How we worked with seasoned trail builders to design a line of clothes for them—and for everyone else.
I was out trail running the other morning on the Tahoe Rim Trail when I saw a guy with a big, heavy backpack walking the trail. At first, I thought he was a thru-hiker but then I saw what he was carrying in his pack: a chainsaw. Don’t be alarmed. He was out doing trail work, clearing away dead trees and making the trail passable for the rest of us. “Thank you!” I blurted out too enthusiastically as I ran by.
Taking care of our mountain communities is a critical part of enjoying them, and one of the things that’s most important to us is helping trail builders create and maintain trails for all purposes, whether that’s mountain biking, running, or hiking. Flylow does a lot to give back and say thank you to the trail building and advocacy organizations around the country. We have Good Lab partnerships with California’s Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association, with Colorado’s Routt County Riders, with Vermont’s Kingdom Trails Association, and others.
But, we thought, what can we do to outfit the hard-working trail builders themselves? How can we give back to that guy with the chainsaw in the woods? We make durable mountain apparel, after all. Why not make a kit for trail crews?
So, the Trailworks Collection was born. We started developing products that would be useful for the people out there shoveling and digging and maintaining the trails that the rest of us get to enjoy for free. The Trailworks Bib is the culmination of that work. We asked the Flylow athletes who contribute to trail building: What’s the most useful piece of clothing you have when you’re digging in the dirt? Their response: A pair of overalls that allows you to hold your tools and gives you that extra protection. They wanted it durable, technical without really looking so, and with fabric with some stretch.
The Trailworks Bib for men and women came first, but then it expanded into a men’s Trailsworks Pant and Trailworks Short, to give everyone options. If you’re out there yielding a rake and making our trails better, this collection is our enthusiastic way of saying “thank you!”
But as with everything, you design a piece for the most intense end user. So, these pieces were made for trail builders, but the reality is you wind up with gear that works for everyone. If this bib is sturdy enough for trail building, then you can weed your garden or build a fence or walk your dog in them, too. It’s gear that you can trust and be comfortable and confident wearing through all your daily tasks—chainsaw included or not.