The Girl On A Bike, also known as Vanessa Ruck, won the Best Social Media Channel and Most Inspirational Rider Award at the Motorbike TV Peoples Awards.
A Bournemouth University graduate and social media influencer has won two national awards for her YouTube and creative online content.
Vanessa, who completed her Master’s in Public Relations at BU in 2009, uses her social media channels to share her own inspirational story. After being hit by a car while cycling in 2014, Vanessa underwent seven surgeries and a roller-coaster of mental and physical recovery spanning seven years. Through her recovery she discovered motorcycles, becoming known as The Girl On A Bike.
She said: “Motorcycles, something I started post-accident, have become my love and passion. If you’d asked me seven years ago whether I would be racing off-road motorcycles and delivering motivational speaking, I’d have probably choked on my drink! But life takes us on some amazing journeys.
“People can relate to my story because everyone goes through bad times. We all have battles, some less visible than others, but with a positive outlook, determination and a smile, these battles can be a little easier. Hopefully I am inspiring others to show that if I can bounce back and keep going, others can get through their hard times.”
As a motorcycle rider and racer, Vanessa speaks about the challenges of recovery from a life-changing accident and making the most of every day despite ongoing pain. Despite the shift in circumstances and career, she reflects that she has continued to draw on her BU postgraduate qualification. Vanessa said: “After my Master’s, I dived straight into industry. After a 10-year marketing career I was able to transfer my understanding of brand positioning, storytelling and marketing, to build my own online brand, which now has nearly quarter of a million followers.”
Vanessa now spends her time sharing all elements of life, largely surrounding motorcycles, and also does charity work delivering free workshops to UK youth. Utilising her recovery to engage young minds she talks about resilience, goal setting and coping with life’s pressures.
You can follow Vanessa across her social channels: