Ask Ping!

July 28, 2006 10:17am | by:

photo: Simon Cudby

I have one question that I would like multiple answers on, What would be the best motocross races to go to if I can only go to one or two this year and why? Track preferences: biggest jumps, highest speeds and a location that most likely wouldn’t rain.  Is there a banquet or a party after the last race of the season and if so is it open to the public? Obviously I will miss the first few races because the series already started and I will need a few weeks to plan for the trip.
Leonard Lawrence

Dear Leonard,

Sorry that it’s taken me a while to get to this letter but I think I can really help you out with your questions. Without knowing where you live or how far you are willing to travel I’m going to tell you which races are the best and usually have a can’t-miss vibe. Of course, the season opener in Sacramento is a must. All the riders have a fresh start and everyone is tied for the lead before the first gate drop. I expect a Carmichael vs. Stewart war! But, that race already happened. Man, you really blew it because that was a great race.
The next round in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania is great when it doesn’t rain. This year the weather was perfect, the racing was insane and Bubba had one of the biggest crashes I’ve ever seen. You totally missed a good one.

Southwick is also a great race to see. The sand adds an element that you won’t see at any other national. This year, James and RC battle all moto long both times out and then James had another huge crash! I can’t believe you missed that one! Sorry again for getting back so late.

Budds Creek is one of the best tracks on the circuit and it is definitely spectator-friendly. Bubba was absent but the race in the Lites class was epic. You should have gone to that race…

You know, actually, pretty much every national this year has been amazing. RC is killing it but this might be the last time that a lot of people get to see him ride. The Lites class is shaping up to be a barnburner between the two hottest young riders on the planet right now and the weather has been mild for the most part. Leonard, you need to get off your butt and get to a race. Washougal is this weekend and if you are any kind of motocross fan you will be there. The track is good, the weather is perfect and the scenery is right out of a painting. There isn’t a banquet or an after-party—Jamey Grosser has a doesn’t-qualify-for-supercrosses-only deal—but buy a ticket anyway and get to a national before you totally blow it and miss the whole season. Go!


Your name spelled backward is Gnip.  Silent "g" gets you to "Nip".  Did your parents have a "silent" meaning in mind?

Dear Chris,

Wow, you are really reaching with that one. Actually, my name is David which, spelled backwards, is Divad, which means nothing, so I’m pretty sure my folks weren’t searching for hidden meanings in my name. Now, Pingree spelled backwards is Eergnip, which is Icelandic for “angry little man with an axe to grind.” I’m sure that’s just a coincidence though.


I am an old dude now with more injuries than Tylenol has little pills, but I still ride quite often in spite of bad knees with little or no cartilage, a crooked neck that snaps and pops like a bowl of Rice Crispies, and a disc-dysfunctional lower back to rival Granny Clampett's. How torn up are you after a life of hammering the whoops? Do the majority of the now 40-plus retired pros take as long to get moving every morning as the average former pro football player? You know: an evolution poster where the beast crawls out of the primordial slime(/bed), then walks upright with great effort, and finally runs with Olympian form.
Jim Dandy to the Rescue, but slowly, and in pain.

Dear Jim,

Sounds like you need to take up water aerobics or start yourself a nice little Percoset habit. I don’t know why you specifically asked about 40-year-plus former pros because I’m not nearly that old. I can’t speak for those who are but I will tell you that most of the guys I’ve been racing with my whole life have started feeling the effects of our former careers big-time. When I get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee my knees start popping like M-80’s going off in an underground parking garage. Did I mention I’ve been getting up to pee with greater frequency the older I get? You are not alone in your plight, Jim Dandy. Here’s hoping for a breakthrough in total joint replacement in the next decade or the discovery of an inhabitable planet nearby with a zero-gravity atmosphere.