Mountain-biker, gravel rider, dog-mum (and now human-mum) with a mild leopard print obsession and a fierce commitment to getting more women riding bikes. Kelly-Jayne Collinge of Kell, Bell and Bikes is a long-time komoot ambassador, opting outside – in her words – “for the escapism it offers, meeting awesome folk, and banking some sweet memories.”
She didn’t always ride though… So how did someone who’s been known to coordinate her leopard print shoes, scrunchie, and shirt become the same person who loves riding so much she builds her own MTB trails?
As is often the case with new hobbies, it started with her husband, Aiken.
“My husband has ridden bikes all his life, and when I met him we spent a lot of time watching mountain bike films, and I went along to watch when he competed. I loved the community feel of something like this but had never thought of giving riding a go myself. After being with him for a year, an opportunity came up to have a ride at a trail center in Wales, and that was it really. I was hooked. I fell in love with mountain biking, used Instagram and Facebook to meet other people to ride with, and it took off from there.
Community and the people she meets through riding is a big part of why Kelly keeps pedaling, and a big part of why she loves komoot.
Gaining visibility in real life and through her Insta network, Kelly found herself joining forces with Cotic Bikes, and it wasn’t long before she began leading Cotic’s Women of Steel riders groups. As she explains, sharing the routes on komoot before each ride encourages women to take part as the detailed route profile gives them a taste of what they’re in for, which in turn gives them the confidence to come along.
Spreading the love of riding is high on her motivation list, but only because she loves the actual riding so much!
“All weathers, all routes, all smiles… I’m on the hunt for some nice flow and a bit of tech on some adrenaline-pumping descents with beautiful views. I love the feeling you get after you’ve sweated up some monster mountain and reached the top ready for the laugh back down.”
With over 4 years of riding experience now, Kelly is a verified expert, especially in her local area in Derbyshire, near the Peak District! In 2020 she clocked up the miles exploring her local trails and gravel roads, and she loves that she can share all her local intel with fellow riders on komoot:
“I love the Highlight feature and sharing the sweet local ‘hidden’ spots. When you engage with your local MTB community you can find out about where all the best spots are to ride, and I like to share that with new people coming to my local.”
Likewise, when planning rides in a new area, Kelly heads straight for the komoot Highlights. She says they help her get straight to the good stuff – good technical descents, a nice cafe spot. As she points out, it’s much better than showing up in some woods and then riding around for ages wondering where to find the singletrack everyone raves about.
But life isn’t all about hardcore singletrack for Kelly. Trail dog, Bell, is an important part of the team (Kelly’s blog is called Kell, Bell and Bikes), so she’s happy to mix things up with trails that are suitable for Bell. That is, shorter rides over less gnarly surfaces to protect Bell’s paws.
She also loves a good gravel ride, especially over the past year when a growing baby bump made it increasingly awkward to gun it down technical singletrack. But however much she enjoyed exploring local gravel in 2020, 2021 is a new year, with an entirely new adventure in store for Kelly!
Baby Atlas was born earlier this month, which pregnant Kelly described as “the greatest adventure… the biggest endurance event yet!”
Congratulations Kelly! Follow her on komoot to see how her riding-life evolves as she settles into parenthood.