Behind the Scenes
Turning the Cogs is run by Hetty Kingston and Wendy Ellis. The project was born from a passion to share our love of cycling and truly understand the barriers riders face when trying to show up to the start line of events.
Hetty Kingston (she/her)
Driven by data, Hetty is the founder of the independent research company Women in Adventure. She is passionate about positive change and focuses her work on improving the accessibility and inclusivity of the outdoors.
Putting research into action, Hetty works to build grassroots communities from the ground up. She is the director of the sell-out climbing festival Women’s Trad Festival and heads up the logistics for The World Relay. When not at her desk, Hetty is a passionate cyclist and one of the organisers of Peak Gravel Gang.
Wendy Ellis (she/her)
Wendy has 17 years of experience bringing about behavioural change through digital health innovation, by working directly with patients and physicians around the world, as well as driving digital transformation within global companies.
More recently, Wendy has taken an active role to help address imbalances for women and girls as an organising member of Women in Tech (Switzerland) and collaborating with a UK-based charity fighting period poverty for refugees. Away from work, Wendy is an avid ultra-cyclist, hiker and dotwatcher.
Turning the Cogs isn’t a solo effort – we believe in collaboration and behind the core team have an invisible peloton of support. Here are a few of the individuals who have helped get the cogs turning.
Vanessa Urschel (she/her)
I am a Canadian active transport advocate, and community organizer. I believe that the bicycle is the great enabler for ALL – linking needs of travel, self-sufficiency, exercise, and gear hauling while allowing connections to community and the environment. I have recently arrived in the UK, and am excited to be contributing to Turning the Cogs project and other active travel work taking place. Soon I will be headed to the start line of my first ultra bikepacking event, The Dales Divide.
Devin Cowens (she/her)
I’m a connector, advocate, community organizer, gravel cyclist and bikepacker. I manage Radical Adventure Riders ATL, a cycling and bikepacking community for trans, non-binary, femme, and women riders of all experience and skill levels. Biking and bikepacking brings me so much joy, and I’m humbled to be able to provide opportunity and access for folks to do the same.
I’m a freelance and doctoral researcher at Brunel University of London with over ten years of working in the physical activity sector. My research focuses on understanding the physical activity experiences, meanings and perceptions of diverse individuals to support more people in getting active and staying active. Cycling is a fantastic activity for health and wellbeing, so it’s important to gain a greater understanding to support people of all backgrounds to take part and enjoy the process too.
Turning the Cogs is so important to me because it’s going to provide the data and insight to show exactly what race providers can be doing to make their startlines more inclusive. It’s a real opportunity for people who have been previously left out of the conversation to share their experiences and needs, and I’m so excited to see what changes are made from the results.
Hannah Larbalestier (she/her)
I feel incredibly fortunate that cycling has provided me with so many opportunities, friendships, adventures and life skills. I feel strongly that these opportunities should be accessible to everyone, and I hope that by undertaking research to identify barriers to participation, we can implement changes to encourage and welcome more cyclists to be involved in events and communities.
Lily Poltock (she/her)
Rediscovering cycling has opened my world to so many new and incredible experiences, friends and joy that I didn’t know I could have. The shock on my mum’s face when she saw me grinning mid-race just consolidated that. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience what cycling has to offer for themselves so I jumped at the chance to help with Turning The Cogs!
Elle Linton (she/her)
Cycling was purely freedom during my teenage years before I could drive. I genuinely didn’t know adults rode bikes other than to commute… which is where it all started for me again, around 2013/14. I’ve been lucky, because most people find their love for cycling through family or friends who already ride… so those of us without those connections are less likely to get involved… So I’m making sure I’m not keeping my love of cycling to myself.
Anna-Lena Behringer (she/her)
Rediscovering and finding joy in cycling and outdoor sports, in general, gave me so much, in particular friendship and learnings for life. This is why I’d love to see as many people as possible discover this world for themselves, having access and feeling welcomed. But we have a deficit here, which we need to uncover backed up with data. Learning and understanding each other is the starting point to act.
Jess Fawcett (she/her)
I’ve personally gained so much from cycling – meeting amazing people, travelling to incredible places, all the while finding out what I’m capable of physically. So I was really excited about working on Turning the Cogs and being part of something that will ensure more folk experience the things I’ve been fortunate enough to experience through taking part in events.
Want to go the extra mile?
If you’d like to lend a hand or offer Turning the Cogs your support, please fill out the form below. Your details will only be used to contact you in relation to this.