Sorella Cycling

JUNE, 2018

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Sorella represented at the Blankets Creek Dirty 30 Mountain Bike Race on April 14th, 2018. Congrats to Deidra James for landing on the podium in 2nd place!!

Pictured here: Deidra James, Ali Lecraw, Stef Wilmert


Save the Date: 2018 Summer Kit Fit & Kit Swap Party


2018 Summer Kit Fit & Kit Swap Party

When: Thursday June 7th, 6:30pm - 8:00pm
Where: Aston City Springs 6400 Blue Stone Road, Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328
Who: All Sorella members!

What's better than sorella rides all summer? Wearing your new sorella kit on rides all summer!

Join us for an evening event filled with sorellas, wine, food, sample kit sizes, AND....drum roll...a kit exchange! That's right, we will also have lightly used cycling items available at the event for FREE. Trade, steal, donate, etc. It's all available for you June 7 at The Aston City Springs club room! Did we mention there's wine?



Featured Sorella: Rosie Levy!

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1. What made you decide to join Sorella:

I only started riding a couple of years ago, and I didn't know a lot of cyclists or group rides in Atlanta. I met a couple Sorellas on the Tuesday Atlanta Cycling ride and decided to join the club to help me meet new people and find rides. I wasn't really planning on racing, but I met Sarah Hoots and started riding with her, and she introduced me to Jennifer and together they convinced me to join the race team.

2. Do you do Road, Mountain or Cyclocross:
Road, but I would love to start mountain biking soon. Just need to find room in my apartment for yet another bike!

3. Types of bike(s) you ride:
My current bike is a Liv Langma Advanced Pro Disc - I just got it a few months ago and I've been in love with it ever since. Previously I was riding a BMC Road Racer.

4. Your favorite place to ride:
Anywhere, but lately I've been a hillmonger and been going to the Gaps and Kennesaw Mountain quite a bit. I like to ride all over the city - up north in the Alpharetta/Roswell area, in the Marietta area, in town, and anywhere a race is.

5. Your dream ride:
One day I'd love to go to Italy and ride all over the country there. But I'd have to buy a Bianchi right when I arrive :)

6. Biggest accomplishment on your bike:
This last year has been full of accomplishments because I've started challenging myself way more and riding with people much stronger than I am. A few things I'm proud of are keeping a 25+ mph average for 31 miles in a practice crit, completing a Boston to Manhattan ride for charity last year (275 miles over 3 days), and getting on the podium for both crits I've raced in.

7. Why you love being a Sorella:
It is fantastic to be part of a group of women who are representing the sport so well. Everyone in the city knows who Sorellas are and always have a high opinion of the organization and women who make it up. I would never have gotten to the level of riding I'm at without the support of the Sorella women and I never thought I would be part of a competitive team at this point in my life. Thanks to all the Sorellas who have welcomed, helped, and challenged me in the last two years!

Thank you Rosie for sharing and being a part of this amazing group of women!


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Always remember, never give up and carry a positive attitude.

By Deidre James

Wow, what a race! But first! Let me whine just a little bit about how much I felt under trained for this race. As always, April sneaks up on me and WHAMMO! Go do 30 grueling miles on your mountain bike. I swore up and down that I was going to get a jump on training this year but it ended up getting a jump on me. The weather is not an excuse but it has played a big role in sabotaging any consistent training plan. Consumed by self doubt on whether or not I had the endurance to finish this race, I tried registering for the 15 mile option! Yes, I did! There was no shame when I knew I wasn’t feeling it. I thought the idea was brilliant but sadly enough the shorter option was only available to Beginners and Junior categories. I had no other choice but to sign up for the 30. Which, looking back, I’m glad I did!

Race day fast approaches. I do what I can to mentally and physically prepare in a few weeks time. I was able to fit in some group road rides during the week and saved the weekends for time on the mtn bike. Those rides were short, not more than 20 miles but they were filled with hard concentrated efforts. On race day, the sun was shining and it was scheduled to be a hot typical Georgia day in April. Sunscreen, check! I was well rested from the night before and ready to take on the challenge. This race has a noon start time. It is pretty late considering most races are halfway done or over by the time this one actually takes off. It’s a popular race that attracts a lot of locals and it brings out the Big Dawgs too! Like Loretta, Stefanie, Tiffany, and Ali.

