Weighing about 2,000 pounds and powered exclusively by 10 sets of bicycle pedals, the Bricktown Bike Bar isn’t the fastest way to get around downtown Oklahoma City, but it might have the best refreshments.
With a nice tail wind, the bike bar can reach speeds of up to 10 mph, said Nick Oxford, manager of Bricktown Bike Bar.
“It’s 100 percent pedal-powered — there’s no motor on there,” Oxford said. “Some people say ‘there’s a motor, right?’ and some people are really excited to power the thing the whole time. Everyone always has a blast.”
The Bricktown Bike Bar recently began offering beer tours that feature a 30-minute guided beer tasting with a beer expert aboard the bike bar, as well as stops at Bricktown bars. Bar cyclists can order a beer flight for the tasting from the local liquor store Broadway Wine Merchants once the Bricktown Bike Bar tour has been booked. The flights include Oklahoma beer, as well as selections from national and international brewers like Chimay, Roughtail and Sierra Nevada.
The bike bar is owned by the Colorado company Denver Outdoor Media, which also operates four bike bars in Denver. The firm was looking to expand to other states and added the Oklahoma City bike bar last year.
The bike bar has grown in popularity since it arrived in Oklahoma City and tours, which range in price from $295 to $370, are booking up on the weekends a week or two in advance.
Although many would-be cyclists have tried, the bike bar doesn’t make street-side stops to take on passengers like a bus or a taxi; tours must be booked in advance. The bike bar is considering adding the option for people to pay for individual seats on the bike bar this summer, Oxford said.
A regular bike tour includes about four 15-minute rides around Bricktown and three 20-minute stops at the bars of the riders’ choice, but the beer tours are longer and feature additional imbibing.
By the end of the 21/2-hour beer tour, participants will have tasted 15 to 20 beers and have pedaled about a mile and a half, but the distance varies with the preferences and abilities of each group, said tour guide and beer expert Danielle Higginbotham said.
Higginbotham’s tour groups have been a diverse bunch since she started working at the bike bar about a year ago, ranging from a group from a local Jazzercise class and a 60-year-old’s birthday party to a group of pro cyclists and even a member of the University of Oklahoma women’s soccer team.
“What I’ve found is that people by the end of it are really excited and not feeling like they have had too much — they’re really at a place where they are feeling very good,” she said.