ROAD TRIP! Shredding Gawton’s new trails and pumptrack.

Created by Monet Adams
Photos and video by Jacob Gibbins

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gawton-new-pump-track-0697Roadtrip!

Gawton is set just on the edge of Dartmoor in the south of Devon and makes for a great riding stop on the way to the waves of Cornwall.

Having spent years in the South West but never actually ridden Gawton I was pretty excited to go check it out… Not least because of the new jump line and a brand new pump track.

So, I jumped in the van with Milky and hit the road to meet up with Jay Williamson and Jasper Flashman. Roadtrip!

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The downhill trails

South West racing legend Jay Williamson pulled up on his race whip bright and early in the crisp autumn sun and we wasted no time getting kitted up and heading out on to the hill side, The start of most of the tracks is just a short pedal from the car park and the cafe and the surprisingly steep sided hills are intersected with fire roads which make good push up tracks.

There’s a good range of trails to ride from steep quite gnarly trails that challenge your technical skills. ‘Super Tavi’ and ‘Egypt’ are both steep, technical and are proper, elite level downhill stuff. More flowy is ‘Proper Job’ which is full of speedy trail pack whoops and jumps that you can send as near or as far as you want.

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My guide Jay is an ex Wideopenmag team rider who is now on the SPSyndicate. He’s no slouch on a bike and is a local so he knows this place like the back of his hand. I only have to shadow his pedal strokes and body position to float over any jumps and gaps with ease and hit the high lines into the switchbacks.

It’s always fun following someone who you can just about hold on to and who knows the tracks better really well. You can just ride ride way more intuitively without letting doubt get in the way.

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Big jumps

Our morning of sessioning the downhill trails was ended by a sudden skidding of tyres, a huge jump and a loud “aaiirrghht!” as a welly clad Jasper Flashman made his appearance.

You may know Jasper from his Loose Fest antics with Wideopen’s Joel Anderson. He likes going big, and because the opportunity to ride bigger jump lines is so rare in the UK he’s been working specifically on a new jump line at Gawton. He’s designed the line to cater both for guys like him who want to perfect their huge tables and riders like me who are always looking to improve their jumping skills and confidence.

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It’s a big step from what is readily available to the public (understandably) and the stuff guys are hitting at world cups and at the new events like Fest Series. Having the opportunity to design a line like this one means more riders can work up to the big stuff without having to just believe in your buddies and send it.

Jasper told me that as long as I hit one landing smoothly I would have speed for the next. Working on this basis is a great way to progress with confidence – which most of the time is the most key ingredient to becoming a better rider.

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Endura Build For Worse Leaderboard 2023

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And a new pumptrack

Eventually we put the DH rigs away and built up the jump bikes to have a play on the new nearly finished pump track. Rather than going for a simple figure of 8 or an obvious loop they have opted for something a little more disjointed with a bowl section that requires creativity and experimenting to find all the lines.

It’s pretty physical in places and encourages you to mess around more too with opportunities to double stuff up keeping the more advanced riders happy, all the while being a perfect spot to improve your skills and gain confidence in your abilities.

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The pump track has provided another facet to what is an already great riding spot hidden in the South West of the UK. Its clear that riders are already making the most of the facility by chucking all their bikes in the van for the days riding and swapping between trail bikes, DH bikes, hardtails and BMX’s when they arrive.

Theres other less official spots in the area around Tavistock, and further north on Exmoor. Jasper and other locals are working on several new trail park spots which work has started for and already look insane.

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Where and what is Gawton?

Gawton is a downhill mountain bike trail centre in the South West of the UK, near Tavistock in Devon.

It has 4 downhill trails and the new pumptrack, plus a push up/ride up trail.

All of the DH trails are technical, fast and fun with jumps, drops and steep sections. We’d recommend a long travel enduro bike or DH bike to have the most fun there

It is pay-per-ride with day passes and annual membership available from Gawton Gravity Hub.

Flyup Downhill run uplifts at Gawton on weekends, available at FlyupDownhill.

We’d recommend making a weekend of it with an uplift at Gawton one day, a night out in Tavistock and a day’s riding on Exmoor or over at Tavi Woodlands.  Cheap, comfortable accommodation (attached to a pub) is available at tavistockbunkhouse.com.

Thanks to everyone at Gawton and the Gawton Gravity Hub crew for the awesome trails and to Jasper Flashman and Jay Williamson for giving us a guided tour.

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