087 – Building Trails and Communities with Summit Trails
Jack O’Hare – Owner and Founder of trail building company Summit Trails
On episode #87 we are chatting with Jack O’Hare the owner and founder of the very cool trail construction company Summit Trails. Jack reached out to me after listening to episode #73 with his good friend Jasper Da Seymour.
Jack and Jasper both live in Tasmania and if you tuned in to Jasper’s episode (listen here) you will know how mountain biking is blowing up in Tasmania with trail centres like Blue Derby and Maydena Bike Park, just to mention a few. These trail networks have become so popular that communities have been reborn due to the number of mountain bikers coming to ride and enjoy what these trails have to offer.
So it was a complete pleasure to get Jack on the show and tell us about how these awesome trails came to be and what it takes to own and run a successful trail construction business.
We chat about how Jack got into the trail building industry, companies he worked with, why he stepped out to form his own company, Summit Trails, the many balls you have to juggle to make something like this work and why Jack loves it so much. Plus much much more!
- How Jack got interested in mountain biking
- Why he got interested in racing
- Why Jack has taken a step back from racing to concentrate on his trail business
- How Jack got started in the trail construction business
- Who he has worked with until starting Summit Trails
- Why Jack made the decision to step out and start his own company
- What type of trails and networks Summit Trails plan and build
- What it takes to run a trail construction company
- The many issues Jack has to deal with to make Summit Trails successful
- How he deals with staff, equipment and the logistics
- The red tape involved in building trails and the process involved
- The vision Jack has for Summit Trails
- Why and how trail networks can create new economic opportunities for dying communities
- Why Jack loves seeing people using the trails he and his team builds
- What Jack has planned for Summit Trails in the near future
- How to get a job with Summit Trails or simply get in contact
Jack is super passionate and in love with what he does and with everything that is involved in this industry, you would have to be. This stuff is not easy. I think we as mountain bikers don’t really realise what goes into building the awesome trail networks we ride. Yes, we know about the physical graft that goes into building trails but so much work has already been done before the shovels and machines touch the soil. We chat about this in more detail, what the process takes from start to finish, the different steps that have to be taken (and these are many) before anything gets done on the ground and the stresses this can create in terms of running a business. In saying that Jack seems to deal with the stresses this causes very well. He has so much experience in the industry he knows the time and work it takes to get such a project completed from start to finish. But like everything within the structure of Summit Trails, Jack takes it as a challenge and enjoys the opportunity of learning and making his company better throughout the process.
We chat to Jack about where he thinks the trail maintenance industry is heading and how the growth of mountain biking is changing this. We chat about how Australia has been given many millions of dollars to develop new trail networks over the next number of years and how this will change the trail maintenance companies required to complete this. Will we see new companies popping up to deal with this demand? Will we see old communities getting a new breath of life through mountain biking and trail networks? I personally believe we will and if done correctly it can only be a good thing. Jack and Summit Trails are well situated to take advantage of this growing area of mountain biking and it is great that for such a young sport and past time we have such intelligent and passionate people like Jack involved in bringing us such awesome trail networks, pump tracks, dirt jumps and everything else Summit Trails can produce, all for our enjoyment.
So take the weight off and find out how the Tasmanian trail networks have been so successful and what is involved in making these networks so good with the help of Summit Trails.
To Connect with Jack and Summit Trails:
Jack’s Instagram: jacko_hare
To Share Your Thoughts or Get In Contact:
To Help Out The Show:
- Rate and leave an honest review on iTunes/ Apple Podcasts
- Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one.
- Subscribe and listen to on iTunes/ Apple Podcasts
- Subscribe and listen to on Stitcher
- Subscribe and listen to on Spotify
- Subscribe and listen to on Podbean
Thanks so much to Jack for coming on the show, telling his story and filling us in on the world of trail construction!
And thank you once again for Listening. You are the best!
Join me next week for another MTB TRIBE Podcast show!