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.
At 18 I flew the nest to find my place in the world, university, 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.
Ultimately, life is short, so it’s so important we don’t waste time or let life just slop through our fingers. Even with injuries and full-time jobs, we have so much to be grateful for and can do so much with our precious existence.
What’s my mission? To make the most of each day and help others do the same.
When your favourite tool company, Teng Tools, ask if they can feature you in their quarterly magazine…you say yes!
ACHIEVING THINGS I DIDN’T REALISE WERE WITHIN MY REACHES
FROM TRAGEDY TO POSITIVITY. VANESSA RUCK HAS OVERCOME SO MUCH AND IS NOW EMPOWERING PEOPLE TO GET THEIR HANDS DIRTY AND HIT THE ROAD!
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.
But things took a life-changing turn on the 25th of March 2014. I was on my bicycle with the fresh feeling of spring in my stride and hit the road pedalling hard! Out of nowhere an oncoming car pulled across in front of me. I had a microsecond. Time seemed to go into slow motion. But there was nothing I could do. There was no route for avoidance. No hope to avoid impact. I felt my body crumple as I shattered into the rear passenger panel. My right shoulder took the full impact. My body screamed internally before collapsing to the ground on my right side.
I was feeling incredibly shaken up, as one would expect but
my get-up-and-go attitude had me staying positive about the short-term
Today, years since the accident; my body has been through so
much. Over 13 months off work, 6 operations, full shoulder reconstruction [yes,
I am now partly bionic], 4 hip surgeries, countless steroid injections,
hydrotherapy, osteopath, shock wave treatment, acupuncture, red light therapy, spiritual
healing, ice treatment, months and months of physiotherapy, and continued hip
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, but then 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. Some may wonder how I’ve been able to ride motorcycles during my
recovery, given the injuries. But most of the people who ask are those who
I started @TheGirlOnABike when bed bound after my 3rd surgery following the accident, I needed something positive to channel my energy into. Since this day I have continued to share the ups and downs of my journey. Now as I discover new DIY techniques for my bike, I’m planning to help empower others to give it a go too, showing them that if someone like me can do it, they can do it too! I want to give people the confidence to get some tools, get their hands dirty and get working on their motorcycles. For me, DIY completely opens up new areas of knowledge, helping me learn and achieve things I didn’t realise were within my reaches.
I am passionate about so many things, but motorbikes are now so central to everything. There are few things as satisfying as a hard day’s graft working on your bike and seeing the results on the road. When I think of hand tools, I think Teng Tools! The tools are awesome, and I know I can rely on them to help me get the job done. Working on my motorcycle, my pride and joy, I only want to use the best. For me that is Teng Tools.
When an accident turned my life inside out, I found salvation in Harley-Davidson, and then came the start of The Girl On A Bike
I was super honoured to be asked my HOG to write about my journey to becoming a Harley-Davidson rider. This was published in HOG Magazine – Harley Owners Group – Published in EMEA region (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish), as well as in Canada (English and French), Latin America (Spanish) and Brazil (Portuguese).
See below for the full story
My addiction to Harley-Davidson emerged following a few challenging twists in the road of life. It all started on our honeymoon, when we hired two Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Texas, exploring 1,000 miles around Route 66, Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo and the breathtaking scenery of the Palo Duro Canyon. It was an amazing adventure [read more on how we did Route 66 in 5 days here].
Back home, our lives were full of excitement; we lived for sport and the great outdoors. There was this constant underlying thirst for adrenaline. With a full-time job, I found my ways to shape life around these needs. Weekdays entailed a 16-mile daily cycling commute, lunchtime gym sessions and summer evening wakeboard sessions. Weekends were filled with road trips, kite surfing, mountain biking and climbing.
But things took a life-changing turn in March 2014 when, while cycling, I was hit by a car that jumped a red light. In that moment, life as I knew it was gone [more on the accident here]. As I write this nearly five years on, it’s three weeks since my sixth surgery, but I’m confident it’ll be the last operation. We’ve had to make a lot of changes in our lives following the injuries, and there have been ups and downs between surgeries. No sports, no adrenaline, my social life vanished, and I was unable to do my cycling commute. I decided to get a motorcycle to skip the traffic and save money, and this was the first catalyst to Harley ownership.
Later, my husband Alex was posted by the Royal Air Force to Afghanistan, which devastatingly was just one week prior to my full shoulder reconstruction surgery. On his return, for a belated wedding anniversary, I organised two Harleys for the afternoon – and that was it. It was immediately apparent that this thumping V-Twin was the key to a world of enjoyment that required minimal physical demand, something that would bring adventure to our worlds with my injuries.
