Hello everyone! My name is Jessica Strange (yes, that's my real name), I live in South Wales and I love mountain biking. If you asked me a few years ago if I wanted to ride a bike in the rain, mud, wind and get really cold... I would have said "yea... no thanks". I've never been a girly girl, but I'm a creature of comfort and I like to stay warm and dry.
I wanted a hobby that would have me outside, getting fit and having fun. Unknowingly living in a MTB Mecca, it didn't take long for me to get my first mountain bike in 2015.
When I started mountain biking, it was painful, tiring and uncomfortable. I didn't know my crank from my axle. But trail by trail, I started getting addicted to the rush of flying through a forest and the constant unease of possibly falling off. With each ride I felt myself getting better and a little faster, my fitness started to improve and I got a real buzz from it. I started brushing up on bike knowledge, maintenance, trail centres and kit. I became obsessed with all the magazines and forums and following great women like Manon Carpenter, Rachel Atherton and Katy Curd on social media sites.
I'm out on my bike as much as possible, come rain or shine. I've had some hefty falls, I've taken some superb coaching sessions, and although I'm a long way off from looking anything like a pro, I'm super passionate about the sport and especially encouraging more women to try it out and get involved.
Having virtually no female riding companions, in April 2015, I decided to set up the Velo Vie Ladies MTB group in South Wales. My new family has grown bigger than I ever imagined, and I feel so lucky to have a wonderful bunch of women to ride with. They are fun and encouraging and have totally made mountain biking even more enjoyable,... which I didn't think possible!
Wanting to give back to this amazing community led me to create this website. On Velo Me I will publish reviews, pro interviews, event coverage and general biking articles. I want to encourage more women to get on two wheels and fall in love with the dirt through sharing my experiences... the good, and the bad.
November 2015 was a big month for Velo Me. I became a proud ambassador for the amazing Madison Clothing who produce unbelievable women's kit. I was blown away when Strongher, the all discipline women's cycling platform, asked me to be an ambassador for them too. My international Shero family is supporting, encouraging and doing exciting things for women's riding.
My dreams came true in December 2015 when I began working for Total Women's Cycling, the largest website dedicated to women's cycling across all disciplines. I love being able to combine my passion with my career, and it's allowed me to help communicate with even more women about all things biking.
When I'm not out playing with bikes and getting caked in mud on the trails, I'm usually found smothered by my amazing cat, Gomez Thunderpaws. Yes, I'm a total cat lady and his shenanigans will probably crop up in posts. I love drinking tea, watching low-budget horror movies and all things biscuity.
I hope you enjoy Velo Me and I really want to hear back from you with comments and opinions. To get in touch, please use the contact form and I will do my best to reply as quickly as possible.
Ride safe, and ride like a girl!