Elaine Bothe killing it at Sturdy Dirty

Elaine Bothe | Sorella Forte member spotlight

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.

Elaine Bothe is a coach and former racer

Elaine Bothe, a national gold medalist, is a bad-ass mountain biker and a dedicated coach.

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.


Fun Facts

  • 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

Related Links

Ryan Leech Connection

Bike Instructor Certification Program

Wenzel Coaching

Is there a Sorella Forte member you’d like to see highlighted? Please contact us.

Julie Ann Smith and her husband have a little cycling fun on their wedding day.

Julie Ann Smith – Member spotlight

Our title sponsor, Julie Ann Smith of Blue Lake Oral Surgery, has a fun story.

Julie Ann Smith enjoys competing in cyclocross

One of Julie Ann Smith’s favorite types of races are cyclocross events.

Julie Ann (she/her) started cycling in her early 40s after years of distance running. She has not been a lifelong cyclist. Early on, she thought of cycling as far too dangerous, but her interest was piqued after she had some significant running related injuries and her doctor recommended an alternate sport. Julie Ann had to relearn how to ride since her last last bike ride was as a teenager. After purchasing a bike at River City Bicycles—a hybrid she later found too heavy for competing in triathlons—Julie Ann quickly upgraded to a faster and lighter road bike.

Like many in the Portland Metro community, she found out about Sorella Forte from River City Bicycles. She has been participating in Sorella’s Saturday intermediate rides for more than 10 years and credits the cycling community with bringing many wonderful people into her life. Prior to Sorella, Julie Ann also rode with teams Trailhead and Sweet Pea Ladies Auxiliary.

Today, Julie Ann is an avid racer and can be found racing the PIR series, time trials, cyclocross and mountain biking. Her most memorable race was a PIR on her 50th birthday when she raced while four months pregnant.

“I was dead last, but so proud,” she recalls.

Anyone who rides with Julie Ann quickly learns of her passion for the sport and eagerness to share the joy of cycling with others, including her 3-year-old, Katie, who has two bikes of her own.

Julie Ann Smith and her husband have a little cycling fun on their wedding day.

Julie Ann Smith with her husband on their wedding day. Notice her fantastic shoulder carry.

Fun Facts about Julie Ann
Joined Sorella Forte in July 2017
First organized ride: Portland Bridge Pedal
She’s also a swimmer.
First bike race: PIR on August 6, 2012. After a quick drafting lesson, Julie Ann shares, “I got last place in the novice men category, but it was FUN!”
Met her husband at her first cyclocross race.
Best meal after a ride? Burgerville. “A cheeseburger and fries after a cyclocross race, it’s become my tradition.”

Is there a Sorella Forte member you would like to see highlighted? Please contact us.