Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 Clemson Downhill

It's on! This past weekend, SEI officially kicked off it's 2010 season with the annual Clemson Downhill race in Clemson SC. I'm always amazed at what the Clemson University Freeride Club has been able to do with that old anthill they race on. They've been able to create one of the most entertaining races in the South East with very little elevation to work with. They are extremely passionate about what they are doing and it really comes through to anyone who's ever raced that track.

This past weekend was one of the warmest we've had in several weeks and the track was in perfect condition making for some fast racing. It was cool to see so many people show up also. There were over 160 racers there (record number) and there were over 50 people in the pro class alone. Our new man, Andrew Mueller was pinning it all day long but had some bad luck in his race run and pulled a 27h place finish with a time of 1:40.5. Jeremy Raney put in a Solid 15th place finish with 1:36.4..

For me, I turned in a first run that I felt was fast but conservative. Due to a timing glitch, I didn't find out my first run time before I went up for my second run but I knew that I could most likely improve upon whatever I'd posted. I felt comfortable going into my first run but about 1/4 of the way down, I heard that gut-wrenching sound of my chain snapping and grinding around through my gears so I had to coast out the rest of my second run and live with my first run time of 1:35.6. That's racing! I had decided to run my hardtail the previous day due to the fact that the course just wasn't steep enough to warrant the use of my downhill bike. I think it was a good decision as I felt much faster. Any way it turned out, it was a great start for the season and I can't wait for things to get into full swing when the cold goes away!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tired of being snowed in and ready to race!

The weather has been crazy wet and cold this winter. I've gotten to spend some quality time with my new Daughter Amelia Ruth Griffin and my wife Olivia and I've gotten some really good snowboard days in with my dad, but the bikes have been collecting dust and they don't like it! I missed the Icycle nightime downhill for the first time in years due to an icestorm. The rain cleared for a little while yesterday so I got out the road bike. The rain came back about half way through the ride and it got way colder. Today was nice, I got to ride the local Paris Mountain State Park trails here in Greenville. Trails are still pretty messy after all the freeze-thaw-refreeze stuff. The annual Clemson downhill race is coming up Feb 27th and that'll be the first for the season. Hopefully the weather holds and a bunch of spectators will come out of winter hiding! Can't wait to get to racing this season!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

When in Boone.....

I stole this shot off of Mueller's facebook. Steven Trottier and New SEI bro, Andrew Mueller do it in the snow. Nice!

Monday, November 30, 2009

2009 Wrap up

The 2009 season has been crazy both on and off the bike for me as the keeper of this blog site. I apologize for the lack of updates this season and I aim to do a better job of posting updates during the '10 season. I though it'd be good to put some season highlights up from 2009 just to wrap things up.

The good old Massanutten YeeHa race has been held since 1997 when it was included on the World Cup Circuit. Mike Thomas took a top 10 in a super competitive Pro Class. SEI took two spots on the Open Class podium with Jeremy Raney and me getting 4th and 5th.

The US OPEN of Downhill is the most prestigious DH event in the United States. This year, it attraced top world cup contenders with the likes of Sam Hill, Brendan Fairclough, and Gee Atherton. Mike Thomas came within nanoseconds of qualifying and I was a couple seconds behind him. For me, the US Open has always been a battle to see how CLOSE I could come to qualifying. Qualifying for the pro class always seemed to far out to be an actual possibility. Next year I have a new goal.
Snowshoe resort holds a 4-race series that is generally agreed upon as being one of the best race series' in the nation. Their courses are top notch, and the organization of their races is flawless. This year, SEI posted some good awesome results. Mike Thomas posted a third place in race two against an awesomely talented field.

The South East scene has risen again with the three race Beech mountain series and the Hawknest "Dirty Bird" and "Hawkoween" races. The SEI crew did well at the Beech mountain races. For the series overall, Mike Thomas got second place, Jeremy Raney got 4th, and Charlie Moonie got 5th.