Lining up at the start, there were 6 fast ladies in my category, Sport Female. We lined up with the Male 50-59, 60+ and Clydesdale. Packed house off the start and I went into the woods last. REALLY?!? How did that happen? I was disturbed by my lack of effort and everyone's ability to go fast off the line. Quickly, I brushed off the negativity and said, do what you do best. Ride smart and ride consistent! I knew I hadn’t trained hard enough to compete with these ladies who took off into the woods like a bat outta hell. The race course went clockwise. South Loop, Dwelling (which included the new flow trials….Whoop!) and Van Michael (Up the infamous Kevorkian Pass which meant death to us all...LOL) I was in a nice little groove on South Loop. Almost too comfortable. I didn’t want to push it because we had a lot of technical miles to cover and leg draining miles to climb. They are not long sustained climbs but they are steep and techy enough to really put a hurtin on the legs of any well trained rider.

I was behind Stefanie Wilmert on South Loop and Dwelling. We passed several riders along the way. She had let me know that she wasn’t feeling her best and that she was going to dial it back. It wasn’t until we entered Van Michael for the first time that she waived me on to pass. Stef is a fast and strong rider. I knew she wasn’t having a good day. Van Michael was tough! The first half of this trail is mostly technical climbing followed by some sweet flowy downhill. At this point of the race, we are about 14 miles in, it’s past high noon and you are starting to feel the heat of the day and the burn in your legs.

I made it around on my first lap with a time of 1:26:43. My husband was out there supporting me and told me I was 3 minutes behind first place and only 30 seconds behind second place. He said I should see Jennifer (the girl in second) on South Loop. I pumped it up a little bit and sure enough I saw her in the woods. I was reeling her in second by second on South Loop but somehow I gave it all back and then some on Dwelling. I entered Van Michael for the final time and I did not see her in my sights. A little disappointing, so close to over taking her and I let it slip away. The hardest part of the trail was coming up and I knew if I didn’t spot her then I had no chance of a second place finish.....CONTINUE READING.

Blankets Creek Dirty 15/30 Moutain Bike Race



So, You Want to Race Bikes?

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A Cyclists story

By Sarah Hoots

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Sarah Hoots. I’m a dog mom, daughter, sister, steadfast friend, and business owner- which is pretty much like being a full-time mom. But during the eight to ten hours a week I am on my bike, I am someone completely different. I am me.

I thought for a long time about how I wanted to start this race report and I am still scratching my head. Instead of selecting a special race from this spring, I want to share an overview of 20 races in 10 weeks, the victories and the lessons learned, the crashes, the tears, the heroic friends and the long awaited email confirmation of an upgrade.

The season began in Greenville, SC. For two weekends I was greeted by rain, cross winds, and the cold weather. Coming off a fantastic off-season of training, people had high hopes for me. I waited at the start line, positive things would go my way, the courageous Cat 4 that I was. Even with 28 girls wanting the same thing, I was confident- perhaps a bit too confident. I rode defensively the entire race, trying my best to position myself for the final sprint; but that is easier said than done. The art of positioning in a field sprint is incredibly frustrating to figure out. It took two training races in Greenville before I hit my stride and the podium pictures started.

Then came the ants. During one race, the promoter decided to group 1/2/3/4/5 women into one field of 60 women. Assuming the race would break up, I was shocked when we were still together with 10 miles to go. Evidently they grow ‘em strong in South Carolina because every Cat 5 was holding on to our 22 mph pace. It was in those last 10 miles that I began thinking, “I’m doing this! I can hang on, and position myself well for the end to claim a top 10 spot in a huge field.”

Then it happened. An oncoming car began approaching, and one girl who was riding in the other lane decided to come back over to avoid the vehicle. The peloton yelled at her since there was no room, but she persisted. She decided to make room by throwing her handlebars into mine- creating a domino effect that took me and two highly-respected cat 2 racers out. When I came to, I realized I was lying in a bed of fire ants , my leg swarmed by dozens of demonic red bugs. Getting up, I heard the kind voice of fellow Sorella teammate, Connie Mathis. She heroically gave up her own race to make sure I was okay. It was a moment that showed me the power of sisterhood and a noble act of character. To this day, her selflessness in that moment amazes me.

The drive home took me to a dark place. I was furious after the crash. I didn’t think I had done anything to deserve what happened to me. The crash was one thing, but being covered by fire ants and later getting hives from the bites ruining my TOSH experience- was another. I felt like life had kicked me when I was down. It was even harder watching other girls I knew continue to claim podiums when I felt they had done half the work I had. I was convinced that none of them had to deal with struggling to complete a full pedal stroke post-surgery less than a year ago. I felt that bike racing owed me a win.

Fortunately, my coach is a remarkable person who not only programs my rides but pulls me out of the trenches when I’m down. He told me that bike racing was just like life. That every day you are directly impacted by someone else’s dumb decisions and you can either be bitter about it and quit or dig deeper and keep coming back stronger with forgiveness and love for the sport. That was a turning point for me.

Race season continued, and the hives eventually went away. I had a breakthrough. I don’t know when it clicked, but it did. My confidence grew and before I knew it I was not only involved in breakaways but starting them. Four road races in a row, I successfully managed to drop girls on steep climbs. It felt like it was becoming my signature move in Cat 4 races. As belief in myself grew, USAC’s faith in me did not. My upgrade request to Cat 3 was rejected twice. Even though I had beat girls who were racing in higher categories, they continued to say there were not enough 4s to allow me to move up.

After taking a top placing at USA Crit’s Speed Week Series, I was finally granted my upgrade to Cat 3. Wanting to finish the spring season with a grand finale, I raced my first Women’s Pro 1/2/3 Crit in Nashville. It wasn’t what I had dreamed of- mostly because it was pouring down rain.I trusted my bike and felt at ease, even with a crash happening on course. I didn’t expect a huge result, so spent the first half of the race just staying behind good wheels. It wasn’t until a little over halfway that I realized I was strong enough to hold my own. I attacked for a lap, enjoying my brief shining moment in the sun (figuratively speaking). The pace wasn’t crazy since none of us could see clearly- even with clear lenses in. During the last lap, a 3-man breakaway took off after the 3rd corner. Being a bit further back than desired, I didn’t have the power to chase them. My friend and I tried our best to form a chase group to finish 4th and 5th. Holding her wheel for the final sprint, I had no idea another girl was on my rear wheel. She sprinted around me at the last second- taking my top 5 placing as well as my payout. I do take full responsibility of that loss due to letting off too early, assuming I had it. Another lesson learned, but confidence gained........CONTINUE READING.

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Silver Comet Group Ride p/b Emory Sports Center

When: Sunday, June 17th, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Open to: Sorellas, Lady friends, and Fella Friends

Leaves from: The Caboose at the Hiram Silver Comet Trailhead (mile 14.5)

Presented by Emory Sports Medicine and starting at 2:00 PM from the caboose at the Hiram Silver Comet Trailhead (mile 14.5 on the Silver Comet Trail). This ride offers different distances and paces to meet the needs of all riders. A popular ride is to the Brushy Mountain Tunnel - a 32-mile round trip. Choose your distance since it is out and back). Groups will form at comfortable paces, with no one left behind. We invite all Sorellas, fellas, and friends to join us! Angela Barros and Teri Danielson are your hosts with many Sorellas participating each month. Helmets required! Click the ride title above for more info.

Atlanta Cycling - Vinings, Ladies Ride

When: Tuesdays evenings: April through August at 6:30

Open to: Ladies, Sorellas

Leaves from: Atlanta Cycling, Vinings location

Join Atlanta Cycling for an 11, 18, or 22-mile ride for ladies only! This ride travels a low traffic, no-drop, marked route through the area. The emphasis is on meeting others and becoming a comfortable and skillful rider. You'll see some familiar faces as Sorella provides the sweeper for the ride. More information about the ride can be found on the Atlanta Cycling website or on our Sorella ride calendar.

