Trail Builder Spotlight: Gravity Logic Crafts Epic MTB Trails Around the World

Gravity Logic is a well-known MTB trail building company that got its start at the Whistler Bike Park. Today, the company builds trails all over the world.

Gravity Logic (GLI) was founded by Tom Pro, Dave Kelly and Rob Cocquyt. The group started as an in-house business unit of the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, and was ultimately spun off as an independent company in 2007. While GLI is still involved in many key builds at Whistler Mountain Bike Park, the company’s resumé now includes 30 completed bike parks with contracts to design, consult, and maintain more than 100 bike parks across the globe.

Gregg Winter on Midgard, June 2018. Used with permission.

GLI imbued its signature style on Whistler’s MTB trails throughout the years, having a hand in some of the most well-known trails like A-Line and B-Line. The company was also contracted to build the exceptionally difficult Top of the World alpine trail, as well as the Ride Don’t Slide reroute, which combined both machine- and hand-work.

Progression. Top of the World, 2014.
Top of the World mid-build, 2015.
Top of the World, 2016.
Top of the World, 2017.

GLI’s employee count varies, but as summer peaks in the norther hemisphere, the company fields approximately six 2-3 person crews worldwide.

Up close: Whistler Creekside build

Tricky terrain to route through aesthetic Creekside old growth

Last summer Shawn B showed us around during the initial stages of a Phase 1 trail build at Whistler’s Creekside. At the time, GLI had 3 full-time personnel and 5 contractors dedicated to the 2017 Whistler build season.

Trail build projects like this one can get complicated due to weather. Mountain environments are always tricky, and in June of 2017 late snowfall in the high alpine slowed progress. Such is the glamorous life of the trailbuilder, but Gravity Logic soldiers on.

Since 2017, GLI has completed multiple trails, including Delayed Fuse and Earth Circus, and this summer they continue to finish up trails like Midgard. Gravity Logic designed all of the new Creekside trails, though Joyride and the WMBP crew are executing portions of the build and putting their own unique stamp on the trails.

Most of the following photos were taken in the summer and fall of 2017.

Shawn stands next to a particularly scenic waterfall on a steep part of Delayed Fuse where the build had been flagged but not yet started in June of 2017.
On Delayed Fuse, the plan is to allow riders to bed in the trail surface, then work on some sections as needed. Sound familiar? That’s how the natural tech of Garbanzo was built.
Sharon testing the routing of this handbuilt black line projected to run from subalpine to Creekside. It will be a long line, hence the multi-year nature of the complete build.
Alternate lines will get rock and dirt treatment.
Steep section of trail winding through old growth, tested by Shawn and Sharon.
Progress on the same section as shown in the previous photo. By September, 2017 the trail had been bench cut, with grade reversals.
As of Sept 2017 the trailbed surface was still loam. That won’t last long.
The odd berm and rocked-in line will magically appear on sections of trail where deemed necessary to keep flow.  The trailworkers responsible for this magic? Bridge-master Chris Conrad, Radek Pokorny and Lukas Zvonicek.
Both Radek and Lukas are from the Czech republic. They cold-called Tom Pro out of the blue. Experienced, motivated trailbuilders who love Pilsener are always needed, and these guys were hired to work in this dream zone. Here Lukas collects some moss that was laid aside and puts it back on the border of the trail for re-naturalization.
Chris Conrad’s mill site. Logs and wood harvested on site will be used to construct bridges.
Some of the trail workers from Germany had the day off, so we got to admire their exacting berms. Here, a log is placed on the berm to mark that it shouldn’t be ridden while it dries out and sets.
Bridge supports are being laid perfectly flat via spirit level.
More bridgework on the lower machine-built trail.
The handicraft of the bridgework is exemplary.  Stringers for the bridge were made from a Douglas Fir cut just up trail. The rest of the milled lumber was provided by Zeke at Little Whistler Lumber.
Shawn Beaudoin shows off the Gravity Logic work truck. The truck bed is made from a wood frame built out of a fallen tree, and crafted by Chris Conrad.
Ryan Bowland lives 5 minutes away in Creekside and gets to sleep in his own bed after a hard day’s work. This is a far cry from the world travel usually demanded of Gravity Logic projects. Ryan deftly operates a ’17 excavator to create bermed magic. This blue trail will parallel BC’s trail as an alternate DH descent to Creekside.
After Ryan’s expert machine work, finishing touches are added by hand. Here’s that very same berm from above shown in Sept of 2017.

Have you ridden a Gravity Logic trail? Which one is your favorite?


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