Midsummer Musings

Stef shares a bit about that post-Nationals race lull and the August end of season push!

Where did July go!? It seems like just yesterday the team was together basking in the warm Tennessee sunshine together for Nationals. Ok, that makes it sound much more gentle that it was... it was HOT. Hot and humid! Pittsburgh hadn't yet been that hot so it was a bit rough for me. Fortunately, we had Luke, Lori's fiance, to give us the best feeds EVER to keep us cool! Thanks, Luke! Nationals went well, but came home to Pittsburgh for the longest block of not racing yet this year.

While there weren't many races in July, I had to sit out Intelligentsia Cup because of work. We are a team of movers and shakers-- aka each of us hustles hard to enable our cycling careers. My job as a chemistry professor is wonderfully flexible and you would think that I get the summers off, but that's unfortunately not true. I actually take a light spring semester to accommodate the stage races which makes summer a rather brutal time. I've had a heavy load of mentoring students in the lab and grant application deadlines which kept me Pittsburgh-bound. Fortunately with the end of July in sight, students are starting to go home to take a break before classes and my major deadlines have passed. This means time to get back to racing!

I'm really excited for the next few races coming up. This weekend, I'll reunite with Jennah for the Reading Radsport Festival (8/3-4). While the intense criterium and short hill climb don't play exactly to my strengths, this race is about 45 minutes from my home town! So, my parents may even be able to come and watch me race! Plus, it will be amazing to be sync up with a teammate! After that, I take a solo trip to New Hampshire for the Mt. Washington Hill Climb (8/17). This race is just brutal. It's a tinge over an hour straight up-- the average grade is 12%, with dirt sections and sustained winds it can feel like even more. It's definitely a race I love to hate-- I've come in second 5 times, so this year I'm gunning to win! After that, I hit up a conference in Florida, the semester starts, and I give a seminar at Dartmouth College all before the grand finale of the season-- the Green Mountain Stage Race (8/30-9/2). GMSR is one of my favorite races and I'm so excited we're bringing a team this year. Once we make it through that, it's a wrap for the 2019 road season! I'm really looking forward to tackling these last few challenges of the summer with the team!

Lori Nedescu