McKINNEY (May 9, 2014) – Downtown McKinney will soon be transformed into a daring racetrack during the fifth annual Bike the Bricks criterium race on Friday, May 23. Spectators will have front-row seats as more than 500 cyclists from around the globe take to the bricks and tight turns of historic downtown.

Bike the Bricks has grown into the largest cycling race in Texas and features nail-biting closed-course interval races, food, craft beer, festivities and a purse worth more than $25,000 – the largest purse offered at this event in celebration of the fifth anniversary.

This year, an emphasis has been placed on enhancing the spectator experience. Those in attendance will enjoy an expanded consumption area, a beer garden featuring handcrafted ales from the Texas Hill Country by Real Ale Brewing Company, as well as six food trucks – Ruthie’s Rolling Café, Nammi Vietnamese Fusion, Misha’s Kitchen, What’s da Scoop, Bombay Street Food and Kona Ice. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating along the race route.

Bike the Bricks is a family-focused event with activities for young people. PSA will offer a free kid course where tricycle, big wheel and beginner bicyclists can navigate their own special course. Some tricycles will be available to ride, but children are encouraged to bring their own riding equipment and helmets.

The Ticket’s BaD Radio team (1310 AM and 96.7 FM) will broadcast live from noon to 3 p.m. from Mellow Mushroom in Downtown McKinney. Grab lunch and some Ticket merchandise during this special Bike the Bricks kick-off event.

Warm-up laps for the race begin at 2:30 p.m. and the races kick off at 3 p.m. Admission to the event is free to the public, and free parking is available throughout the 11 parking lots surrounding the downtown square.

TAPS is providing free shuttle service to the event from 3 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. Visitors may park at First Baptist Church of McKinney, 1615 W. Louisiana St. TAPS shuttles will deliver riders close to the Start/Finish zone at the intersection of Church and Hunt streets.

The event is hosted by McKinney Main Street in partnership with McKinney Velo, a local competitive cycling organization. For additional information, contact McKinney Main Street at 972-547-2660 or visit downtownmckinney.com.

The title sponsor for this year’s event is FIAT of McKinney. Other sponsors include Richardson Bike Mart, Mellow Mushroom, Ben E. Keith, Real Ale Brewing Company, Baylor Medical Center of McKinney, Cadence Cyclery, PSA, Star Local Media, 97.5 KLAK-FM, The Ticket, TAPS, Double H Enterprises, Rosenthal & Wadas, PLLC, Groom & Sons Ace Hardware, ACIS, The Body Shop, Liberty Sand & Gravel and Tallent Roofing.