About Me

About Vanessa Ruck, The Girl On A Bike

The Girl On A Bike, About Vanessa Ruck

Vanessa Ruck is a TEDx & award winning motivational speaker, motorcycle racer and adventurer, rally driver, content creator and presenter – 460k+ followers

Born and raised in England. I’m a go-getter, a chase-your-dreams kind of girl.  I grew up in the great outdoors, getting muddy and messing around keeping fit with horses and quad-bikes and always up to mischief.

Girl motorcycle rider UK vanessa ruck the girl on a bike
Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike

At 18 I flew the nest to find my place in the world, university, masters degree, first job. Life took a turn in 2014 when I was hit by a red light jumping car, and since that day I’ve made it my goal to make the most out of life, and to also help others do the same.

My escapism has always been through sports, whether that’s kite surfing, snowboarding or mountain biking, it’s always been about getting physical, but the accident changed that and motorbikes came into my world. They’ve swiftly become my favourite form of adventure; the open road, the power, the ability to simply disappear into the unknown and travel the world.

I started @TheGirlOnABike when bed bound after my 3rd surgery following the accident, the first on my hip, and decided that I needed something positive to channel my energy into. Since this day I have continued to share my journey with you, but not just the happy days you expect on social media. I’ve also tried hard to be real, showing the down days, the days you have to find all your inner strength to even just get out of bed.

What’s my mission? To make the most of each day and help others do the same. 

Join the ride!

Much love, Vanessa Ruck

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on InstagramFacebook and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Check out my discount codes to save some money on my favourite brands!

Discounts Simply because everyone loves a discount! Here are a few of my favourite brands and some discount codes for you. 

The Girl On A Bike Discount codes

Latest content

Keep a regular eye on this page to see the latest content from The Girl On A Bike.

The girl on a bike vanessa ruck adventure bike world

Revving Up Your Social Circle: A Guide to Making New Motorcycle Friends

Revving Up Your Social Circle: A Guide to Making New Motorcycle Friends Having travelled to over 15 countries on group ...
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Motorcycle charity with Vanessa Ruck and Two Wheels for Life

Motorcycle charity with Vanessa Ruck and Two Wheels for Life Ever called emergency services for support? How about visiting the ...
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First international Defender race – Rallye Terres Du Gatin

First international Defender race - Rallye Terres Du Gatin How did I survive!!?? My first international Defender race and 40% ...
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How I got into motorsports with Bowler Defender

How I got into motorsports with Bowler Defender Motorsports with four wheels and the Defender came into my world later ...
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2024 Defender EU Baja Championship

2024 Defender EU Baja Championship Year two in the Defender Rally Series Partnered with TATA ELXSI Following the completion of ...
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Off road enduro motorcycling adventure in Iceland

Off road enduro motorcycling adventure in Iceland Off road enduro motorcycling adventure in Iceland with Ride with Locals Iceland is ...
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The Original Dakar – racing the Africa Eco Race

The Original Dakar – racing the Africa Eco Race Follow my journey as I take on one of the most ...
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The toughest ADV ride in Europe

The toughest ADV ride in Europe The Hard Alpi Tour is one of the longest and most scenic off-road rallies ...
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Top tips for riding motorcycles in Iceland

Top tips for riding motorcycles in Iceland Following an epic 6-day motorcycle adventure through Iceland with RideWithLocals I have compiled ...
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KTM EXC-F 350 Review

KTM EXC-F 350 Review With so many enduro motorcycles on the market, it’s time to let you know my thoughts ...
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Alpinestars Tech-Air Off Road Motorcycle Airbag Review

Alpinestars Tech-Air Off Road Motorcycle Airbag Review The Alpinestars Tech-Air Off Road Airbag is finally available on the public market! ...
The girl on a bike Wern Ddu Quarry

Wern Ddu Quarry – UK’s toughest hard enduro location

Wern Ddu Quarry – UK's toughest hard enduro location Wern Ddu Quarry, arguably the best and toughest hard enduro venue ...
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Africa Eco Race | The Real Dakar Rally 

Africa Eco Race | The Real Dakar Rally The Africa Eco Race is one of the most difficult and prestigious ...
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Easy tips to help improve your motorcycle riding

Easy tips to help improve your motorcycle riding Easy tips and exercises to help improve your motorcycle riding. From body ...
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Moto Hire Spain – BMW rental & tours 

Moto Hire Spain – BMW rental & tours 5 fantastic days in Southern Spain on immaculate BMW GS motorcycles – ...
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Crashing the Land Rover Bowler Defender rally car

Crashing the Land Rover Bowler Defender rally car It all went wrong in the third round of the Bowler Defender ...
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Female keynote speaker UK – Vanessa Ruck

Vanessa Ruck - TEDx and award winning female keynote speaker UK - ideal for diversity and inclusion, and Mental health ...
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Is methane the future power for motorcycles? Goodbye electric 

Is methane the future power for motorcycles? Goodbye electric Everyone is talking about electric power being the future mobility solution ...
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BMW GS review 1250 vs 850 

BMW GS review 1250 vs 850 The BMW GS.. What can only be described as a cult, there appears to ...
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Honda Africa Twin DCT review

Honda Africa Twin DCT review I've put the Honda Africa Twin DCT to the ultimate test, I'll provide valuable insights ...
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What is the Land Rover Bowler Defender

What is the Land Rover Bowler Defender Introducing the Land Rover Bowler Defender rally car. In the rally world, the ...
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How to make new motorcycle friends

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KTM 450 RFR Rally Replica Full Review

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The Girl on a bike Honda XRE review

Honda XRE Review – the ‘baby’ Africa Twin

Honda XRE Review – the ‘baby’ Africa Twin Join me for an in-depth review of the Honda XRE, the 291CC ...
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The Wonders Of New Zealand by motorcycle

The Wonders Of New Zealand by motorcycle I can understand why New Zealand by motorcycle is a bucket list destination.Join ...
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How to protect your bum on a motorcycle to avoid monkey butt

How to protect your bum on a motorcycle - anti monkey butt Here are my top tips on how to ...
Harley-Davidson Road Glide review with Vanessa Ruck - bright red bike in New Zealand next to lake

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Review

Harley-Davidson Road Glide Review I think it’s safe to say the Road Glide has become my favourite Harley-Davidson. With the ...
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Alpinestars Motorcycle Airbag TechAir 5 Review

Alpinestars Motorcycle Airbag TechAir 5 Review It saved me! Is a motorcycle airbag worth the price tag? Alpinestars TechAir 5 ...
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#BecauseICan free school workshops

#BecauseICan free school workshops and school speaker with Vanessa Ruck aka The Girl On A Bike Vanessa Ruck is a ...
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Brand ambassador with Two Wheels for Life

Brand ambassador with Two Wheels for Life I am fortunate to be able to explore the wonders of many parts ...
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Morocco Desert Challenge a 3000km extreme desert race

Morocco Desert Challenge a 3000km extreme desert race This is a 3 part series showing you the real behind the ...
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London Bike Shed Show

London Bike Shed Show The Bike Shed show in London is a weekend long event with hundreds of custom bikes, ...
Introducing Bowler Defender

Introducing The Bowler Defender Rally Car

Introducing The Bowler Defender Rally Car In the rally world the Bowler Wildcat has been a car to reckon with ...
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Living with chronic pain

Living with chronic pain Bodies can be incredible but also a huge burden, especially if living with chronic pain. As ...
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My first public 4×4 rally with Bowler Defender

Rally Nuts Bowler rally in Wales Taking on my next UK rally round in the Bowler Defender took me to ...
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Husqvarna 2024 enduro range test ride review

Nearly 100% redesign with the Husqvarna 2024 enduro range Here’s my experience on the Husqvarna 2024 enduro: Your eyes are ...
The girl on a bike vanessa ruck Unforgiving extremes in the desert

Surviving The Morocco Desert Challenge

Surviving The Morocco Desert Challenge Vanessa Ruck, also known as The Girl on a Bike, has successfully battled for her ...
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Racing Heartbeats: My First Track Day Experience with Michelin at Donington Park

Racing Heartbeats: My First Track Day Experience with Michelin at Donington Park It’s about to get serious! What’s the likelihood ...
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Conquering Strata Florida: A Thrilling Adventure on the Honda Africa Twin in Wales