Within weeks we were Harley owners and the adventures unfolded. In the three and a half years since, around my surgeries and rehabilitation, we’ve done 15,000 miles, countless weekend trips, wild camping, explored six National Parks, enjoyed sunrise rides over London’s Tower Bridge, and undertaken a 2,700-mile Alpine adventure [see more]. We have had a blast on two wheels.
I genuinely can’t begin to imagine how I would have made it through the last few years without ‘Thug’, my 2015 Dyna Street Bob. She’s given me a sense of adventure that went missing after the accident. I’ve also started The Girl On A Bike an Instagram blog, @TheGirlOnABike. While bed-bound following one of my surgeries, I decided that there must be other people out there facing similar struggles; maybe I could reach them through social media? I never imagined that so many people would find hope and encouragement in my story. There have been days when I didn’t want to get out of bed, but my followers helped me find strength, and there have been many days where my followers were struggling and my story has helped them.
When people say ‘recovery’, you typically think of returning to how you were before the accident. But there is no going back. You do not merely recover, you reinvent yourself. You learn so much as you fight through; it’s an irreversible journey. While my journey over the past five years has been brutal, I feel somehow lucky. I have friends now I would never have met, I have a Harley-Davidson I would never have bought, I have realised the importance of a work-life balance, I’ve become even closer to my husband and soulmate, and I have a fire in my soul only this type of recovery could light.
Make sure you’re following me The Girl On A Bike on Instagram and Facebook to hear more about my ongoing journey.
Following at epic adventure covering 2,700 miles, 9 countries and over 25 mountain passes I was honoured to write about my Alps trip for HOG magazine. The adventure was with Tour1, an official Harley-Davidson tour operator and completed on the gorgeous 2018 Harley-Davidson Sport Glide [see my review here]
The article will be printed in the EMEA region (English, Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish), as well as in Canada (English and French), Latin America (Spanish) and Brazil (Portuguese).
I’ve recently invested in a full body red light therapy lamp systems from Red Light Rising Redlightrising.co.uk , and as a customer I now have a Red Light Rising discount code of 5% for my friends.
What is Red light treatment?
Red light treatment is a specific wavelengths of red light create a biochemical affect in our cells that serves to increase mitochondrial function. This improves ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production in the body. Sorry the answer is a little scientific 🤓
Why is this important?
ATP is the source of energy for every cell in the body. So without it, we don’t function at all. Without enough of it, we don’t function well. It’s energy and healing on tap at home 💡
For more details please check out their website and remember to use my Red Light Rising discount code for your lights and start to see the health benefits yourself.
Benefits Of Red Light Therapy
Info from https://www.oglf.org/what-is-red-light-therapy/
At the moment, however, there’s some evidence to suggest that RLT may have the following benefits:
The main benefits of red light therapy are thought to have come from the energy exchange. The responses of cells and tissues to red light therapy, which does not itself produce much heat, can be comparable to the body’s reaction to heat. Certain wavelengths of red light can penetrate beyond the skin’s surface, where it is absorbed into the cells deeper than other wavelengths of visible light can. This deeper-reaching light can have the following benefits:
Reduce Joint Stiffness
Applying heat to a joint can reduce stiffness by as much as 20%, and effects of red light therapy are thought to be similar. This can have a cyclical pain-reduction result as less stiffness and associated pain can encourage you to use a joint more, which can reduce further stiffness. Use my Red Light Rising Discount Code to get started.
Relieves Muscle Spasms
Muscle spasms can cause pain because they can restrict the blood flow to certain areas of the body, which can cause cells and tissues to be starved of oxygen. Applying red light can result in the muscles relaxing which will allow better circulation of the area. This means that conditions such as restless leg syndrome can be very responsive to red light therapy.
Improves Blood Flow
Just like the body’s natural response to heat is to dilate blood vessels, it does the same when exposed to red light. This widening of blood vessels reduces resistance to the blood flow, therefore improving the rate at which it can move around the body.
This is a great benefit because the restriction of blood flow can cause cells to be starved of oxygen. Lack of oxygen, which is called ischemia can permanently damage tissues, particularly in the muscles as it can kill cells, some of which cannot be replaced.
The improved blood flow and lymphatic circulation aid the removal of waste products from the lymphatic system. This reduces and prevents the build-up of fluids which can cause edema, therefore reducing pain associated with swelling and can even enhance the healing mechanisms. Use my Red Light Rising Discount Code to get started.
