Interview: Vanessa Ruck, ‘The Woman on a Bike’


On June thirteenth, I had an interview scheduled with a girl who I had already lined in an article right here at wBW.

Her title was Vanessa Ruck – and he or she had simply come out of the Tunisia Desert Problem as the primary lady to have ever competed within the competitors (thirty fifth out of 55 bikes, no much less).

This intrigued me – certain, laborious enduro isn’t precisely recognized for the silver spoon therapy, however the first gal? Nowadays?

I needed to chat along with her about it.

A brief sequence of scheduling later and I had the lady herself in entrance of me – and that’s once I realized.

Not solely was Vanessa probably the most pushed feminine I’d ever had the pleasure of assembly, however the whole lot she did – each competitors, each problem, each tick of the listing of hard-assery – she did in ache.

Actual, sing-yourself-to-sanity ache.

What does a girl like Vanessa do after a french kiss with a automotive, seven surgical procedures, and one of many extra intensive rehabilitation remedy schedules I’ve ever seen?

She buys a motorcycle and indicators herself up for THE hardest fashion of using recognized to our type.

I’m itching to select her noodle about something and the whole lot, so let’s dive in.

Vanessa Ruck, mid-recovery from her accident and post-surgeries, having fun with laborious enduro. All credit score given to the lady herself.

The accident that modified the whole lot for you; inform us what occurred.

So I used to be biking. I used to be on the best way to the wakeboarding lake to fulfill my husband and a few mates – only a actually regular Tuesday. 

Site visitors lights turned inexperienced, I carried on peddling by way of, and a automotive coming the opposite method determined to not cease. 

I went straight into the facet of the automotive, and life, in that second, modified very dramatically. 

Simply to be clear; I used to be not a bleeding, scraped up mess on the facet of the highway – nothing like that. Clearly I used to be shaken up – I’d simply been hit by a automotive – however the insane bit is that I used to be discharged later that evening with a prognosis of bruising…simply bruising! 

Since then I’ve had one surgical procedure per 12 months, unfold throughout seven years. So it was only a fixed kick within the face of going backwards, and it didn’t get simpler. 

With reoccurring surgical procedures, each time you return into surgical procedure, it will get tougher. The expectation is all mistaken – you suppose you get the hold of recovering, after which the outdated tissue is dug into once more and the psychological battle will get worse and worse. 

My psychological well being restoration has at all times been tougher than the bodily, and I’m very open about that. I began with a number of well being problems and it took quite a lot of processing time to heal…there have been some actually darkish days, and that’s the facet of issues which are usually invisible – even little issues, like overcoming the trauma of worry of the highway after an incident like that.

Vanessa Ruck's journey to recovery after a car accident with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck’s journey to restoration after a automotive accident along with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

Seven surgical procedures in as a few years. An insane testimony, given what you do in the present day – however what blows my thoughts is that you needed to persuade the medical trade that you just had greater than bruising…?

It was ridiculous, and yeah, it was extremely laborious – as a result of they’re telling you to belief the medical career, They have been being so inaccurate, messing me round and I used to be continually being put in conditions the place that belief was being misplaced – however on the finish of the day, you’ve gotta belief them as a result of they’re the professionals.

So I’d simply been hit by a automotive and I used to be being instructed I’d be ‘again to regular, again on my ft, growth, no drawback,’ perhaps simply have a little bit little bit of relaxation at residence. 

As I listened to their recommendation, although, I noticed the ache wasn’t altering – the swelling wasn’t taking place. So, I went to see my GP once more. 

There’s completely a component of ‘the squeaky wheel will get fastened first’ to all this, and the shoulder was actually the worst half (despite the fact that the hip ended up having 5 of the seven surgical procedures, it was dormant so wasn’t picked up at first). 

The docs’ reply to my ache was that I had ‘a little bit little bit of a sore shoulder’ and I wanted some steroid injections to get higher. 

Three steroid injections later, and nothing was bettering; that’s when he mentioned the following possibility was surgical procedure, and he instructed me the process. 

Within the high quality print, I used to be gonna lose a minimum of 25% of my vary. 


I didn’t like this. 

I noticed one other shoulder specialist – the second opinion. Earlier than I’d even sat down, he requested me why I might refuse surgical procedure – and I’m like, “I haven’t refused surgical procedure.”

So yeah, a great deal of stuff like that.

That first incision was apparently ‘a little bit cleanup factor,’ which did jack all. Then after that, the second opinion did the fitting scans and truly checked out my shoulder correctly – and that’s when my arm was identified as ‘not connected to my shoulder’. 

After 13 months? Insane.

My column collarbone was like 3mm up and 10mm again and you can bounce it round. 

Vanessa Ruck's journey to recovery after a car accident with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck’s journey to restoration after a automotive accident along with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

My arm was actually two inches longer – and that’s ‘simply bruising’??

So we’re 13 months after the accident, and the shoulder has began to attempt to heal itself, my physique doing precisely what unimaginable human our bodies do, attempting to adapt and cope. 

That second surgical procedure wasn’t only a restoration course of; it was an entire rehabilitation again to how my physique ought to sit, how the muscle mass needs to be – as a result of within the 13 months the whole lot had all tailored. It made the therapeutic course of quite a bit tougher.

In the meantime, I’m getting higher with my shoulder, and it is usually turning into increasingly more obvious that my hip is actually not okay. At that time I’d taken the journey with the shoulder and I form of had an concept of what was coming. 

I made a decision to attempt to go and do a few of the sports activities I used to do – that was the wake-up name, the ache. I used to be like, “wow, I’m not okay” – the hip was actually unhealthy.

Again in we go.

The primary specialist? Laughed me out of his workplace, saying that there was nothing mistaken with me (fortunately, he’s now retired so he can’t that to anyone else). 

Since then, I’ve had stem cell therapy, bone work, mushy tissue, ligament restore – the entire cartilage fully moved and rebuilt and reconstructed throughout 5 completely different surgical procedures (one of many large reconstructions, by the best way, needed to be carried out twice as a result of my hip didn’t take for no matter motive). 

Not going to lie, there have been occasions the place they have been telling me I wanted to have one other surgical procedure and I instantly began asking your self if I used to be making the ache up, like “perhaps I don’t want the surgical procedure. Perhaps I can dwell with this.”

However no, I couldn’t. The method of with the ability to go from strolling round proper now (in quite a lot of ache), again to being completely motionless and bedbound (and nonetheless in ache), after which to the rehab schedule…it was completely exhausting. 

There was one time frame the place I used to be in osteo, shock, wave hydro, and physio three days every week for 2 and a half hours at a time, on prime of a two hour commute into London, each methods per journey – after which a full day of labor within the workplace PLUS THE ICING. 

However you recognize what? You do what you gotta do – and if I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have been again to the same old.

Humorous…at this level was once I determined to get the bike. 

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

What’s been the largest consider getting your well being again on observe?

The largest half…positively mindfulness. 

It goes a good distance with worry, nervousness, even stress – and I actually emphasize mindfulness within the UK college packages I do as a option to give again.

Once I speak about mindfulness, a great deal of individuals take into consideration, you recognize, sitting on the ground and buzzing along with your fingers folded, knees crossed, no matter. 

I’m not the form of individual that’s gonna simply sit on the ground and attempt to consider nothing. That technique simply gained’t work for me, haha. 

To me, mindfulness is all concerning the realization that we’re accountable for our ideas and that we will have much more management of our acutely aware selves than I ever imagined might be attainable. 

By having management over ourselves, we even have extra management over our unconscious ideas – and our feelings are immediately linked to our ideas. 

To recuperate from the whole lot I’ve been by way of, I’ve form of skilled my thought course of round my ache, to acknowledge the set off ideas that come into my thoughts

I’ll simply go, “S***, my hip is actually hurting proper now,” and if I begin with that as my preliminary thought and I let that thought keep in my thoughts, I spiral. 

I’ll begin to deal with the truth that it hurts a lot, and it hurts once more in the present day, and it harm yesterday, and why does it need to hold hurting, why does my physique need to be so s***, I’m ineffective… It’s a freaking thoughts sport, and now I’m upset and there was no profit in me letting that thought keep. 

If I catch these ideas and I’m aware, I’ll be like, “let’s deal with one thing else” – the birds singing, calling a pal, specializing in anything. 

Vanessa Ruck's journey to recovery after a car accident with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck’s journey to restoration after a automotive accident along with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

By specializing in anything, we minimize out the mind’s tendency to go worst-case state of affairs and bounce into “what can I do in my management? I can’t eliminate it, that is my physique – do I have to take one other painkiller?… do I would like to vary what I’m doing? Sit down? Rise up?”

Finally, spiraling clouds judgement and judgement impacts feelings – and if you’re in a scary scenario, you possibly can really very often rationalize the scenario and work it out. 

It’s additionally helped me massively with getting on a motorcycle.  There’s a component of pure, cussed, willpower…the driving force from that accident had taken quite a bit away from me already, she had quite a lot of management over my life from that second. 

However letting her cease me from doing one thing as a result of I used to be scared was simply ridiculous. I wasn’t going to let her decide that –  I wasn’t gonna let that occur, and we will’t simply bubble wrap our lif

The truth that it was an accident was actually essential to deal with as effectively. She didn’t stand up that morning and go, ‘proper. What time’s Vanessa gonna be at visitors gentle?,’ you recognize? Haha!

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

So this superb drive that helped you to heal was additionally what drove you onto a motorbike, into all these competitions…do you might have any objectives in terms of difficult your self in your bike?

Assume largest purpose for me is to show to myself that I nonetheless can. 

Since getting on a motorbike (which occurred a transparent 5 months after shopping for the factor as a result of I used to be nonetheless in rehabilitation), I’ve realized that me pushing myself offers different individuals quite a lot of vitality. That form of helps drive my vitality a bit; if I can struggle by way of what I’m going by way of and take care of the ache that I dwell with – and if it helps us another person – then that’s big, with the ability to assist another person’s journey/life/battles. 

On the finish of the day, all of us have actually robust occasions; all that shiny, good stuff on social media? There’s a lot of it, which is why I at all times attempt to share all of it; a few of my YouTube movies are loopy private, and yeah, it makes me weak…however I feel as a result of I’m so open and all my playing cards are on the desk, persons are unimaginable and I very hardly ever get damaging feedback or something like that. 

Finally, with the racing, you possibly can solely develop exterior your consolation zone – and if you happen to by no means go exterior your consolation, you might be by no means gonna develop. Interval. 

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

Any pet peeves as knowledgeable biker? 

I usually get judged by how I look… 

I’ve simply obtained again from that European hog rally and this huge precept vendor for Harley Davidson met me and truly gave me a trip again from the customized present on the again of his Harley and it rapidly turned obvious within the dialog afterwards that he didn’t suppose I knew the best way to trip…you recognize, me being this tiny little blonde lady with ridiculously lengthy pure eyelashes. 

(I imply, squealed on the again of the bike extra as a result of I believed I used to be going to die and since he rode like a f***ing lunatic…anyway). 

The pal that I used to be with who was really advertising crew at Harley Davidson was like, “hold on a minute. You do know that she is aware of the best way to trip….proper?”

And he was similar to, trying me up and down and I’m similar to, oh God, Vicky’s about to go on a rampage…which she did, speaking about the truth that I do desert rallies and laborious enduro and the way I may in all probability out-ride most individuals at this rally – and his eyes get so large, haha.

A couple of minutes later and I’m really sitting in certainly one of his customized bikes, which is an absolute monster – 190 brake horsepower to the rear wheel; actual, actual,  loopy. 

I’m sitting there and he simply randomly jokes, “it’s best to do a burnout,” considering clearly I wouldn’t understand how. 

At that time the bear had been poked so I used to be all like, “you really need me to do a burnout?”

And he’s all altering his angle like, “do…have you learnt the best way to do a burnout?”

And I’m like, “in fact I do know do a burnout.” 

At this level the person’s already challenged me to do a burnout so he’s not gonna again out – and I certain ain’t gonna again out, haha…

(For reference, the entire garments rails and the store of this H-D vendor tent are proper in entrance of the bike, with like two and a half meters of area – after which previous which are the telephones, merchandise, and persons are in all places. Prime location for a burnout.) 

The second I began up that bike there was a crowd –  and Vicky’s like, “oh my God, ‘Nessa no, no, no, no…!”

I look to the vendor and I’m similar to, “you certain you need me to do a burnout? Trigger I’ll do one.”

And he simply smiles and is like, “go on then,” clearly considering I’m nonetheless not gonna do it.

So I turned it up, did the burnout. 

The gang went loopy, and for the following like 4 minutes, he didn’t know what to do himself. He was similar to, “holy shit,” haha!

The stability of being underestimated is that I like that form of vitality of with the ability to simply show individuals mistaken. Like, I work actually laborious to attempt to be a greater author to attempt to be taught extra, to attempt to perceive extra about bikes, in addition to rising as a human and it’s simply hilarious when individuals decide you by the duvet and then you definately show to them that you just’ve really put some work into it. 

Ruck in the Tunisia Desert Rally when she got stranded. Photo courtesy of Twitter.
Ruck within the Tunisia Desert Rally when she obtained stranded. Picture courtesy of Twitter.

Talking of labor, your latest success on the Tunisia Desert Problem (TDC) was insane – and now you’re gunning for Dakar?

For any laborious enduro occasion, I’ll do it once I’m prepared. 

The amount of cash and funds laying down – it’s quite a bit, and as a lot as occasions just like the Dakar have an enormous status, I’m additionally realizing that there are quite a lot of different races which are really tougher. 

Take the TDC. I spoke to lots of people within the problem which have carried out Dakar – one man had carried out Dakar 10 occasions on a motorcycle and completed, completed 10 occasions…and he mentioned day three of TDC was the toughest day of using – ever – in his life. 


The distinction is that the Tunisia Desert Problem is an excessive rally raid, so it’s tougher to stay, it’s obtained extra sophisticated navigation, however no highway liaison. So that you’re doing a 450km-ish particular check (which is identical because the Dakar size), BUT you’re not doing three/4 hours of highway at starting and the tip of the day. That’s the Dakar, they make you do the 7k highway, on prime of the particular check, so it’s extra concerning the endurance than the precise rider navigation expertise. 

I actually loved Tunisia, and hey – perhaps I’ll do it once more. By some means sitting on the highway doesn’t even sound that enjoyable, haha!

All that being mentioned (and regardless of being thirty fifth of 55 bikes to complete at TDC and the one lady), the psychological pressure in preparation for the raid was brutal, completely brutal. I cried a lot in every week – the ache on my hip, the ache of the endurance, the worry of all of it. 

I had two straight days the place I had bike malfunctions and obtained stranded within the dunes. It was terrifying being out within the desert by yourself – and I used to be the furthest of any motorbikes that obtained recovered, which I’m fairly happy with, however wow. Yeah. That’s why I needed to get recovered. 

Vanessa Ruck in the Tunisia Desert Rally when she got stranded. Photo courtesy of GirlOnABike.
Vanessa Ruck within the Tunisia Desert Rally when she obtained stranded. Picture courtesy of GirlOnABike.

Are you able to inform us a bit about these two days of being stranded?

Properly I used to be within the thick of issues and I noticed it was half previous 5, and it was going to be darkish in about 45 minutes – pitch black. 

I used to be fully by myself, in the course of the sand dunes, kilometers after kilometers from something – so I went proper into survival mode. 

The bogeyman is completely actual for me, so I knew was gonna be terrified alone like that; I obtained my survival package out and I took additional electrolytes, all my vitamin D issues to assist me bodily.. I additionally labored out precisely what was gonna assist me, how lengthy the whole lot was gonna final, figuring I may have one thing now and one thing about 1:00 AM after which one thing within the early hours of the morning. It wasn’t sufficient to what my physique wanted primarily based on the truth that I’d been using 11 and a half hours, however a minimum of the whole lot might be timed out. 

I spent about half an hour gathering firewood, ensuring that I by no means let my bike exit sight – it’s loopy on the market, you will get disoriented so rapidly. I additionally took the whole lot off, right down to my base layers and allow them to air dry in that final 45 minutes of daylight in order that I didn’t go into the night moist with sweat. 

A little bit hearth pit was dug later with my head torch round my neck – realizing there was no method it was gonna final all evening – and I had laid the whole lot out precisely the place it wanted to be and shielded my little space a bit with the sand. 

Within the final 10, quarter-hour of sunshine, I obtained the fireplace lit after which I mainly simply sat there and tried to remain calm, loaded the mindfulness on – simply freaking out about being on the desert my very own, haha. 

Oh, it was pitch black; I may hear issues – there was nothing there, however in a state like that if you’re simply on excessive alert it’s one other ballgame – however I knew the fireplace, it was a consolation.

I targeted on the truth that I had a fireplace and animals weren’t gonna come close to me trigger animals don’t like fires. 

After a bit the wind began to select up, which I discovered actually scary, trigger the sand is blowing in all places and it’s extremely loud. I put my earplugs again in so I may simply attempt to keep calm by not listening to the wind. It helped me form of course of that. 

The entire thing that evening was fairly routine; simply form of lay there and attempt to snooze and have a little bit nap after which throw extra wooden on and have a little bit nap once more, attempting to deal with how noisy the fireplace was , and many others.

Closing my eyes cuz helped me in processing the fears, attempting to rationalize. And you recognize what?I used to be okay; I used to be good and heat. I used to be secure. I had a fireplace and the group know the place I used to be. My bike sat there pinging each 30 seconds and I obtained picked up in the course of the evening ( which was superior) by the sweeper truck. 

And so they obtained me again to the bivouac at 3:30 within the morning, my mechanics instantly leaping on my bike and me heading to mattress till the bike was fastened two and a half hours later. 

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

Again out into the desert I went; about 4 hours later, the bike went mistaken once more – which actually sucks nevertheless it occurs. 

That was the second time being stranded, however there have been a great deal of automobiles going previous and so they have been carrying additional water and meals, to present to us motorbikes – partially an organizer factor, partially obligatory of the drivers, and all as a result of we’re so weak as motorcyclists. Like you possibly can’t carry extra three liters on a motorbike out into the desert. 

In order that they threw water and meals at me as they went previous, they have been being completely superior. 

4 and a half hours into the day, and I couldn’t make any shade as a result of the solar was so excessive within the desert and I used to be subsequent to my bike (which I couldn’t get to face up in any case), By about half two, some drivers stopped and helped me get my bike upright with a bit of wooden that they’d of their automotive. After which I used to be capable of make a little bit bit shade. 

I put my emergency blanket over the bike and the whole lot else – about 9 bottles of water and the meals.

Individuals have been giving it and it was all fairly thrilling. I used to be watching the opponents like in every single place, coming by way of the sand, dunes – all of the completely different automobiles. 

After which I began to actually rapidly deteriorate; it was 45 levels warmth, with no shade for a lot of the day.  Regardless of doing the whole lot that I had in my energy, my physique began to go downhill – and after about seven hours on the market, I noticed that I used to be beginning to wobble and it felt like somebody had a stick and was simply going bam, bam on my head. 

Worst half, two days in the past somebody had died due to the very same factor and so they didn’t name for assist. I attempted calling for assist, however my safety system didn’t appear to be working – so I attempted once more and it was then that I noticed that I couldn’t even stroll round to my bike to hit the button. 

I crawled to the facet and that’s when the doubting ideas got here in, all like, “I’m not an emergency. I haven’t crashed. I’m not bleeding. I’m simply feeling actually sizzling within the desert. That is ridiculous.”

Took me like three goes to really press it for the 5 seconds that may – nothing occurred. 

And at this level, the wind had actually picked as much as the purpose that I’d been mendacity within the fetal place subsequent to my bike with my little scarf round my head, attempting to make a pocket of air in order that I may breathe greater than sand. 

All of the sudden I hear the helicopter and the sound of that helicopter simply sends me right into a match as a result of I can hardly transfer – I get the heebie-geebie’s simply fascinated by it. 

I roll over and I see ithe helicopter do an enormous circle round me and I attempt to like transfer and wave. 

After which it flew away. 

Clearly it may well see me, it’s obtained my GPS location and it may well see my bike, however nonetheless; in that second my world form of died a little bit bit and I had in all probability the worst panic assault I’ve ever had in my life.  

Perhaps about 10 minutes later I hear this voice and a hand on my again – scared the life out of me..however mainly the closest the helicopter may discover to land was 500 meters away.

That meant this poor paramedic (he’s an absolute hero) needed to like drag/carry/raise me 500 meters by way of the sand dunes, leaving the whole lot else behind – my bike, my rucksack (which had my passport and the entire stuff that I needed to carry) – precedence was getting me within the helicopter. 

They obtained me again to the bivouac and so they have been scared. They’ve since instructed me that they have been terrified after they discovered me, that I used to be actually near the sting. 

My sodium ranges in my blood was dropping, inflicting my organs to increase – that’s what was responsible for the headache- and in the event that they didn’t catch it after they did, then it will have been deadly or on the very least brought about mind harm. 

Vanessa Ruck's journey to recovery after a car accident with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck’s journey to restoration after a automotive accident along with her bicycle left her shoulder and hip injured. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

In order that they put me on the drip, after which one other drip. I had three drips ultimately, and it was the weirdest feeling, being conscious and mendacity within the tent with like 4 paramedics working round you panicking – and the entire when you’re attempting to remain calm, however you’re like, they’re not calm. Why are they not calm? Why am I not calm? 

That following evening my bike was recovered however I wanted to remain again and recuperate. So, I attempted to sleep with horrific evening terrors, being completely petrified of going again on the market, considering to myself, “that’s it, I’m carried out. I’ll get up within the morning. And I’ll, I’ll retire. I’ve simply bitten off greater than I can chew.”

I get up within the morning and I’m again; I’m like, “the place is my bike,” haha!

After that, I went again out into, into the desert, which occurred the day the wind storms picked up with 85 kilometer winds; that day, the race ended up getting canceled mid-morning, however we have been already on the market, attempting to get ourselves out of the desert in a sand retailer the place you couldn’t see something. You are attempting to observe the highway e book and observe tracks, however there aren’t any tracks – your individual observe disappeared inside two minutes from the wind. 

Anyway, yeah- we made it again, however there have been moments the place I used to be actually attempting to do 10km at time. I couldn’t take into consideration the truth that I had 350km left, so I’d say to myself, “ I’m simply gonna do the following 10km,” or, “I’m gonna simply make the following test,” or “I’m simply make it to lunch…and if I make it to lunch, you recognize, I can at all times retire at lunch.”

Then I’d make it to lunch and I’sd be like, “you recognize what? I can do a bit extra. Let’s go, let’s hold going.”

Little by little like that. It was brutal – but when it wasn’t brutal, it wouldn’t be wherever close to as satisfying. 

I feel there’s positively a really small quantity of individuals that aren’t afraid to be in that mind-set and push themselves that arduous. I feel that’s, what’s so inspiring about raids like this, to be trustworthy. 

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

Did you might have any skilled influences encourage you into using (after which the rally raids)?

The primary race I did was a results of Paul Bolton, a tough enduro rider. I rode with him out in Spain at Touro path. Simply did a bit of coaching day with him. 

After that coaching day he Whatsapped me and was like, “you might want to enter Valley’s excessive,” which was a tough enduro within the south of Wales within the UK. 

I similar to, “no method.  I’ll die,” however he stored chipping away at me to the purpose the place I used to be like, “we’re gonna do the practise day on Saturday – after which we’ll watch the race.”

Me and my husband did the practise day, then we determined to simply make a lap. 

It was really superb, then all of the crew there determined we should always simply fricking get the factor carried out and enter the race. 

We completed a lap and a half, which was a silver end – and I used to be like “that is insane.”

I bear in mind sitting initially line and 5 meters in entrance of me was a thigh-high, plastic drain pipe that we needed to like launch straight over this large factor proper off the beginning line.

There’s a whole lot of individuals within the crowd watching, and all the opposite bikes subsequent to me; I’m the one lady (trigger you’re fairly often the one lady, sadly, in these items). 

The entire time, I’m like, “I’m gonna die. Why am I right here?”

Race begins, and I rode straight into this pipe, bust it completely excessive, carried on chipping away, overtook individuals. And yeah, I used to be actually pleasing how I did. 

That was the seed of desirous to do extra of those races – and earlier than we even obtained residence to our home, my husband and I had signed up for Redbull Romania on the drive residence. There’s no method we may have carried out pink bull Romania to that time, however we had a 12 months to coach and we have been gonna prepare. 

Vanessa Ruck in her natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Ruck's archives.
Vanessa Ruck in her pure habitat. Picture courtesy of Vanessa Ruck’s archives.

Amidst all this, you’re nonetheless an inspiring speaker within the UK for psychological well being – for all communities or extra rider-focused crowds? 


I’ve spoken to so many colleges within the UK in free workshops below the #becauseICan tag – six and a half thousand college students for the reason that finish of final 12 months. 

I additionally converse to firm manufacturers –  GE aviation, that’s one; I’ve additionally carried out fairly just a few company talking occasions now the place it’s not a biker viewers in any respect. 

Ultimately everybody can relate to what I’ve been by way of; in the mean time I’m looking for a sponsor for my colleges program to assist me fund stuff as a result of I’m a little bit individual attempting to do it and I’d like to have the ability to do extra.

So if I can get a model to assist me with the prices of it, it makes it much more possible as a result of each college I do…it simply blows me away how a lot they get from it. 

And I by some means handle to get by way of to probably the most weak youngsters that the lecturers have been banging their heads towards wall for 3 months about – and I’ll make extra progress in an hour than they’ve in three months. The lecturers actually say that to me. 

It’s insane, however I feel my distinctive story is fairly cool to a child. 

It helps that I rock up with a bike within the room, and I additionally converse their language as a result of I’ve obtained social media and I get them actually hooked into the story and the journey.

And whereas their guards are down, they’re focused on a few of these mindfulness strategies and instruments 

Vanessa Ruck with her machine of choice. Photo courtesy of Ruck's own archives.
Vanessa Ruck along with her machine of selection. Picture courtesy of Ruck’s personal archives.

What have you ever obtained within the storage proper now?

So, I’ve my Husqvarna TE250I laborious enduro bike… I’ve obtained Bear, my trials bike. 

I’ve obtained a 1250 Pan America and I’ve obtained a Dyna Road – each Harley-Davidson, which is simply shy of 1700cc. That’s my authentic, his title is Thug, haha!

I’ve additionally obtained a Honda CRF 450 RX rally bike…and I’m on the hunt in the mean time for a brand new 450 Husqvarna to grow to be my future rally bike. 

Any parting phrases you may have the ability to share with different younger ladies beginning out within the motorbike trade – or anyone trying to swing a leg over? 

Simply being aware if you problem your self – it’s so essential, and has been so helpful for me in laborious enduro. 

That’s the factor about laborious enduro – not sufficient ladies are doing it. 

If I can present women that women can do it and get extra women on the market, that’s actually cool by way of my channels; and likewise…quite a lot of guys will have a look at her and be like, “effectively, she will do it. She’s a woman. Perhaps I ought to give it a go.”

So it form of conjures up everybody to have a go, which is fairly cool.

We hope you loved this interview – we definitely loved the entire course of on this finish. 
Make sure to help Vanessa on her web site,, test again right here for updates, and as ever – keep secure on the twisties.
*Media courtesy of Twitter, The Woman on a Bike, and Vanessa Ruck herself*


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