began in the Big Surf Waterpark parking lot at daybreak with 73 riders from 10 states eagerly anticipating the 150+ Ozark miles in front of them.  To the sounds of sirens and cowbells, the ride headed out at exactly 6:00 am on Saturday, April 26th escorted by the Linn Creek Police Department all the way to the first inch of gravel.  

Once again the OGRE lived up to its name, and it was indeed a BEAST of a ride.   Passing through 4 counties (Camden, Laclede, Pulaski, Miller), riders experienced native Ozark topography of steep up and down hills, switchbacks, loose and packed gravel, washboards, and numerous low water crossings.  But through it all, the temps remained cool due to early day cloud cover.  A mid afternoon shower gave a few riders cool relief and was just enough to hold down the dust.  And as the sun came out, a nice tailwind aided the riders (for the most part) the rest of the afternoon.

The riders raced into position over the first couple of miles of paved flat to downhill gravel riding.  The first significant climb came at about the 7 mile mark as the field started to spread out.  This part of the route contained stretches of long ridges and long valleys with a few steep ups and downs.   Segment 1 came to an end 37 miles into the ride at Checkpoint 1 at the Decaturville Church where riders could take a bathroom break, eat snacks, and/or take on water supplied by Bridal Cave & Tan-Tar-A Resort.

Segment 2 started headed west where the riders met what was likely the steepest climb on the ride - the "Monster of Mt. Horeb".  This curving grunt was followed by relatively level riding on highway D and Tunnel Dam Road.  Along the way, riders were treated to the most spectacular view on the ride - high above Tunnel Dam with awesome views of Lake Niangua and the surrounding countryside.   At that point, riders had to descend a long steep hill then back up to the top (the beginning of the "Belly of the Beast") to the reward of Pit Stop 1 at Tunnel Dam Gardens.  Here at mile 50 riders were refreshed and bikes were repaired.  They obtained the map for Segments 3 and 4 and the green "O" slap band was distributed.

Segment 3 was "new" this year as last year's OGRE was rerouted to avoid flooding at the Niangua River.  The descent to the river continued into the "Belly of the Beast" where riders crossed the river then once again climbed vertically back to the ridge on Chapel Bluff Road.  After an nice recovery stretch on Broads Branch, riders crossed a slick slab (Ooops!  That was slick!) then back into the "Belly of the Beast".  Since the route was now retracing earlier miles, some chose to stop at Pit Stop 1 as they passed.  From there on, it was back to the Decaturville Church and Checkpoint 2 at mile 77.

After CP2, Segment 4 was a quick ride down route P and a gradual climb up Snellings Road.  A quick roll through Montreal, MO led to Pit Stop 2 at the Buffalo Prairie Church at mile 88.   Once again, the riders refueled and repaired.  The Map containing Segments 5 and 6 were handed out and riders received their gray "OG" slap band.   Then it was off once again.

Segment 5 started with a nice long recovery ride down Jeffries Road then after a quick hop on highway A, the riders traveled over Swinging Bridges Road.  This road gets its name from an area landmark, the old Grand Glaize Swinging Bridge.   This is really cool and is a great photo op location.  After the bridge the riders passed the 100 mile mark and encountered "The Roller Coaster" hills of Barton School Road prior to pulling into Checkpoint 3 at mile 107 at the B&M Market.  Here riders received water and the opportunity for a bathroom and/or snack break at the market.

Then it was on to the infamous Segment 6.  This was by far the toughest segment on the ride.  The level start belies the "Son of a Beast" section of Uncle Dee, Black Locust, Buckeye and various other climbs too many to mention.  It was two steps up, one step down, then two steps up again.   This segment was the true test of the OGRE.   What seemed to many to be a never ending series of hills ended with a nice level ride into Pit Stop 3 at the TLC C-Store at the 128 mile mark.   This was an all out full service stop where riders met Pit Crews and/or went inside TLC for sandwiches, pizza, drinks and all sorts of calories. Once replenished, riders received the map for Segments 7 and 8 and the black "OGR" slap band.

