Sorella Cycling

September, 2017

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More than a dozen Sorellas (many not pictured) spent Labor Day enjoying the great event put on by Atlanta Cycling to benefit the Campbellton UMC church which kindly welcomes us to park all year for Silk Sheets rides.


Save the Date: The Sorella AND Fellas End of Year Party

Sorella Cycling End of Year Party! / For Sorellas and Fellas
When: Sunday November 5, 5-8 pm
Where: Eventide Brewery, 1015 Grant Street SW Atlanta, 30315
Who: All Sorella members and fella or friend

Come celebrate another year of great cycling at our great sponsor Eventide Brewing! All Sorella members and fella or friend are welcome! Eventide Brewery will provide a free souvenir glass and 3 beers for all attendees from their selection of craft brews. Food details are being worked out but we'll have something good for sure. (Members eat free/ fellas&friends $5/ea)

Hosted by:
Sorella Cycling Board 404-216-6539


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Save the Date: Sorella/AC Bicycle Maintenance Clinic for Women!

Monday, Oct. 16th, 6pm

1860 Piedmont Avenue Northeast

Atlanta, GA

Please join us for a FREE bicycle maintenance clinic on 10/16 at Atlanta Cycling - Ansley. We will have a second clinic on Monday, November 13th at the Vinings location. Stay tuned for details about both clinics and a dinner social afterward!


Featured Sorella: Meet Karen Hoffmann!

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Tell Us About Yourself: Occupation, relationship status, children, pets, where you live, where you're from, hobbies, etc.

A native Texan, I am one of the few that left the Lone Star State for better weather (even before Hurricane Harvey) and the rolling hills and mountains of the Southeast. Our family has always loved the outdoors, and cycling and hiking have been our favorite ways to keep in touch with nature. My husband, Christian, and I are raising twin boys who are in middle school. Christian is an avid cyclist and a powerhouse on the bike. I am training just to stay on his wheel. One of my sons has the biking bug and has been doing road biking, track cycling, and a little mountain biking for the past two years. Our other son is not as excited about biking, but has been tempted by the thought of an electric bike to ride on family outings.

We have lived in in-town Atlanta for the past 10 years, just a short distance from Piedmont Hospital. That means a really short commute to work at Piedmont ENT & Related Allergy. I keep busy as an Otolaryngologist-Head & Neck Surgeon. My job involves trying to improve the quality of life for each individual that I meet, whether it is listening to their problems, attempting to cure disease, or just inspiring them to get moving. I hope that pictures of my cycling experiences in the office may inspire someone to get on a bike and create adventures of their own.

What made you decide to join Sorella?

I started riding with Sorella on the Wednesday in-town climbing ride several years ago and loved the camaraderie and support shown to all of the riders. Many of my closest riding friends are Sorella racers and I wanted to support and train with them too.

Do you do Road, Mountain or Cyclocross?

I am strictly a Roadie, but I am tempted to try some gravel riding.

Types of bike(s) you ride:

Cannondale EVO

Your Favorite place(s) to ride:

We love to ride anywhere in the mountains, especially the less traveled “secret gaps” in the North Georgia Mountains and the river trails in Tucson, Arizona, where we have family. The Rocky Mountains are particularly enjoyable to ride because of great paved trails, spectacular vistas, and high altitude training that makes you very fast when you come home. I absolutely love riding in the Alps and the Pyrenees, where the scenery is breathtaking, the climbs are challenging, and there are plenty of spectators along the road cheering you on like you are part of the Tour de France.

Your dream ride(s):

The mountains of Italy and Spain are calling to me.

Biggest accomplishment on your bike:

Tour of Colorado Hoffmann style: 8 days of riding, more than 450 miles with 37,000 feet of climbing including epic climbs up Mt. Evans (elevation 14,130 ft.), both sides of Independence Pass, Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass, Juniper Pass, Vail Pass, and Steamboat Springs. I needed a vacation from my vacation!

Why you love being a Sorella:

Wherever you are in your cycling journey, there is always a Sorella sister there to encourage you, mentor you, motivate you or just ride along with you. It is so special to have such a wonderful group of accomplished women along for the ride, sharing a passion for my favorite sport and life.


Sorella Race Reflections: The 1st Annual Hapeville Criterium

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By Cristy Sellers Smith, Sarah Hoots, Emily Burrows, and Ali LcCraw-Smith

Our mission is to foster a supportive and open environment for women of all ages and abilities to ride their road, mountain, or other bicycles for fitness, recreation, and racing. Our Sorella board members and President, Brittany Montgomery, are always searching for ways to bring women's cycling to new a level so it was a no-brainer for Sorella to sign on and ensure that women racers in the pro/1/2/3 received an equal payout to their male counterparts at the recent 1st annual Hapeville Criterium on August 18th. In addition to helping level the payout, Sorella members willing to race received free entry and an evening of camaraderie and fun. Sorella racers and non-racers alike showed up for the fun, and a few of the racers shared their thoughts on what it's like to race in a criterium - even if you aren't a criterium racer!