Wednesday Evening Women’s Buckhead Road Ride

When: Every Wed @ 6:00 pm through August

Open to: Sorellas and lady friends

Leaves from: E Rivers Elementary School

This ride runs the first Wednesday in April thru September and is led by Sorella Linda Rathje. Start time is 6:30 pm (6:15 PM in early September) and it will leave from the parking lot at E Rivers Elementary School at the corner of Peachtree and Peachtree Battle. Restrooms are available at Starbucks, across the street if you need them. If you ride to the start you can either join us at E Rivers or meet us at Cherokee Rd. and Andrews Drive. The pace is 14-15 mph which doesn't sound like much but the route is a hilly 21 miles. It is not a beginner ride. You should be comfortable riding with a group in light traffic and in hilly terrain. It is a great opportunity to improve your climbing skills and step outside your comfort zone, with a friendly group of women. There are a few pretty good climbs (4 or 5) and you can take these as hard and fast as you want. We regroup at the top so everyone can continue to socialize to the next climb. The group usually grabs dinner after the ride at La Fonda. For questions, contact Linda at or click the ride title above.

4th Sunday Decatur/Grant Park Social Ride

When: Sunday, June 22nd, 8:30 a.m.

Open to: Sorellas, Lady friends, and Fella Friends

Leaves from: Decatur High School

Join Sorella Michelle Hollberg for a casual beginner city ride from Decatur High School to Grant Park (7 miles each way) with a social coffee stop at the Farmers Market. All bikes and riders are welcome - commuters, urban, road - bring your enthusiasm for cycling! Click the ride title above for more info.

Eventide Brewing Thursday Intown Ride

When: June 14th, 2018 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Location: Eventide Brewing, 1015 Grant St SE, Atlanta, GA 30315, USA

Join Sorella ride leader Brittany Hopson Montgomery for the monthly Eventide Brewing Intown Road ride. The group will leave Eventide to enjoy a 14-16 mile no drop loop all intown on streets that are not busy during rush hour! This will be a very chill social ride, no crazy climbs, very beginner friendly. Ride time is approximately 1:15-1:30.

Brews afterward at Eventide to quench our thirst at the discounted cost of $8 (normally $12) for riders. Eventide is now open until 10:00 PM on Thursdays so we are able to ride and enjoy the brews longer!

Atlanta Cycling Summer Gaps Training Ride

When: 8:00 a.m., June 16th, July 14th and 28th, August 11th and 25th, September 15th.

Open to: Anyone

Leaves from: The Rock Pile, Dahlonega, Georgia

This ride is sponsored by Atlanta Cycling and begins at 8:00 at the Rock Pile. Park along the highway at the intersection of GA 60 and US 19 (The Rock Pile) north of Dahlonega, Ga. Drive time is about an hour. This is a very challenging, but beautiful 33-mile training ride over three gaps - Neal's Wolfpen & Woody's. There are store stop opportunities along the route. The early season rides are "no drop" designed for those who are new to riding in the mountains. Estimated ride time is 3-4 hours. Late season the rides change to "drop" rides and additional gaps may be added. Contact (Duluth) for more information. 770-476-4949.

Special Non-Recurring:

Check out the calendar on to view upcoming races and events in your area.

Also, don't forget to checkout the Sorella Cycling STRAVA group to see where your members are riding!


Sorella Membership Update

April and May were another great month for Sorella as we continue to grow our family! We are now 198 women strong!

Our current membership is 198 and we are fast approaching 200! Stay tuned to find out who our 200th member will be! If you have any ladies thinking about joining (or renewing) Sorella, please share the membership link with them and let them know we have a special price in store for the 200th member!! Woohoo!

If you know someone interested in joining Sorella, or if you haven't renewed, it's easy to join online by clicking here!

Happy Riding!


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Tifosi is the Italian word referring to a super-fan, an enthusiast, and that is exactly who we are and who we make our eyewear for. Our mission is to provide technically advanced eyewear to enthusiasts of all sports and outdoor activities.

As a club let’s show our support and give Tifosi lots of love on social media with the hashtag #tifosioptics when out riding in your kit.

Follow Tifosi on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter!

Visit for more information.