Segment 7 starts out level to downhill but riders weren't complacent as announced mile 131 was approaching and was not to be taken lightly.   On a nice downhill run, the road took a sudden dip down a rough and loose stretch ending in a short but foot deep creek crossing.   Fortunately, a series of traffic cones labeled 1 - 3 - 1 posted just above the dip gave riders enough warning.  After that, a new detour at mile 143 took riders over a temporary low water crossing at the point where a bridge was washed out by last August's flood.  From that point, Segment 7 had a couple more climbs before riders pulled into Checkpoint 4 at mile 151.

Segment 8 started with a short half mile ride on double track to avoid the expressway culminating in a dismount and push up a steep, loose embankment.  Once on the highway 242 home stretch, riders used a paved sidewalk to within eyesight of the finish.   That one last climb was made easier by the sight of the Bonk Hard arch, the signature sound of Bonk Hard cowbells, and cheering spectators in front of OZ Cycles.   Of the 73 starters, 59 conquered the OGRE!  And it was the Male Veteran’s Division who owned the day with their 1,2,3 finish!  Paul McKay, Brian Bradley, John Bradley.  

All this pain guaranteed an OGRE mason jar (provided by race sponsor, kuat), the famed OGRE 150 sticker, and the final, blood red "OGRE" slap band!  After a quick photo op, riders and crews entered OZ Cycles for food, drink, and war stories.   

ALL RIDERS are commended for attempting to slay the OGRE.  Finishers can take pride in a mission accomplished.  And congratulations to ALL RIDERS who started.  Even if you didn't finish, you should revel in the experience - the people you met, the scenery, and the effort put forth.  Perhaps next time you will conquer this OGREous adventure.

The OGRE!  A Beast of a Ride!

Awards were handed out to the following:


1st Place - Tyler Cordia

2nd Place -  Corey Case

3rd Place – Jason Bettis 


1st Place – Paul McKay
 (overall #1)

2nd Place -  Brian Bradley
(overall #2)

3rd Place - John Bradley (overall #3)


1st Place - Nick Perrow

2nd Place – Jeff Sona 

3rd Place – Jim Rank 


1st Place – Andrea Wilson

2nd Place – Carrie Sona


1st Place – Peat Henry 

2nd Place - Hunter Henry

3rd Place - Derek Prior


1st Place – Half Nuts on Wheels – Craig Bakker & Tara Bakker


1st Place -Goodpain – Greg Goodman & Mark Krause 

The 2014 OGRE presented by Oz Cycles, who supplied riders with pre-race meeting prizes and a post-race meeting hang out and beverages.

Lucky rider, Brian Lasswell, is coming back for a FABULOUS weekend retreat at Tan-Tar-A Resort that includes accommodations for 2, 2 rounds of first class golf, entrance to TimberFalls Indoor Waterpark, and breakfast at the Black Bear Restaurant!!!   A $588 weekend get-away!

Six lucky riders took home tubes of coveted Zanfel relief!

As with all Bonk Hard Racing events, one is to never underestimate the value of a Rubber Chicken!   One chicken winner received a sweet pair of earbuds, and another an iPod Shuffle.  

kuat, the king of bike racks, once again placed a kuat key ring in all racer OGRE bags and supplied the OGRE finish mug (popular mason jar) for all finishing OGREs.  Also, lucky rider, Jeff Sona, came away with a new kuat TRIO rooftop rack, as his name was pulled from the bag at the pre-race meeting.   Overall winner Paul McKay hauled home a kickin’ kuat NV bike rack (retail value $549) along with his 1st place OGRE goodie bag!  

Many thanks go out to ALL our SPONSORS who make our races possible.   Please visit their stores or engage their services for top quality products and services. 

2014 OGRE Sponsors are:

Oz Cycles -  Lake of the Ozarks' hometown adventure store!  Bikes, kayaks, supplies and services for outdoor adventures.   Stop by Oz Cycles when you visit the Lake!

kuat – kuat produces the best bike racks on the planet!   Checkout their new products that just keep getting better. Easy load, easy unload, incredible design. 

Zanfel - A must-have for any racer, or rider in the out-of-doors.   Their fabulous and effective, fast-acting poison relief have our racers and riders jumping in the isles for the $35 tubes of glorious lotion.

