Piece of cake

Sorella Forte members got down to business during the 2017 OBRA road race opener in Aurora, Ore., on March 19. Piece of Cake this year was, well, a piece of cake for Heather and Sarah. The skies cleared, allowing for a dry race. 

Piece of Cake was my first race, in my first racing season. I raced category 4/5, which also included masters 3/4/5. The pace on the first lap was moderate similar to most group rides. The course had a couple of short hills. I was relieved that I did not have any problem keeping with the pack up and over those hills. The pace quickened on the second lap as did the frequency and distance of the attacks. I wasn’t gaining any ground, but I didn’t lose any either. About two-thirds of the way around the second lap, the leaders made a strong effort to break away. I fell back a bit, but finally gained back the ground. Then the group slowed to a puzzlingly slow pace for the remainder of the second lap. The race was definitely back on during the third and final lap. I kept up and even rode toward the front for a bit. About one-third of the way through the final lap, one of the lead riders took off like we were all standing still. No one was able to catch her. She time-trialed the rest of the race. Those who tried to catch her grew tired, but allowed us to catch the second break in short order. The pace in the pack kept getting faster the closer we got to the finish. About 3 km from the finish, I could no longer keep up and dropped from the lead riders. Overall, I finished in the middle. Not too bad for my first race. I’m looking forward to the next race – the Gorge Roubaix. I hope to have some Sorella company. It was a bit lonely out there with no teammates to ride with.

~ Race report by Heather Simmons

Gorge Roubaix Road Race and Gravel Grinder

The Gorge Roubaix Road Race is on!

photo by Gary Medley

Mark you calendars for Saturday April 1st, 2017. Thanks to everyone who reached out to Breakaway Promotions to offer their time to volunteer at the event. Also a huge thanks to Evoluation Racing, Portland Velo and the Bicycle Attorney and other racing teams for their financial contributions in helping to make this event happen, as well as Castelli. Registration will open the Friday before at 5 p.m.

The course andstaging will be the same as last year utilizing the historic highway between The Dalles and Mosier as we well as the local favorite Dry Creek Road gravel climb.

The race offers Masters Men 40+, CAT 3/4 Men’s Race, CAT 1-2 Men’s Race, CAT 4-5 Men’s race, CAT 1-3 Women’s race and CAT 4 women’s race.

A Gorge Gravel Grinder will be the one and only event for Sunday. This year’s Gorge Gravel Grinder will be a mass start event that is timed and scored. We will break down the categories and offer prizes. Courses will be more challenging than nearly all road races in the Northwest this year. We will offer discounts to anyone who wants to double down that weekend and race Saturday and Grind on Sunday.

A huge thanks to those who stepped up to make this happen.
Chad Sperry
Breakaway Promotions

women's cycling team in Portland Oregon Vancouver Washington

2017 Annual Member Meeting

women's cycling team in Portland Oregon Vancouver WashingtonStrong Sisters!

Sorella Forte held its annual meeting on Saturday, January 28, 2017. Thank you to everyone who attended. Your commitment to this group is appreciated.

For those who were not in attendance, we had a few board spots to fill, introductions of new sponsors, a gift certificate from one of the new sponsors to give away and the most important reason to get together: the crowning of Queen Badass.

Board elections

Trish’s membership coordinator term was up and she decided not to run again, and Elaine’s term as president had also come to a close and she decided to make way for another to leader. Heather and Sarah chose to renew their commitment to the board for two more years and were re-elected in the roles of member at large and team captain. Newly elected to the board was Kim as the membership coordinator. She will retain her role as apparel manager. I (Linda) ran and was elected as president. Janet ran and was elected to the volunteer coordination position, which I vacated. Your new board is now:

Linda Watts, president
Susan Koonce, treasurer
Aleson MacFarlane, secretary
Heather Simmons, member at large
A second member at large/ride coordinator
Sarah Brown, team captain
Kim Flier, membership coordinator/apparel Manager
Janet Gillis, volunteer coordinator

Sponsorship news

Fully – my employer – joined us as a sponsor about six months ago. West Portland Physical Therapy has also signed on. This is Trish’s employer. Visit West Portland Physical Therapy for all your physical therapy needs and then come see me for an awesome ergonomic office desk. We welcome them both to our club.

