Ask Ping!

February 23, 2007 9:52am | by:

Dear Ping,
I'm a high-level C rider that needs help on how to learn to "look ahead." Also, what do I do if there's not quite enough milk for a bowl of Fruity Pebbles? Congrats on the Supermoto win at the docks. You must have had enough milk for your Pebbles. Good dog.

Dear 811,
I’ve been sitting here for at least the past twenty minutes trying to wrap my mind around what a “high-level C rider” is exactly, in terms of speed. What I’ve come up with so far is that it isn’t that quick. In fact, I’m guessing that you are just one rung up the ladder from a total beginner. I’m not judging you; everyone has to start somewhere. I just can’t imagine that looking ahead is the biggest hurdle you have to clear right now. However, if you feel like it’s something you need to work on, I do have a suggestion: duct-tape a sharp stick to the mouthpiece of your helmet with the sharp end pointing down. Make sure the tip is just about to gouge out your nipples when your head is tilted up slightly. Now, go ride; that’s it. When the stick pierces your skin, you aren’t looking forward enough. I know it’s militant, but it works.
     Also, everyone knows that if you don’t have enough milk for your cereal, Fruity Pebbles or whatever, then you pour some water in the milk jug and shake it up. It takes whole milk down to skim and 2% down to just milky water, but at least you can get your breakfast down. Didn’t you see the movie Friday? I think Craig’s dad even knows that trick.

I have been watching old motocross videos to pass the winter months here in the Midwest and have noticed your face in many of the movies. The most recent video had you, Shaun Palmer & a large mud puddle having some fun. Was doing videos a good way to make money and have some fun back then? You should do a story about pros in the hills the next time it rains

Ping hits the pavement when it's not raining in Cali.

photo: Billy Ursic

Dear TDH,
There really wasn’t any money in doing videos back then—it was just about having fun with your friends. Between today’s big-dollar contracts and the antisocial, homeschooled kids signing them, there doesn’t seem to be any interest in having fun riding bikes with your friends among pro riders anymore. Most guys would rather stay home and play video games if they don’t have to be at the test track. It also doesn’t help that it hasn’t rained significantly in Southern California in over a year, and it takes a pretty good dousing to get the hills wet enough to ride in. And don’t forget the fact that every great riding area out here is now paved over and covered with Edward Scissorhands-style tract homes. Regardless of the reason, days like the one you mentioned with Palmer and others rarely happen anymore. It is really sad. If we do get some rain anytime soon, I promise that you will read about and see it here on

Dearest Ping,
For the longest time, I could not stand James Stewart. I knew he was one of the fastest riders to ever throw a leg over a dirtscooter, maybe even the fastest, but he was so arrogant and cocky. It seemed like he never gave credit where credit was due, and he ALWAYS had an excuse for not winning. It really bothered me. But I think that, this year, he's really stepped it up with his people skills or whatever you want to call it. I gained a lot of respect for him, not to mention he looks awesome on that beautiful KXF. So you being the moto guru you are, do you know if he had someone tell him not to be such a dick, or did he mature on his own? And while I’m writing you, what’s with Chad Reed? After A3, Stewart stopped to give him some kind of words, and Chad blew him off like he always does. And from what I’ve heard, he's not the nicest guy around the pits either. These guys need PR people or something.

Chad Reed

photo: Steve Bruhn

Dear ?,
As a rider, being genuinely nice, humble, thankful and appreciative isn’t always the number-one priority. These guys are being paid to win, first and foremost. It is also a monumental task for a teenager with a limited education to deal with the kind of pressure, fame, money, and responsibility that these guys have thrust upon them. It’s no wonder they act like idiots on camera and off for the first few years of their careers. My favorite characteristics in Ricky Carmichael are that he is polite, he never makes an excuse if he doesn’t win, and he always talks up his competition. But it took Ricky a few years to figure all that out. That skill is something that Bubba and Chad are still working on. Trust me, after these guys get enough letters from people like you, they will start to figure it out. Let’s hope they figure it all out before they are both being booed out of stadiums across the country.