Better Bike member Mel Raab suggested thematically resurrecting the famed but long-gone “Beverly Hills Speedway” to introduce a new BH event: a bike criterion race right through town. And he suggested an accompanying showcase event: a bicycle version of this year’s “Concours D’Elegance Beverly Hills with fancy two-wheeled rides on display. While the Concours event had onlookers salivating over new Jaguars and the like, imagine how putting some fine paint & chrome on display will get folks thinking seriously about cycling. With today’s prime road rides costing upwards of $5,000, we’re talking about some serious bling!More on the Speedway: Built by a syndicate in 1919 (one of a handful of speedways in the Southland early in the century), the track occupied a huge swath of land south of Wilshire Boulevard from Beverly Drive west to Santa Monica Blvd., including the location of today’s Beverly Hills High School. At 275 acres, this serious raceway cost about a half-million bucks, and would seem like a solid historical legacy to revisit for cycling – today’s greenhouse-gas reducing mode of transport that just happens to fascinate much of the Western world (even if relatively few Americans).
That could change with a bike race through our streets and a “Concours D’Elegance Beverly Hills” showcase for tomorrow’s transportation mode of choice. As Mel points out in making the case, this is a community event that would raise our profile and hotel occupancy, much like the ballyhooed recent 9-02-10 event so beloved by Council.
What do you think? Wouldn’t it be great to see a SoCal road race that starts in wine country finish in Beverly Hills with a Concours wine tasking event?