Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. Saturday, September 9, 2017 was a glimpse into the future, where Ned downtown weekends are filled with myriad sports events that lead athletes through town streets, through the creek, to a local restaurant where food and drinks await.
In the morning, the annual Neder-Nederland race continued the tradition of luring young and old runners from TEENS Inc. to Eldora and West Magnolia, through Old Town. Families ran together with toddlers in strollers and dogs on leashes. It was what a community located in the mountains should offer as an event.
When the running race was finished, the bicyclists showed up ready for the new course in Downtown Nederland, the 2017 Nederland X. It was a six-hour event with nine different waves ranging from 13 years to 50 years and over. At the end of the day, 172 participants crossed the finish.
The race is a mountain mix of ColoRado Cyclo-Cross.
The riders zoomed up the hill toward the pedestrian bridge, giving people eating a Cross Cut Pizza on the outdoor patio a good view of the racers, their legs splashed with mud, their faces leaning into the handlebars as they stood on their pedals and pushed into their thighs on the uphill slope .
Nederland high School mountain bike competitor Petra Schmidtmann made her school proud, coming in second place in the women’s competition.
(Originally published in the September 21, 2017, print edition of The Mountain-Ear).