Ask Ping

April 21, 2006 11:33am | by:
Mr. Pingree,
I see a strong parallel between you and “Super Hunky“ (Dirt Bike magazine legend Rick Sieman), except that you are hopped up on Lucky Charms and Butterfingers and he tended to favor cheap suds. Since he tried (and succeeded) in racing a chopper to prove that they weren't inherently unsafe, could you go on a crusade to race a nearly silent motocross bike to prove that even a chump (think "Tedesco") like yourself could be competitive and quiet at a national?

Dear ?,
I don’t know Super Hunky, but I have heard stories and seen pictures. The name always made me think of a candy bar of some sort. “Mmmm…. Super Hunky.” I never heard the story of him racing a chopper, but it sounds like something a guy hopped up on cheap suds would think of.
    As far as your silent-motocross-bike idea is concerned, I see a few holes in that plan. First, I’m not sure I would be competitive at an outdoor national today, even if my bike was as loud as a chopper. You could run straight pipes directly into a megaphone bolted onto the back of my bike and I still won’t be able to run the pace for more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately, one national moto is at least 35 minutes long. Even more problematic is the fact that there are two of these motos. Assuming that I could get back into form physically, I still don’t have much faith in silent motorcycles. I rode a pretty quiet bike manufactured by some engineering wizards in China last summer, and that thing was slower than Billy Bob Thornton’s character in
Sling Blade. Howzabout we get all motocross bikes under 100 decibels, and then we’ll get to work on an uber-quiet project bike. Sound good?

You are a very funny guy! They say humor comes from pain. If that is true,  where does your pain come from? Don't cop out and say it’s from being married, as we have all seen your beautiful wife.
Jerry Dillon

Dear Jerry,
My pain comes from acute arthritis, stretched tendons, mediocre knee surgeons, coach seats on commercial airlines, and, most recently, kidney stones. There’s also the emotional pain of never winning an AMA title, seeing Mandisa get voted off of American Idol, and listening to Denny Stephenson’s constantly cutting remarks about my 5’7” stature. I’m a prime candidate for Ibuprofen and Prozac, Jerry. And if it wasn’t for my wife, I would probably be on the roof of a downtown building with a scoped rifle, picking off innocent commuters one at a time—that or down in Mexico, drinking suds with Super Hunky.

I've been to numerous supercrosses and motocrosses at various venues throughout the U.S. I've met my share of the SX/MX community, including but not limited to RC, MC, Fro, Jeff Stanton, and Roger DeCoster. I've even run across some magazine types such as Tom Webb and Ken Faught. Most, if not all, were approachable and friendly. My question is, if I saw you in the pits and tried to say hello or shake your hand, would one of your “posse” show me the exit or would you be as gracious as the aforementioned people?
John Baginski

Dear John,
I don’t have a posse, per se. Sure, there’s the stadium security guards and team transport drivers to whom I pay cash under the table to “solve” any problems I have with disgruntled fans or quadcycle enthusiasts. But as a general rule, I try not to overwork my hired muscle. What I probably will do if you walk up and start to speak to me or make eye contact with me or step into my personal space, intentionally or otherwise, is simply hit you with the pocket stun gun that I carry with me at all times. The high-voltage electric current will render you incapacitated for several minutes, giving me time to walk away and avoid a conversation. I tried mace for a while, but it was causing too much of a scene in the pits at the races (especially around those KTM kids). I do have a big-game tranquilizer gun and some new camo face paint I got from Larry Ward that I am anxious to try out, maybe even at the season finale in Las Vegas. So, John, are you going to be in Nevada for the last supercross of the year? Do ya feel lucky, punk? Well, do ya?
    Just kidding, John. In real life, I am as accessible as Bob Hannah.