The USA Cycling Masters Road National Championship
Jennifer Takes 4th in the Criterium
Jennifer Klein takes 4th Place in Criterium Race at the USA Cycling Master's National Race. Kim Nelson (not pictured) takes 6th place.
Barbora Stella Takes 3rd in the Road Race
Barbora Stella takes 3rd in the 35-39 USA Cycling Master's National Race.
Jennifer (2nd) and Kim (4th) for the Win
Jennifer Klein takes 2nd and Kim Nelson takes 4th in the Women's 60-64 USA Cycling Master's National Race.
Jennifer Takes 4th in the Criterium
Barbora Stella Takes 3rd in the Road Race
Next day were road races at Ft Gordon, a hilly loop course around the base. Kim Nelson and Jennifer Klein raced a tough one with a few breaks but mostly coming down to the final kilometers. Jennifer took 2nd in a photo finish w/ a racer from NY, and Kim came in 4th, giving Sorella two podium spots for women 60-64 for the second year in a row. Barb Stella's enthusiasm and race smarts put her on the podium in 3rd for women 35-39, and Susan rode hard in the heat again for Sorella in the 50-54 category.
In the Sunday criterium, the tree lined downtown course was flat and fast but left little opportunity for the field to separate, so it came down to a sprint, where Jennifer and Kim took 4th and 6th, again with an impressive group that included national champs and international racers (like Kim!). Barb took 6th in a sprint finish in her 35-39 age group. It takes confidence to put yourself out on the national stage, and having friends and teammates around made it fun. #roadnats
50 Pairs of Socks...
Jean Miller, Sorella Race Director, tells us about turning 50 and finding 50 pairs of socks to wear over 50 rides in celebration of her 50th revolution around the sun.
What do you think about on your rides? As cyclists we are supposed to be focused on important safety issues like the road or trail in front of us, awareness of other cyclists and vehicles, and of course all your training or racing goals. My guess is that most of us let our minds wander once in a while and when mine wanders, it wonders. Things like… Did I leave the stove on? Why are squirrels suicidal? How many pairs of socks do I have? I wonder if have 50 pairs of socks? Wait! I’m turning 50 soon! So what if I don’t have 50 pairs of socks, I deserve more.
Thus began my silly and obsessive adventure into wearing a different pair of socks for 50 days while riding a bicycle. I had no idea it would cover 1200 miles, 90 hours, and 66,000 feet of climbing. I also learned how to take a variety of pretty good selfies with my iPhone. Most surprising of all was the number of other people who got into my adventure. Some cyclists approached me with their best socks asking to be in pictures, and I found myself reaching out to others with cool socks, meeting several new friends.
I have had several people reach out and ask me for my sock recommendations and/or which socks were my favorite. Being the analytical person that I am I made a table of all the socks with various attributes and ranked them according to features like comfort, appearance, performance, etc. Keep in mind that during the time frame from March 20 to May 16. I rode 40% road, 50% gravel, 10% Mountain Bike. I squeezed in 27 different riding locations including my local Gwinnett County area, four states, and two races. I share this information because it affects how I feel about certain socks. I get dirty and wet on my rides, so I prefer dark-colored, thick, wool sock (thick in the foot area not so much the ankle/leg). 54% of my socks were mid length, 36% tall, and 10% short.
These new socks rose to the top for several reasons. Even though the foot area was not as thick as I would like they were the first compression socks that actually felt like the were doing something without leaving marks all over my legs and being general itchy. I also found myself gravitating towards colorful stripes from an appearance standpoint.
Honorable mention for best Sorella socks:
These following socks are worth mentioning because other people seemed to really like them:
To answer the question of whether I had 50 pairs of socks in the first place…Not. Even. Close.
Fortunately, I have so many people to thank who gifted or loaned me socks during this period. If you are interested in all 50 socks check out my Instagram feed under @ecocrafter.
A Reflection on Blankets Creek Dirty 30 MTB Race
By: Deidra James, Race Team Member
My training schedule for 2017 kicked off to a slow start. The first 3 months of the year I had averaged about 4 hours a week of saddle time. This adds up to not enough time on the bike! If I want to maintain some level of fitness or race middle of teh pack, I need at least 8 hours a week; Training needed to become a priority. The Blankets race was fast approaching. It was two weeks away and I was concerned that I would not be able to finish the second lap of the race. Well, maybe I would finish it, but it would be a sufferfest.
