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First Sorella Ride with Race Team (Gravel in Suches)

Kathleen Quinn | Published on 12/30/2021

Joining the Sorella race team is one of the BEST decisions I made in 2021 with a little nudge from fellow red headed Sorella Samantha. Samantha said one of the BEST parts of Sorella is they ride together. This is true and NOW I know.

Back in November I was bummed I couldn’t join the epic gravel ride Samantha posted to the race team. I realized it passed by my brother’s 2021 “labor of love” (Suches remodel aka Conor’s place). So, I posted to see if anyone was interested in doing this same route on the weekend. I immediately felt the LOVE with a few takers (Jennifer Klein, Saskia Hoppe, Karen Richardson, and Leigh Easter). On November 20th, we met at 9:30 for “wheels down” at 10 am. We layered up, checked tire pressure, and rolled at exactly 10 am!

New to gravel I needed a wheel to understand which line to take (technically). Not fully recovered from a broken hip in February, I was thankful for the wheel to draft as well. Everyone took turns pulling where it made sense and all very helpful with tips as well. Now, for the route details…

The Hardest Gravel Route Strava Could Find
(in Suches with the help of Greg Hancher)

Starting Address: 3971 Wolfpen Gap Road
Distance: ~45 miles
Climbed: ~4,682 feet
Time: Just over 4 hours
Stop: Coopers Creek Store @Mile 27
Category Climbs: 1 level 3 climb; 4 level 4 climbs

We started with paved rollers on Wolf Pen Gap Road and found gravel shortly after passing “2 Wheels of Suches”. Our first climb was Coopers Gap, followed by Appalachian Blue Ridge and then the toughest climb we conquered 😉 was Duncan Ridge. Lastly was Cooper Creek which was kind of like a mound in comparison to Duncan Ridge. Finally, we finished at Conor’s place and walked across the street to learn we had just missed lunch (11 – 2) at Bootleggers BBQ and it didn’t open again until 5 pm so we drove to Your Pie Pizza which accommodated all our food intolerances / allergies and was delicious!

I look forward to hosting Sorellas at Conor’s place. He only requests that you offer your ideas or suggestions on how to improve the property / experience. The property has 6 rooms with separate entries. All rooms have bathrooms and kitchenettes. There are outdoor grills that require charcoal, a fire pit, and a communal laundry. Thank you for the much-appreciated welcome ladies! I look forward to many more rides (and meals) with Sorella.