Conquering Strata Florida: A Thrilling Adventure on the Honda Africa Twin in Wales With over 9 river crossings, the Strata ...
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How to road book navigate: Navigating the Desert with a Paper Scroll

How to road book navigate: Navigating the Desert with a Paper Scroll Want to know how to road book navigate, ...
The girl on a bike Swapping my bike for Bowler Defender Rally Series

My new addiction is a legal high – Bowler Defender Rally Series

My new addiction is a legal high – Bowler Defender Rally Series “The Girl In A Bowler” happened! As a ...
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9 women hit Belize on motorcycles

9 women hit Belize on motorcycles A crew of babes assembled for a mega Belize adventure on motorcycles - this ...
The girl on a bike Swapping my bike for a 4x4 10

Swapping my bike for a 4×4

Swapping my bike for a 4x4 - Land Rover Defender Well, that escalated! My number of wheels seems to have ...
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Praep ProPilot trainer review

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Track days should be on prescription

Track days should be on prescription Have you ever paused to notice how content dog look with their head out ...
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Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro – real life road test

Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro - real life road test Tiger 900 Rally Pro properly tested! Embarking on a mega ...
1000 Dunas rally raid Triumph Tiger rally pro Vanessa Ruck riding

Wondering if 1000 Dunas is the rally for you?

Wondering if 1000 Dunas is the rally for you? ANOTHER FIRST FOR BRITISH FEMALE SPORTING ACHEIVEMENTS The first female to ...
The girl on a bike vanessa ruck the Tunisia Desert Challenge

Tunisia Desert Challenge – everything you need to know

Behind the scenes of the Tunisia Desert Challenge The TUNISIA DESERT CHALLENGE returned to the birth place of rally-raid and introduced ...
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Welcome to the Jungle: Women on Bikes vs Belize

Welcome to the Jungle: Women on Bikes vs Belize Female riders Experience Central America’s best-kept motorcycling secret Cruising along a ...
The girl on a bike vanessa ruck motourismo motorcycle holidays

MOTOURISMO motorcycle holidays review

MOTOURISMO motorcycle holidays review Having joined a MOTOURISMO trip to Belize with their tour operator Big Little Rides and I ...
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RallyMoto CannonBall Challenge

RallyMoto CannonBall Challenge Try roadbook navigation for the first time - UK RallyMoto CannonBall challenge Join me on a one ...
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Female mental health speaker UK – Vanessa Ruck

Vanessa Ruck - female mental health speaker UK - ideal for diversity and inclusion, and Mental health Vanessa is a ...
How to stay safe on a motorcycle

How to stay safe on a motorcycle

How to stay safe on a motorcycle - motorcycle safety tips Staying safe on the road is a worry for ...
thegirlonabike : Valleys Xtreme hard enduro

Valley’s Xtreme hard enduro, Wales

Valley's Xtreme hard enduro, Wales Yessss silver finish at Valleys Xtreme. Nick Plumb (organisor) you never disappoint! Brutal. Snotty. Disgusting ...
In Sardinia adventure and learning go hand-in-hand

Lapping the Island: Tenere 700 exploring Sardinia

Lapping the Island: Exploring Sardinia on a Tenere 700 Motorcycle In Sardinia adventure and learning go hand-in-hand It's ironic how ...
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Ural Experience Centre Portugal

Ural Experience Centre Portugal It looks like a bike. Feels like a bike. Smells like a bike BUT it most ...
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Nerves got to me – Qatar International Desert Baja

Nerves got to me - first rally -Qatar International Desert Baja What's it like taking on your first rally, first ...
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Energica Eva Ribelle RS Review

Energica Eva Ribelle RS Review This is the Energica Eva Ribelle RS and this is a big first for me...it's ...
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Tips for Your First Month of Riding a Motorcycle

Tips for Your First Month of Riding a Motorcycle Riding a motorcycle is an exhilarating experience. It is a kind ...
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Triumph Tiger Sport 660 first ride review

Triumph Tiger Sport 660 first ride review This bike it definitely going to stir up some trouble in the mid-weight ...
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The importance of suspension

The importance of suspension broken down so even the non-mechanically minded can understand - K-Tech A highly under valued element ...
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Jarvis Signature Tours Romania Review

Jarvis Signature Tours Romania Review Graham Jarvis, the legend Extreme Enduro rider and probably the first name that comes to ...
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Red Bull Romaniacs Everything you need to know

Everything you need to know about Red Bull Romaniacs Red Bull Romaniacs 2021 Finisher – here’s the full behind the ...
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Strata Florida – the UK’s best green lane

Strata Florida - the UK's best green lane With over 9 river crossings the Strata Florida is a very fun ...
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Graham Jarvis car jump with The Girl On A Bike at ABR Festival

Graham Jarvis car jump with The Girl On A Bike at ABR Festival When Graham Jarvis asks you if you ...
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2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America First Ride Off Road Review

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America First Ride Off Road Review Can a  @Harley-Davidson  Pan America go off road? The killer question ...
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The Ultimate International Travel Checklist

The Ultimate International Travel Checklist Ultimate international travel checklist Many countries are finally opening up their borders and allowing travel ...
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Royal Enfield Himalayan first ride review with Superior Motorcycle Experiences

Royal Enfield Himalayan first ride review with Superior Motorcycle Experiences This is a three day adventure putting the Himalayan through ...

Women on Wheels: Iconic On-Screen Riders and their Motorcycles

Women on Wheels: Iconic On-Screen Riders and their Motorcycles More often than not, people associate motorbikes with big, burly men ...
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Top tips to starting motorcycle mechanics

Top tips to starting motorcycle mechanics As a home learned dabbling mechanic I know how intimidating getting started on bike ...
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Solo female Atlantic rower – Emma Wolstenholme

Solo female Atlantic rower - Emma Wolstenholme Who’s that bad ass blonde I hear you ask? I’d like to introduce ...
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Top ten tools – my must have tools as a motorcycle rider and mechanic

Top ten must have tools as a motorcycle rider and mechanic As a home-taught dabbling mechanic I've picked up knowledge ...
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CTEK CS Free adventure product review

CTEK CS Free adventure product review Brand new to the market from my most trusted battery brand is the high ...
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Why it’s ok to ask for help

Why it’s ok to ask for help Requesting support when we’re struggling can often make us feel vulnerable and weak ...
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Top ten tips for coping with pain

Top ten tips for coping with pain After being hit by a red light jumping car in March 2014 I've ...
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Living with Vitiligo – learn to love your body

Living with Vitiligo -learn to love your body It doesn’t’ hurt and it isn’t contagious. It is just white. With ...
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What kit to wear in Iceland on motorcycles

What kit to wear in Iceland on motorcycles Here's what kept me warm, dry and protected with the right kit ...
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15 Iceland facts for a motorcycle adventure

15 things you need to know about Iceland for a motorcycle adventure Following a weeklong motorcycle adventure in Iceland, here's ...
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Honda Off-road Experience Centre

Honda Off-road Experience Centre Here’s my experience riding with Dave Thorpe and the Honda off-road centre. With a brand new ...
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The Girl On A Bike – 6 years ago life as I knew it changed

The Girl On A Bike - 6 years ago life as I knew it changed 6 years ago today in ...
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Triumph Trident 660 first ride review

Triumph Trident 660 first ride review The all new addition to the Triumph line up is here – the Trident ...
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Artisan ES1 Pro review – can it really go off-road

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Vitiligo Ultra Vitiligo Review – Scam Products

Vitiligo Ultra Vitiligo Review - Scam Products My post across my social media pages about vitiligo, something that I wrote ...
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How vitiligo spreads – age 17 and 34

How vitiligo spreads - Me age 17 and 34… can you tell the difference? The white skin that appears just ...
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Adventure motorcycle riding Iceland – The land of fire and ice with RideWithLocals

Adventure motorcycle riding Iceland - The land of fire and ice with RideWithLocals Adventures can start on your doorstep – ...
In Sardinia adventure and learning go hand-in-hand

Yamaha Tenere 700 Review – the rugged adv bike

Yamaha Tenere 700 Review - the rugged adv bike The go everywhere adv motorcycle Tenere 700 The Yamaha Tenere 700 ...
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Charge you motorcycle – Ctek chargers

Charge you motorcycle - Ctek chargers Plugging the motorcycle in for optimum battery health! With autumn officially hitting the UK, ...
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Female motorcycle rider in the UK – Vanessa Ruck

Female motorcycle rider in the UK - Vanessa Ruck hard enduro If you’re looking for a female motorcycle rider in ...
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BMW GS R 1250 Rallye review – life test

BMW GS R 1250 Rallye review – life test! This is part 1 of my BMW GS R 1250 Rallye ...
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Getting Organised – Teng Tools dream garage

Getting Organised - Teng Tools dream garage with The Girl On A Bike In 2017 we broke ground on a ...
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Super Soco TC Max review – life tested

Super Soco TC Max review - life tested They say you should never underestimate small packages and that’s exactly where ...
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Planning The Best UK Based Adventure

Planning The Best UK Based Adventure Gaining the opportunity to take some time out from the usual hustle and bustle ...
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Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition review – what is it?

