Joined Sorella Forte in 2009
Let’s learn about one of our longtime members, national gold medal champion and coach Elaine Bothe @elainebbikes.
Elaine, who uses she/her pronouns, has been riding a bike since she was 4 years old. She came to racing after enjoying triathlons during and after college. She took up cyclocross in 2009, which led to her finding her passion: mountain biking.
As an experienced national-level racer, Elaine earned multiple age-group medals and high-level podium finishes, before earning a gold medal at mountain bike nationals—the only Sorella Forte member so far to earn the top national podium spot. Her adventurous spirit shines through with every encounter. She’s climbed the 11,249-foot peak of Mt. Hood and biked from Seattle to Portland in a day.
She transitioned to mountain biking in 2010, and in short order, advanced to a category 1 racer in short track. In 2012, she found her calling for mentoring through pre-ride clinics with Wenzel Coaching @wenzelcoaching. It’s with Wenzel that she discovered a true passion for helping others ride their best. During her work as a coach, she started racing enduro and downhill, where she earned several top-five finishes and became a certified mountain bike instructor.
Her first Sorella encounter was a rainy group ride in the early 1990s. She was riding on Cannondale wheels and got a nasty flat that took the group at least 20 minutes to change. She still remembers how patient her ride mates were that day. After that experience, she purchased a new wheelset, donned the Sorella Forte jersey and eventually got involved in team leadership. Serving in progressive positions on the board, Elaine started as a member-at-large, then member coordinator and finally as board president from 2013 to 2017.
Currently, Elaine enjoys riding in the woods while coaching almost full time.
She says that when she wins or does well in a race, that gives her a single smile. But when she helps others achieve and grow in the sport, her smile multiplies. She truly loves coaching, being an instructor and trainer to help spread the joy of biking.
- Elaine has a stash of lucky racing socks. They must have some red in the pattern to qualify as lucky.
- She enjoys working on her bikes and is fond of functional work tools.
- Elaine is a talented carpenter and has worked on remodeling two cabins.
- She’s a cat person. She hopes her next feline friend (her last was with her 19 years) will enjoy adventures and exploring in her van.
- Elaine has taught mountain bike classes at the indoor bike park, The Lumberyard, for years. Sadly, it is closing this fall.
- One of her favorite summer mountain bike/enduro race recommendation is the women-run, Sturdy Dirty. It’s full this year, but rumor has it they tend to get through the wait list pretty quickly. @sturdydirtyenduro
Is there a Sorella Forte member you’d like to see highlighted? Please contact us.