Life on Two Wheels: Breck trails tech Tony Overlock gets his hands dirty for the cause
Editor’s note: For countless Summit County residents, a bicycle is more than a machine — it’s a lifestyle. Every week during the summer, we’ll ask our most adventurous residents, “Where has your bike taken you?”
On a blessedly dry day in early July, Tony Overlock was doing what he enjoys most: getting his hands dirty.
Overlock is lead trails technician for the town of Breckenridge, and since joining the crew 11 years ago he’s seen the town’s trail system expand at a rapid clip — nearly 4 miles of new trail every summer.
Much of that growth is due to tireless dedication from Overlock, his five-person crew and dozens of volunteers, the local mountain bikers and hikers who have dug, shaped and otherwise hand-crafted more than 35 miles of singletrack over the past decade. Along with Front Range volunteers and members with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, they’ve turned the Breck system into one of Summit’s crown jewels.
Of course, tireless dedication on a trail crew means 10-hour days in the sun and heat. But Overlock hardly minds — he even has a few new toys to make life a bit easier.
“Back in the day we had a wheelbarrow with a handbrake and we thought that was top of the line,” Overlock laughs after coming in from the trail. These days, the crew has a mechanized wheelbarrow, with a hydraulic lift and attached track system.
Overlock’s new toys were put to good use on the July trail day, when a crew of 10 volunteers were putting final touches on the brand-new Wire Patch Trail, a 1.5-mile swath of singletrack that runs parallel to French Gulch Road. A crew of that size can cover 700-800 feet in a week, and after more than a year of construction, he expects the trail to be ready just in time for the end of the season.
As one of the trail crew’s original members, Overlock is an invaluable link between Breck’s ever-growing trail system and the surrounding bike community. Here’s what keeps him coming back:
“It has been a fun process to be part of the trail crew from the beginning. I’ve seen our network grow, our variety grow, the improvements we’ve made for way-finding — all those things have led to a larger biking community, and having the support from that community of local riders is fantastic. Being able to travel to lots of beautiful mountain passes and meadows with friends, the camaraderie of the whole biking family, is great. It’s an escape in nature and in your mind. That’s why I enjoy riding bikes — it’s an expression of freedom.
I see the bare bones of the woods and try to make a trail to accommodate all abilities. I love seeing the smiles on riders’ faces and working with the crew, seeing them take ownership and pride in their work. I just really enjoy being outdoors and riding and being exhausted, and then having a beer.”
This story originally published in 2015. It ran in the 2019 Explore Summit summer magazine.
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