Tens of thousands of people streaming into downtown on a May Sunday for an internationally-known cycling race would be good for any business. For bike stores, it’s heaven.
Doxsee: “We’re actually very, very excited.”
Bowen Doxsee manages City Bicycle Works on K Street in Midtown. Some of the biggest names in cycling, like Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Mark Cavendish, will zoom by within a block of his store on Sunday. Is he ready? You bet.
Doxsee: “We’re gonna open up a little bit early. We’re gonna close down in the middle of the afternoon to go watch the race. And then afterwards, we’re gonna reopen until about 8:00 with a little post-party.”
And as a cycling fan, Doxsee can’t wait to watch the opening stage. It starts at 11:45am in Nevada City, runs past Grass Valley and Auburn, through the El Dorado County foothills and eventually takes the Jackson Highway to Folsom Boulevard for a sprint towards downtown Sacramento and three loops around the Capitol. Estimated finish time: sometime between 3pm and 4pm.
Earlier that afternoon, there’s a community bike ride along the same loop the cyclists will take. It’s free and open to the public … and Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson will lead the pack.
Johnson: “They got me – I have a nice yellow jersey, but spandex will not be a part of the mayor’s outfit on that particular day – trust me!”
Last year, Sacramento got some unflattering international publicity when someone stole Lance Armstrong’s bike. It was returned unharmed a few days later, and Armstrong thanked Sac P-D for its work. But the city definitely doesn’t want a repeat embarrassment. Sergeant Norm Leong:
Leong: “We’re very aware of what happened last year. So we are looking at the security measures of various hotels and the riders are taking with their bikes as well as adding patrol as time allows through the venues where these bikes will be kept.”
The police department is also handling street closures. Stretches of L and 10th will be closed all weekend long, and the rest of the downtown loop around the capitol will be shut down most of Sunday. Also, look for rolling street closures Sunday afternoon as cyclists sprint down Folsom Boulevard from the Jackson Highway into downtown.