The Girl on a Bike in the Media

BBC Interview: does it matter where Harley’s are made?

BBC World Service Logo

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

Trumps Trade War https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3cswgq3

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

MCN: Columnist for the worlds biggest motorcycle publication

MCN Motorcycle News

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.

About MCN

[excerpt from MCN website]

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.

About Me

About Vanessa Ruck, The Girl On A Bike

The Girl On A Bike, About Vanessa Ruck

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
Female motorcycle rider UK Vanessa Ruck also known as 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.

Ultimately, life is short, so it’s so important we don’t waste time or let life just slip 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.

Girl motorcycles?

With a 7 year recovery seeing 7 surgeries and two reconstructed body parts, it’s been a roller coaster for me, but through this I’ve discovered motorcycles. Starting with cruising but rapidly ramping up to trials, adv and now even full hard enduro as her my heals. Bikes have swiftly become my favourite form of adventure; the open road, the power, the ability to simply disappear into the unknown and travel the world.

Over the years I’ve become known for sharing my journey with the world, but not just the happy days you expect on social media. I feel social media can be so toxic with all too perfect ‘unreal’ lives projected. I work hard to be real and honest, showing the rough and the tough days too.

My love for two wheels has seen me riding all over the world in recent years, including Bolivia, Ukraine, Sardinia, Iceland and many more. I want to prove that anyone get get up and enjoy life on two wheels, proving girls on bikes is normal, possible. We need more girl motorcycle conversations!

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

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Women Adventure Riders

My chat with Women Adventure Riders

I spoke to Women Adventure Riders about my life, how the accident changed, how I’ve learned to live with pain and also discovered that motorcycles breed! Check out the full article here

 

https://womenadvriders.com/girl-on-a-bike/

“My goal is to make the most of life, because in a moment, it can change.” Vanessa, The Girl On a Bike

Vanessa speaks the truth of her experience when she states this fact. Throughout her life, she was active, riding a bicycle to work, kite surfing on the weekend, mountain biking whenever she could until one fateful evening in March 2014 when everything changed.  In one thoughtless moment, a car ran a red light. One moment Vanessa was riding her bicycle through the intersection, the next she was on the ground [read more here].

Girl On A Bike

Her injuries were not life threatening, at least from a medical perspective. But they have been slow to heal and without a doubt, life changing.  Shoulder surgeries, hip surgeries, every therapy imaginable.  She literally last week faced another painful surgery, number 5, yet if you talked to her, you wouldn’t know it. There’s something about Vanessa with her positive outlook and hopefulness.

Girl On A Bike

Vanessa grew up with horses.  With horses, when you fall off, you just get back on. She’s been frustrated by the fact that she physically hasn’t been able to just hop back onto a bicycle, but during her recovery, she did discover she could ride a motorcycle. “I realized I can use that to commute to avoid traffic.”  Vanessa started riding as much as she could. She loved the freedom, the acceleration, the wind in her hair. She admits that at times, she feels vulnerable on a motorcycle. “Seeing cars coming from my right still freaks me out, three and a half years later.” But that does not stop her from riding, whenever her medical procedures allow.

On Breeding Motorcycles

When asked about how she got into riding dirt, Vanessa laughs. “No one told me that motorbikes breed!” One night, Vanessa had spare time. She was poking around on the internet, probably watching some YouTube when she said aloud “We need a dirtbike!”

Girl on a Bike

Photo: Adrenaline Images

Her husband looked up from his book “ok.” They bought a WR250 to share, to see if this was something they’d even like. She was actually recovering from a surgery at that time, so she wasn’t even able to find out. She spent her time watching over it, cleaning it and daydreaming about riding dirt.  When she finally could ride, two things quickly became obvious. She loved riding off road, and the WR was not the right bike for her. She upgraded to a two-stroke KTM and spent as much time “green laning” as she could. “This was the new thing!”

Girl On A Bike

On Self Confidence and  Being a Gal

Adventure truly is attitude. All of her life, Vanessa has enjoyed male dominated activities. “What has given me the self confidence to do what I do?” she reflected. “My parents never said ‘you can’t do that’. I grew up with an older brother and two older male cousins.  I had to keep up and defend myself and stand my ground.”

Girl on a Bike

Vanessa’s first bicycle

These days, Vanessa finds it satisfying to be in front of a “group of blokes, and able to roll up on a bike as big as theirs or talk engines with them.”  She has run into her fair share of skepticism.  At shops, sometimes she gets the question “Oh, which bike would you have if you could have a bike?”  She realizes that she doesn’t look like a typical motorbiker with the blond hair and long eyelashes. So, she’s just honest, and shows up as a rider, a snowboarder, a surfer. Her husband chimes in “you’re quite credible in the knowledge you have, that helps you stand your ground.”

Girl On A Bike

Girl On A Bike

“I’m not a girl rider. I’m just a rider.”  The enduro scene seems to have created its own challenge around gender. “At a practice racing event, I am one of 2 or 3 women out of 300 bikes. I am a novice, and honestly, this is the most vile group of guys I have run into. They see a girl, and the most important thing is that they get in front of you.” She just carries on, doing her best, knowing that she is going to progress and someday, they won’t be getting around her.

She also noted that “Sometimes girls don’t help themselves.” She encourages women to ask questions and to do research so they can talk intelligently about the sport. “Just trying to be pretty and sexy, you may generate the wrong sort of attention. Go into it like a real biker.”

Girl On A Bike

On Learning to Ride

Vanessa obviously knows her way around a motorcycle. We wondered if she grew up around them. Vanessa told us that her dad had a motorbike when she was a kid.  She knows it’s true because there are photos, but she doesn’t remember it at all! Her dad was into cars “so I was always a petrolhead. I learned how to drive at 13, and I bought my first car when I was 16. I woke up the day of my 17th birthday to tremendous fog, but that didn’t stop me from driving my car.  My parents hopped in with me, and I drove up the highway. Why wait until the morning!”

She later got her first motorcycle when she was working in the Bahamas. “I ordered a bike from China, and it came in a box in pieces. I traded a box of rum to someone to build my motorbike. It didn’t bother me that I didn’t know how to ride, I just figured other people can ride, I can do it.”

Girl On A Bike

She and her husband rode Harley-Davidson’s on their honeymoon.  When her husband returned from active duty, she planned an anniversary ride for them, and she realized “We need Harley’s.”

Girl On A Bike

photo: Vicky Bowers

So, what is The Girl On a Bike?

The Girl on a Bike is Vanessa’s  Instagram account. Vanessa shares that “this has been a huge emotional roller coaster and I’ve had to learn to deal with pain.”  In the process, she has learned mindfulness and how to choose to be positive. When she was at home recovering from major hip surgery in 2016 and wanting to connect with people, “The Girl on a Bike” was born.  “It’s pretty much just following my life. I just post shots of me doing my life, getting out and trying to make the most of things. I don’t do anything special for it.”

Girl On A Bike

Through this, she has found that there are other people struggling, and her own struggle, attitude, and sharing have inspired them.  “I love helping inspire other people to do more with their lives.” She has had the opportunity to work with brands that she connects with. “If it’s on my site, it’s because I use it.”

Vanessa is also starting a “The Girl on a Bike” YouTube channel.  It is going to focus on her working on her bikes.  “There’s so much out there that the normal average person can do on their motorcycle.” She wants people to see that you don’t have to be special to work on a bike, and “there’s a lot of satisfaction in doing what you can at home.” She’s an account director in business to business marketing – it’s fast paced, challenging and pays for her fun, but has nothing to do with motorcycles. “If I can work on my bike, anyone can!”

On Spirit

There’s something about Vanessa.  We asked her about her spiritual path. “I’m spiritual in a way that I don’t even know what it is. There is so much more to life than we actually know. I don’t have the vocabulary or understanding to describe it.” She told us that her mom works as a spiritual healer, and is an excellent example of how much more there is to life than meets the eye.

Girl On A Bike

photo: Vicky Bowers

“Our mind has so much power; there is so much that is unconscious, but we can consciously change so much. When we go out in a bad mood, we are actually making a choice to be in a bad mood. Kick that out and put a smile on your face. You are going to get back what you put out.”   This has been true with pain. “I try to focus on the fact that I’m not in pain.” She is also an incredibly grateful person, who notices the smallest joys and beauties.

Girl On A Bike

What’s next?

The moment Vanessa is cleared to ride from her next surgery, don’t be surprised if you see her on a plane to Morocco to ride off road. She’s launching a website to continue to share her story, to help her stay motivated in her recovery, and to continue to inspire and encourage others who are struggling.

Girl On A Bike

Vanessa leaves us with one important thought

“More girls should ride bikes!” Vanessa, we agree.  And, we think you exemplify #adventureisattitude !

Discounts

Get up to 40% cash back when you shop online

Did you know there’s a free way you can get cash back (up to 40%) when you shop online? … I didn’t!

I definitely wish I had know about this earlier in life!

I was chatting to a friend about the boring task of changing energy suppliers, and they mentioned that they do it every year simply to get cash back [and normally save money on their bills too] I was like, “WOW cash back from simply changing energy supplier and shoppinh? I need to know about this”

His reply was.. “Yeah, you can get shed loads of cashback on so many of the normal online shopping you do! I got £50 just for changing my gas supplier and I get a 5% every time I spend on ebay – which is a LOT!”

“What?!” .. so I asked how.

Turns out there’s a company called TopCashBack and ebates

It’s totally FREE and when you make purchases online they will give you cash back, which you can get sent to your bank account, Paypal or to a preferred store credit note. Super simple.

I decided it was time to switch energy provider, and boom £37.50 cahsback AND I actually got a better deal on my energy. WIN WIN.
2017-05-07 11_10_52-TopCashback - Transactions by Member

I don’t know why I’ve never heard of this before! Every time I book trips, by new kit,  shop on eBay, or things from Amazon I will use it …I even buy bike gear, and earn cashback!

So, here’s how it works:

All you need to do…is sign up, which takes minutes. So for me, I shop at an array of places so I’m actually subscribed both of these sites as they each cover slightly different brands, which basically means, no matter where I’m shopping I’m earning cashback! Nice!

Step 1: Sign up for a free account here: TopCashBack.com AND ebates.com

Step 2: Click the Join Now button on the top of the page. I highly recommend joining both if you really want to earn!

2017-05-07 11_17_12-TopCashback Official Site_ UK's Highest Paying Cashback Site

Then you will see this…and at this point you’ll already have earned £5 from Topcashback simply from signing up via a referral. Sweet!

2017-05-07 11_19_50-TopCashback - Account Overview

Step 4: That’s it! It’s that simple. Now you’re ready to earn up to 40% cash back on your online purchases.

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There have been a few times , I’ve totally forgotten to go to the site first done a shop and missed out…so frustrating… but they’ve made it simple for us to earn £££$$$!

Add the Cash Back Button extension to your browser.. It’s free too.

Then when you have money in the bank they can send you a check, bank transfer or PayPal..

I just logged in and this is what it says lol

That’s £377.74 of free money! Nice!

2017-05-07 11_45_57-TopCashback - Account Overview

So if you going to buy things online anyway, you may as well get cash back.

Start your free account here: TopCashBack.com AND ebates.com

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Here’s how it works

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Antonaslant’s: Top 10 Biker chicks that you should be following

Antonaslant

I’m honoured to have made it into Antonaslant’s “Top 10 Biker chicks that you should be following” Check out the story and the other awesome biker ladies!

Thegirlonabike, known to her friends as Vanessa, 31 from England, can often be seen riding her Harley-Davidson DYNA Street Bob and KTM EXC 200 2-stroke. She first got into motorcycling when she ordered a bike from China, whilst working in the Bahamas. After trading a box of rum for someone to piece the bike together, she’s never looked back. We can certainly say this woman has one heck of a sense of adventure.

Top 10 biker chicks that you should be following Instagram TheGirlOnABike

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

Built Magazine

Built Magazine

After a fantastic long weekend at the 2017  Camp VC girls only camping weekend, I was lucky enough to chat to Built Magazine about how I got into biking.

 

Buy your issues here: Built Magazine

https://www.instagram.com/p/BbP-52Qj_lv/?taken-by=thegirlonabike

The Girl on a Bike in the Media

View Ranger

View Ranger

Living in England, we have a vast array of byways available for exploring on the enduro bikes. However, the tricky part is knowing how to find them and plotting a route navigating across the country using them. This is where I use View Ranger, and following my love for the system I met up with the guys at View Ranger to talk about how I use it.

A day with @TheGirlOnABike, the biker getting her life back

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