Annual Meeting Save the Date, Race Report, and More...

April, 2017

Save The Date!!!

It's Time for our Annual Meeting!

When:  Sunday May 7, 5:00pm

Where:  Eventide Brewing, 1015 Grant St SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Join us at our sponsor, Eventide Brewing, for our annual club meeting Sunday May 7 @ 5pm.  We'll have a recap of last year and announce exciting plans for 2017. Meet our fantastic sponsors and meet new faces.  

Complimentary great food and beverage (free Eventide glass and 6-6oz samples)!  Plus we'll have raffles, including 10 free entries to Hincapie Gran Fondo, 2 free entries to Six Gap Century, Cycliq camera lights and goodies from Atlanta Cycling. Plus each Sorella attending will get one of our new custom Sorella water bottles!  Friends can join at the meeting if they haven't already!

Note this is for Sorellas only this time -- we'll have other events that include the Fellas!

Sorella Farm to Table Cookbook, Now Available.


Remember the 2nd Sorella Farm to Bike event co-hosted by Julie Gazmararian and Kim Nelson that was held on February 5th?  Since that time, an amazing cookbook has been compiled of the recipes provided by the dozen or so Sorellas who participated in the event!  The recipes are tasty, “healthy” cycling energy (alternatives to pre-packaged) food that everyone can enjoy on (and off) the bike. The recipes now make up the first edition of the “Sorella Farm to Bike” cookbook, found here.  If you were unable to attend and have some favorite cycling energy/food treats you would like to share – please send on to Julie Gazmararian ( who will continue to update our cookbook.  We look forward to future farm to bike events!

Featured Sorella

Meet Ali LeCraw Smith

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

I am an Atlanta native living in Smyrna and have been selling residential real estate for the last 5 years. I love what I do because it gives me the opportunity to help people while giving flexibility to my schedule. I am recently married to an adventurous South African and a mother to a sassy 7 year old daughter and 1 year old rescue puppy-child. As far as hobbies, I don't leave room for much else besides family, work and cycling! I used to waterski competitively but have slowly moved into focusing my time just on the bike because I get so much out of it and it's much easier to do several times a week. I also love running trails with my dog and just hanging with my fam.


What made you decide to join Sorella?

My aunt Jody is a Sorella and for years I admired her passion for mountain biking and loved how she got so excited when she talked about racing. She always told me I'd love it, but I was intimidated and thought it was too "dangerous". I finally agreed to meet her and her husband, Sid, at Blankets Creek and although it was one of the toughest hours of my life, I fell in love with the sport right there on Dwellings trail!


Do you do Road, Mountain or Cyclocross?: 

I was a dedicated mountain biker until last September when a great road bike fell in my lap and now I love it as much as my full suspension. I look forward to a few road races this year to see how I fare. Also around that same time ours truly, Cambrie, convinced me to try a Cyclocross race and was so generous to let me borrow her bike for a few races. I finished 2nd place my first race so I am intrigued to see where that could take me as well. Basically I have split personality when it comes to choosing a bike discipline, but hope to focus mostly on mountain biking in 2017 as far as racing.


Types of bike(s) you ride:

Trek Fuel Ex full suspension for mountain

Specialized Amira Expert for road


Your Favorite place to ride:

Hard to choose. I love alternating between all the local trails such as Sope, Blankets and Allatoona. When we can, we love getting to N Ga and riding in Ellijay and Dahlonega. Chicopee is also a fave!

As for road, I love getting out on the backroads in Cartersville but also really enjoy riding the Buckhead loop with my buddies Emily, Sarah and Jennifer who have really caused me to fall in love with road riding. I have yet to get to the Gaps but I feel like it will soon be a favorite as well!


Your dream ride: 

For this year, I'd love to do a beautiful century ride- I have my eyes on one in Northern Cali but the one in Rome, GA also looks intriguing. As for Mountain, if I could accomplish the Fools Gold 60 and/or the Austin Rattler, I'd be a happy camper. For more long term, I'd love to ride parts of the Tour de France or some other epic scenic ride somewhere in Europe. A 100 mile mountain bike ride like Leadville would also be a lifelong goal. 


Biggest accomplishment on your bike: 

Although this race didn't go as expected, I still consider the Dr Evil Classic in South Africa an accomplishment because of what I took away from it. It was a 3 day mountain bike stage race in which my husband and I only did 1 day during our honeymoon last Sept. It was 47 miles and about 4,500 ft of painful elevation on subpar rental bikes. I thought I had trained and prepared for this, but boy was I so wrong. At about mile 30, I completely bonked. I'll never forget bending over on the peak of a beautiful mountain with 360 degree views of the most gorgeous scenery I had ever seen and vomiting my life away for what seemed like forever - while my new husband just put his hand on my back, trying to also stand as far away from me as possible. Terrible image!  Because I had never done more than a 3 hour mountain bike race, I completely underestimated the importance of fueling properly and getting nutrition during a race. Lesson learned!!! I'm now determined to do a long distance race and not lose 3 days worth of food in the process in 2017!


