If You Have To Ask, You Can't Afford It

In the early years of Trail Boss, every piece was handmade. It was great for research and development, but not so much for productivity.

If You Have To Ask, You Can't Afford It A New Approach to Trail Maintenance with Trail Boss

Bill Hasenjaeger started building trail for dirt bikes. It was the late 1960s, he was 16 and a member of a motorcycle enduro club in Southern California.

At the time, there weren’t any land use restrictions in the high Sierra Mountains, and an area called Kennedy Meadows had a plethora of legal dirt bike trails.

“We would partner with the United States Forest Service in the summer and take care of the trails,” Hasenjaeger says. “It was just a handshake agreement—we’d have trail-maintenance weekends, where Saturday was maintenance day, and Sunday was ride day.”

These unofficial build parties would turn out 100-200 people, all working to ensure the trails stayed in prime shape. Hasenjaeger would eventually swap dirt bikes for mountain bikes for the sake of his body’s longevity, but his interest in trail building remained undiminished. In 2010, Hasenjaeger transformed his passion and decades of experience into something tangible: Trail Boss, a collapsible building tool designed specifically for mountain bikers.

Building things (besides trails) is nothing new to Hasenjaeger. By trade he’s a manufacturing engineer, consulting  with companies on product design for efficient manufacturing, with clients ranging from Boeing to software firms. Over the years he’s assembled a small machine shop at home, a personal laboratory where he can tinker and experiment with his mechanical curiosities and ideas.

Through it all he continued riding bikes and building trail. But he found himself stymied because doing both together was awkward—try riding with a full-sized rogue hoe strapped to your back and you’ll understand immediately. So, as any good engineer would be compelled to do, he headed into his shop to try and solve the problem.

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