Rosie Baxendine moved to Perthshire in 2004 and fell in love with the wilderness. She explored the landscape by horse, walking or running. She discovered the joy of cycling off-road in 2016 and started ‘bikepacking’ (exploring by bike) around the UK. Having found her passion, she decided to become a cycle guide and started a business under her name.
The Blairgowrie-based adventurer is also trustee of Highland Perthshire Cycling.
Rosie has always had a passion for the outdoors, especially going into the wilds to immerse herself in the surroundings. She found ‘bikepacking’ a particularly fun and unique way to travel and explore more remote places and wanted to share the experience.
Rosie says, “I enjoy helping people to experience this, from talks to groups about kit, to guided overnight trips and longer adventures.”
She has now been a cycle guide for over four years, and has been bikepacking, either solo or with friends, for over five years. “I have gained the experience and qualifications to be able to take people out to experience this fun and alternative way of wild camping,” Rosie adds.
Of course, there have been ups and downs on and off the tracks. Rosie says her greatest achievement was “probably cycling home for Christmas in 2019 from Edinburgh to Manchester, off-road wild camping with a bivvi (a waterproof sleeping bag), raising funds for the Scottish Air Ambulance and Lupus UK.
“I was going to go solo but met a lady six months before who was crazy enough to agree to join me! Claire has since become a great friend and is my assistant guide for trips.”
But one thing she won’t do again is leave wet socks and shoes outside on a frosty night!
Rosie also mentions the challenge of balancing her passion for the outdoors with her home life, rather than always thinking about her next adventure. She loves to be active, which can make it hard to stop and rest. But she loves cooking and finds it relaxing. “My adventures always feature some sort of homemade cake or traybake – and so will my guided trips!”
Rosie appreciates the support she’s received along the way from friends, whom she says she’s dragged into the wilds to try routes, her husband, who tirelessly supports her and her ideas, and GrowBiz, which she describes as a great source of information and business support.
Looking to the Future
Rosie believes that outdoor activities should not be for only the fittest and most able people. “I hope to encourage and inspire people who would otherwise be unsure how to realise their adventure dreams,” she says.
“I have access to electric and adapted bikes for hire and can create routes to suit the individual.
I was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos in 2019. Although it does not affect my ability to guide trips, I have an understanding of living with chronic pain and additional considerations needed when planning an adventure.”
When asked for her advice to any wannabe entrepreneurs she says, “Be passionate, be over enthusiastic. Throw your heart and soul into it – because that energy is infectious and you will attract similar minded people to help your business take off.”
Rosie has certainly taken her own advice! Find out more about her and her business at www.rosiebaxendine.com