Ask Ping

March 31, 2006 1:52pm | by:

Editor’s Note: I would like to apologize for any confusion or perceived insults that any ATV riders and ATVScene-sters out there may have felt after Ping’s last column. The truth is, he respects all racers—two or four wheels (though he really can’t stand mimes who ride unicycles, but Millsaps is all right). It’s just that quadcycles are bigger, so they make bigger targets for his vitriol, kind of like Brokeback Mountain jokes or homeschooling. He wants nothing to do with Doug Gust or John Natalie on a quadcycle track either, and he’s still waiting to get together with Johnny Gallagher at a GNCC for a weekend race-off: Quads on Saturday, Bikes on Sunday. He’s just afraid that the ATV guys will use him as a welcome mat in the first corner, then hang him from the podium like a 12-point buck. DC

Dear Ping,
Got a simple one for ya. Do you let your wife ride?
Jonathan Llanes

photo: Simon Cudby
Dear Jonathan,
I do my best to keep her off a motorcycle. It’s for her own good. The last time she threw a leg over a bike was last summer. We were staying at our friends' Brock and Tricia Sellards’ house in New Philadelphia, Ohio, for a couple weeks. There’s not much to do in New Philly, especially where Brock lives, which is about 20 miles outside of town. So one day, the girls decided to go riding on two Honda Cubs that Brock had restored. Keep in mind, they don’t know how to ride. They also didn’t think they needed helmets, or any other gear for that matter, because they saddled up in shorts, tanks-tops, and flip flops—full Glamis mode.
    Fueled by some designer coffee and a little boredom, they headed out onto Brock’s outdoor track to find a jump. They rolled up to a 70-foot tabletop and proceeded to initiate a grudge match to see who could jump the farthest. They took turns hitting the jump, going faster, higher, and farther each time until they started to look like Evel Kneivel hitting his first ramp jump. Maybe we should have told them to stand up when they take off and land.
    Somehow they managed to get through it without going down, but it was only by the grace of God. We had to hide the keys to the bikes after that. The next day, my wife looped out a 110 on Brock’s driveway trying to show the other girls how to do a start. That was the last straw: They were banned from all dirt bikes for the week.
    So, Jonathan, I do my best to keep her off motorcycles. If she brings it up, I just start talking about shoe sales, Brad Pitt, or the mall and she’s over it.

Hey Ping,
Could you please tell me how much SX riders get paid to win their heat races and how is the pay for a first, second, and third in the main event. Thanks.

Dear Shannon,
Are you serious? Typically, a gold-digger like yourself will try to sugarcoat it or find out how much loot the riders are pulling down discreetly. Not you. You are the bottom feeder of the proverbial fish in the sea. Girls like you want a factory ride more than most privateer riders. What happened to you as a child that your only ambition in life is to hook a successful man? Girls like you make me want to vomit. And I don’t mean just a little mini-throw-up that gets to the back of your mouth and then gets swallowed back down; I’m talking about a full-on, toilet-hugging, vein-popping, I-can’t-believe-how-much-bile-is-coming-out-of-me upheaval that flexes your abdomen so tight that you crap your pants in the process..
    Wait, you’re a girl, right?

photo: Simon Cudby
Travis Pastrana was scolded by the AMA in Daytona for doing a backflip over the finish-line jump. By the time he got back to his truck, they had formal documents drawn up for him to sign ensuring him that if he ever did that again, he would be banned from AMA competition permanently. They told him that freestyle tricks belong at a freestyle contest, not on the racetrack. They really came down hard on him. My question is this: What is the difference between his backflip and the other freestyle tricks guys do at the races? RC does can-cans, McGrath and Reed do nac-nacs, Bubba whips it so hard that he is practically upside-down, and KW and Vuillemin do heel-clickers all the time. They’ve never been yelled at. What’s the difference? Should all tricks should be illegal or none of them?
Mike DaRuky. Orange County

Dear Mike,
photo: Racer X Archives
You make a great point. Given the situations, McGrath’s first-lap nac-nac in Phoenix was probably putting more people, particularly other riders, in danger than Travis’ Daytona stunt. They can’t say that it was illegal because he was inverted,because I’ve seen Bubba upside-down a time or two over the finish line. What Deegan did in L.A. in 1997 was definitely out of line. He ghost-rode the bike across the line, and I canunderstand why the AMA was upset about that. But what if Travis had pulled that backflip off? Would they still have been so hard on him? I don’t have the answers, Mike. I realize that backflips are dangerous tricks, but I’m certain that TP would have pulled it off if he was on a 250 or if the jump were a little bigger. That particular jump was not ideal for a flip. I know the AMA just wants everyone to stay safe, but it sure is a double standard to say that he can’t do that trick but other guys can do other tricks. The Dogger never got DQ’d for doing his patented no-leggers when he won. And where was the AMA when Wardy threw out his mean triple-fist-pump when he flew by the checkered flag at Fulton County Stadium? What’s the real difference? After all, isn’t Pastrana more dangerous in the whoops anyway?