The Midwestern State Cycling Team is competing in Colorado this weekend in hopes to earn a national title. MSU Cycling Coach Charlie Zamastill credits, at least some of the team success, to the bike culture and community that has been built in Wichita Falls.
"Wichita Falls, being a bike friendly place because of the Hotter N' Hell Hundred, has more people per capita cycle here than most big cities," said Zamastill.
There are thousands of riders that take part in the HHH, many of whom are professionals. Zamastill said the race gives his team an advantage over other schools who might not be able to test their metal against professionals in such a high profile and highly competitive race.
"All the big Texas teams come around and do it, even guys from out of state, and we got to compete with them, you know it's def pushing us to the limit, but it is also getting us there," said TC Porterfield, an MSU Cycling Team Rider.
On Monday, Porterfield and many of his other MSU Cycling teammates could be seen in Wichita Falls making final rides before they compete against the nations best bikers. Porterfield said that the community support that the team receives makes Wichita Falls feel like a mini bike mecca.
"It's starting to feel a little bit like Austin as far as the cycling community goes. I've noticed that other little towns like this, there is no cyclist, no one rides, but here in Wichita because of the team, guys come out. We have group rides every week. It is a good community," said Porterfield.
The MSU Cycling Team has won a collective 34 National Championships by 21 individual riders. The team is not listed on the MSU sports website, but is a part of the university. All riders on the team are students at MSU earning various degrees.