On Friday, May 23, McKinney will transform into a daring racetrack with more than 500 cyclists from around the globe competing for a purse of more than $25,000. Navigating the bricks and tight turns of Historic Downtown McKinney at speeds of more than 40 miles per hour, cyclists experience the heart-racing thrills of the fifth annual Bike the Bricks criterium race.

Bike the Bricks has grown into the largest criterium cycling race in Texas and features nail-biting closed-course interval races, food, spirits and festivities. This year’s prize is the largest purse to date offered at this event. Spectators are mere inches from the action as riders rocket past in shoulder-to-shoulder formation, powered only by their legs and protected from the pavement only by their skill.

2:30 p.m.: Warm-up laps begin.

3 p.m.: Races kick off.

ADMISSION: Free to the public.

PARKING: Free parking is available throughout the 11 parking lots surrounding the downtown square.

CONTACT: McKinney Main Street at 972-547-2660 or visit DowntownMcKinney.com.

McKinney Main Street hosts Bike the Bricks in partnership with McKinney Velo, a local competitive cycling organization whose members share a passion for racing and a strong commitment to making a difference in McKinney through health, wellness and supporting local charities. Through this working partnership, the event brings out the best for both cyclists and spectators.

This event also offers McKinney the opportunity to showcase one of the most vibrant and authentic historic downtowns in the nation to an international crowd. In years past, participants and spectators have traveled great distances – from countries as far as New Zealand, Australia, Colombia and Mexico.

This year, an emphasis has been placed on enhancing the spectator experience as those in attendance will enjoy an expanded consumption area and beer garden featuring Real Ale Brewing with handcrafted ales from the Texas Hill Country. They will also be able to whet their appetites with tasty meals from food trucks while enjoying family activities and a VIP viewing area.

“We look forward to welcoming thousands of spectators of all ages to a free Friday night event in Historic Downtown McKinney,” said Amy Rosenthal, Director of MPAC and McKinney Main Street. “We offer a charming setting, with many shopping and dining options for visitors. The unique area also provides up-close seats to see high-speed, nail-biting cycling action.”

Whether you want to make it a date or a family night, or if you are a hard-core cycling fan cheering for a racer, be sure to grab your lawn chairs and kick off Memorial Day weekend with the thrills and spills of Bike the Bricks in Historic Downtown McKinney.