Sorella Cycling

April, 2018

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Sorella stole the show at the GT Brooks RR a few weeks back - each of these ladies landed on the podium! Pictured here: Diane Schleicher, Julie Gazmararian, Jennifer Klein, and Connie Mathis.


Save the Date: The Sorella Annual Meeting!

Sorella Cycling Annual Meeting (and an opportunity to give back to our community)
When: Saturday, April 28th, 5:00 p.m.
Where: Eventide Brewery, 1015 Grant Street SW Atlanta, 30315
Who: All Sorella members!

This is a free event for current members (no fellas for this meeting) so if you haven't already then go ahead and renew your 2018 membership before attending, or renew it at the door.

Eventide Brewing will provide the beer and we will have dinner catered.

Please make plans to join us to hear about our 2018 club plans, announcement of our sponsors, giveaways/raffles and socializing!

We’ll have a collection box for donations to the Atlanta Children’s Shelter. Click the link to learn more about the ACS. They’re a non-profit doing important work to help families break the cycle of homelessness. Among other things, they provide a safe place for young children to be while their parents are looking for work – a very important piece of the puzzle for families struggling to put their lives back together. On their urgent need list:

- Boys and girls 2T-5T pants

- Coloring books

- Sketch pads

- Small sets of toddler-appropriate building block like Duplo or Lego

- Click here to see their full Amazon Wish List

- If you have large items, we can arrange to get them to the shelter.

We are all cyclists so come as you are, even if that means showing up fresh (or not) from a ride or a race!

Hosted by:
Sorella Cycling Board 404-216-6539


Featured Sorella: Maggie Hudson!

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It was a hot sunny day in Florida when I finally learned to ride my bike. I was five. My one-legged dad steadied himself with his crutches and gave me a big push. I was flying. I don’t remember ever falling, just the exuberance of freedom. A few years later my sister and I thought it would be cool to see how long we could ride in the road with our eyes closed. No one wore helmets back then. If I could apologize to the driver who narrowly missed killing me, I would.

My first real bike was a bright yellow Cannondale road bike with a daisy on the seat post. It was just after my divorce and I needed a pick-me-up, so I bought it. I fell three times right away learning to clip in and out. I fell right in the middle of oncoming traffic and was nearly hit by a car - again. Falling hurts.

I registered for my first century too soon. The most I’d ridden so far was 30 miles. It was a tough and long day. I was literally the last person to finish with a 10 mph avg. That was 20 years ago. I can’t stress how important group rides are for new riders. Sorellas are wonderful at this. Sharing information and educating others keeps us safer out there.

I met “Mean Jean Miller" at Apalachee Bike Shop in Dacula. She became my idol, then a mentor and friend. Jean introduced me to the sisterhood of Sorellas. Every single woman I’ve met has been supportive, encouraging, loving, helpful, caring, kind and respectful. I’m very proud to be a Sorrella, and can’t say enough about this outstanding group of stellar ladies.

I’m not a fast or strong cyclist, continued....


Race Report: Sunshine Grand Prix Omnium 2018 March 3/23-3/25 Top View Sports

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By Connie Mathis

Omnium? What’s that? And how do I prepare for my first Crit tomorrow? Insert Rule #5!

An omnium is road race event where over a 2 day period we race three independent races (Time Trial, Criterium, Road Race) with individual standings. That sounds like normal racing right…once all the races are complete, your points earned from the weekend’s races are summed and your overall performance is determined.

I’m new to cycling and racing so why not jump in and experience it all? So I escaped the cold Atlanta temperatures and head to Florida for the Sunshine Grand Prix Omnium racing on March 24th and 25th. I had watched the Tucker Crit a year ago. I understood how it worked. We ride round and round in a circle approx. 6/10 of a mile 30 minutes. I was comforted to know that I would be with Cat 4/5 for my first Crit. But NOOO! Come to find out at 9:30 pm the night before via Facebook, we didn’t have enough riders for Cat 4/5 so our race was merged with Pro, 1, 2, 3 and went from 30 minutes to 60 minutes at the hottest time of the day. I kept the positive thoughts in my head and repeated the same phrase, “Insert Rule #5.” (“Harden the F— up” for those not familiar with the rules.)

We were off at 12:20 pm on Saturday afternoon. Before I knew it, 8 laps to go. Our average was over 21 mph. There were 7 turns on the course. In the end, I stayed with the lead group and was 9th overall and 1st for Cat 4/5. I WAS STOKED!!! I made mistakes but overall I was happy to have stayed with the top ladies.

Looking ahead to the next day, I had a 7:25 am start time for the 6 mile Time Trial. I drove the TT course and the road race course. Both courses had some challenging hills. Sunday morning, the sun just coming up and a chill in the air, cyclist started in 30 second increments. My time trial went great. It was 3 miles out and back with a downhill finish.

Next up, the road race. Our start time changed, Cat 4/5 were now starting with the Pro, 1, 2 3’s and doing 8 laps instead of 6. Can’t wait to go up Ice Cream Hill 8 times!!! The weather was perfect and I’m riding my bike so how can I complain. Right?!