Why you love being a Sorella

 Too many reasons to list but above all, I love being around like minded women who are ambitious, love getting more out of life through cycling and are just all around positive and high energy. It is contagious to be around and the Sorellas definitely impact my life for the better.

Learning to Ride at the Velodrome

By Amy Plummer

Have you ever wanted to get certified at the Dick Lane Velodrome? Fellow Sorellas Maria Curmo, Emily Burrows, Saskia Hoppe, and I participated in the opening certification weekend of March 11th. Nerves were flowing as I was anticipating arriving at the track. I had no idea what to expect, and I had never even seen a track except on T.V., watching the Olympics. I was always hesitant to try, but it was on my cycling bucket list. Once we arrived at the track, we were introduced to Brian Sullivan (our coach), and we were fitted on our rental track bikes. Brian then did a brief orientation of what the certification would consist of over the weekend. There was a mix of about 25 people participating. Then we practiced on the track bike. No gears and brakes...was a little nerve racking at first and a learning curve for Maria and me as we had never been on a track bike. For us, the first day was just acclimating to the bike. For Saskia and Emily, it came naturally as they had been on fixies before. On the final day of certification, I told myself on the way to the track that I was going to own it. I practiced around the "apron," the flat part of the track where you get on and off. I finally got on the track and LOVED it. We then did some drills including track-specific race skills such as pace lining, standing starts, and wall starts, as well getting comfortable with the bankings in the track. Brian is an excellent coach, and I highly recommend that you get certified whether you would like to race or are looking for a different training/workout activity. 

For more information on the Dick Lane Velodrome and certification clinics, please visit:

2017 GAPs Ride Series

Sponsored by Atlanta Cycling / Cycleworks

Have you ever wanted to ride the gaps but were afraid of those big climbs?  Well this year our sponsor, Atlanta Cycling / Cycleworks is offering a 10-session series to get you familiar with the terrain. At the end of the series you'll be ready to participate in the 3Gap50 or the 6Gap100, held in the fall.

Join Mark Gernazian from Cycleworks as he leads riders of ALL LEVELS.  These GAP rides are NO-DROP. Riders will regroup at the top of each climb throughout the year. The typical front gap 34 mile ride takes 2.5 to 3.0 hours to complete. That includes two to three stops along the way. Rides become longer as the series progresses. The first five months are spent riding the front three Gaps. Then riders will begin riding the back three Gaps and all 6 Gap rides during the last three months, leading up to the 3/6 Gap event at the end of September.

Expect your pace to be 3-4 mph slower than your local ride pace.

Rides begin at 8 am now, and move to 7:00 or 7:30 when the weather warms up.

Here are the remaining dates:
1.      April 22
2.      May 20
3.      June 24
4.      July 8
5.      July 22
6.      Aug 5
7.      Aug 19
8.      Sept 16

Contact for more information. All rides begin at the Rock Pile located at the intersection of Hwy 60 and Hwy 19 about 10 miles north of Dahlonega, Ga.  (Here is some history about the Stone Pile as well as directions).

Race Report:  TOSH, Union City Mayor's Race, and Ga Tech Cycling Race

By Jennifer Klein and Angela Barros

The Sorella road race season kicked off March 3-5 at the Tour of the Southern Highlands Stage (ToSH) Stage race in Woodstock and Ball Ground, Ga. Our Cat 2 racers Barb Stella and Dawn Hill hung with the pros in an impressively fast criterium around several blocks of downtown Woodstock Friday night.

Saturday morning we were in lobster mitts in 28 degree wind at our 7:30 time trial start, impossible to even warm up.  The circuit race followed, with little elevation change to break up the tight packs, but Ali Lecraw Smith pulled out the sprint to podium for Cat 4/5 in her first road race with Katie Hamlin right behind. Nice to have new racer Eleanor Adams out on Saturday as well. Continued...


Race Report: Southern Cross

Jean on Jones Creek Dam Trail                                                       Jean After the Podium
Photo Credit: Dashing Images                                                          Photo Credit: Dashing Images

By Jean Miller, Race Team Director

The journey to this mountainous gravel race started last June when I decided to get back into racing shape and slam my training plan in to action with a weekly ride in the mountains. Sorella President, Brittany Montgomery (AKA BHop), agreed to join me for a recon of most of the Southern Cross route. After a fair amount of whining about climbing Winding Stair (both of us) BHop proceeded to leave me in the dust, literally, for the rest of the ride. What the heck? I vowed to never feel that slow and tired on those gravel roads again.


Southern Cross course winds through the gravel roads of North GA

Fast forward through the summer and cross season, I found myself in much better shape. I started riding in the mountains on a regular basis to prepare for Southern X. Initially, my goal was to finish without feeling totally depleted, hopefully in the top 50% of racers. However, after winning the Women’s 40+ Category the weekend before at Assault on Currahee Mountain, I started feeling the pressure to podium again at Southern Cross, a more mountainous terrain with a deeper field of women racers. Continued....


Membership Update

Welcome new members and renewals!

Our membership has grown to 186, thanks to the New and Renewing Members listed below.   