Cardo Systems Packtalk Black edition Launched July 28th 2020 the Packtalk Black edition is a slick new version of the ...
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Vitiligo on face – psychologically manifestations

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Jarvis Signature Tours Spain Review

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Cardo Systems Packtalk Bold review

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Physiolab review – S1 is a recover must have

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Pause for thought – the power of a simple hello

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CTEK CT5 POWERSPORT Review

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Tour Enduro Sardegna, Sardinia Review

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Novo Adventures review

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Pause for thought – do we really need so much stuff?

Pause for thought – do we really need so much stuff? As heard on BBC Radio Oxford My pause for ...
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The Accident and how @TheGirlOnABike Started

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U Perform review – Why I take active collagen

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Pause for thought – do we really want life as we knew it back?

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The perfect first motorcycle for a step to off road – Sinnis Blade X

Looking for your first bike or taste of off road...I think I've just found your perfect ride. Introducing the Sinnis ...
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How to up your game on the enduro bike

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Motorcycle Balance Training – sock challenge

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Moto distancing with covid-19

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I survived…My first British Championship Enduro

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Bolivia’s Death Road

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ToroTrail Review, Spain

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Enduro DreamLand Review, Ukraine

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Metzeler MCE Six Days Extreme tyre review

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Cardo Packtalk Training Intercom

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How to vinyl wrap a motorcycle

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Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Monmouthshire Beacon: ‘Girl on a Bike’ swaps two wheels for four for rally racing

As seen in The Monmouthshire Beacon: Monmouthshire-based motorcycle adventurer, influencer, and racer known as “The Girl on a Bike,” continues her trailblazing journey in motorsports, switching gears from two wheels to four as she takes on European rally car racing with the motto “adapt, don’t quit”.

The girl on a bike Dakar (3)

Monmouthshire-based motorcycle adventurer, influencer, and racer known as “The Girl on a Bike,” continues her trailblazing journey in motorsports, switching gears from two wheels to four as she takes on European rally car racing with the motto “adapt, don’t quit”.

Vanessa Ruck is tackling the Defender Rally Series in a Defender 90 with Bowler Motorsport, fuelled by her passion for racing and her mission to inspire women.

“This was a daunting leap – trading two wheels for a 2.3-tonne Defender was terrifying,” admits Vanessa. “But my mission is to show that your past doesn’t define your future. There’s always room to learn and grow, and motorsport has always captured my imagination.”

Vanessa’s entry into rally car racing was made possible through Defender, Jaguar Land Rover’s rally racing arm following the integration of Bowler. Their Defender Rally Series is uniquely designed for newcomers and pros alike, by providing the custom-built car, expert training, and ongoing race support.

Having earned podium placing in four racing events out of seven in her first year, this time, Vanessa is upping her game and moving onto the second year, taking on four EU Baja Championship events in her Defender, affectionately called Big Boy, referencing his size compared to her motorcycles.

The Defender Series takes the road-ready Defender 90 as a donor base vehicle before upgrading and modifying them to meet the gruelling requirements of fast speed rally racing, which includes capabilities suitable for Vanessa’s ultimate goal of getting to the desert with four wheels. The rally-ready Defenders campaigned in the series are closely related to P300 production models with added safety features, including race-specification seats, FIA-approved roll cage and fire extinguishers. They use the same powerful 300PS Ingenium petrol engine, responsive eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and advanced All-Wheel Drive system as showroom models, with all mechanical enhancements, rally support, competition entries and vehicle logistics taken care of by an expert team from Bowler.

After a devastating car accident and years of recovery, a reconstructed hip and shoulder, and countless months of painful physiotherapy, she discovered a new love for motorcycles. Escalating quickly with her heart of determination, in January she conquered the brutal Africa Eco Race on a motorcycle, becoming the first British female to finish the notoriously challenging rally. The event followed the original Dakar route covering 6,000 kilometers in 13 days on a motorcycle in treacherous African terrain.

This career shift to rally car racing is driven by Vanessa’s need to manage chronic pain. “Motorcycling takes a toll on my body. I live with chronic pain, my hip is deteriorating, and I don’t go anywhere without painkillers. I had to come to an emotional realisation that the one home that I have – my body – is something that I need to be a bit more mindful and protective of for my future,” she explains. “But I refuse to give up the thrill of racing.  Four wheels offer a way to stay in the desert, in the bivouac, hooked on the adrenaline and keep pushing boundaries.”

Vanessa’s goal is to become the first British female driver to complete a major (yet-to-be-disclosed) international rally in 2026.  As she blazes this new trail, Vanessa proudly flies the British flag on her car during her upcoming European races.

She uses her story to help engage and inspire the future generations across the UK with her free schools programme. Having visited more than 40 schools, speaking to more than 20,000 students already, Vanessa is on a mission to use her story to help drive hope and energy in others. Vanessa’s door is open for sponsorship help and speaking opportunities.

For the rest of The Monmouthshire Beacon article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Threads, WhatsApp, InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

L’Eclaireur du Gâtinais: Vanessa Ruck turns heads as she races through France in the EU Baja Championship

As seen in The L’Eclaireur du Gâtinais: Vanessa Ruck and her newly designed Defender 90 turns heads throughout France as one of the only women drivers in the EU Baja Championship.

The second round of the Bowler Defender Rally Series powered by TATA ELXSI saw Vanessa Ruck head to Gaitanis France to race her Defender 90 known as Big Boy in part of the EU Baja Championship. Her newly designed graphics by AR Signs on the Defender 90 really made head turns throughout the town and drew the crowd’s attention to the realisation that Vanessa Ruck was one of the only women driving. Vanessa Ruck and her presence driving in the area was highly noted and herself and her Defender 90 made the sporting section headlines in the newspaper.

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If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

FFSA: TT Gâtinais Rally: The Bersans / Lefrançois duel continues in the Loiret!

As seen in The FFSA: Separated by three small points, Benoit Bersans and Thomas Lefrancois will once again face’. The fight should be refereed by Stephan Barthe and Vincent Pointelet who will evolve in the same class as the Bearnais.

18th Rallye Terres du Gatinais

Third round of the 2024 French All-Terrain Rally Championship.

Entries: 79 including 33 registered in the French Championship, 21 in the 2WD Challenge, 12 in the SSV Challenge, 13 in the 4×4 Trophy and 3 on the waiting list.

Route: 285 km long including 149 km of ES (12), divided into two stages. Departure from the Sucrerie closed park in Corbeilles, Saturday April 27 at 9:00 a.m. Arrival at the Sucrerie closed park in Corbeilles on Sunday April 28 at 4:14 p.m.

Counts for the French Cross-Country Rally Championship (drivers and co-drivers) (3/11), the 4×4 Rally Trophy (drivers and co-drivers) (3/11), the 2-wheel drive Rally Challenge (drivers and co-drivers) (3 /11), the SSV Challenge (drivers and co-drivers) (3/11).

The main favorites for victory and places of honor

French Championship : Barthe (Nissan Fouquet), Bersans (Nissan Fouquet), Poincelet (BMW Fouquet), Vincent (Caze Mazda), Favy (Porsche Fouquet), Artola (Porsche Rivet), Thion (Nissan Fouquet), etc, Foucart (Rivet Mazda), Bartolin L. (Bartolin Nissan), Leclerc (Fouquet Nissan), Hiatt (Fouquet Nissan), Lefrancois (Rivet Honda), Neighbour (Voisin BMW), Brands (Fouquet BMW), etc, Omnes (Caze Kawasaki), Guillot (Caze Kawasaki).

2WD Challenge : Martins De Sousa (Cledze Suzuki), Incagaray (Cledze Suzuki), Tresarricq (Cledze Hayabusa), Lafleur (Caze Tomahawk), Cottereaux (Rivet Honda), Boucher (Fouquet Honda), Lebret (Rivet Honda), etc, Delean (Rivet Honda), Cassagnau (Delanoe Renault), Macaya M. (Phil’s Car Renault), Vimard (Phil’s Car Renault), Vautier Maxime (Vautier Volkswagen).

SSV Challenge : Noirot (Can Am), Giraud (Can Am), Sarrat (Can Am), Chabarlin (Polaris), Valente (Can Am), Pincel (Can Am).

4×4 Rally Trophy Truck : Bartolin (Nissan Pathfinder), Daigneau (Jeep Grand Cherokee), Deramaix (Suzuki Grand Vitara), Demanneville (Jeep Cherokee), Rey (Nissan Patrol), Beecroft David (Bowler Defender 90), Beecroft Daniel (Bowler Defender 90), Vanessa Ruck (Bowler Defender 90).

The Major Challanges For the French Championship

After his victory at Arzacq and his second place at Labourd, Benoit Bersans arrives in the Loiret with the leading position of the French Championship. With his faithful co-pilot, Cedric Nicolau, he intends to retain the advantage after this test very different from the first two.

For the victory on the rally, we can count on Stephan Barthe who won on the last race with his Fouquet Nissan. Also be careful to Vincent Pointelet who would like to open his victory counter this year, Daniel Favey who was unlucky at Labourd or Gregory Vincent who will launch his new Caze equipped with a rotary engine.

Always in the same class, though, Vincent Foucart love this event, he did not go very far from victory last year, he could play a place on the podium again this year. We will also monitor the performance of’Alexander Thion, Denis Artola, Laurent Bartolin, Jean-Michel Leclerc and Stephen Hiatt’s which will certainly be first-rate sizes this weekend.

In the intermediate class, Thomas Lefrancois, currently second in the Championship, will be the logical favorite with his Rivet Honda. With his co-pilot Jeremy Guerin, it may be penalized by the lack of power against large engines but the agility of the buggy and the talent of the Norman crew could erase this gap. Behind, it will be necessary to count on the BMW Fouquet Jean-Alfred Brands, the Flexcar Honda de Fabrizio Bovio and the BMW Neighbor’Antoine Voisin.

In T1A1, Cyril Omnes should still make sparks with his Caze but be careful to Xavier Gaudemer or yet Mickael Guillot’s and Franck Olivier who will discover their mounts on this fast track.

For the 2WD Challenge

With a large lead in the Challenge Kevin Martins De Sousa will start the event with one goal, victory! Supported for the occasion by Robin Moroch, the Cledze driver will try to increase his lead in order to approach the second part of the season calmly.

In the same class, however, Xabi Incagaray will try to give him the reply with his Cledze just like Vincent Tresaricq who won’t make the trip for nothing. Often at the front, though, Sebastien Lafleur will also aim for a place on the podium with his Tomahawk.

On these extremely fast tracks, Gregory Cottereaux will try to make the most of his Rivet Honda in order to go for the victory just like Gregory Boucher who will return to competition with his Fouquet Honda. Other drivers will be to watch as Denis Lebret’s (Rivet Honda), Florent Delean’s (Rivet Honda) and Maxime Vautier (Vautier Volkswagen). The buggies of the “Legend Group” will be well represented with Jordan Cassanau, which, let us remember, occupies the second provisional place of the Challenge 2RM 2024 with its Delanoe Renault.

For the SSV Challenge

As since the start of the season, we should witness a high-level fight between Valentin Giraud, current leader of the 2024 SSV Challenge and Guillaume Noirot, recent winner of the category on the Labourd rally. Eric Sarrat should once again aim for the small step of the podium but he will have to come up against the Can Am of the formidable Antonio Valente and Mickael Pinçon and the Polaris of Rémy Chabarlin.

For the 4×4 Trophy

On the side of the 4×4, the tray is rather supplied with no less than 13 vehicles. The norman, Bruno Bartolin will be the favorite of the category with its Nissan Pathfinder. The resistance should come from the British 7 engaged with their Bowler Defender 90 with as leaders, David and Daniel Beecroft or the female pilot Vanessa Ruck. Also pay attention to the usual ones Fabien Daigneau (Jeep Grand Cherokee), Dominique Deramaix (Suzuki Grand Vitara), Thomas Demanneville (Jeep Cherokee) and Bruno Rey’s (Nissan Patrol).

For the rest of The FFSA article see here.

For the rest of The Actumecanique article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

This is Oxfordshire: Motorcyclist Vanessa Ruck Inspires Future Generation

As seen in This is Oxfordshire: A motorcycle adventurer has visited a primary school near Kidlington in the hope of inspiring future generations with her story.

A motorcycle adventurer has visited a primary school near Kidlington in the hope of inspiring future generations with her story.

Vanessa Ruck, known as ‘The Girl on a Bike’, discovered her passion for motorcycling after surviving a car accident that required years of recuperation and a reconstructed hip and shoulder.

She became the first British woman to finish the Africa Eco Race in January after covering 6,000 kilometres in 13 days.

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She paid a visit to William Fletcher Primary School to inspire the youngsters.

She drove her Defender 90 into the playground, explaining to the pupils the modifications made to make it ready for her African adventure.

She said: “The squeals and excitement from the kids fills me with so much happiness and motivates me to keep going.

“My accident is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, but somehow it’s also quite possibly the best thing to happen to me for what it’s taught me and the new path in life it threw me into.

“I hope my story can bring energy to others.”

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She shares her adventures across her social media channels and in free school visits.

She has spoken to more than 20,000 school children through her schools programme running under the hashtag ‘BecauseICan’.

She challenges students to come up with their own #BecauseICan goals.

She has collaborated with Oxfordshire business FCLG, whereby used business laptops were donated for educational use at the school.

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Ms Ruck added: “Today’s youth face some of the most challenging times, especially post covid and for me the day I read the newspaper headline ‘Covid generations lives are ruined’ I knew I had to do something about it.

“Belief is everything and I hope my energy can give the minds of our future a little more energy and drive for life.

“I might not be changing the world, but I hope one session at a time, I can help inspire some of our future generations to set their sights on the stars. Anything is possible.”

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Headteacher Claire Martin said: “Vanessa’s visit was inspiring.

“The assembly was brilliantly motivating and linked to our own school values.

“Sharing your inspirational story and journey had a huge impact on the children, and made it very relatable to how students can use mindset to achieve goals.

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the time and energy that you gave to the students.

“Vanessa’s obvious enthusiasm for life and powerful messages connected with students and helped them to think about their own life goals and barriers to success.”

For the rest of The This is Oxfordshire article see here.

For the rest of The Oxford Mail article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Land Rover Monthly: Defender Rally Series launches

As seen in The Land Rover Monthly: The Defender (not Land Rover…) has revealed a bold new livery and the driver line-up for the 2024 Rally Series UK.

2024 to be the biggest and most competitive season yet

Each of the specially prepared Defender 90s in this year’s championship will feature a distinctive version of the exterior design, with a signature colour chosen by the teams. The seven-event season comprises gravel and hill rallies in Wales, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland and aims to build the rallying skills of the drivers with a view to upgrade to competitor rally licences and progress to the European Baja Championship and other one-off international events.

DEFENDER RALLY SERIES 2
DEFENDER RALLY SERIES 1

With up to 16 driver and co-driver pairings contesting each works-supported event, it is the largest competitive field the championship has yet seen. Applications are open – and in demand – for 2025.

