Source: Valley Roadrunner

What does Valley Center get out of Amgen?


May 15, 2013

There is an old story about a man who was getting tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail who said: “If it weren’t for the honor of the thing, I think I’d just as soon walk.”

I wonder if a lot of people in Valley Center, Pauma Valley and Palomar Mountain feel the same way about the just-completed Amgen Race, which happened over the weekend.

I know that we are not supposed to ask questions like this, but what do small communities such as Valley Center get out of being in the path of a big bicycle race like Amgen?

On Mother’s Day, when a lot of people like to take their parents out to eat, major roads in and out of the town were closed for several hours. Our emergency service providers had to be ready to provide relief in case somebody had heat stroke, or, as happened, someone fell off of a bike during the race.

I only ask what Valley Center gets out of being one of the communities along the path of the race because we know that cities such as Escondido gained a lot from being at its epicenter. The race brought a lot of visitors to the city, and presumably they spent a fair amount of money while they were there.

At the same time, although a single street in Escondido was roped off and traffic kept off it for most of two days, that didn’t really inconvenience residents who wanted to get from one end of the town to another.

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t heard that Escondido is going to be sharing any of its largesse with smaller communities.

Valley Center, on the other hand, has three roads in and out, and two of them were severely impacted for several hours. I seriously doubt that any of our businesses experience much of an increase in business. Probably no one went into A-1 to buy a hammer or into Imagination to buy quilting materials. Possibly our restaurants sold more food, but maybe not since with the road closed for several hours that might have impacted how many people could go into a diner to sit down.

I’m sure that some sports fans got a thrill seeing world-class bicyclists go by. I know I felt a thrill go up my leg when I looked out of the office at the bikes wheeling by. Or maybe that was a pinched nerve. I’ll have to ask Chris Matthews about that.

It doesn’t matter really if we got anything out of the exercise. The County and big cities benefitted, and when the County decides that things like this are good, it basically informs little communities who might be inconvenience to “suck it up” and cheerfully provide emergency providers, just in case.

Next year, or two years from now, when it happens again, I’m sure we’ll all line up again like good little soldiers and say, “What can we do to make this a successful event?”