Metolius Tea will be the newest in-kind sponsor. If you are looking for the tea, go to Nossa Familia espresso bar to order some or visit your local natural food store.

Member in good standing

We encourage you to volunteer throughout the year as a member of Sorella. To earn your Member in Good Standing (MIGS) points, you can lead a ride (not the RCB Saturday ride), volunteer at races (Short track, Alpenrose, Cherry Pie), do trail work with NWTA. We ask you to complete a minimum of four MIGS per year.

Our team captain, Sarah, attended the annual OBRA meeting and recapped it for us. One of OBRA’s requests this year is to train more officials. If you’re interested, join them on February 11, at Mazamas in NE Portland. Training to become an OBRA official is a MIG-worthy event. So take advantage of this opportunity.

New member Jennifer is our social media diva. Please send her photos and information on your adventures and events and she will post to our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to include Rhonda on the email so she can posted to Sorella’s website. Got a blog? Forward that to Rhonda and earn a MIG. You can find those emails on our Yahoo account.

We had a raffle for a bike fit/running analysis from West Portland Physical Therapy. Congratulations to Jamie Reed for winning the raffle.

Rides & get involved

We now have a meetup group for rides. Post rides, invite friends and have a great time. Saturday River City Rides will continue to be posted on our email list. If you haven’t joined the meetup group, I encourage you to do so. The Sorella Forte Meetup Group is worth telling your friends about.

We are currently in search of a ride coordinator. The coordinator doesn’t necessarily lead a ride every week; instead, she coordinates ride leaders. Sounds easy, right? The current ride coordinator says that with the new meetup group, this position is a whole lot easier. Please contact Jamie, Susan or me on email to answer your questions.

Queen Badass

Queen Badass for 2016 went to someone who rode and ran her heart out last year, by doing time trials, century rides, mountain bike races and volunteering for events. A lot of power packed into a small package. I am proud to announce that the 2016 Queen Badass is Robin Yakhour! Congratulations Robin. You will wear the sash and tiara well.

I’d like to thank both Elaine and Rhonda for serving as past club presidents. You both have been excellent role models and a huge inspiration to me, both on and off the bike. I am proud to follow in your footsteps and hope to serve the club to my fullest abilities.

If anyone has any questions regarding the club – or bikes – I am happy to help. Got a new sponsor? Tell me. Need help with MIGs? I’m the one to ask. Want to learn how to adjust your squeaky brakes? I’ve got you covered.

Thank you for entrusting the future of Sorella with me and the 2017 board. We hope to do you all proud. I’ll see you on the road and trails in 2017.

Linda Watts

Thinking about spring

McKenzie Pass Ride

Generally in May, Sorellas gather for a car-free ride on McKenzie Pass. The mountain pass in the Cascade Range in central Oregon. It is located at the border of Linn and Deschutes counties, approximately 20 miles from Bend.


Meet the Team Ride

Bakery PNG LogoWe are holding a Meet the Team ride for women only from St. Honore Bakery’s Division street location on May 14.

Two rides – a shorter ride and a longer ride. This ride is free.

Both rides will leave St. Honore Bakery’s Division street location and swing by River City Bikes to meet that group ride at 9 a.m. Then we’ll ride to the St. Honore Bakery located on Thurman street.

From there, the longer ride will head toward toward the Lake Oswego St. Honore Bakery location, while the shorter ride will take another route. Both rides will swing by River City Bikes at the end of their ride.

When: Saturday, May 14
Where: Meet at 3333 SE Division St, Portland
When: Ride leaves at 8:45 a.m.

Download the flyer

McKenzie Pass Ride

Saturday May 28, 2016

McKenzie Pass Illustration(433W)Ride one of Oregon’s most scenic mountain pass roadways while it is closed to cars.

The women of the Sorella Forte Cycling Club invite all of our cycling sisters to join us for an out-and-back, recreation-paced group ride up to the McKenzie Pass Observatory. Help us fill the road with dozens of women riders!