Tan-Tar-A Resort - Lifetime memories are made at this Lake of the Ozarks icon.   Bring your family and enjoy boating, swimming, golfing, fishing, and more at this lovely resort surrounded by Ozark hills.   A super get-away for all ages!

Bridal Cave - A true treasure right here in the Missouri Ozarks - warm in the winter, cool in the summer.   When you have finished your Bonk Hard adventure, take a beautiful underground adventure in a natural wonderland full of amazing formations. An Ozark gem.

Big Surf Waterpark - The Lake area's outdoor waterpark providing a great day of flume riding, lazy river floating, playing in the wave pool, falls, and much more.   Cool off and make a family day at Big Surf Waterpark.

Tri- County Lodging Association - The TCLA promotes the Lake of the Ozarks area and supports many, many activities and events throughout the year.   Lake of the Ozarks is a perfect place to hold events, with numerous lodging options, eating establishments, entertainment and shopping options.   Plan your next vacation or gathering at Lake of the Ozarks.

Dynamic Earth - Hiking, mountain climbing, camping, paddling, Dynamic Earth can suit you up for your next outdoor adventure.   With a watchful eye on earth-friendly products, Dynamic Earth continues to be a supporter of our natural world while providing top notch products. 

Mother Natures Riverfront Retreat at Tunnel Dam - A beautiful riverfront campground with miles of floating options, swimming, fishing and more.   Quietly located in the Ozark hills where the views are incredible.   Enjoy an outdoor camping experience with your family or relax on your own!

Many of our PRIVATE and PUBLIC supporters go unnoticed, but be assured they provide the framework for a well run event. Many thanks to:

Big Surf Waterpark for allowing us to start on their property and park vehicles for the day.

The Decaturville Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facility for Checkpoint 1 and Checkpoint 2 as well as a bathroom break for our riders.

Tunnel Dam Gardens / Mother Natures Riverfront Retreat - for allowing us a spectacular Pit Stop #1, that amazed riders and support crews as well.

The Buffalo Prairie Baptist Church for allowing us to use their facility for Pit Stop #2, crew support, and a bathroom break.

The B&M Market for allowing us to place Checkpoint #3 on their property and yet another bathroom break.

The TLC convenience store for allowing us to use their private property for Pit Stop #3, crew support, and a bathroom break.  Love that Pizza! 

Our local police officers that serve our towns and counties help us make sure that our events are safe as well as fun. Many thanks go out to those who support us each and everyday:

Linn Creek Police department - for an exciting and safe rollout start from Big Surf Waterpark to Anderson Hollow Road.  

The Police Officers of the following counties who kept a watchful eye over our riders during the race:

Camden County Deputies

Miller County Deputies

Laclede County Deputies

Pulaski County Deputies


Many, many thanks to our volunteers who donate their time to make sure your race day is a good one.

Diana Arendt – Start, Photos

Doug Arendt – Start, Photos

Dave Weber  - CP1, CP2 (water for riders provided by Bridal Cave), CP3

Ed Alford - CP2

Riley Thompson - Race Start, Pit Stop #1, Pit Stop #3

Oliver Thompson - Race Start, Pit Stop #1, CP3, Pit Stop #3

Joe Villarreal - Finish Line

Kate Wilson- Pit Stop #2 

Doug Hord - Pit Stop #2

Jim Glickert - CP4


We join in great appreciation with our riders to express major thanks to the families and friends who acted as Support Crews.  Your efforts allowed these super riders to focus on their challenge by supplying food, repairs, and much needed moral support.   Thank you for making the OGRE a huge success.

If you started this race, you are among the great.  It does not matter if you finished or bonked.   You tackled an epic course.   We hope you are proud of your accomplishment, no matter the distance.   We are so proud of you.

Anyone starting the 2014 OGRE is considered OGRE Alumni and will be invited to register in the 2015 OGRE at a special rate.   

We sincerely hope you had a wonderful experience, felt challenged, safe, and much appreciated.   

Thank you for choosing to race with us.  We hope to see you at another Bonk Hard Racing event soon.

Gary & Ellen Thompson

© Bonk Hard Racing, LLC  2005 - 2017