Charlie Moonie got first place at the inaugural Dirty Bird at Hawksnest resort. Look for big things to come out of this resort in the near future! Thanks to Mike Thomas and Andrew Mueller and the staff at Hawksnest for making these races happen

For the second year in a row, Paris Mountain State Park in my hometown of Greenville SC threw a DH race on an awesome track. Jeremy Raney got 4th on a slick track! I can't wait for next year's race! We spent hours tweeking the track, building berms, and making sure it was quality and we have even bigger plans for next year!

The biggest on-the-bike highlight of the year may be that Mike Thomas took gold at the COLLEGIATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS while Steven Trottier took a nice 7th place finish at a west coast track! Congrats boys!

In Off the bike news, Amelia Ruth Griffin was born on October 13th 2009!

For the coming season, we've already made some changes. Most noteably, Long-time Carolina based DH pinner Andrew Mueller will be flying the flag with us next year!
More Pics from this Season:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

New Morewood built up

Our new bikes are rolling in! Dave and Steven got their new Specialized Demo8's in, I got my new Morewood Izimu in, now if I can just ride it! The weather has been straight rain for the past week and I'm trying to do some midweek testing on the Izimu if I can make it happen. The Clemson DH race is going off this coming weekend, and after that, we're all looking forward to Massanutten and US Open in May.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New Morewood!

I got my new Morewood Izimu frame today and I'm pretty stoked about it! It's gonna look sick with its red rock shox boxxer fork on the front in a few days! All I'm waiting on is the wheelset, the fork, the rearshock, and she'll be ready to roll! The rain has kept me off my bike for the last few days, but I did a nice LONG xc ride last weekend and I'm looking forward to taking advantage of daylight savings time this coming week! Race season is around the bend!

Later, Matt.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Long time no post.

It's been a while since I posted up anything on the old blog but I figured that the season is almost upon us again so it might be time to catch up! This off season has been busy both on and off the bike. The big news is Dave's new kid, Tyler Michael Perez! A 10 pounder! Congrats Dave and Tami!

In bike related news, SEI has been having a great off season. A big welcome back to Charlie Mooney! Charlie Raced for SEI during 2006 before taking some time off to do the school thing. Charlie's a super cool dude and a smooth rider too!

Some changes to our Sponsorship this season include a switch from our longtime friends at Michelin tires to Maxxis Tires. We're looking forward to running their stuff this season!

Jeremy, Dave, and I have been enjoying our winter. Obviously, Dave's been on a little bit of a riding hiatus with the kid and all that goes along with that. Jeremy and I have been trying to stay on the bikes. I took some time off of cross country riding and actually got to spend some quality time on my DH bike. I got to check out a lot of new DH trails during the early part of the winter. I've also spent some time on the snowboard and I've spent the last few weeks getting back on the trail bike and working on the fitness. I posted a clip from a DH trail that we've been riding a lot.

The Boone Crew is probably completely snowbound right now, but Mike Thomas and Steven Trottier have been killing it at their local trails. Jeremy and I got a chance to ride some of their handywork a little while back and it was steep! Check out Motomike's site for an update to what's going on over there. (http://www.motomike138.blogspot.com/)

Jeremy and I did the Icycle Nighttime Downhill race about a month ago, and again, it was a really fun event. Conditions were great this year. The course was a little different though. Traditionally, Fontana's DH course is really fast at the top, and then flattens out for the last 2/3rds. This year, they cut out all of the pedalling, leaving a really fast, but short course that ended with a technical turny section at the bottom. It made for exciting racing and the times were tight which meant that one mistake would be all it would take to take you out of the game. Jeremy had a pretty good run and pulled a 6th place finish with a time of 1:33.17. I pulled into 10th place with a 1:33.83. Do the math on that. There were actually six riders who rode 1:33 point something. Funny story though- As I started out of the gate, my first thought was "man, it seems a lot darker now than it did during my last nightime practice run! I made a couple of screw ups but nothing too major. When I got to the bottom, I checked my lights and realized that I only had by back-up light on during my race run! Idiot. I posted some pics of this year's event. It was cool to get to hang out with my sister and Nate W. for the weekend.