The Foothill College Circuit Race returns Sunday, with organizers hoping to raise more money for a bike/pedestrian path on the Los Altos Hills community college.
The fourth-annual event – known as “The Learning Curve”– will feature 12 divisional races. Races are scheduled 8 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. at Foothill, 12345 S. El Monte Road.
Participants will cycle clockwise on the 1.09-mile loop around campus that includes 60 feet of climbing.
Event director Chris Twiggs, a member of race co-sponsor the Los Gatos Bicycle Racing Club, expects approximately 350 competitors.
But to make a dent in the estimated $700,000 needed to construct the bike/pedestrian path – spanning from El Monte Road to the pedestrian bridge on campus – organizers will need a lot more racers and sponsors.
“After paying all expenses, we usually net approximately $3,000,” said Brenda Davis-Visas, Foothill’s director of facilities and special projects.
Race organizers were again unable to find a major sponsor, which Davis-Visas said would bring in $5,000, but the 12 individual races are sponsored.
“We were hopeful that through the annual bike races we would raise enough funds to build the entire bike path,” Davis-Visas said. “However, through the past four years we have not raised even a quarter of the funding.”
She added that organizers are hoping for an “angel investor” to contribute to the fundraising effort.
While the event may come up short financially, Twiggs anticipates plenty of competitive races. Organizers last year moved the finish line 50 feet – beyond the pedestrian bridge – so racers would have a longer sprint to the end, and it will remain there this year.
“It doesn’t sound like a big change,” Twiggs said, “but it made for some exciting finishes.”
Graffiti Road Weekly Racing Series will register competitors’ finishes to a national points series.
The race is registered with the USA Cycling Road Development Race Series and the Northern California Nevada Cycling Association Junior Points Series as well as the NCNCA Women’s Series.
Twiggs noted that the Elite Women’s and Elite Men’s races should be especially exciting for spectators.
“(These races are) where the racer’s speed increases and bike-handling skills along with team tactics really come into play,” he said.
To register in advance, visit foothillcollegecircuitrace.com or BikeReg.com. Race-day registration is scheduled 7:15 a.m. at the starting line on the pedestrian bridge and up to 10 minutes prior to each race.
Fees are $15 for youth (ages 10-18) and $30-$35 for adults through Thursday and $10 more after that. Racers must have a USA Cycling license, which will be available at the registration table for $15. Admission for spectators is free beyond $3 for parking.