View All
May 01, 2021

Catching up with Dani Shumskas

Track racing is returning at the Valley Preferred Cycling Center in Trexlertown (Lehigh County), PA. As always we are proud to have Danielle Shumskas (Pipersville, PA) racing in our colors at America's premier velodrome. Danielle is now a senior at CB East High School and the most recent prodigy from Doylestown's first family of bicycle racing. We took a minute to ask her five questions about her pandemic training year and upcoming season.

1. Let's talk bicycle racing in 2021. What are your major goals for the season?

For the upcoming season, I hope to be at T-Town as much as I can. I hope to be participating in Tuesday and Friday night racing, in addition to sprint tournaments and other track events. I also would like to race in Junior and Elite Nationals this year in (?) (Editorial Note: we hear Pennsylvania!), and if I am able to, UCI Junior Track Worlds in Cairo, Egypt this September 1st - 5th.

2. I'm sorry you had to spend the winter training in California and you missed out on things like snow thunder. Tell us all about why you were there and what you did!

This winter, I was able to safely live in California with my coach Andy Lakatosh and team-mate, where our big goals were to train at the Encino Velodrome in the San Fernando Valley, work with a gym specialist, and a nutritionist. It was really nice to escape the 30"+ snow here in PA.

Encino is a charming velodrome that, like most of the bike world, has a small community of people who have started their cycling career there. For us, this was our little sanctuary that we got to ride three times a week to prepare for Worlds. Coming from T-Town which is a 330-meter Velodrome, I wasn't accustomed to riding on a 250-meter track (international distance). I was able to become comfortable with the track and learn how to use it to my advantage. We used our time training there doing sprint efforts, practicing sparring skills, and enjoying the warm SoCal weather.

When we got to work with our gym specialist at Velocity Sports Performance, we worked with top-level speed training and coaching techniques where I was able to learn how to safely push myself and how to use proper technique when weightlifting. This usually consisted of, “engage your core!” for me. We worked on a program specially designed for cycling, but the gym is for all athletes that are committed to their sport. We trained next to athletes from hockey players to javelin throwers, and all in-between. This created a really cool learning and dedicated environment to train in.

Finally, working with Dr. Goglia at Performance Fitness Concepts Nutrition we were able to have a personalized nutrition plan based on our training plans and our body types that would improve weight loss, energy levels, and overall health. Meeting with him every two weeks, we were able to see a difference in our body fat and learned what foods are best for our bodies paired with our training.

Outside of the training/cycling world we were also able explore California: seeing the Hollywood sign, exploring the coast, and doing things as simple as having Bachelor night where we made sushi and watched The Bachorlette on Hulu.

3. You're finishing your high school career at CB East. Can you tell us about post-high school plans?

This Fall, I will be attending Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. I plan to be living there in the city, where I will be studying a major in the art field. I am excited to be in Brooklyn, where I will be surrounded by history and art. While I am at Pratt, I also plan to continue with my cycling career by going to the Kissena Velodrome (not too far from campus) and hopefully staying on target with gym and nutrition.

4. I happen to know that art is a huge part of your life. Can you tell the mediums you like to work in, your inspirations, and what you are hoping to do with art in the future?

My favorite medium to work in is oil paints as I love the vibrant colors it creates, the ability to blend smoothly or to be textured, and with the medium slowly drying, I can manipulate the paint easily to my liking. I also really enjoy working in other mediums like pastels, watercolors, or even pen and ink. When creating a piece, sources of inspiration can be as simple as trying to express and capture a moment in time or seeing other artists’ work. In trying to do this, I am attempting to capture an emotion or atmospheric mood, while also creating a piece appealing to the eye in dimension, colors, and composition. Looking forward, I am going to go to Pratt to keep learning new ways to apply and expand the skills I have in new mediums and techniques. While I am not totally sure what I want to do going forward, I know that I want to be completely immersed in the art world, whether it may be through graphic design, digital art, or fine arts.

5. In the same paragraph, give us the recipe for your go-to training meal and your go-to Friday night comfort food recipe. And go:

My go to training meal before the night before an event is salmon or steak paired with spinach, or broccoli. In the morning, I have eggs with a combo my nutritionist calls “MASH”. The recipe is one cup oatmeal, one cup Solebury Orchards apple sauce, one TSP almond butter, and one TSP jam all mixed together as a major energy source that tastes surprisingly good.

My go to Friday night comfort food is pasta with lots of cheese, such as ravioli or lasagna, ideally paired with some ice cream or chocolate at the end of the night to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Share It
Facebook Twitter Link Share