Blankets is my all around go to trail system. It’s close to home, has plenty of fast flowy sections, a good amount of climbing, great technical areas to work on skills, and you can always find a way to add more miles. It’s not a course that I would typically race. I use it mostly for training purposes, which usually means a comfortable steady pace. Racing Blankets would be a whole new experience.
Race day turned out to be the hottest day of the year. It was 80 degrees with dry conditions - a day for sunscreen for sure! In preparation for the race I checked the start time the day to discover that, surprisingly, the race didn't start until noon! That’s my sit down and have a meal time so not only would I have to focus on making this a race effort, but I had to make sure I didn’t stop and have a picnic. I fueled up and ate two breakfasts that morning...NO PICNICS during a race!! My race plan was to carry a bottle of Infinit and my camelbak filled with 24 oz. of water. I usually carry more but I didn’t want the extra weight. (In hindsight, I planned it perfectly because I crossed that finish line with not a drop left)
I arrived early and was greeted by Sorella Ali LeCraw-Smith and a new face to me, Sorella Chloe Murdock. Both ladies were racing in my category, Intermediate/Sport Women. Shucks, darn…I knew Ali was lightening fast and I had no chance at first place. Chloe looked just as fast and strong! I knew my chance of getting on the podium was slim. Realistically though, my goal was to finish in the top half of my field.
It was time to line up and we were off. It takes me a good while to warm up and when I do I still find it hard to find my race pace. I am known for keeping enough in reserve but I knew if I moseyed my way through the first half of VMT these women would be too far out in front and I would never be able to catch up. So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and made
sure I gave it some gas going into the first trail. It seemed to have worked, I was 6th entering the woods. Now to maintain that spot and advance when I could. My legs had already began to whine on all the little grunty climbs. Not good! I was happy to catch a brief stretch of flat ground before entering Dwelling. Dwelling has all the elements: rocks, roots and some elevation changes. I kept a good pace and the legs seemed to have calmed down. Feelin’ my groove, I entered South Loop. I managed to maneuver around some racers as they got hung up on the roots and rocks that South Loop has to offer. At some point, I passed Cortney Geary and Chloe Murdock. I didn’t know where that put me in the ranking, 4th maybe 5th. As I began climbing the back half of South Loop, my quads felt like they were on fire. So much for feelin’ good. That course definitely packs a punch. And to think, we have to go around again! I opted not to stop at the aid station and kept going to start my second lap. Hurl Hill, here I come! I felt I had enough fluids to get me to the end. Looking back, I should have taken in some calories. 30 miles, 2500 ft of climbing on half of a cliff bar was not the smartest thing to do.
During my second loop, VMT was a struggle and I knew I was slowing down. It was on a slick punchy climb just before Kevorkian when Cortney Geary passed me. Ughhh. I tried my hardest not to beat myself up over it and to stay focused on my ride. I lost sight of her the rest of VMT and most of Dwelling but on South Loop (which is my favorite trail) I made up some time and got her back in my line of sight. It seemed like it was in reach to over take her but my legs were too heavy and I did not have the power to pass. I finished 40 seconds behind her to take 5th place for a time of 3:10:40.
The day could have gone better, but it could also have gone worse. I did have a few small victories of my own. First, I was able to finish top 5 out of 12 women, and second, I learned I can push myself a little harder at the start of the race and still have enough gas to make it to the finish line.
Props to Mountain Goat Adventures and Lisa Randall for putting on such a great event. This race will definitely be on my radar next year.
Featured Sorella: Meet Suzanne Brockway!
Tell Us About Yourself: Occupation, relationship status, children, pets, where you live, where you're from, hobbies, etc.
Born in Missouri and raised in Peachtree City, GA, I currently live in Smyrna, GA and have for the past 17 years. Prior to Smyrna, I lived in Atlanta/Vinings. I lived in Carrollton, GA while attending the University of West GA, where I received a BBA with a major in Marketing.
I am the Executive Director for the Appraisal Institute’s Atlanta Area and South Carolina Chapters. The Appraisal Institute is a professional association of commercial and residential real estate appraisers headquartered in Chicago and I’ve been with the AI since 1994.
