FRESH racing team: Expanding the cycling scene in Tyler

Over the past six years, Tyler’s cycling community has expanded and flourished. More people are turning to cycling not only for recreation, but also competition, with FRESH by Brookshire’s sponsored race team leading the charge.

FRESH racing was formed in 2011 as a group of dedicated cyclists began looking for an alternative to team racing in other cities. As more riders joined weekly group rides in Tyler, a need was created for an official team, and with FRESH and other sponsors stepping forward to support the cause, it wasn’t long before the dream of a racing team became a reality.

“We had our first recruitment meeting with the cycling community in October, 2011, and we were hoping for 40 interested people to show up, but had 75 attend,” said David Starrett, FRESH racing member. “Tyler was ready for a cycling team.”

Starrett and several others have taken leadership of the team, organizing volunteer efforts, group rides, races, membership and team structure.

The group is comprised of a race team and tour team, with both groups totaling approximately 70 members. The race team requires racing experience and mandatory volunteer efforts, while the tour team is less competitive and focused on encouraging other riders and bike tour/rallies.

“FRESH Racing hit the ground with both wheels spinning,” Starrett said. “After only three years, we are one of the most respected teams in the Texas cycling community. Our major accomplishment is earning the respect both state-wide and locally in such a short period.”

The team looks forward to expanding members, growing women’s and youth programs, as well as increasing cycling awareness with drivers. A few plans include a women’s clinic with retired pro women’s racer Laura Peycke, a youth clinic for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and much more.

In 2016, FRESH Racing raced and rode in over 300 organized rides across the United States. We had members racing from North Carolina to New Mexico. We participated in the local Beauty and the Beast rally, the Rose Capital Triathlon, the FRESH 15K, and organized our first member retreat in Fredericksburg, Texas. In 2016, we accounted for 15 wins, 5 state titles and over 45 podium finishes.

We are excited to announce some new plans for 2017. We will be starting a new juniors race team. FRESH Racing is focusing on developing a cycling program for student-athletes across East Texas. We currently have 7 juniors that have joined the FRESH Juniors Race Team. If you are interested please contact our Juniors Coordinator Andy Kutach (512) 484-3002.

“FRESH Racing is not only about racing and riding in tours,” Starrett said. “We love to share our excitement and passion for riding our bikes with Tyler and East Texas.”

Look for FRESH Racing at the FRESH 15 start line and on the course race day!

Interested in joining the team? Contact Danny Hayden at (903) 570-3861.