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Q&A with our friend Kelly

Q&A with our friend Kelly

Meet our friend Kelly, Ornot

One doesn’t just “meet” Kelly. One gets the Kelly experience. A bundle of genuine energy and curiosity crossed my path at DCCX in 2019 (a classic east coast Cyclo-cross race). “Are you going to win today, ORNOT”, with the biggest grin. Only two years into her bike racing journey, Kelly attacked the weekend with tons of energy, both racing and heckling (cheering) for everyone on a bike. Since then, whenever our paths cross, it’s guaranteed to be positive, mutually uplifting and full of our doctor recommended ORNOT jokes. In the summers, Kelly rips crits and in the fall and winter, she’s progressed to the racing cyclocross at the Elite/UCI level, even dipping her toes into European Cross. Quite the journey from the Cat 4/5 rider I met in 2019.

First things first, what's the backstory on the foam picture?

Last summer, I got to spend a couple of perfect days in Maple Creemee Country and rode Rooted Vermont with some pals! At the end of the course there's one final kicker and the folks from Rasputitsa made a foam pit to ride through. I pointed my nose toward the deepest part I could find and tore through it. What I didn't think about was the singletrack section that came right afterwards and the soapy foam basically made my brakes useless. I guess they just slow you down anyway and I sent it down through the finish.

Tell us more about yourself, where do you live and what do you do for work?

I live in Philadelphia and I run a small non-profit that educates about the need for alcohol regulation. Too much is a bad idea (hi Prohibition didn't work) and too little leads to a whole bunch of issues. States gotta find the right balance that works for their citizens.

What kind of bikes do you like to ride?


What sparked your passion for cycling?

Initially I loved how much easier it was to commute around DC when I moved there after college. Then after getting a bike with gears I got to explore even further afield and loved that. It's incredible to see how far your legs can take you and the pace allows you to take in so many things you'd miss if you were driving, or would never see because there's absolutely no way I'm running 80 miles.You wake up and find out work was canceled, where will we find you riding?

You wake up and find out work was canceled, where will we find you riding?

If it's cold: most likely mountain biking to avoid gusty winds. If it's not cold: big road/gravel noodle with a bakery or tasty treat stop along the way.

You just finished up a long ride, what’s your guilty pleasure post-ride meal?

No guilt felt: Indian food and a ginger seltzer.

Aside from riding your bike, what other sports and activities are you into or did you do in the past?

I played competitive soccer for 10 years and then pretty much every sport my school offered in high school. It was a small school so I ended up playing 2 and sometimes 3 sports a season so we could field a team. Had to get my yayas out I guess!

I was ~really~ bad at golf, but it got me out of a lot of class my senior year so I was sold pretty easily on the idea of joining the team.

You've been riding in Ornot gear for a while, what are some of your favorite pieces?

Any and all of the thermal jerseys: micro grid, grid thermal, merino grid. They're all the perfect weight that can be layered (Ornot) and I'm a huge fan.

Do you actually enjoy riding up hills, Ornot?

When I finally got a power meter, I started to like hills more. I started not blowing myself up in the first 3 seconds by surging up the first bit of it. Technology, huh?

And in theory, you get a sick descent after a long climb so that's cool.

What’s the longest ride you ever did, and would you do it again?

Time or distance?

Time: Strava says 7.5 hours during a ride up into New Jersey and back home. Would do again, route needs some work.

Distance: 106 miles. If I recall correctly, this one was powered by some classic gas station food cyclist stops. Would do again, definitely.

What’s your favorite local go-to ride?

This one is a good one, Ornot. Pit stop at the Buttery is always a great choice. Then you get to turn your brain off and cruise back home on the path for the last little bit of the route.