Ask Ping!

May 25, 2007 8:00am | by:

Hey Ping,
I think that the AMA should list the rider’s hometowns as the places they grew up instead of listing the city that they moved to in order to be near a test track. Kind of like other pro sports that list an athlete’s college. After all, not all pro racers grew up in southern California. It's a real slap in the face to see great riders like Heath Voss and Ryan Dungey listed as being from Texas or California when their childhood was spent getting fast on the tracks of Minnesota. What do you think?
Jeff McKoskey
P.S. We also produced James Povolny and the legendary Donny Schmit


This kid is from Minnesota, not California!

photo: Simon Cudby

I agree with you. It gets a bit boring and suspect when every rider in the program is listing southern California or northern Florida as their residence. And there is nothing wrong with being raised in Minnesota; it’s a great state, don’t-cha know. If Reed, Townley, Carmichael, and Langston are all from Florida, then why do none of them speak like it? Martine Davalos is from Georgia? That’s the strangest southern drawl I’ve ever heard. I’ve always been quick to point out that I was born and raised in Montana, and even though I get the occasional sheep joke, I’m still proud of where I came from. Besides, growing up in southern California isn’t exactly a luxury. It’s become more northern Mexico than southern California over the past ten years. Maybe we should just give it back and redraw the border up by the Castillo Ranch somewhere. That’s all from Temecula, Mexico. Adios.

Dear Ping,
I am 36 y/o and an avid rider and motocross/supercross fan. I think it's a great time in our sport. Especially with so many young, aggressive riders in the Lites class gunning for a podium spot week in and week out. It makes for an exciting points race and great night (or day) of racing in general. That being said, I'm a little concerned about the 450 class. Without a doubt, Bubba is amazing. My concern is that with Ricky out of the picture, and no one else willing to "sack up" and clear entire whoop sections, we are in for some boring racing. You can only watch someone completely destroy their competition for so long before at least losing some interest. I compare the situation to the late ‘80s and early ‘90s when Mike Tyson was in his prime and knocking dudes out consistently inside of the first round. People started to feel short-changed regardless of whether it was on pay per view, TV, or you dropped a bunch of cash and went and saw the fight in person. It's like, do you blame Bubba for working hard and putting it all on the line? Or do you blame the rest of the field for not committing to at least run his pace? We've all seen recent greatness with Ricky and MC. I just don't remember people pouring out of the stadium six laps into the main. I guess I'm just venting.

Dear Viz,
It’s hard to blame the rest of the field. Trust me, they are trying their best. And you can’t blame James for being so fast because that would just be stupid. The fact is that he is in a league of his own right now (in supercross, anyway) and he is going to be winning for a while. Of course, all you have to do is go to one of the national motocross races that Carmichael is entered in this summer and you will get to see some great racing again. The angry elf laid down the law in Sacramento, and it looks like he is unwaveringly determined to reach the 150-win mark. That is bad news for James and good news for race fans. As far as the premature mass exodus from the stadiums, well, that is going to be a problem until someone can run with him. Maybe Villopoto will be the guy to do it, or maybe it’s Millsaps or someone else. Until then, get out of my way after the Lites main event, because I’ll be sprinting like Jackie Joyner-Kersee on the way to my Toyota truck.

Dear Ping,
Could you give us some insight or a psychological profile on the type of rider that doesn’t really race and puts numbers like 69,  420, or 151 on his bike?
Kent. Honolulu

Jimmy Gaddis won with #69

photo: Courtesy of Moto Verte

Dear Kent,
It is my opinion that only kooks without girlfriends run the number 69. Unless, of course, you are assigned the number by the AMA based on the number of national points you earned the previous season. But I don’t think that’s the kind of rider we’re dealing with here. By the way, Jimmy Gaddis won a championship with #69, so it can’t be completely written off as a silly set of digits. However, the dickweeds that run it because of its sexual implications should be clotheslined off their rides and punched in their goggle hole once or twice. Riders bearing the number 420 are the lowest common denominator of society, plain and simple. They usually have a Metal Mulisha or SRH T-shirt on, a black hat with a super-kicker lip at the end of the bill, and their bike is adorned in black plastic. And they usually have a bandana of some color around their head or in their pocket. These guys want you to think that they are in a gang or that they want to be in a gang, even though they have no idea what a gang is really like. You’ve completely lost me on the 151 number. I am totally unaware of any stigma attached to that number, but maybe it’s a Hawaiian thing. It could be that I am too much of a haole to figure it out. Anyhoo, if you know someone running these numbers, be sure to let them know what an A-hole they are. Mahalo.