Pro 1, 2, 3, 4/5 were off at 12:25 p.m. On lap 2 and 3, there were KOM points (bonus points added to help you in the standings) on Ice Cream Hill. So going for the points, the pace picked up and we dropped a bunch of girls. I felt pretty good. I’m still hanging with the “big girls” and then BOOM. They dropped the hammer and I was off the back on lap 4. Jennifer Klein, leader of the Sorella racing team, quickly came to mind. JK told me at the Brooks race, just two weeks prior, to never stop pushing. She said you do not know if you will be caught by the dropped riders. I told myself, “Connie, Insert RULE #5”. I put my head down and kept drilling it for two more laps. As I was approaching Ice Cream Hill for the 7th time, I looked up to see cars lining up behind a group of cyclist. At the top, I asked a spectator, eating an ice cream no less, if that was a group of guys and to my surprise she said, “No, it was the ladies.” Without hesitation, I stood up and never stopped pedaling. Within a mile and a half, I caught the lead group. One more lap and the race was over!!!

I took first place for Cat 4/5 in the Road Race which earned me a total of 120 points (40 point for each 1st place Crit, TT and RR). To my surprise, the points to put me in 3rd place for the entire Omnium for Pro, 1, 2, 3 and I came home with $105. HOWEVER, the most rewarding part was looking at my Strava data after the race. My lap times were better alone than with the group. I was so proud of myself. Honestly, I cried! I do not have an athletic background, never participated in any sport growing up and just started working out in the last 10 years after two children. My daughter, Morgan, has really been my inspiration. She is such a strong, fearless young lady. I wanted to make her proud!

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Clinic Review: Ninja Mountain Bike Performance -Jumping mini-clinic

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By Emily Davenport

I recently attended the Ninja Mountain Bike Performance -Jumping mini-clinic on March 10 along with Sorellas Jean Miller and Robin Allen, another lady, and a few good men. The instructors at the clinic went above and beyond for us ladies and the entire group. During the clinic the instructors demonstrated the skills multiple times and then let us practice as we pleased. They were excellent at providing insight and recommendations as to how we could improve. They took time to explain the reasons behind what they were teaching and the variances based on rider size and body mechanics. I cannot say enough how they helped us ladies figure out how to correct our body position and land the jumps exceptionally. At one point it began to rain and after making sure we wanted to continue, they made sure the conditions were safe, checking the ramp and ensuring our safety. We were unable to finish the trail part of the clinic due to the rain and risk of damaging the trails, which they were considerate of as well.

However, the instructors are allowing us to continue at another clinic anywhere they teach. How awesome is that! Rarely will you get another chance to continue something once you start it. Just another kudo to this company. Professional, kind, knowledgeable and one of a kind. Just the key elements you want from a mountain bike clinic. Be sure and check them out, you will not be disappointed!




Silver Comet Group Ride p/b Emory Sports Center

When: Sunday, April 15th, 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: 6:00 pm through August - Begins April 4th

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, April 22nd, 9:30 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: April 19, 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., April 21st, May 26th, 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:

Sorella Gravel Ride (Athens-Watkinsville)

When: April 14, 2018 10:00 am - 3:00 pm

Where: 770 Wolfskin Rd, Arnoldsville, GA 30169

Join ride leaders Jean Miller and Laina Palmeri for an off-road cycling experience that explores some of the best gravel roads in Georgia. With more than 95% gravel, this 45-mile ride starts southeast of Athens and dips down into the beautiful Oconee National Forest. You’ll experience all types of gravel roads from large gravel rocks to small pea gravel, hard packed clay to sandy tire tracks, then everything in between including two creek crossings. This ride requires a cyclocross bike or mountain bike. Plan on bringing nutrition and water for a 4-5 hour ride. There are no store stops and the start location is fairly remote, so bring at least 3 water bottles. A camelb...ack is highly recommended. This is a no drop ride and pace will be determined by those in attendance but plan on a 12-14 mph pace. After the ride we’ll go to Cali N Tito’s on Cedar Shoal Drive for an early dinner.

Please RSVP your ride attendance through this FB event (click the ride title above) or e-mail Jean Miller at

Athens Twilight and Tifosi Group Ride

When: April 28th, 12:15 p.m.

Open to: Sorellas, Fellas, and Friends

Leaves from: Athens, Ga

Join us for a group ride from Athens Twilight to Tifosi Optics in Watkinsville, GA. This will be a no drop ride completing a loop from Athens to Watkinsville with a quick stop at Tifosi to show out sponsor (through pictures) some Sorella love. Route under consideration is a 16-mile route from Athens to Tifosi and then 8 miles back to Athens for a 24-mile ride. Be sure to wear your Sorella kit and Tifosi glasses (and a helmet, of course). Click the ride title above for more info.


Sorella Membership Update

March was another great month for Sorella as we continue to grow our family! We are now 186 women strong!

Please give a warm welcome to our newest members: Danielle Bocage, Anne Greene, Jennifer Blake and Tyra Jenkins! Look out for these ladies on upcoming group rides and at the Annual Meeting to make sure we give them a warm welcome!

In addition, thank you to the following Sorellas who have renewed their membership in March: Barbora Stella, Amy Plummer, and Melanie Blakey. We look forward to sharing another great with you!

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!


Photo Roundup:


Featured Sorella Sponsor: Dashing Images

Located in Woodstock and taking awesome photos of our Sorella board of directors and race team, Dashing Images is a new sponsor for Sorella this year! We love having that little squirrel on our shoulder almost as much as we love the awesome photos! For more information on Dashing Images, you can find them on the web by clicking here.
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