Emily Burrows: life-ing is tough! And by 7:15 pm on a Friday evening I am usually tapped out, ready for that well-earned whisky or wine and some sofa time. So I laughed out loud last Friday night when I instead found myself in Sorella race kit, toeing the start line at the Hapeville Twilight Criterium. How did I get here, so far from my sofa? Who talked me into this? .....Did Brittany Hopson have wine in her cooler!!?

No arm twisting was actually involved, though. This was my last chance for the season to try racing on the road and the entry fee had been waived for Sorellas, who'd come out in force. Set in historic Hapeville, the race was also an opportunity to show support for the East Point Track Club, who were hosting this inaugural event with equal payouts for both men and women (woohoo!). At the start line, I counted all the people I knew, both Sorellas and others. I saw my son and husband in the crowd, and easily two dozen other familiar faces. I didn't feel nervous, which surprised me. I felt comfortable, among friends. This was going to be a great Friday night.

I have had little experience racing anywhere but the track and suspected I would have trouble with the rough and technical course, so I had set my race goals conservatively. I wanted to 1) smile, 2) keep all my skin, and 3) I wanted to take in the experience while also feeling the push of a race. Ultimately, I wasn't anywhere near a podium! After a crash earlier this season, I didn't realize how bad my fear of cornering was... which significantly impacted my ability to hang with the pack. But all my objectives were achieved, and I heard my name screamed from every single turn. And that felt really good.

Ali LeCraw-Smith: I registered for the Hapeville crit unexpectedly. I had already made the decision to focus on cross country mountain biking after having dabbled in road and cx racing. But after seeing all the posts and messages fly promoting the crit, I wanted to get out there to support Sorella- perhaps my fomo was kicking in. My grandfather also grew up in Hapeville, so I thought that was fun.

It was great riding up to the line with quite a few sorellas- i do love the comraderie we share. The race started and I had only one goal- carry out Barb's golden advice: don't pull the whole field like I did in my first and most recent crit in Roswell, then get overtaken by half of them on the last lap. The first few laps I settled into the pack and got used to the turns at speed. Soon after, three girls made an attack. I knew that I could either give it everything and go after them, or let them go and drop back into the pack, basically letting go of a top spot. I was in a good position to chase so I didn't think long and I was able to catch them. I grabbed a wheel and began to recover from my effort. For the next 8 or so laps the three girls continued to attack and each time I had to give everything to stay on their wheels. I knew that letting them get even a few feet ahead would cause me to exert way more energy and drop even further behind. On the second to last lap one of the girls yelled for me to pull. I already felt like a caboose so I did, but I slowed my pace significantly. I wasn't going to expend so much energy so close to the finish. Especially when I was exhausted. I didn't pull long before There was one more attack on the last lap, and I so badly wanted to let them go. I did at first, but then I saw their pace slow a bit ahead- probably recovering from their boost, so I gave it everything again and barely caught them. That led us to the final sprint to the finish. I was pretty spent at this point so I was happy to finish a few seconds behind 3rd place. Overall I did what I set out to do, I improved from my first crit. Crits really are about positioning and being willing to take chances. At least that's the little bit I've gathered so far. And the whole cornering part is important too. Watching the girls in the 123 race was awesome and overall it was a great experience! Also my daughter won the kids race! Yeah!

Sarah Hoots: It was my last race of the season and wanted desperately to finish the summer on a positive note. Having practiced crit turns the night before with the amazing Barb, I felt a bit more confident about my positioning. It's such a learning process, and it takes getting my confidence up to get down in the drops and allow my body to lean into the turns. I knew that having to race against very seasoned 3's who were about to cat up to 2 meant putting in a lot of work. I decided that I would be happy if I got better at my cornering and was able to keep a competitive pace. It wasn't being complacent, but realizing and accepting that at my current level, I didn't have it in me to chase down the strongest contenders that day. And that's okay.

The crit course was definitely winding. With several tight turns, potholes coveting the paved road, it was a true test fit for a criterium. I walked away with more confidence in my cornering ability, trusting myself and the bike more, and knowing exactly what I need to work on going into the Fall-Winter training season. Ready to hit Spring 2018 with full force!