My husband, Mark Brockway, and I have been married for 17 years. Mark is also an avid cyclist.
We have no children; however, we do own a Bichon Frise and her name is Joni, who is exceedingly spoiled with treats, rides, walks, and attention.
Outside of cycling, my hobbies consist of traveling and spending time with my husband, family, and friends.
What made you decide to join Sorella?
A great Sorella racer and friend, Jennifer Klein, encouraged me to join the race team in 2015. Experiencing the camaraderie and energy among the club members and race team solidified my desire to continue my membership.
Do you do Road, Mountain or Cyclocross?
I started out road riding in 1998 with the Atlanta Cycling Vinings Shop group rides, led by Don Dutson, Jr. After a couple years on the road, I bought a moderate priced mountain bike and tried a few MTB trail rides … ended up with multiple bruises each time I rode. Consequently, I decided to stick with road riding.
Types of bike(s) you ride:
Trek Emonda and Trek Madone
Your Favorite place(s) to ride:
Georgia: Atlanta In-Town, Cartersville out of Bud Light Plant and Sosebee Park, Rome, Silk Sheets, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, and Silver Comet Trail.
South Carolina: Hincapie Grand Fondo course, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, and the Trek / Mt. Pleasant shop Low Country National Forest ride.
Florida: Mt. Dora (routes on Atlanta Cycling’s annual spring training)
Colorado: Denver and Vail
Missouri: The Ozarks
Your dream ride(s):
Cycling through the Alps, Pyrenees, Nova Scotia, and Sicily in a Sorella kit. Another dream that I have not lived yet, is cycling across America, also in a Sorella kit.
Biggest accomplishment on your bike:
Completing the climb up Mont Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez all in the same week was an endorphin binge! The Ventoux climb was most special; because, I was with some of my closest cycling friends from Atlanta. As we approached the top, we encountered 70 mph wind gusts knocking me into the side railing. At which point, I clipped out and walked up the last little bit. Below is a picture of this event. I am in the bottom left, my husband Mark Brockway in the front center, and Karen Hoffman is in bright yellow to the right.
Why you love being a Sorella:
I love being a part of a club of 200 high energy accomplished women who adore cycling as much as I do.
Sorella School: USA Cycling Race Classifications
Each month, the Sorella newsletter will feature a new article called "Sorella School" where you can learn more about cycling-specific lingo, culture, events, and other things you always wanted (but never knew you needed) to know. This month we focus on the USA Cycling Race Classifications. What is a Cat 2 anyhow....?
In the racing world, you may hear a cyclist commenting about a rider “catting up” or proudly sharing their new “cat 2” status. What exactly is all of this “cat” business and what does it really mean?
Racing categories are a way to classify a rider’s skill and proficiency. The lower the number, the greater the skillset.
USA Cycling is the official governing body for all disciplines of competitive cycling in the United States, overseeing mountain bike, road bike, BMX, cyclocross, and track cycling. Members of USA Cycling begin with a category 5 in men’s road and track racing and cat 4 in women’s road and track, men and women’s cyclocross, and at category 3 in men and women’s mountain bike racing. Racers then work their way to a more competitive category by earning points that are assigned based on the number of mass-start races and podium finishes in a 12-month period. The number of races and points vary by category and discipline. For those interested, you can find the official rulebook here.
Races require a USA cycling license, although a one-day license is available online and at some races for those who do not want to purchase an annual license – this is a good idea for those who are trying racing for the first time and aren’t sure whether it’s their cup of tea! If you’d like to learn more about the types of licenses you can purchase, you can find the types and associated costs on the USA Cycling license information page.
So the next time you hear someone talking about “catting up” – congratulations are in order and keep in mind that you are in the presence of a racer!
Monthly Beginner Ride
When: This ride resumes in August - No ride in July!
Open to: Club Members Only
Leaves from: See Below
Beginning riders can meet on the first Saturday of the month for a developmental road ride. Each ride begins with a 15 - 30 minute review of basic road skills. We will have lunch or coffee following the rides.
