The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

Supports pours in for injured racer Mat Barton

Posted by on June 20th, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Mat Barton.

The community has responded in big way to the serious injury suffered by Portland resident Mat Barton.

During a local mountain bike race on June 11th, Barton fell off balance while riding over a series of large bumps and flew off his bike head first. After surgery to repair broken vertebrae, doctors say he’ll likely be paralyzed from the chest down for the rest of his life.

Mat — a married, 31-year-old graphic designer who works for local bike retailer — has many friends and supporters who have rallied around him to offer support. Six days ago, friends and family put up a fundraising website to help offset his medical bills and other expenses sure to come on his long road to recovery.

Since went up, 806 people have donated $47,000 to the cause.

There’s also a major fundraiser planned for Thursday, 6:00 pm on June 28th at Madison’s Grill (1109 SE Madison St.) Here are more details about the event:

“At the gathering there will be a silent auction to raise funds for Mat with lots of great items. Also, you can purchase raffle tickets for a Focus Chrono 1.0 TT bike worth $7,550. Tickets will be sold for $10 and the drawing will be held in September (exact date and time TBD) at the Lumberyard Bike Park.”

That event is just one of many efforts to raise money for Mat’s recovery.

On Monday at the Short Track Series (where he crashed one week ago), riders did a Mat Barton lap. Series organizer Kris Schamp says they’ve also turned their weekly prize raffle into an ongoing fundraiser for Mat. At the five remaining Short Track races, Mat’s teammates on the Staccato Gelato team will sell raffle tickets for $5 with 100% of the proceeds going to the recovery fund.

On July 1st, one of my Mat’s close friends, Austin Crenshaw, will ride the Six Hours of Mt. Hood event as a fundraiser. Austin says he and Mat had planned to do the ride as a two-man team just like they did last year. Now Austin will do the ride solo and he’s taking pledges for every lap he completes.

“I’m going to try to hold it together while I ride this one for the both of us,” Austin wrote via email to the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association list. “Mat and I both moved to Portland partly because of the bike culture and community here and it still amazes me every day — so now I give you another chance to let us know what you’re made of.”

Support is even coming in from Bakersfield, California, where Mat lived for a few years prior to moving to Portland and volunteered for the local bike advocacy group.

Meanwhile, Mat is already on his road to recovery. On Monday, he made his first Facebook post:

“Thanks for all the support out there. I’m floored by how generous and loving you all have been. Today I transferred into a wheelchair and toured the facility. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I then came back and checked facebook and blog posts… and I was in tears after reading your posts. Thanks for everything! I can’t wait to see all soon. I have a lot to do to get there but know I can make it.”

Stay strong Mat. There are a lot of people pulling for you.

— You can help out Mat and Jessica by donating at and follow his recovery journal at

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  • Travis June 20, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    There’s also going to be an Alley-Cat race on July 4th. Meet at the Colonel Summer tennis courts at 3:00 for registration, $5 entry. Race will begin at 4pm.

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    • Travis June 20, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      Also, Friends of Jack, the non profit that raises funds for injured riders is graciously donating to Mat’s cause and is having their fundraising ride in White Salmon in August.

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  • oskarbaanks June 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    I did not want to comment early on this, because I do not know Mat, but I am very impressed by the amount of money people have donated thus far. To me it speaks volumes of him and our community. Good luck Mat, I am pulling for you sir.

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  • austin June 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    still time to get in on our Mt Hood effort next weekend. if you would like to know more and/or make a pledge e-mail me at

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  • anthony sands June 21, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I lined up next to Mat at the first race at PIR. I had never met him we had a brief pre race chat about the hole shot and how he won a race last year by snatching it. Like I said I don’t know him at all, but when I told him it was my first STXC race he was giving me all kinds of advice. that had never happened before. left a big impression. Cheers Mat we are all rooting for ya.

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  • peejay June 22, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Not to change the subject from Mat, but the Mt Hood Event is at Ski Bowl, and I don’t understand how anybody associated with cycling (or any decent person for that matter) would have anything to do with a Kirk Hannah business. Anybody care to tell me how this is happening?

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    • oskarbaanks June 22, 2012 at 10:50 am

      Maybe in light of the fact that Mat races off road and so do many of his friends, it might be nice to just roll with it and honor that he is being helped no matter what. I would love to continue this on the other blog post, if you want my really feelings on your comment. jeeeezzus.

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      • peejay June 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

        I know it’s debatable whether to bring this up in this thread, and Mat is the most important thing here, so I get your point. But, the two stories really cannot be separated. Personally, I will choose to support Mat at some other event than the one at Skibowl, because to do so there will also support Kirk Hannah, a man with a sociopathic lack of responsibility.

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        • oskarbaanks June 22, 2012 at 12:47 pm

          I respect your frustration, but IMO…
          Your floggin’ a dead horse.
          First and foremost, this is an event that Mat was planning to participate in. His best friend, or at least one of his riding partners is choosing to honor this by suffering solo in the event to raise money for Mat.
          You certainly can support Mat in any way you see fit. Hanna is/may be a sociopathic threat, and that is for Doctors,Judges and juror’s to decide. I find your vitriol towards him to be a bit much.
          For one thing, no matter how you judge him, he did not get away with anything.
          Do what you can as a citizen to make sure he does not do it again
          He had his lawyer make a move for him because obviously he ‘effed up.. If you have a grievance that justice was not served properly somehow, follow the money trail and flush out the corruption.
          People with money manipulate the judicial system all the time, I am not surprised.
          I respect your stance, but I on the other hand find your hatred towards him kinda scary.
          If you ride a Taiwanese bicycle or component, you are supporting the process of U.S. warfare that dropped more raw ton’s of conventional bombs on any country (Cambodia) in the history of the planet. There are greater hypocrisies to address really.


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