Our goals:
Promote women’s cycling
Strengthen relationships among women’s cycling clubs and teams
Build awareness of leadership and mentoring opportunities

Ride Details
Ride Start: The Sister’s Coffee House
Start Time: Arrive at 9:30 a.m. and start to ride at 10 a.m.
Post Ride: Stay in Sisters to have lunch and participate with the Sister’s Stampede cross-country mountain bike race and events. Travel to Bend for the Bend Don’t Brake Road Race.
For further information call Heather: 503-302-6524
Download the flyer

Ride and Unwind on the Joyride

A Cycle Oregon Event for Women

Joyride in Willamette Valley

Joyride. Stoller Family Estates(650)Grab your friends, daughters, sisters, and moms and escape to the countryside! Whether you’re a newbie or veteran rider, we hope you’ll join us for Cycle Oregon’s first annual one-day event celebrating women on bikes.

Register at Cycleoregon.com

Download the flyer

Mountain bike skills clinics

Spring is here and it’s mountain bike time!

Coach Elaine Bothe demonstrates proper form on the trail.

Coach Elaine Bothe demonstrates proper form on the trail.

Sorella Forte president and Wenzel coach Elaine Bothe and associate coach Rhonda Morin team up to lead a series of mountain bike clinics starting in March.

March 19, 2016 – Advanced clinic, Sandy Ridge Trail System, Brightwood, Oregon

March 26, 2016 – Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced clinics, Cascade Locks EasyCLIMB Trail System, Cascade Locks, Oregon

April 2, 2016 –   Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced clinics, Sandy Ridge Trail System, Brightwood, Oregon

Click here for details

Club Meeting

Our annual meeting is on Jan 31, 2016, at The Lumberyard Bike Park.

Sorella ClubRiding and lessons hosted by Elaine in the afternoon starting around 3:00 p.m. with a total newbie orientation walking tour and riding skills at 4 p.m. Meeting starts at 6 p.m.

This will not be a full potluck this year. Depending on attendance, we will provide some pizza both regular and gluten-free and hummus and veggies. Feel free to bring a sweet snack to share. Additional pizza, salads, mac-n-cheese and other yumminess, as well as soft drinks, beer, cider and wine will be available for purchase.

Bike parking is allowed inside, if someone wants to lead a road ride prior. Feel free to park at The Lumberyard and ride from there.

Elections: We have a board of 8 members, each term is 2 years and we alternate years depending on the position so we are never turning over the entire board in the same year. Our current board includes:

Elaine Bothe, President
Susan Koonce, Treasurer
Linda Watts, Volunteer Coordinator
Aleson McFarlane, Secretary
Sarah Brown, Club Captain
Trish Jilot, Membership Coordinator
Elsa Bro, Member at Large
Heather Simmons, Member at Large

The positions of treasurer, volunteer coordinator, secretary and member at large are up for re-election this year. Each is a two-year term.

Susan, Linda and Aleson are excited about re-running for their positions. Also, Sheri “Cyclenoodle” and Patti are interested in running for Member at Large position. If you want to be involved, know that our board meets four times a year and all members are welcome. Plus, we can always use board helpers, so let us know your interest. Being a helper is a great way to get fulfill your member in good standing (MIG) requirement.

Got old gear? Want new old gear?

Bring yours to trade at the meeting. Leftovers will be donated to Community Cycling Center.

Pactimo Fit Kit will also be available for members to try on during the meeting.

Cyclocross Highlights from 2015

There was dust and hot temps in the early ‘cross season that changed to rain, then sticky mud, then everybody’s favorite: PIR’s peanut butter mud! 2015 was a fun season. Come on out and join us in 2016!

Bonnie pushing through the peanut butter at PIR, Nov. 2015.

Bonnie pushing through the peanut butter at PIR, Nov. 2015.

Bonnie, Kim and Susan enjoy mixing mud with afternoon sun for a beautiful complexion.

Bonnie, Kim and Susan enjoy mixing mud with afternoon sun for a beautiful complexion.

Bonnie's first podium!

Bonnie’s first podium!

Rhonda feeling the pain at a Grand Prix CX race in 2015.

Rhonda feeling the pain at a Grand Prix CX race in 2015.

Rhonda packs  like a Pro for cyclocross.

Rhonda packs like a Pro for cyclocross.