A MONMOUTH motorcycle rider is using her inspiring story to teach people how to overcome barriers – no matter what they are.

In 2014, Vanessa Ruck's life was turned upside down after she was knocked off her bike when a car ran a red light.

“Before my accident, I was working full-time and passionate about sports,” said Mrs Ruck.

She was left bedridden for a period of time and needed seven reconstructive surgeries over the next seven years, including one on her right shoulder and five on her hip. It was during the period when she was bedridden that she became interested in motorbikes.

“I was led in bed and said to my husband that I wanted a dirt bike," she said. "He looked at me like I was mad and said ‘let’s get you that bike'.

“It took me five months to get to even sit on the bike as I couldn’t even get out of bed to go to the toilet so I set myself little goals like getting out of bed to go to the toilet rather than using a bedpan.”

Free Press Series:

It is this kind of goal setting that Mrs Ruck is using to help young people. Alongside competing at motorbike events across the world, she is now giving motivational talks and practical sessions in schools.

“When you believe in yourself, it’s absolutely incredible what you can achieve,” she said. This is the message that she aims to get through to young people who see her sessions.

She was inspired to give these sessions after the pandemic hit and seeing media reports of how children and young people will be losing out on 40 per cent of their future income due to time lost in school and losing out on vital education and experiences.

“It’s so sad to see that written,” she said. “And they will believe it too because they’re seeing it in the media.


“I wanted to use my story to show that you can achieve anything you want to and to show how people can achieve their dreams and goals by setting smaller goals and creating a positive mindset.”

Free Press Series:

Mrs Ruck visits schools to tell the pupils about her story and how they can achieve their goals and also provides practical workshops.

“In one workshop, one of the pupils was causing some distractions and was sat at the side of the room," she said. "They were still listening and when it came to writing down goals, I went over to them and asked what their goals were.”

She said that the pupil ‘didn’t have any’ but then said they wanted to do a 180 wheelspin on their bike and couldn’t because they were grounded for not doing well in school. Mrs Ruck said that when she explained how with setting goals such as being better in school would lead to being able to ride the back by not being grounded and then the goal was closer, the pupil’s eyes lit up as the penny dropped.

Free Press Series:

The workshops are completely free for schools. Mrs Ruck is also willing to do workshops for any groups, clubs, businesses etc who would like her to but there will be a fee for these. Anyone interested can contact her via hello@thegirlonabike.com and more can be found about the workshops on www.thegirlonabike.com