Drivers have diverse motorsport backgrounds, from novices and trackday enthusiasts to experienced circuit and off-road racers, so if you fancy a go visit bowlermotors.com. You may even be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous with 2024’s competitors including former Boyzone member Shane Lynch, and Vanessa Ruck, an adventure motorcycle racer and online content creator.

2024 Defender Rally Series UK Championship Calendar

• Round 2: Rally Nuts Severn Valley Stages, Builth Wells 12-13 April
• Round 3: Summer Scottish Hill Rally 31 May-2 June
• Round 4: Nicky Grist Stages, Builth Wells 12-13 July
• Round 5: Yorkshire Hill Rally 13-15 September
• Round 6: Clare Forest Rally Ireland 4-6 October
• Round 7: Scottish Borders Hill Rally 15-17 November

For the rest of The Land Rover Monthly article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

The Worcester News: World’s Biggest Adventure Motorcycle Festival to Return

As seen in The Worcester News: The biggest adventure motorcycle festival in the world is set to return to Ragley Hall this summer.

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The Adventure Bike Rider Festival is set for Friday 28 to Sunday, June 30.

The festival, renowned for showcasing its 40 kilometres of continuous purpose-built trails, will offer adrenaline-seeking guests more attractions than ever.

Attendees of all abilities are invited to try their hand at off-road riding on the Bridgestone Trail, a 30 kilometre course that boasts open grassland, tight wooded sections, and a series of craters.

Beginners are also catered for.

A Beginner’s Loop offers an easy-to-ride trail where new riders can safely experience off-road motorcycling.

More experienced riders in search of a challenge can face the eight kilometre TRF Trail, which provides tricky terrains such as climbs, descents, and water crossways.

For those keen on riding but unable to bring their own motorcycle, the festival offers daily demo rides.

29 leading motorcycle manufacturers will give participants the chance to test ride their 2024 model ranges.

With over 140 brands, stands and traders, festival goers will find a range of products to explore and purchase.

High-quality food, drink and coffee vendors will also be in attendance.

Aside from a variety of riding opportunities and stands, the festival will feature over 60 speaker sessions across four stages.

Among the line-up are renowned speakers such as Vanessa Ruck, also known as The Girl On A Bike, and globe-trotting motorcyclists Simon and Lisa Thomas.

The festival atmosphere is further enhanced by a schedule of live music, including a line-up of tribute and party bands.

Festival goers can also expect a range of alternative entertainment, such as choirs, DJs, string quartets, and a Brazilian dance troupe.

Festival chairman, Alun Davies, said: “This is our fifth Adventure Bike Rider Festival at the magnificent Ragley Hall, and I can’t wait to open the gates and welcome our 15,000 guests, many of whom are returning for the fourth time.”

Tickets for the entire weekend are available for £159.

Additional Thursday VIP tickets, as well as Friday and Saturday day tickets, are also available.

For further information, visit www.abrfestival.com.

For the rest of The Worcester News article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Motorsports The Girl on a Bike in the Media

CarAndDriver: Michèle Mouton, Joyrides, and Fire-Resistant Underpants at the 2024 Dirtfish Women in Motorsports Summit

As seen in The CarAndDriver: For all would-be racers, the yearly Dirtfish WIM event is both entertainment and education.

The most important conversation I had during the 2024 Women in Motorsports (WIM) Summit at Dirtfish Rally School in Snoqualmie, Washington, was not with guest of honor Michèle Mouton about her incredible Pikes Peak triumph in 1985, or how she doesn’t drink alcohol unless it’s champagne.

Nor was it with WRC commentator Becs Williams about how she discovered motorsports at a relatively late age and made a stunning career out of reporting on it. The conversation that really stuck with me was about underpants. Don’t get weird about it.

The girl on a bike 024 Dirtfish Women in Motorsports Summit 1

Dirtfish Rally School is famous for its dirt-clod-flinging driving classes and founder Steve Rimmer’s envy-inducing Group B Rally car collection, but the company also promotes rally racing with a team of photographers and writers and hosts a yearly meet-up to celebrate and support women in racing. The WIM event was Josie Rimmer’s idea. Dirtfish’s head of strategy, she felt that while there were plenty of women involved in rally racing, they weren’t often in spotlight.

“I’d grown up around rally and have seen countless women in the service park occupying all sorts of roles,” she said. “It became quite clear quite quickly that those women weren’t being written about or invited to sit on podcasts. No one was shouting their names from the rooftop the way they should have been.

We wanted to be the ones shouting from the rooftops, ‘Hey! You really can do this too!'” Rimmer thought it might appeal to a few folks if she put together a panel of speakers and some hot-lap ride-alongs and invited some local women-run companies to get together at Dirtfish for a day-long event.

The girl on a bike 024 Dirtfish Women in Motorsports Summit 4

In 2022, Dirtfish hosted around 100 rally fans (men and women) to talk about racing and listen to Rhianon Gelsomino, Lia and Lucy Block, Emma Gilmour, and Sara Price talk about their experiences behind the wheel or in the co-drivers seat. In 2023, Rimmer brought even more women to the table, including the only female driver to win a World Rally Car victory, Michèle Mouton.

Some 400 people attended that year, including me, and despite being nearly struck mute with hero worship (Mouton is . . . wow), I noticed how the audience responded, eager to hear the details of these women’s experiences and to ask questions about starting their own motorsports journeys.

For 2023, Mouton returned, along with Pernilla Solberg, recently named president of the World Rally Championship Commission, and journalist Becs Williams, as well as a trio of younger racers, FIA Top Fuel dragster driver Jndia Erbacher, Trans Am Mustang driver Michele Abbate, and motorcycle endurance rider Vanessa Ruck. It was at dinner with these three that conversation turned to the subject of skivvies.

They were chatting about crashes and fires and all the things race-car drivers casually talk about while the rest of us think about how the height of our own bravery was removing the gopher that the dog brought in and put on the couch. (Hey, it was not initially clear that it was dead, so I do think I deserve a medal.)

Unlike me, race-car drivers are actually brave, and they do dangerous things, like deal with brake failure at high speed in a road race or engine explosions in nitro dragsters. Both of those things came up as Erbacher and Abbate shared stories with Ruck. When Abbate got to the part in her tale of a 2023 crash at Road America where the car caught on fire and the suppression system didn’t work, Erbacher and Ruck were all sympathy and no small amount of horror.

The girl on a bike 024 Dirtfish Women in Motorsports Summit 3

This led to a discussion about fireproof underlayers, which caught Ruck’s attention. As a motorcyclist who recently has been exploring four-wheel motorsports as a Bowler Works driver in the U.K. Defender Rally series, she was less familiar with the options for women’s safety gear—bike riders generally worrying less about fire than impact. “I had no idea there were fireproof sports bras and knickers,” she said. “Oh, it’s really new,” Erbacher told her, describing the somewhat itchy process of developing a workable sports bra with her safety gear sponsor.

Abbate and I jumped in with horror stories of what synthetic fibers and underwires can do in a fire (you do not want hot metal and melted plastic next to your skin). Ruck was taking notes, and not even a week later posted on her Instagram account about being fitted with new fire-resistant layers.

For the rest of The CarAndDriver article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

Motorsports Media The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Free Car Mag: Defender Rally Series

As seen in The Free Car Mag: This year’s Defender Rally Series UK will have the largest competitive field in the championship’s history, with up to 16 driver and co-driver pairings contesting each event.

This is something that Free Car Mag can get on board with. A racing series in the UK in a proper stumpy off roader…

  • Bold look: Defender reveals bold new livery and driver line-up for the 2024 Defender Rally Series UK on the eve of the new season, beginning on 2 March
  • Signature statement:Each of the 16 vehicles in this year’s championship will feature a distinct version of the livery, with a signature colour chosen by the teams
  • Growing competition: Defender 90-based rally series is limited to 16 driver and co-driver pairings in 2024, the largest entry list yet
  • Unique challenge: Thrilling, tough seven-event season comprises gravel and hill rallies in Wales, Scotland, England and the Republic of Ireland
  • Driver development: Defender Rally Series provides a driver progression journey, building rallying skills with a view to upgrading competitor rally licences
  • Works support: Novice and experienced rally drivers compete in specially prepared 300PS Defender 90s with dedicated works-level race support from Bowler crew
  • International opportunities: Competitors can progress to the European Baja Championship and other one-off international events

It brings novice and experienced drivers together to compete in the UK’s premier one-make off-road motorsport championship. Applications are already open – and in demand – for 2025.