Questions? Contact Amy Plummer
or Option 2:
Emily Burrows, Club Vice-President, can work with individuals on parts of the Atlanta Cycling course during the morning hours. Contact Emily for more information.
Eventide Brewery Ride
When: Thursday, June 29th - Ready to Ride @ 6:00PM
Open to: Everyone
Leaves from: Eventide Brewery
Join Sorella ride leader Brittany Hopson Montgomery (Bhop) 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.
Click here for more info.
Brews afterwards at Eventide to quench our thirst at the discounted cost of $8 (normally $12) for riders.
June Group Ride – Silver Comet Trail
When: Sunday, June 18th, 2:00 p.m.
Open to: Sorellas, Lady friends and fella friends
Leaves from: Silver Comet Trail (Hiram Depot)
Our monthly comet rides have been great with over a dozen participants (when weather permitted). Please join us on the third Sunday each month February - November, and bring your other ladies and fellas to join us. You can find a Facebook event for the ride, here.
Wednesday Evening Women’s Buckhead Road Ride
When: 6:30 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 6:30pm (6:15PM 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 email@example.com
Tuesday Atlanta Cycling Ladies Road Ride
When: 6:30 through August
Open to: Sorellas and lady friends
Leaves from: Atlanta Cycling, Vinings
Tuesday Atlanta Cycling Vinings Women's ride takes place weekly! Atlanta Cycling Vinings Women's Road No-Drop Ride is every Tuesday March - October (March 6:15PM / Apr-Aug 6:30 / Sep 6:15 / Oct 6:00). Route often follows the 18 or 22 mile route on low traffic streets following a painted route at no drop pace. The emphasis will be on meeting others and on becoming more skillful and comfortable while road riding. Departing at the same time is a MENS/MIXED group, riding a different route ~24 miles. More info.
Women's Track Certification Clinic
Dick Lane Velodrome
June 24, 25th
Total cost: $60
Sorella Cycling is pleased to announce a women's specific track clinic at Dick Lane Velodrome on June 24th and 25th from 1-4 p.m. This is an opportunity to become familiar with fixed gear riding and basic technique and rules of velodrome use and racing. Learning will be lead by Brian Sullivan, Sorellas of the track, as well as other women from the track community. Completion of both days of the clinic will result in "track certification" and the ability to race/train at most velodromes across the country. No experience necessary! If you have a track bike, you're welcome to bring it, or you can rent one from the fleet. Email Brian Sullivan ( firstname.lastname@example.org) with your height and bike size so that he can have it prepared for you on the day of the clinic. You will need to bring your own pedals if you are renting. Other things to bring: helmet, kit, sun glasses, water, and a snack. There are bathrooms on site.
Look for the Facebook Event Page coming soon, and be sure to RSVP.
Women's Only MTB Skills Clinic at Mulberry Gap
When: Saturday, June 24th, 2017
Open to: Women Only
Location: Mulberry Gap - More Info HERE.
Join PMBIA certified mountain bike instructor (and former sorella!), Loretta Simpson, on June 24 for a one-day (ladies only) beginner mountain bike skills clinic at Mulberry Gap.
Space is limited to 6 ladies!
Registration begins at 9:00 am (simply come to the office with your ID to sign a waiver)
Morning session: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Lunch from 12:30 - 1:30 pm (included)
Afternoon session: 1:30 - 4:30 pm
Included in fee: 6 hours of instruction and lunch
Want to test your new skills on the trails on Sunday or come a bit early and ride on Friday? Make a weekend out of it - you're two-night stay will include dinner on Friday and Saturday night along with breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning!
Sorella Membership Update: DRUMROLL PLEASE....
Please join me in welcoming our new members who joined us during the month of May:
Shanicka Roberts, Robbin Lee, Nicole Keaton, Marge Griffin, Annalise Paaby, Simone Hoffman, Theo Beck!
Also, Alyssa Krasinkas has renewed her commitment to our wonderful organization!
Our Sorellas love the monthly group ride on the Silver Comet Trail
Robbin and Shanicka after Wednesday night intervals
Our Stone Mountain beginner ride brought new faces and lots of hills this month
Sorellas at Sosebee
Jennifer and Kim after their podium finish at the USA Cycling National Championship Road Race
Linell, Sharon, and Jen at the Cheaha Ultra