How is it already September?
Somehow, the last post I published was all the way back in March of this year. I was excited about a full season of racing mountain bikes and had
just gotten my first COVID-19 vaccine. I knew all of the kids in my sixth grade classroom and was eagerly preparing some fun new units for the last quarter.
Now, six months later, I am living in Roanoke, Virginia. I have successfully completed several 100k mountain bike races, and have started two new jobs, teaching high school English at Roanoke City Schools, and sales/bike fitting at Cardinal Bicycle. I’m fully vaccinated, but still wearing a mask indoors thanks to the Delta variant of COVID-19 and nearly-overwhelmed hospitals locally.
I’d love to say that I have a long, insightful post to write, but I don’t. And besides, photos are more fun. So here’s the highlight reel of the summer of 2021 that went far too quickly:
March 2021: Charleston, WV Seth and I stopped at the First Watch in Charleston, WV on our drive back to Indiana after racing the Stokesville 60k MTB race and visiting Roanoke (also when I interviewed at Cardinal Bicycle and got a tour of the River House apartment building)
March 2021: Whitley County, Indiana Riding through spring in Indiana takes a variety of weather gear–but occasionally you get a warm day that doesn’t require sleeves–and that’s a day worth celebrating!
March 2021: Whitley County, Indiana I put in a lot of road miles this spring in and around Fort Wayne–oftentimes making the effort to ensure I hit all of my favorite routes several times a week.
April 2021: Bull & Jake Mountain, Georgia Taking a spring break trip to Florida the day after my second COVID-19 vaccine might have been ill-advised, but we certainly enjoyed the trails here in Georgia on our way down!
April 2021: Tampa, Florida That same ill-advised Florida trip did have some highlight moments–this afternoon on the beach being one of them.
April 2021: Maple Creek Middle School, Fort Wayne, Indiana I finished out the school year at Maple Creek amid the chaos of “Unmask NACS” protests, trying to sell a house, and preparing to move to Virginia. It was a chaotic, but good fourth quarter in a phenomenal school & school district.
April 2021: Brown County State Park, Indiana The last half of April brought some extremely tough moments, but even in the dark times, there were bright moments, like this girls’ mtb trip to Brown County State Park. The weather was a bit dreary, but it was loads of fun to ride bikes with other lady shredders all weekend!
May 2021: Bluegrass Cup #1, Campbellsville, KY I drove down to Kentucky for my second race of the season, a cross-country race where I placed third in the pro/open women.
May 2021: DINO Winona Lake, Winona Lake, IN The next race was just six days after the Bluegrass Cup, but on terrain I was much more familiar with. The annual Winona Lake mtb race brought a second place result and my final Indiana race of the year.
May 2021: Peru, Indiana I spent my last week in Indiana packing EVERYTHING and riding bikes. Seth and I rode a century on the Nickelplate Trail, then attempted a second century a few days later, only to be interrupted by Midwest thunderstorms that forced us back to the car early.
May 2021: Huntington County, Indiana My last bike ride in Indiana before moving.
May 2021: Maple Creek Middle School, Fort Wayne, IN The last day of school. I can’t be more grateful for these two ladies. Seriously the best co-workers ever.
June 2021: The Mill Mountain Star, Roanoke, VA On Memorial Day weekend, my parents and brother helped me move from Fort Wayne, IN to Roanoke, VA. This city, Star City, is my new home–and Kweli & I are loving it so far!
June 2021: Mohican 100k, Loudonville, OH Just a week after moving, I raced in my first 100k mountain bike race–and finished in 4th place!
June 2021: Mill Mountain, Roanoke, VA One of the highlights of life in Roanoke is the weekly Mullet Ride put on by Cardinal Bicycle. Each week, we ride up Mill Mountain–business in front, party in the back!
July 2021: McAffee’s Knob, Catabwa, VA In July, Colleen & Elizabeth drove down from Indiana to visit for a week. We had an amazing time hiking, biking, and hanging out! (Visitors are always welcome!)
July 2021: Wilderness 101k, Coburn, PA My second 100k of the season was in Coburn, Pennsylvania and despite being on a challenging and technical course, I managed to come out in second place!
July 2021: Spring Creek, Pennsylvania After the Wilderness 101k, we traveled further north to spend a few days with my family in Pennsylvania. We spent most of our days riding the epic gravel roads in the area, then spent the evenings hanging out with the family.
August 2021: Roanoke, VA Seth and I spent most of August hiking, biking, running, and making/eating delicious food. In short, loving life and loving Roanoke. It’s not hard to do. We also traveled to the New River Trail, Cooper’s Rock State Forest in West Virginia (for Seth’s 50k race!), Harrisonburg, and Lynchburg to ride and run.
August 2021: William Fleming High School, Roanoke, Virginia Starting a new school year at a new (in awhile) grade level, new school, new school district, and new city was intimidating at best, but once the kids showed up, I found a rhythm in realizing that they are all “just kids.”
September 2021: Shenandoah 100k, Stokesville, VA My third 100k of the year was by far my most solid performance, despite not getting on the podium (sixth place). I rode fierce, fought for my position, and kept a strong mental game.