This season’s drivers have diverse motorsport backgrounds, from novices and track-day enthusiasts to experienced circuit and off-road racers. All of them will benefit from expert driver coaching and works support across the season.

DEFENDER RALLY SERIES 2

Each of the specially prepared Defender 90s will feature a unique take on the new 2024 championship livery, customised to suit each competitor with a statement colour behind a signature black pattern.

Mark Cameron, Defender and Discovery Managing Director, said: “The Defender Rally Series showcases our highly capable all-terrain vehicles in the toughest environments. In true heroic spirit competitors take a new Defender 90 and, with only the lightest of specialist rally preparation, embark on a series of punishing challenges to test the durability of vehicle and crew. The Defender Rally Series is inspired by the adventure in the DNA of the brand and we are proud to be pioneers in this gruelling but exhilarating off-road championship”.

The rally-ready Defenders campaigned in the series are closely related to P300 production models with added safety features, including race-specification seats, FIA-approved roll cage and fire extinguishers. They use the same powerful 300PS Ingenium petrol engine, responsive eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox and advanced All-Wheel Drive system as showroom models, with all mechanical enhancements, rally support, competition entries and vehicle logistics taken care of by an expert team from Bowler.

DEFENDER RALLY SERIES 1

The third annual Defender Rally Series features seven rounds and begins with a bespoke Defender event at Walters Arena in Wales (2-3 March). Every round is designed to challenge and thrill in equal measure, allowing competitors to develop their skills in a close and competitive field – whether they are new to rallying or seasoned drivers looking to develop and progress towards higher-level competitions.

Calum McKechnie, General Manager, Bowler Motors, said: “The 2024 Defender Rally Series is our biggest yet, and will give every participant the opportunity to experience Defender at its very best, taking on some of the UK’s toughest, high-speed rally terrain. Combining the engineering integrity of showroom models with Bowler expertise and support provides the ultimate off-road racing package, allowing the drivers to simply arrive and drive. Every Defender 90 is prepared to the very highest standard, and we are thrilled to start a new UK season, as well as a growing number of international events.”

Competitors who will be living Defender’s ‘embrace the impossible’ ethos in the 2024 Defender Rally Series include former Boyzone member Shane Lynch, and Vanessa Ruck, an adventure motorcycle racer and online content creator. She finished fourth in the 2023 UK Championship with multiple podiums to her name, and will also contest the European Baja Championship this year.

2024 Defender Rally Series UK Championship Calendar

Round 1Walters Arena2-3 March
Round 2Rally Nuts Severn Valley Stages, Builth Wells12-13 April
Round 3Summer Scottish Hill Rally31 May-2 June
Round 4Nicky Grist Stages, Builth Wells12-13 July
Round 5Yorkshire Hill Rally13-15 September
Round 6Clare Forest Rally Ireland4-6 October
Round 7Scottish Borders Hill Rally15-17 November

As well as the Defender Rally Series UK, participants have the option to embark on specially curated international events throughout 2024. The Defender Rally Series European Baja Championship comprises four events, the first in Wales followed by France, Spain and Iceland, with some intended for those in their second year of the Series with the required rally licence. The one-off Balkan Rally-Raid Experience individual race event takes place in September, with more than 500km of competitive driving.

For pricing and information and to register for the 2025 season, visit bowlermotors.com.

For the rest of The Free Car Mag article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on  InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Red Bull: The Girl On A Bike: Enduro Rider Vanessa Ruck

As seen in RedBull: Pain, hardship, happiness. The British Vanessa Ruck is one of the best rally riders in the world. In her own way: Under the label “The Girl On A Bike“, she shows how she revamped her life on an enduro bike

Vanessa Ruck flips up her helmet visor, takes a deep breath and looks back at the wide river bed. There is currently little water, no problem for Rucks enduro bike. But Iceland’s rivers are treacherous, they are fed by glaciers that lie above active volcanoes. The meltwater does not flow evenly into the valley, a wave could have knocked her off her bike at any time, and yet Ruck says: “Iceland is phenomenal for enduro riders. You have to constantly improvise because the terrain is so uneven. It challenges you so much that you only perceive the fascinating landscape like a background film.” There is simply everything here: sharp-edged volcanic rock, soft sand and ash. “Something new is always testing you – and I love that”

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Normally, this area would lead to internal frenzy. Vanessa Ruck only to the outside, and she feels completely comfortable in that. Iceland – that is hard training, but still paradisiacal in a very peculiar way.

Vanessa is 37 years old and one of the most famous rally riders in England. On Instagram she takes hundreds of thousands of people along on her travels. She gives lectures and talks about how she developed her career – and the huge setbacks she had to overcome on her bumpy road to wellness. Just three months before her trip to Iceland, she was traveling in Morocco. During the Morocco Desert Challenge she covered 3,000 kilometers under the blazing sun. Not even half of the participants and only a handful of women make it to the finish line in this competition – Ruck was one of them. She talks about 52 degree air temperatures and desert sand that burns your skin. And also from the people who never came back from such rallies. “Mentally, I have already written a farewell letter that I would have dictated into my cell phone if there was a breakdown,” she says. “If I had stayed lying somewhere, no one would have been able to help me in time.” Even if staying lying down is not an option for someone like her. No longer. Not after she had to struggle so hard to learn to stand up.

“The terrain is hard and soft at the same time, you always have to improvise here” – Vanessa Ruck

It happened years before her first race, when motorcycles didn’t really play a special role in her life. Back in early 2014, she was the head of marketing for a large company. She was ambitious, worked long hours and, to compensate, got adrenaline rushes by wakeboarding, kitesurfing, cycling or climbing. Everything was about to change in March 2014. At the time, Ruck was 27 and was going wakeboarding on her bike when a car ran a red light and swerved in front of her. She couldn’t avoid it and hit the vehicle with full force – her shoulder and hip were hit as if by a huge bullet. For years, one surgical procedure followed another..

THE WHITE OF THE CURDLING TIME

“I couldn’t get up and spent endless amounts of time just staring at the same boring piece of white on my bedroom ceiling,” says Ruck. “My husband had to brush my hair and put my socks on. It was so grueling having to go under the knife again and again. Whenever I thought I was finally making progress, I was soon back in the hospital bed or hobbling on crutches.” Ruck slipped into depression, combined with an adjustment disorder. “Basically, it means that I no longer saw myself as myself. I spoke about myself in the third person: This wasn’t Vanessa – Vanessa, this was that strong, fit person before the accident. But I just felt broken and pathetic.” Ruck knew she could no longer play the sports she once loved. But riding a motorcycle seemed possible at some point.

At the time, she had to juggle a full-time job with her rehabilitation, and as a commuter, a motorcycle would give her valuable time: At the end of 2014, she bought a Suzuki Bandit 600 for the road. Too early, because she wasn’t mentally ready for it. “I don’t know if you’ve ever cried under a motorcycle helmet. It’s really uncomfortable,” she says. “You can’t reach your eyes with the gloves on, the visor fogs up, and all of this creates real helplessness.” – Ruck can laugh about it today. At that time, she started having panic attacks just at the thought of getting on a bike. “I was just sitting in my driveway. I had almost died on a different kind of bike – why on earth would I get back on it now?”

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But Ruck was persistent and overcame her fear. „ The driver who hit me had changed my body “, she says, „ but she had no power over my future. I grew up with the attitude that you learn from a fall and continue instead of complaining. I knew that getting on a motorcycle would be a little easier every time. “

„ filled with suffering “ became „ easy “, „ easy “ became „ with pleasure “: After a few months, Ruck noticed how well you were doing this new, motorized mobility. It was a completely different way to get adrenaline kicks. Soon she expanded her fleet with a Harley-Davidson for road traffic. This was followed by a scrambler off-road bike. And finally an enduro for the really difficult terrain. „ Many people ask me why I didn’t start kitesurfing or wakeboarding again “, she says. „ In the beginning it was probably a defense mechanism. I didn’t want to compare myself to the person I used to be. My whole body hurt and no longer worked as before. Motorcycling, on the other hand, was something completely unfamiliar – and then I became almost addicted to this thrill. “

When she was physically unable to ride, she found solace in maintaining her motorcycles in the garage. Gestures that became a symbol of a better life, of a future she could work towards. Vanessa Ruck designed a website called The Girl On A Bike. There she continues to share details about her rehabilitation and her increasingly adventurous motorcycle tours, which have taken her to 29 countries so far.

“This driver injured my body, but she has no power over my life” – Vanessa Ruck

When she was physically unable to drive, she found comfort in taking care of her motorcycles in the garage. Gestures that became a symbol of a better life, a future that she could work on. Vanessa Ruck designed a website called „ The Girl On A Bike “. There she still shares details about her rehabilitation and her increasingly adventurous motorcycle tours, which have so far taken her to 29 countries.

vanessa ruck red bull romaniacs 2021

“Social media can be toxic, negative and unfair,” says Vanessa. “That’s why people tend to hide the low points of their lives. But I wanted to reveal everything.” On Instagram you can find pictures of her lying in bed after an operation and not being able to get up. But right next to it is a post in which she is smiling, on the motorcycle, in a victorious pose. There are photos of races and biker meetings that gave and still give her support in life. And Ruck’s openness was well received, her number of followers grew steadily. In 2019, she decided to quit her job and make money as “The Girl On A Bike”

„ Finally I had to commute to work and go to rehab three times a week. Hydro, physio and shock wave therapy, osteopathy and acupuncture – that really challenged me “, she says. „ My husband Alex and I calculated that if I quit my job, we would do well for 13 months. That was exactly the time I needed for the rehab. I also wanted to see what I can achieve with ‚ The Girl On A Bike ‘. But I would never have imagined how many people would draw energy from my fight – almost as much as myself. “

A dance under the volcano

Now, while training in Iceland, Rucks motorcycle thunders over the coarse black sand, a mixture of volcanic ash and crushed lava rock. After more than seven hours of driving, a river indicates that the stage is slowly coming to an end. Ruck has hip pain, but she feels fit. She is tired but satisfied. She has only been racing for a little over two years. Her path to hard enduro sports began in 2021 with the Red Bull Romaniacs.

Unbelievable how many people draw strength from my fight.

Vanessa Ruck

The race in the Romanian Carpathians is considered the most demanding event ever. 150 racers started, only 91 got through, one of them was jerky, at least in 57th place. The respect success motivated her to take part in her very first rally, the Qatar International Baja. In the spring of 2022, Ruck started at the Tunisia Desert Challenge, an eight-day event that put more strain on them than all previous challenges.

„ It was a technically demanding area and the navigation was incredibly difficult “, she describes. „ I spent a night in the dunes after my motorcycle’s electronics failed. I had to kindle a campfire. That may sound romantic – but sitting somewhere in the desert on the pitch black night, eternally away from any civilization, is terrifying. The next day the clutch of my motorcycle also gave up the ghost and I was stuck in the burning midday heat for seven and a half hours. “ Only then was she flown out by a helicopter. „ I really reached my limits, received three infusions and a lot of pain relievers. “ The night after, she woke up from a nightmare in which she was stuck a third time in the desert and thought: „ That’s it,I’m finished. I expected too much. “ But when she startled out of bed, she had only one thought: „ Where’s my bike? “ Ruck was able to continue the rally and finally crossed as the first woman (on the 35th. Place) the finish line. „ Ending the race was the biggest confirmation for me. For the first time, it was my own decision how much I had to endure. That gave me back a lot of the strength I lost after my accident. It was an incredible feeling “For the first time, it was my own decision how much I had to endure. That gave me back a lot of the strength I lost after my accident. It was an incredible feeling “For the first time, it was my own decision how much I had to endure. That gave me back a lot of the strength I lost after my accident. It was an incredible feeling “

So lost, so safe

Back’s decision to face all of these dangerous and painful challenges seems difficult for outsiders to understand. „ Yes, these races are brutal “, she admits. „ I think the desert has something sadistic – and yet: I love the adrenaline and the endorphins when I’m sitting on my motorcycle. I think the secret is that I’m getting lost at the moment. “ Borrowed in loss. In such phases, she was unable to feel something like pain. „ But when I get off my bike in the evening, reality ramps me like a freight train again. Many don’t understand that. But they don’t live in my body either. “

The group’s night camp, a tin hut, appears on the horizon. A little later, Vanessa sits on a rock, watching the sun sink as red. She will get up at six in the morning to jog a bit before the next stage. But now she can relax, really relax. „ It’s not the Hilton “, she says with a view of the tin cover, „ but tonight I’m going to sleep well. “ Vanessa Ruck knows that if you rest completely, you don’t need a hotel.

For the rest of The Red Bull article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Threads, WhatsApp, InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Glorious Sport: Breaking Barriers and Redefining Racing: Meet Vanessa Ruck, the fearless force on two and four wheels, who wants to inspire other women into this adrenaline-fuelled world

As seen in The Glorious Sport: Vanessa Ruck is a fearless motorbike, dirt bike racer and four-wheel rally driver, who defies expectations and pushes boundaries in the world of racing.

Vanessa Ruck is a fearless motorbike, dirt bike racer and four-wheel rally driver, who defies expectations and pushes boundaries in the world of racing. Vanessa’s path into the motorcycle industry was anything but conventional. It all began with a life-altering accident in 2014 when she was struck by a car while cycling. But undeterred by fear and determined to reclaim her sense of adventure, Vanessa embarked on a new path and delved into the world of motorbikes, embracing the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of pushing her limits. We chat to Vanessa about her resilience and unyielding determination that has led to amazing achievements and her mission to prove that women can succeed in this male-dominated sport.

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Glorious: Your journey into motorbike and dirt bike racing happened almost by accident (literally) – tell us about this.

Vanessa Ruck: Yeah, absolutely. Most people look at the riding that I’m doing and think I’ve been riding since I was a small kid, but actually, I’ve got quite an unusual entry into the motorcycle industry which started with me being hit by a car while cycling back in 2014. At the time, I was only a cycle rider and didn’t own a motorbike, but that incident changed everything. I faced a seven-year recovery with seven surgeries that reconstructed my right shoulder and right hip. Physically, I was no longer able to do the extreme sports or activities that I once did, though the mental health recovery was considerably harder.

The idea to get a motorcycle first came up when I was unable to cycle my commute anymore. It wasn’t an easy step because I had a diagnosed fear of the road, but I couldn’t let fear control my future. The following seven years can be best described as an escalation. I realised that I absolutely feel alive and filled with adrenaline when I’m on a motorcycle. But the sense of adventure evolved and it started with me getting my first off-road bike when I was bedbound from a surgery and to ride it became a goal and something to work towards. Later, I managed to ride it, and since then, I’ve been on a mission to grow, improve my riding, and prove to myself that I can push myself. Yes, I live with chronic pain, but I refuse to let it control me. I adapt, use painkillers, and practice mindfulness. Now I participate in some of the toughest races in the world.

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Glorious: Have you always been an adrenaline seeker?

Vanessa Ruck: I grew up with a very active childhood. I was fortunate to have parents who didn’t treat me differently because I was a girl. I had an older brother and two older male cousins, and the four of us played together. I might be described as a bit tomboyish. Our holidays were always about going on adventures in Wales, doing activities like coasteering, paddleboarding, horse riding, mountain biking, kayaking, and climbing.

When I went to university, my eyes were opened to a whole new world of extreme sports, including wakeboarding and kite surfing. And that’s when my passion really exploded. I get excited to try new things, enjoy them, and strive to get better and better. I think I’m addicted to those endorphins and the adrenaline of these sports. Many extreme sports are male-dominated, and a big part of my mission is to help other women realise that they can do it too.

Glorious: What is your favourite aspect of dirt bike racing? Is there a particular thrill or feeling that keeps you motivated?

Vanessa Ruck: I actually think my best moments are the hardest moments, the moments where you question why you’re there. When you’re in the desert, surrounded by sand dunes, hundreds of kilometres in every direction, with nothing but you and the navigation, you think, “How can I get out of this?” The only way is to fight. Those low moments, when you eventually make it to the finish line, are the biggest highs. By overcoming your fears and pushing your boundaries, you grow, and that growth fills me with so much energy. It’s an addictive feeling.

Glorious: How do you keep that adrenaline going? Is it by putting yourself in ridiculously challenging situations?

Vanessa Ruck: It’s important to remember that people often look at me and think I’m always energised and motivated, but that’s not true. I experience imposter syndrome and self-doubt. I have days when I wake up feeling tired and exhausted. However, I don’t let those things stop me and I find ways to work around them. When my confidence is low, I focus on preparation. If I’m not feeling ready for a speaking event, it’s because I haven’t done enough preparation. So I put in the work and go into it feeling more confident. The same goes for races. I assess what I need to improve and upskill to be ready for the start line. It’s about taking ownership, overcoming challenges, and becoming the best version of myself. I want to remind people that I have doubts and face mental health issues too. By being honest about my struggles, I hope to provide support and reassurance to others facing their own challenges.

Vanessa: “My best moments are the hardest moments, the moments where you question why you’re there.”

DEDICATION

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Glorious: Are there any misconceptions or stereotypes about female dirt bike racers that you would like to address?

Vanessa Ruck: The most important misconception to address is the belief that girls can’t ride bikes as well as guys. While it may be slightly harder for females in certain situations or courses, it’s not impossible. I want people to realise that regardless of gender, background, or any other factor, riding is something we can all enjoy. The biggest challenge we face as female riders often comes from women. Some females get involved in the sport for the wrong reasons, such as wanting to look sexy or wear skimpy outfits. But riding motorcycles is dangerous, you’ve got to dress for the slide, not the ride.

I wish that females, in general, and particularly in the realm of social media, can be more responsible and focused on credibility. The sex sells card really bugs me about the industry. It’s the same in many industries sadly, but I think the world is starting to move away from it. Look at the motorbike shows. Very few brands have sexy women laying themselves on bikes anymore, but it wasn’t that many years ago it was still a thing. Yes, we are developing and waking up as an industry, but I just wish it was a bit faster. Gender is irrelevant when it comes to riding. What matters is genuine interest, dedication, and skill, whether you’re female or male.

Vanessa: “The sport is all about enjoyment and having fun, regardless of your skill level.”

Glorious: What are your specific achievements in your career that you are particularly proud of?

Vanessa Ruck: I have several achievements that I’m proud of. Earlier this year, in the Morocco Desert Challenge, a race over sand dunes in blistering temperatures hitting 52°C, I came 25th, which was a significant accomplishment. Last year I completed the Tunisia Desert Challenge, where I became the first female to enter and finish the race. Finishing the Red Bull Romaniacs race, a tough and male-dominated event with 500-600 riders, was another proud moment. Venturing into four-wheel rally driving with the Land Rover Bowler Defender rally car has been an exciting achievement. Being one of the few female drivers in the rally driving world motivates me to show that women can excel in this field. Lastly, my schools programme, where I have spoken to over 14,000 students, brings me immense pride.

Vanessa’s next race is a 14-day, 6,500-kilometre race in January called the Africa Evo Race, closest to the original Dakar

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ADRENALINE

Glorious: How does rally driving compare with dirt bike racing, and what do you prefer?

Vanessa Ruck: Rally driving is absolutely incredible. When you’re on a motorcycle, your life depends on putting the bike in the right place, avoiding obstacles like rocks. If you come off the bike, you’ll hit the ground somewhere, right? So you have to be highly aware of reading the terrain. In a rally car, however, I’ve had to adjust my reading of the terrain because the car can handle hitting a rock that would have caused an accident on a motorbike. That’s the major difference. But the adrenaline rush is still intense in a rally car. You’re driving a 2.3-ton vehicle with 300 horsepower, pushing it to the limit around corners, relying on your navigator’s instructions. Normally, when you see a turn, you slow down and assess the situation. In rally driving, you often go into blind corners based on your navigator’s guidance. You have to trust that your foot won’t leave the accelerator as you speed into the unknown. Your life is in the hands of the navigator, and their heart is in your hands because you control the car. The adrenaline rush is incredible, and the Bowler Motors experience programme is fantastic for anyone interested in rally driving. They train you in everything, from understanding the sign-on process to driving, navigation, and working with a navigator. It’s an incredible rally package experience.

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Vanessa: “Riding motorcycles is dangerous, you’ve got to dress for the slide, not the ride.”

Vanessa: “Venturing into four-wheel rally driving with the Land Rover Bowler Defender rally car has been an exciting achievement.”

Glorious: How do you prepare for your big races, for example across the Moroccan desert in 52-degree heat?

Vanessa Ruck: The preparation for races in extreme heat requires the right mental strength and physical fitness. In my next race, a 14-day, 6,500-kilometre race in January called the Africa Eco Race, closest to the original Dakar, I have to be at the top of my game. It’s the biggest race I’ve ever done, and being able to tackle the challenging terrain on a motorcycle for 14 days requires unbelievable fitness. Before reaching the starting line, there’s a lot of preparation involved, including ensuring the right nutrition, food, equipment, bikes, and gear. The mental focus is also crucial because there will be moments when it feels like the worst time of your life, but you have to keep going. In those moments, I remind myself that I’ve chosen to be there, and that gives me the strength to push through.

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Glorious: How do you balance your passion for dirt bike racing with other aspects of your life, such as family?

Vanessa Ruck: Balancing my passion for dirt bike racing with my family life can be a bit challenging. I’m often on the road, and typically, I spend around one in three nights at home. However, my husband is my soulmate, and when we’re together, we have an incredible relationship and he supports me in all my craziness. People often ask me how I have so much energy and never seem to stop. It’s true that I’m always on the go, but when you’ve experienced a period of time where you’re confined to bed, the energy you gain from being able to move freely and make the most of every day is remarkable. I hope that by sharing my story, I can inspire others and give them the energy to appreciate the blessings in their lives without having to go through a similar hardship. Good sleep and proper nutrition are essential, as what we eat directly affects how our bodies feel. I avoid processed food because it makes me feel sluggish.

Vanessa: “The most important misconception to address is the belief that girls can’t ride bikes as well as guys.”

Glorious: So, what advice would you give to aspiring female dirt bike racers or rally drivers who are looking to get into the sport?

Vanessa Ruck: My advice would be not to be afraid of being a newbie. Leave your egos behind. Nobody cares whether you’re good, amazing, or still learning. What matters is that you’re out there, giving it a go, learning, and being enthusiastic. If you’re not enjoying it, it’s important to reassess. The sport is all about enjoyment and having fun, regardless of your skill level. So, let go of any worries about how you might look or what others might think. Every professional in the world was once a beginner, and we all know what it’s like to learn and grow. Even when you think you’re at the top, there’s always more to learn. Stay humble, keep absorbing knowledge from those around you, and continue to grow and improve.

Vanessa: “I live with chronic pain, but I refuse to let it control me.”

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Glorious: What are your goals and aspirations for the future in terms of your racing career?

Vanessa Ruck: I have some uncertainties regarding how long I’ll be able to push my body to these extreme limits. My health condition isn’t ideal, and I know that my physical abilities are deteriorating. However, I’m very excited about four-wheel racing because it is less taxing on my body. One of my bigger goals is to participate in endurance races like the Baja 1000. But my primary focus will always be using my story to inspire and energise people, providing them with the tools to overcome life’s challenges. As long as I can continue doing that and enjoy racing, I’ll keep going on this journey. If there comes a point where I can’t maintain the same level of energy, I’ll explore other opportunities. Ultimately, it’s about enjoying the journey and making a positive impact.

Vanessa: “My primary focus will always be using my story to inspire and energise people.”

Vanessa: “The mental focus is also crucial because there will be moments when it feels like the worst time of your life.”

For the rest of The Glorious Sport article see here.

If you’re new to my page – it’s more than just dirt bike riding, Harleys and racing, I’m on a mission to prove that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough. See more about my story plus read about my life-changing accident, which started it all.

You can find me Vanessa, The Girl On A Bike over on Threads, WhatsApp, InstagramFacebook, Tiktok and YouTube, and www.thegirlonabike.com.

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