Davis, a former Apple Inc. employee and more recently a stay-at-home father, pitched the idea of a day of cycling races in the streets of Scotts Valley to the City Council on March 17. But the decision to approve the races has not yet been made, because it requires a Saturday afternoon road closure that would interfere with business May 15.
“Besides the Fourth of July and the Art and Wine Festival, we don’t have big events here,” Davis said. “This is one more event that can bring more positive (attention) to the city.”
The race, tentatively dubbed the Scotts Valley Grand Prix, is scheduled for May 15, shortly before the third stage of the eight-day Tour of California bike race passes through Bonny Doon and Santa Cruz on May 18.
Davis’ idea differs from the stage-by-stage Tour, however. The Grand Prix, a one-day race along a 1-mile loop, would start near Seagate on Carbonero Way and connect to Scotts Valley Drive and El Pueblo Road.
There would be six separate races, starting at 3 p.m. and running until roughly 9 p.m. Davis hopes to highlight women’s cycling, because Shelley Evans, a professional cyclist who aims to compete in the 2012 London Olympics, lives in Scotts Valley.
There has, however, been some opposition to the race from local business owners who would have to close their storefronts while the race course is set up on Scotts Valley Drive and nearby streets.
Scotts Valley Carwash, for one, testified to the City Council that the business would be forced to close all day, at a loss of $3,000 to $5,000, because of the road closure.
“We absolutely cannot close for another event,” carwash owner Lorraine Siadat said, noting the Fourth of July closure. “Through the drop in business due to the economy and recent record rainfall, we’ve had enough setbacks, let along closing our business on a peak day.”
Other businesses with Saturday hours that would have to close by 2 p.m. because of road closures include Scarborough Lumber and Garden Supply, Scotts Valley Sprinkler and Pipe Supply, Angles Salon, The Nail Spa, U Save Liquors, Threshold Enterprises, Beemer Shop and the Scotts Valley Water District yard.
Davis had hoped to run the race on a Sunday, but races already scheduled in other parts of California meant Saturday, May 15, would have to be the day.
Davis rides for Third Pillar Racing, a Bay Area cycling club with four members in Santa Cruz County. He often trains locally and found the Scotts Valley Drive-El Pueblo Road route one day while riding, and he pitched it to Third Pillar, which has taken on sponsorship of the race.
“This place has all the potential to put on a really nice bike race,” Davis said.
He expects between 60 and 100 licensed cyclists in each race and between 100 and 200 participants in a children’s race that is open to local youngsters.
Davis said the most recent professional level cycling race in Scotts Valley was in 1978.
The City Council will decide whether the roads can be closed at its next meeting, March 31.
For information: www.thirdpillarracing.com.