Event Report: Gowaan Gals MTB Festival

Sep 12, 2019
by Gowaan Gals  

After 10 months of planning and organisation, the weekend of the inaugural Gowaan Gals MTB Festival at Farmer John's MTB Park finally came around. With a festival village full of trade and demo stands, a 16m diameter moroccan teepee tent, and a packed programme full of 'jam sessions' and workshops, it was set to be a great weekend! We were slightly nervous leading up to it, but those apprehensive feelings soon went out the window as the sun came out to play and people started arriving on the Friday late afternoon.

The whole weekend couldn't have gone any better. We were so buzzing to see everyone having a good time and all the girls getting stuck in and sending it in a refreshing atmosphere with no egos or pressure.

There were plenty of different activities to get stuck in to over the weekend.

Saturday kicked off with the official opening of Farmer John's newly built pump track.

There was a good turn out of U16 girls who were all shredding hard.

The weekend was all about confidence building and encouragement. Bex offers advice to volunteer, friend, and beginner, Claire.

Heavily featuring on the programme for the weekend were 'Jam Sessions' - not coaching or racing, just everyone riding together sharing the fun. Here the girls head up for the Jump Jam!

Earning those style points.

We were running around like headless chickens all weekend but we still had time to get a train down the jump line together.

For the duration of the weekend Farmer John's wide range of trails were closed off to the public, and only accessible by the festival rider ticket holders.

An Airbag Jam would take place on the Saturday, followed by a Trick-Off Competition on the Sunday.

Martha led a wheelie workshop for those who wanted some top tips. #lovesbackwheel

The Dual Slalom Friendly Race took place on Saturday afternoon, and provided plenty of action.

How is it a friendly race? Pick a friend, 1 run only, and it's rock, paper, scissors to choose lanes!

No age barriers here.

It's surprising how much fun can be had with just poles to mark out a course in a grass field.

Saturday evening finished with a showing of Veronique Sandler's Vision Movie, followed by DJ Razzetti spinning his decks until late!

Smiles all around.

The Airbag Trick-Off went off on Sunday, with girls trying tuck no-handers, no-footers, and even backflips!!!

Bones mend, press send.

A backflip attempt? Or more like a superman impersonation?

That's more like it!

A family friendly festival. Whilst rider tickets were only available for women, spectator tickets were open to everyone. We also took tickets on the door for those with last minute change of plans.

Inspiring the future generation is something that we, as Gowaan Gals, are passionate about. This little ripper was tearing up the pump track.

Thanks to the many of our sponsors who donated prizes to the big raffle, drawn on the Sunday afternoon. This table was piled high with goodies before winners ran to choose their prize in a first come first served system.

The main raffle prize was a Marin Alcatraz, and it would be an understatement to say the lucky winner, Abbie Hull, was beyond stoked!

Marin also donated a Hawk Hill Jnr for us to give away as a spot prize, Darcey Turner (left) was ripping it up all weekend and couldn't have been more deserving of it.

The atmosphere for the whole weekend was very relaxed and chilled, this was made possible with the fantastic help of our family and friends who volunteered to help run the show.

Your organisers, the Gowaan Gals, Martha Gill & Bex Baraona.

Until next year!

We'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has played a part in the planning and running of this event, and has supported us along the way: Marin Bikes, Ibis Cycles, Leatt, WTB, MudHugger, Kingud Products, Hope Technology, GoCustom Clothing, PNW Components, POC Sports, Crankbrothers, Deity Components, Fabric Cycles, Dirt Factory, and of course Farmer John and all the volunteers.

Keep a look out on our YouTube channel for the video recap coming soon!


  • 6 0
 @gowaan-gals good to see an event that promotes the sport and encourages riders to push themselves (the lass who went for the back flip).

No doubt there will be haters over it been a ladies event but these are people who's gene pool is as shallow as a teaspoon.
  • 5 0
 Thanks! Yep we were blown away by the progression and level of commitment some girls had on the airbag!!
  • 8 0
 That wee girl is mine!
Cheers for the photo, she will be pleased.
She's just turned 5. Pump tracks are her favourite (well, not above Paw Patrol, obvs)
  • 1 0
 By the way @gowaan-gals, any idea who/where I can get that as high-res image? Will pay. Thanks
  • 2 0
 @IllestT: Awhh and what a little ripper she is! The photographer is @lewisgregoryphoto, you'll be able to find him with that handle and get in touch via facebook or Instagram.
  • 2 0
 We need more events like this in the uk and MTB in general. The whole sport is so male dominated, even in these “enlightened” times.

It’s hard as a bloke to understand why ladies can some times feel a bit put off by the scene, but then having spoken with my female riding mates and got their POV on it I totally understand why it’s all still a bit macho. Being able to ride and get rad with your peers is what pushes people along
  • 2 0
 This event looks absolutely awesome, great work all involved!
  • 1 0
 Thank you! Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Girls on Bikes, the more, the merrier. Good job, Gowaaaaaan !!
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