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Vanessa Ruck - AKA The Girl on a Bike: From Adversity to Adventure on Two Wheels.

Renata Chlumska  - Adventure athlete who became the first Swedish and Czech woman to climb Mount Everest and in 2005 did a circumnavigate of the lower 48 States of the United States by her own power.

Born and raised in England. Vanessa grew up in the great outdoors, getting muddy with escapism always being through sports. Whether that’s kite surfing, snowboarding or mountain biking, it’s always been about getting physical.

However, life took a turn in 2014 when Vanessa was hit by a red-light-jumping car while cycling. Since that day she’s made it her goal to make the most out of life.

With a 6.5 year recovery seeing 7 surgeries and two reconstructed body parts, it’s been a roller coaster for Vanessa, but through this she discovered motorcycles. Starting with cruising but rapidly ramping up to trials, adv and now even full hard enduro as her body healed. Bikes have swiftly become Vanessa favourite form of adventure; the open road, the power, the ability to simply disappear into the unknown and travel the world.

Vanessa is known for sharing her journey with the world, but not just the happy days you expect on social media. She’s real and honest, showing the rough and the tough days too

Vanessa’s love for two wheels has seen her riding all over the world in recent years, including Bolivia, Ukraine, Sardinia, Iceland and many more.

*** This episode was recorded live at the Armchair Adventure Festival 27th - 30th July 2023. Buy tickets now for #AAF24 - THE UK'S MOST ADVENTUROUS FESTIVAL. Mt Edgcumbe, Cornwall, 25-28th July 2024, Use TG10 to get a 10% discount on tickets. ***


Listen to Vanessa Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Vanessa?

  • Vanessa’s early sports memories

  • Growing up in a very active childhood

  • Living on a remote island in Bahamas in her early 20s

  • Working as a marketing and PR for marine biology research

  • Going out doing shark research

  • Getting her first motorbike

  • Getting hit by a car while cycling

  • 7-year recovery from the accident

  • Being diagnosed with multiple mental health disorders

  • Having a hard time dealing with mental health recovery

  • What Vanessa has learned from being in recovery and how it has given her a new perspective in life

  • Starting to post pictures of herself from before the accident

  • Wanting to be something real on social media

  • Quitting her full-time job

  • Why sharing her story helps her overcome the pain

  • Talking about Tunisia desert challenge

  • Getting stranded in dunes

  • Mindfulness and how it helped her manage her pain

  • Having the biggest panic attack of her life

  • Being in 46-degree heat with no shade for the day

  • The helicopter that saved her life

  • Advice for women who want to get into the sport

  • Nutrition and fitness; Fitness vs. Skill

  • What is the hardest thing to go through

  • The next big race, the Africa Eco Race

  • Working with a charity, Tools for Life

  • Doing free workshops in any school in the UK

  • Vanessa's words of wisdom


Social Media

Instagram @thegirlonabike


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