The News Portsmouth: the first British woman to finish a route on a big adventure bike
As seen in The Portsmouth: A Portsmouth graduate who overcame the Moroccan sand dunes has become the first female motorbike racer to finish a demanding desert rally on a big bike.
Vanessa Ruck, aka The Girl on a Bike, reached the end of the 1000 Dunas rally on her adventure bike. She battled dry riverbeds, camel grass and rough terrain over a 1,500km route across seven days.
‘Most people were there on more typical smaller rally bikes. I was part of a very small group of nutters on large motorcycles’, Ms Ruck said. ‘The terrain was incredibly challenging at times and recovering a bike over three times your body weight in soft sand presents a real struggle.’
Passionate about offroad racing, Ms Ruck rode her Triumph Tiger Rally Pro 900 from the factory to the starting point in Granada – jumping straight in with little preparation. The course took riders across the Moroccan desert to Merzouga, before looping back to Spain.
Ms Ruck faced several challenges on the arduous course while riding with teammate Aled Price. She said she had to cover a section of the journey – 180km – alone as Mr Price’s bike broke down due to a burned-out clutch.
She added: ‘We had a section of small, uneven dunes covered in camel grass where Aled and I were in full survival mode. ‘We got more and more tired, so it was teamwork to recover the bikes until the unthinkable happened, Aled’s clutch burned out. The bike was dead.
‘As I pulled away, leaving him to be rescued, I knew I was riding for my life. My heart was racing and it took every bit of determination, strength and fight to make it through. Being alone in a desert on a bike like that was brutal, and the heat, and fatigue and fear builds very quickly.’
Riders are ranked according to their navigation accuracy and if they finish each stage. Ms Ruck finished eighth out of eleven Hard Trial finishers, wrestling with her heavy 900cc adventure bike while users used lighter vehicles.
Ms Ruck hopes her achievement inspired other women. She added: ‘Sure, I have to fight a little harder, I’m smaller and not as strong as a guy, but women absolutely can do it, and it’s a very powerful feeling.’
For the rest of the The News Portsmouth article see here.
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