Sorella had a killer night at the 1st annual Hapeville Criterium. Barborra Stella took 2nd place in the women's pro/1/2/3! We love a good a race and we certainly love to win, but our mission stands true - we are supportive no matter your level or riding type. But, women's racing is a lot of fun, even when you don't win! If you've ever thought about giving racing a try, we hope the voices of Ali, Emily, and Sarah will provide the encouragement you need to sign up for a race!

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Big Wins for our Sorella Leaders!

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Congratulations to our FEARLESS Sorella leaders, Brittany Montgomery (President) and Emily Burrows (Vice President)! Both ladies knocked our socks off recently with big wins in their respective disciplines:

Brittany Montgomery (Left) took 1st place in the Sport class, Beech Mountain Enduro which is the first stop on the Southeast Triple Crown Enduro Series.

Emily Burrows (right) set the 1st ever Women's Hour Record for the Dick Lane Velodrome with a distance of approximately 21.6 miles!!!


Masters National Track Championship - Trish's Journey to the Podium!

By Trish Albert

I have been training all year for the 2017 Masters National Track Championships at the Giordana Velodrome in Rock Hill, SC. This track is a world class 250m facility. It’s one of the nicest in the US and has hosted several national championship races since it was built in 2012. My goals were pretty simple-to have fun and try my hardest. Individual events have become my preferred races over the last year versus the mass start track events like a scratch race or points race.

Tuesday, June 27

I did the 2km Individual Pursuit. Sometimes last-minute changes to a program can throw a racer off track. I made the decision to do the IP instead of the scratch race. It was a good one. I set a personal best and came in 4th, which put me on the podium. The weather was perfect and not too hot.

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Wednesday June 28

Wednesday was the Sprint Tournament for my age group. In the morning there is a 200m Time Trial that qualifies and seeds racers for the 2-Up (2 riders) Match Sprints that are held in the evening. I qualified 4th. I’m much better at the 200m TT on my home track, which is the Dick Lane Velodrome in Atlanta. I don’t have much experience on a 250m track, and the lines are a lot different.

I was up against last year’s National Champion in the first round since I qualified 4th. The plan was for me to put in a good race even though the chances of me beating her were pretty low. She won both rounds. For the bronze medal, I was up against a rider that I have raced a few times before. I rode the 3 laps as hard as I could, and my legs were cramping and shaking for hours when I finished. It might only be 750 meters, but I challenge anyone to come train for Sprints. It’s eye opening how hard track racing can be. I feel elated with my effort this year in the sprints. I was on the podium in 4th again.

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Eventide Brewery Ride

When: Thursday, September 14th - Ready to Ride @ 6:00PM

Open to: Everyone

Leaves from: Eventide Brewery

Join Sorella ride leader and club president, 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.

September Group Ride – Silver Comet Trail

When: Sunday, September 17th, 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: 6:15 p.m.

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 6:15 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

Tuesday Atlanta Cycling Ladies Road Ride

When: 6:15 in September / 6:00 in October

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.

Special, Non-Recurring:

Conyers Horse Park MTB Group Ride

When: Sunday, November 12th, 2:00 p.m.

Open to: Sorellas, Fellas, and Friends

Leaves from: Georgia International Horse Park

Make plans to join Sorellas Lara Jean Richards and Kelly Gwin for a Sorellas, Fellas and Friends group ride at Conyers Horse Park. All levels of mountain bikers are welcome to join for a fun group ride with a 12 mile loop at a medium pace ~8mph. Option to do multiple loops. Helmet required. Please RSVP to the invite so Lara can know who to expect. Feel free to share the public event as well to invite non Sorellas and Fellas.


Sorella Membership Update

Remember, ladies can join or renew beginning on 10/1/17 using this link to secure their membership through the remainder of 2017 and all of 2018.


Sorella Board Position Available: Webmaster

Are you interested in being part of the Sorella Board of Directors? We are currently seeking a new website manager. If you have experience and you are interested in helping out, please contact our club president, Brittany Hopson Montgomery (Bhop) for more information.


Photo Roundup:


Featured Sorella Sponsor: Mountain Goat Adventures

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Founded by long time racer, Lisa Randall, Mountain Goat Adventures strives to provide memorable events that promote an active lifestyle and offer a great experience, new and exciting venues, reasonable event pricing, and a high level of organization. Mountain Goat Adventures also offers specialized coaching and private instruction in mountain biking, road cycling, cyclocross, adventure racing, navigation, and trail running.

Speaking of Sponsors....

Interested in tapping into our sponsors for a special event, freebies, or a learning opportunity? Please contact a board member for more information and to be connected to a sponsor to see if your event qualifies for special benefits.
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