Rider Profile - Hank Matheson

You must at least know of him by now.  The mysterious carhart clad hucker.  Attempting the most rotten of the rotten and enfusing those around him with creative energy.  If you don't here he is, if you do here he is.

Photo File


Alright Hank Matheson and 'Wayne's World 2'.  Now if any body in the area rides a mountain bike they've probably ridden on something that you have built.  Came out of nowhere (A.K.A. SanFrancisco), tell us something about how you started out riding.  : First time I decided I like bikes was a BMX bike riding around my friends driveway, built a jump off the sidewalk.  I was third or fourth grade.

When did you start riding competitively? : First race was sixth grade i think, BMX race.

At whatpoint did you hook up with Steve and SWD? : About three years ago, I guess it was, have you heard of the Bass Lake 007 race.  We were out there, sitting in line on an Ellsworth Dare which I had pretty mch bashed to hell.  Heard some guys talking in line about how his buddy was starting his own company building custom bikes, and that he was there so I was like was is he.  They pointed out his truck and I walked down there and met Steve.  Started talking to him, got his card, then a week later I went by his shop, checked out all his equipment, then designed a prototype with him and a couple months after that I had a bike.

What was your initial observation of the riding and the terrain when you got here? : There is a lot more riding here, there is  a lot more potential.  There's a tighter network of people so we get a lot more digging and riding, whereas down in San Francisco it is really hard to get two or three people together to go for a ride pretty much anytime.  I always rode on my own, I always went out to Pacifica by myself, whereas now I never go out alone.  There's a lot more trails, a lot more land, you can shuttle here I never really had too many shuttleable trails which is always fun.

When you started riding here you immediately started hanging it out, and stomping shit that nobody had stomped.  Overall you would probably be ranked the second most 'lit' rider, second only to mobber mc mob head.  Is there anything about your style that is different or unique? : I've always liked to kinda get a lot of air and go big,  I always liked taking new lines.  I moved up here because I was tired of how small everything was in San Francisco, like there are no big hits, I don't have big mountain trails.  All the trails in Pacifica were on hill sides.  So I was like where do they have hills, and it was up north. I got up here and I was like it's time, there are tons of hills around, big hills, big cliffs, rocks and what not, I can see 'em, they're right there, let's go ride 'em.  I just wanna ride.

 In the interest of riding the lost cause, what would you have to say in the trails favor? : I think Lost Cause is going to be sick, I think we just keep diggin and pulling shit down it is going to be sick.  I don't like the politics that go down sometimes up there,  But it is going to be stoked, I like riding it, just as long as we can put like two or three people head to head on the whole thing and don't make it too narrow.

You are kinda on a mission with SWD, do you see progress there? : Making bikes, that are really simple and work really well, and that aren't going to break on the consumer.  I met Steve and I was racing/riding on a broken Ellsworth Dare, I had a cracked pivot, ovalized headtube, just shouldn't have been ridden on.  I had brokena Bullit before then, Steve had broken bikes and spent money on them, and we were looking to build something that just wasn't going to break.  Something that someone could uy and put together and have confidence in it when they are riding it.  In the future it is going to be around , and you can always have that bike around and have it to ride.  Not having any down time, I always hated having to wait like three or four months for a new frame to come back.  I think we have done really well with that, we haven't had any down time on any frame we've built so far.  Most downtime was this past summer, and I think it was like under twenty four hours.

 This last summer you were on a pretty massive road trip, could you tell us anything about that? : We were stoked.  That was great, four of us just took two trucks, did a bunch of the west coast NORBA Nationals.  Just partied and raced, met up with a couple of guys out on the road.  We went out and met up with Kirt (Voreis), rode with Minaar one day, rode with Kirt in Telluride that was killer.  Met up with some cats from Telluride who did some trail building over there.  They had built some trails up in Telluride that were just sick, steep as hell, just kind of ridiculous, almost unrideable.

What was your impression of the resorts that you visited? : Snomass was chill as hell because they charge seven bucks for an all day lift ticket, you could just ride and ride and ride.  Truthfully I think for the most part those resorts haven't marked their trails very well.  Most of them haven't really done any trail marking or building or defining everything.  The definitely need to do more of that to attract a good mountain biking scene.

What was your favorite place to ride? : Probably Telluride, Telluride was sick, it had free lifts, free gondolas, from seven in the morning to seven at night, tweleve hours during which you could put your bike on and they will take you up for free.  There are just trails everywhere, steep as hell, covered in mud, and rocks.  A bunch of cats who are over there and ride live lirterally at the base of the gondola, they've got this house that they are all renting that is not even a hundred feet away.  Wake up and get on the free gondola, it's killer.

To wrap up, in the local scene do you see any trends happening, things that you want to see happen? : I'd like to see more digging of trail, more building.  I think we were all pretty focused there, did a lot of work last year, and right now it has all kind of died down.  There are not too many people out there riding, also we don't have a race shedule really, you've (justin) got a pretty good schedle going on, but aside from that we got a whole bunch of trails that we can ride and we can race on, we just got to put it together.  Also I haven't seen that many people up on the trail recently, I mean last race it was you (justin), me, and Robbie (Rhall) that was fun.  I would like to see people comgin out more, digging more, and just pushing it more.  We have a whole bunch of trails that people have been riding for years, they kinda set a groove on riding that trail and not doing anything new, not pushing themselves.  I would like to see people building new shit and going bigger, and faster, and pushing eachother.  I think that would be fun, more fun then sitting at home watching TV, I mean Wayne's World is pretty good but...

What is your next step/goal? : I wanna build more trails, do more riding.  I would like to try and get oout on the trail more.  It's kinda hard to do, especially since I don't have a car right now.  Hopefully I'll be getting that back soon.  But I just wanna get out and ride more, try to build some bikes, get some local people like Greg (newkirk) needs a bike, just whoever needs a bike.  Try to do some more R & D on the mountains on Steel bikes.  Nationally, this summer I want to put a box van together, put five or six people together for a road trip.  Go out to the nationals again and race.  Try and do well.  That's the plan.

Right on ma, Thanks again. : Thank you.