Aids Pain Relief
The reduction in pain relief can come from a combination of the above effects on tissues. Joint stiffness, muscle spasms, restricted blood flow and inflammation can all cause and contribute to pain. By reducing those symptoms, red light therapy can, therefore, reduce pain.
Visible red light has been shown to stimulates melanocyte migration and proliferation resulting in repigmentation of vitiligo patches. However, there are only a few studies published on the efficacy of red light in vitiligo. This is a prospective single-blind randomized clinical trial to assess efficacy of red light in the treatment of vitiligo. Use my Red Light Rising Discount Code to get started.
Improves Elasticity of Collagen Fibres
Red light therapy at certain wavelengths is thought to stimulate the productions of collagen and elastin fibers, as well as the creation of new capillaries. A greater number of capillaries within the skin will improve blood flow to the skin tissues and therefore the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to the cells, while the extra collagen and elastin will smooth and plump-out the skin. This can slow and reduce the effects of aging on the skin, giving a more youthful appearance.
You may have heard of red light therapy (RLT) by its other names, which include:
I’m so unbelievably excited as I write this. I’ve had my first proper full article published in the form of a bucked list piece in the worlds largest weekly motorcycle publication, MCN aka Motorcycle News. The article is a review of my 2,700 mile adventure through some of the best Alpine roads with Tour1 on their Altitude with attitude tour in 2018.
Harley-Davidson Sport Glide review – TRY IT… YOU MIGHT LIKE IT!
I recently had the pleasure of riding the 2018 Softail Sport Glide on a mega 2,700 road trip, and Harley-Davidson have posted my Harley-Davidson Sport Glide review. While I have my Dyna Street Bob® I knew that on a tour around the best mountain roads in the Alps with Tour1, it was time to try a bigger motorcycle – the 2018 Softail Sport Glide™ – and boy did it win my heart. It’s a big bike in a small package offering power on tap and plentiful torque for passing on hairpins or blasting past Sunday drivers. I always felt like she had so much to give!
Harley really have done a superb job of distributing the load, improving the comfort and making a sick looking machine. The bike feels light and agile, and the ride comfort is like no Harley I’ve ridden, smooth and refined. The bike sucked up the tarmac giving a super smooth ride but with just the right amount of energy to keep its Harley soul. Character and comfort perfectly refined, even for the distance. You then add the wow factor with elegant lines combined with a stocky road presence, and I could see myself happily living this this beach; commuting with its practical luggage, while being a head turner for cruising and yet also offering great comfort for the longer tours. With 2,714 miles together, I can vouch first hand.
Yeah, it’s not going to be the bike for everyone, but I can’t stress enough how well Harley have done with the new 2018 models, they really are a new breed of machines. This guy is a beast and I’d recommend getting a test drive, but I warned you….you’ll want one!
Manuela Saragosa from BBC Services asked me whether it matters where Harley’s are made and what Harley fans like me make of the company’s decision to move some motorcycle manufacturing from the US to Thailand in order to dodge new EU retaliatory tariffs. Being honest, it doesn’t matter to me as long as the brand heritage and quality doesn’t change. Harley needs to do what they have to do to get bikes to customers at a price we can pay. Have a listen to the BBC podcast to hear my full thoughts on whether it matters where Harley’s are made
I’m absolutely buzzing to be a monthly columnist for the worlds biggest motorcycle publication, MCN, I’m let free to ‘blog-off’ and get revved-up about motorcycling. Make sure you buy the weekly publication to read it. And drop me a comment or message on Instagram if you have a topic you’d like to see me cover.
With nearly half a billion papers sold and more than 1.5 billion readers entertained and informed over its 59-year history, MCN can lay claim to being the world’s leading source of biking news. Motorcyclenews.com reinforces that claim with the same dedication and expertise which has made MCN’s voice the one the industry listens to, because we speak on behalf of you.
Penned from a one-room office on London’s Fleet Street, the first issue of MCN led with the exclusive story of multiple GP world champion Geoff Duke’s ban from the sport for supporting a riders’ strike, while inside editor and founder Cyril Quantrill’s first ever leader column impugned the sport’s highest councils for their cavalier treatment of privateer riders. A legend had been born.
The spirit of MCN then was as it is now: to bring you the stories and information you care most about, first.
It’s absolute honour for me to be working with MCN and I look forward to writing column after column for them, and maybe even more in time! Stay tuned.