New:  Libby Harris, Denise Murray, Katie Vinyard, Lauren Haws, Nathalie Fisher, Caroline Billon and Christine Relf


Renewals:  Rhonda Cook, Tina Evans, Shiona Eisenhauer, Natalie Naylor, Julie Chahboune, Debbie Powell, Lindsey Owings, and Linda McLean


It is so fun to see smiling ladies wearing our kits all over town!  Thanks to each one of you for your part in making Sorella Cycling a well-respected club throughout the Southeast! 


Photo Round Up

The Sorella/Cycleworks Beginner Mountain Bike Clinic had a great turnout on March 19th!

Eleanor Adams rocked the top spot in the women's sports class after a dirty race in the GoNuts Nutty Pig Grinder!      

Jean Miller and Linda Rathje participated in Rubbin is Racing.. Who doesn't love a race with checkpoints and beer?!
Sorella masters racers Kim, Jennifer and Susan checked out the road race course for the USA Cycling Masters championship race to be held in the Augusta area in June.  Bring home the gold ladies!
Sorellas (and a fella) enjoying a brisk day on the Silver Comet Trail riding from the Caboose to Brushy Mountain tunnel during the monthly club ride.
Dawn Hill and Barbora Stella at the front of the pack during the ToSH Circuit Race.

Wednesday Evening Womens Buckhead Road Ride

Meets at: 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 

Monthly Silver Comet Trail Ride at the Caboose

When: Sunday, April 23rd, 2017
Ready to Ride @ 2PM
Open to: Sorellas, Fellas and Friends 
Leave From: Hiram Caboose 531 Seaboard Ave Hiram, GA 30141  Plan for extra travel time if you have never been to the Caboose. It can be tricky to find.

Join Sorella Ride Coordinator Angela Travis Barros as we lead a ride on the Silver Comet Trail from the Paulding Caboose trail head in Hiram, GA headed out toward the big tunnel/Rockmart.

Bring a Fella and/or a friend! The ride will split into several different groups for desired distance (20 to 45 miles) and pace so we encourage everyone to join us.

RSVP on facebook

Tuesday Atlanta Cycling Ladies Road Ride

Meets at: 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 at

NOTE: We are looking for a sweeper(s) and ride leaders for this ride.  This is a great way to support women's cycling.  If you can help us out, contact Angela Barros.

Tuesday Ladies Beginner Rides 

Option 1:
Meets at: 
6:15 pm  (last date  April 4th) 
Open to: Sorellas and Friends 
Leaves From: Chattahoochee National Recreation Area, Parking Lot at Johnson Ferry and Columns Drive

Join ride leaders Amy Plummer and Mary Jo Falvey for a 15 - 20 mile ride on a flat road with a wide shoulder.  We will be covering bike handling skills, riding in a pace line, rules of the road for cyclists, and how to stay safe.  These rides will prepare new riders to join the Tuesday evening ladies ride at Atlanta Cycling Vinings in April.

RSVP to Mary Jo 

Option 2:
Emily Burrows, Club Vice-President can work with individuals on parts of the Atlanta Cycling course during the mornings - if that suits your schedule better.  Contact Emily for more information.

Saturday Ladies Beginner Rides

Meets at: First Saturday of the Month at 9 am
Open to: Beginner Riders - 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.  The dates and locations of the remaining rides will be:

  • April 15th am Riverside Park - Roswell, Ga
  • May 6th 9 am Silver Comet Trail- Smyrna Bikes Location
  • June 3rd 9 am Stone Mountain Park
Questions? Contact Amy Plummer
  • Start a ride near you by putting the word out on our private club Facebook page.  If you would like to lead or post a ride, please contact Angela Barros.
  • You can also visit Southeastern Cycling's Website to learn about rides and events throughout the southeast.  The site was founded (and is maintained by) club member Trish Albert.

Featured Sponsor:

Eventide Brewing was formed out of friendship and a love of good beer.  Nathan, Haley, and Geoffrey all met at Georgia Southern, and later on began to experiment with homemade pickles, mustard, cheese, and beer. Nathan and Geoffrey’s first batch of beer was brewed on a “Mr. Beer” kit. Shortly after realizing they needed to upgrade, Nathan fabricated a three kettle brew system, which is still used to create our test brews today. Mathew joined the team a few years later after being introduced to the group through one of Haley’s close friends. The combination of everyone’s background and talents has allowed us to build this company from the ground up, become closer friends, and craft award winning beer. We are very happy to call Atlanta home and to provide this great city with offerings that will really show what “Craft” can be. To us, great doesn’t have to be complicated.

Eventide will be the site of our annual meeting on May 7th!

Follow Eventide on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter:
Twitter:  @eventidebrewing
IG:  Eventide Brewing

Visit for more information.

Calling All Sorellas

Help Spread the Word.  Our mission is to foster a supportive, open environment for women to ride for fitness, recreation and racing. Do you have a friend or acquaintance who may be interested in joining our club? We accept new members year round.  Forward this email to a cycling friend. And click here to join!
Copyright ©2016, Sorella Cycling, Inc., All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Sorella Women's Cycling
PO Box 535
Decatur, GA  30031

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Sorella Cycling, Inc. · PO box 723413 · Atlanta, GA 30339 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp