Taking your kids on bikepacking trips might be the best present you can offer them: they get to know and enjoy the wilderness, it gives them self-confidence and as a parent, you get to spend some quality time with your family!
Gosia Black found an unexpected way to fund her mother-daughter bikepacking dream.
So Gosia, you promised your daughter to go on a biketrip together?
Yes! Stuck in a loud and busy city, facing everyday struggles, Mimi and I often escape into pictures of green landscapes, wild forests, chains of mountains falling into the clear blue lakes…
She dreams of wild camping in Scotland, hoping to see a wild cat and I promised her we’ll do so…
And when you promise something to a child, it’s a serious matter!
My goal is to show her that if we work hard, we can achieve things that a few months ago seemed to be just faraway dreams.
I want to show her a mum who is encouraging, brave, strong and positive. Because as I always say: In her eyes I’m the best even at my worst.
My goal is to show her the beauty I have found by travelling on a bike. A sense of freedom, pushing your limits, perseverance, getting back up after falling down and acting responsibly towards the environment… These are beautiful things to share.
It’s always an exciting to experience new landscapes by bike, the change of scenery, fresh air, new foods….and for the most part we don’t need to travel far to enjoy these different experiences.
Europe is a continent full of wonder with its forests, mountains, coastline and even deserts.
We all know that cars and planes are most polluting forms of transport, yet it’s easy to reduce our carbon footprint with so much on our doorstep.
Make your next trip more eco-friendly,
discover your local area by bike
or put the bike on the train to ride further afield.
If you need to use the car, carpool with friends!
Do we need to always travel so far?
Keep bigger trips to a minimum and enjoy what’s in reach of 2 wheels
How did you get this idea of drawing bikes?
One evening I grabbed my pens and just doodled a bike. I’ve always loved crafts, DIY and handmade stuff but I have never before done any watercolour drawings of anything.
I’m not an artist, I have no idea about any drawing or painting techniques… I didn’t know I could draw a bicycle that actually looks like one!
I showed the drawings to my friend and he loved them. So I drew another one, and few more….
I thought maybe I could sell the prints and hopefully raise the money for a summer bikepacking adventure in Scotland with my daughter.
Which bikes do you draw? How do you choose them?
The bikes I draw belong to amazing female riders, athletes, travellers, bikepackers…
Women who push beyond their limits to achieve the impossible, who often prove there is no weaker sex.
They belong to women who empower other women to find their strength, who turn their experience into magical stories, who grow their strength and confidence and show that adventure comes in many colours, who spread young enthusiasm, positivity, joy and happiness of the moment.
Women to whom the world is not big enough to not ride around! Women who are also daughters, sisters, aunties and mothers themselves just like myself.
This is what I found beautiful and inspiring in these riders.
Being pro women doesn’t mean I am anti men and I don’t find inspiration in male figures and their achievements.
Jure Robic, Graeme Obree, Mike Hall also showed me the beauty of determination and devotion to achieve the impossible.
Find Gosia’s postcards on
Scottish mountain biker, bikepacker, racer and co-founder of The Adventure Syndicate.
I first came across her talks online few years back and totally felt for her passion and devotion in working with young people, supporting their development through outdoor activities; and the beautiful vision of The Adventure Syndicate organisation encouraging, empowering and inspiring woman and young girls to feel capable of more than they think, find their strengths and push beyond the limits.
Emily shows that climbing brutal hills and riding in freezing cold temperature somehow can be fun. Brrr!
TransAm Bike Race winner
Lael has won both the Trans Am Bike Race and owns the Tour Divide female record. Her achievements are totally incredible, phenomenal physical and mental capabilities.
I love her commitment, passion and involvement in women’s scholarships and programs supporting and encouraging young people into bikepacking via Anchorage Grit!
Did you show the riders your drawings?
After weeks of thinking and convincing myself whether my drawings are actually any good, I decided to show them to all the riders.
I contacted each of them, told them about our plans and asked if it was OK for me to use an image of their bike and their name.
I understand the power of social media these days but I’m also aware that I am only a drop in this cyber ocean. So I asked them if they minded me to mention and tag them in my posts.
The reactions were so lovely it totally blew me away…
Tell us about Mimi!
My bikes and my daughter are all I have. Her name is Tash but since she called me mammy, I’ve called her Mimi and we both just got used to it.
She will be soon 10 years old. I look at her often, observe her from the side… She’s got so much unconditional love for both human and non-human animals, great sense of humour and she’s the best dancing partner ever! She’s been with me through difficult times, my anxiety and emotional breakdowns…
Sometimes I wonder who is looking after who in this little relationship.
All I wish for her is to grow brave and confident, curious about life and its beauty.
To find her strength to push and discover her own passions, and hopefully not to let everyday reality chain her down.
Co-founder of Kookexchange and Crust bikes rider
Yes, she’s proving that adventure literally comes in many colours, very bright colours!
I found her very positive and just simply happy in a joy of travelling by bike.
Long distance adventure cyclist
At her young age she showed that girls can do it too! She shows positivity and joy of travelling by bike, spreads her young enthusiasm and as well help community to get into bikepacking by working at the biketouring specialising shop and organising rides to encourage others to put some fun between their legs.
Ultra-endurance MTB rider, 24-hrs solo MTB world champion
When you see a girl riding down almost vertical rocky hills you cant’s not to think “Damn! She’s badass!”.
For me, her mental strength, determination to get back on a bike after multi-fractured pelvis and fractured tibia is beyond magical. So much happiness, positivity and will to keep trying in such difficult times is more inspiring than any record. Amazing!
Have you ever taken Mimi on a bike trip?
I loved the first time we took my daughter on a coastal off road overnighter 3 years ago.
She was super brave on her tag-along, wearing her unicorn helmet. We almost missed the closing time of the campsite because of my insistence for taking photos every few minutes …and I lost them all when my computer broke.
So what’s your plan for this trip?
Our plan is a 5 days trip in Scottish Cairngorms National Park.
As it’s going to be our first together in years we want to take it as easy as we can, with no pressure and rush. We are rushing enough every day!
No matter how small this adventure might be to some, it is going to be a massive challenge for both of us.
Race To The Rock triple winner
Coming late to long-distance cycling Sarah as much as Jenny shows that things are possible and we should never think that it’s too late to change and start something new.
She entered Trans Am race in 2016 with almost no experience and the same year she won the Race to the Rock, a 3,000 kilometre race. She was the only female participant.
Biker, traveller and outdoor educator
Her beautiful words and photographs just make the hardest rides sound like a fairy tales. For me she’s beautifully hardcore, her trips show everything what traveling on a bike is about… hard work, pain, lots of sweat and freedom that is worth all of that.
Fastest woman to cycle around the world
Co-director of the Advocate Syndicate. I admire her determination and hard work. As she got into long distance cycling as an adult woman she proves that things are possible at any time and that it’s never too late.
You are selling your drawings to buy some gear. What do you need?
I know that people say “if you really want to you can do it on any bike”. It’s great to have this spirit!
However I also believe that good and safe equipment allows you to fully enjoy your experience, especially when you have the extra responsibility of looking after a child.
My initial plan was to get a Salsa Powderkeg tandem. I think travelling on a tandem would help Mimi build trust and self-confidence, and I would feel better knowing she’s just right behind me. It’s also such a nice way of traveling together, teaching the meaning of a team work and effort.
Unfortunately at the moment a MTB tandem is totally out of our reach, plus the Powderkeg is discontinued…
So -not giving up on this wish, but being more realistic- I have been lucky enough to get Mimi her own Isla Bike. She still needs bags and sleeping gear.
What is adventure to you?
When we hear the word “adventure” we often think of something big, extreme, risk taking…
But for me the beauty of adventure is that it actually isn’t measurable, it hasn’t got fixed dimensions or just one definition. While some of us are seeking climbing the highest peaks in -20 degrees, for others adventure is a weekend away with a bunch of friends or family. I suppose there is plenty of us for whom getting back home from the pub on Saturday night can be pretty adventurous too!
We are all different and unique, and we all have different desires, physical and mental capabilities, different personal circumstances and purse.
This is what makes each and every adventure special.
All my little fails, mistakes, low moments just make me want to push harder and try more.
They teach me to be stronger and braver.