Sorella Forte Membership Give and Get

Being a member of Sorella Forte has numerous benefits: camaraderie of a great group who share a passion for cycling, access to Sorella training rides and clinics, race mentoring, a team kit, race fee reimbursement and sponsor product discounts. Membership also means giving back to the cycling community through volunteering and leading rides. Below are descriptions of what you get for being a member of Sorella Forte and what we expect of you to give back.

Annual Club Meeting

We know it is difficult for busy folks to find time to attend club meetings. That’s why we only have one official “club meeting” a year, usually in January. We strongly suggest you make every attempt to attend. Beyond that, we’ll keep you posted on important club matters via our Groups.io channels (set up as emails or digests) throughout the year.

Bike Shop Sponsor [Note that due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, RCB discounts have been suspended until further notice]

River City Bicycles (RCB) is our bike shop sponsor. As a first-year member or Member in Good Standing (MIGS), you are eligible for a club discount card that entitles you to a 15% discount on most products. Discounts on bikes vary, so please check with RCB for specifics. Please respect our sponsor’s wishes and abide by their rules. Also, be discreet when showing the discount card when making purchases. Your current card expires January 31 of each year.

Wenzel Coaching

If you are interested in coaching and/or training plans for bike racing, triathlon, cyclocross, running or general fitness, we get a discount from Wenzel Coaching. Discounts range from 15-25% depending on the level of service. See the website for more information or contact Sorella member Rhonda Morin or Elaine Bothe.

Gracie’s Wrench

Gracie’s Wrench offers club members opportunities to expand their knowledge, confidence and independence with our bicycles. Owner Tori Bortman offers periodic free group sessions to Sorella Forte members and a 15% discount on tune-ups, introduction to maintenance, basic review and wheel-building classes.  Individual project time is also discounted from $50 per hour to $40 per hour.  See her schedule of classes.  Contact Tori Bortman.

Member Conduct

We value our sponsors and we expect that members act in accordance to sponsor requirements (see the back of the membership card) and Member in Good Standing rules (see below). If members act irresponsibly toward the sponsors, at events or when representing the club or team, members risk the loss of privileges and removal from the club or team at the board’s discretion.

Club Communications

We rely almost entirely on Groups.io for all club communication (training rides, upcoming meetings, clinics, race reports, and announcements). PLEASE make sure you are signed up and are automatically receiving notification of new posts. We highly recommend you choose to receive the emails individually rather than in digest form due to delay in receiving the latter. If you need assistance, please ask us.

Club Rides

We offer club rides on a regular basis. Watch for Sorella Groups.io for details about the rides. You also have the option of joining the River City Women’s ride every Saturday at 9 a.m. (10 a.m. in the winter). Sorella Forte is contracted by RCB to lead these rides . We often need leaders and/or co-leaders as these groups can get rather large. The bonus is that ride leaders and sweep riders MIG credit ($25  store discount option is on hold during ongoing COVID pandemic)

Ride/Race Reimbursement

We encourage members—novice and experienced—to take part in organized community rides or races.  Assuming you are eligible* the club will reimburse eligible members’ entry fees (amount varies year to year) for organized community rides or races.  You must be wearing a current team kit during the ride to receive reimbursement.

Membership Eligibility: Be a Member in Good Standing (MIG)

To be eligible for most team benefits, you must be a “member in good standing.” To retain your many sponsorship benefits past your first year of membership, you must perform a minimum of two “MIG” activities. Additional benefits, such as ride/race fee reimbursement, are awarded members with four or more MIGS. The following lists what it takes to be a member in good standing with Sorella Forte:

  • Pay yearly membership dues and submit (annually) the membership application and ride release form.
  • Sign up with our Groups.io and join all subgroups to receive all club communication (training rides, meetings, clinics, events, ride/race reports).
  • Wear team kit at races, rides and club training rides. If racing, out of respect for our sponsors, you must wear the “most current” team kit.
  • Act in a sportsperson-like manner at recreational and competitive events when representing or in a Sorella Forte kit.
  • When representing Sorella Forte or in Sorella Forte kit in person or online (e.g., email and social media), do not act a in racist or sexist manner. Call out racist and sexist acts when observed (e.g., confront and report).
  • You shall not endanger the safety of yourself, teammates, or others in a race and/or during a team/club ride. Wear a helmet every time you ride a bike, and follow the rules of the road. 
  • Wear a face covering (if mandated by State or local governments) when in Sorella Forte kit and/or on organized team rides.
  • You cannot represent another team or club while you are an active Club member of Sorella Forte utilizing the Club’s benefits. If you choose to affiliate with another club, you are required to take a leave of absence from Sorella Forte. At the time of your leave, you’ll forfeit all Club benefits such as, but not limited to, sponsor discounts, RCB discount card-holding status, and the wearing of the Club’s uniform at races and events. The Board of Directors reserves the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
  • We value our sponsors and we expect that members act in accordance to sponsor requirements (see the back of the membership card) and Member in Good Standing rules. If members act irresponsibly toward the sponsors, at events or when representing the club or team, members risk the loss of privileges and removal from the club or team at the board’s discretion.

Ways to “Earn Your MIGS”

  • Volunteer: All members are encouraged to perform volunteer duties, and if you would like, you may either lead club rides, volunteer with Sorella or other bicycling events, or some of each. Watch for Groups.io emails for details on events and opportunities. If you need suggestions or want to get involved, please reach out to Amy Holmes at amymaeholmes@gmail.com.
  • Lead Saturday RCB Ride: We often need leaders for these club rides (or co-leaders/sweep as these groups can get rather large, especially in the summer). When you’re ready, volunteer to lead a ride! Our board president Linda Watts (orbeagray@gmail.com) can help you strategize a route and provide tips on leading if you’d like, just let her know if you are interested. You must wear your Sorella jersey, and write up a ride report and post to Groups.io. And finally, be sure to take a photo or two and send it + a description/caption to lisacongdon@gmail.com for posting on Instagram/Facebook.

  • Lead Other Rides: You may lead a ride from any start location any time. We encourage you to start from one of our sponsor’s locations when possible. Just announce your ride, post it on the Groups.io Calendar, and be there! After the ride, simply email a ride recap to the group.

  • Annual Club Meeting. Our one official club meeting happens near the end of January. At that meeting we enjoy potluck dishes, connect with each other, share our personal cycling goals, get our renewed membership cards, and vote on new board members. We strongly suggest you make every attempt to attend—it’s the only “mandatory” event of the year, *and* you earn a MIG.

  • Attend a ride leader training
  • Attend a virtual training
  • Host or attend a happy hour or Town Hall
  • Instruct, host, or attend a bicycle-related clinic
  • Help a board member
  • Attend an OBRA or USAC Official training program
  • Volunteer for Sunday Parkways
  • Volunteer for MTB trail builds
  • Volunteer for something else cycling related, or volunteer in the community with members of Sorella Forte

Club Duality

A Club member may not represent another team or club while they are an active club member of Sorella Forte utilizing the club’s benefits. If a club member does choose to affiliate with another club, the rider is required to take a leave of absence from Sorella Forte. At the time of rider leave, rider will forfeit all club benefits such as, but not limited to, sponsor discounts, RCB discount card-holding status, and the wearing of the club’s uniform at races and events. The Board of Directors reserves the right to make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Officers / Board Members / Contacts

We’re doing our best to make this club fun and relevant to your cycling needs. Feel free to contact us with questions or concerns.

We are governed by a volunteer board of directors. For 2021, they are:

Linda Watts, president
Julia Sperry, secretary
Jodee Varney, treasurer
Jenny Walsh, membership coordinator
Natasha Salemme, member at large
Lisa Congdon, social media coordinator
Emilie Portell, member at large/communications focus

See you on the road!