Ask Ping!

June 8, 2007 6:54am | by:


Hoping you can shed some light on my buddies and me. We find it a bit insulting when RacerX and the rest of the publications try to raise money for injured professional riders.  I don't want to sound like a (jerk), but don't they have enough money and health insurance?  It's a positive & commendable gesture when raising money for a random, hometown hero amateur who's family is in extenuating circumstances after dad got hurt in a local cross country or enduro event (what we ride), but for David Bailey and Doug Henry? We don't make a lot of money, but we do make enough to buy new bikes, new gear AND pay health insurance premiums each month. I would assume a current rider of Yamaha (Henry) and former announcer and coach (Bailey) would do the same??
San Jose, CA

Dear Mike,

You obviously don’t know anyone that has had a spinal cord injury or you would have a better understanding of the cost of rehabilitation. Yes, all AMA professional riders have health insurance of some sort but there is usually a limit to the amount that they cover, regardless of the severity of the injury. Some riders, like Ernesto Fonseca and Jeff Emig, paid for a more expensive policy that assures them substantial monetary supplementation in the event they have a career ending injury. Both of them are doing fine, financially. But not every rider can afford that type of insurance policy, though Fonseca had to pay for much of the “special” rehab he went through that his insurance would not pay for—same goes for Jimmy Button, who got hurt back in 2000 while riding at the factory level.  But a rider like James Marshall needs all the financial support that he can get.
     David Bailey is another member of the motocross family that continues to incur medical expenses. Keep in mind that the initial rehabilitation is not the end of the struggle for these guys. David has had more physical complications over the past two years than ever in the two decades before, and the bills keep coming long after the insurance company has paid their percentage. And maybe the reason that we here at Racer X and others in the industry continue to support them the way we do is because they are a part of the family that we call the professional motocross circuit. Of course we would like to help every rider with a serious injury like these others but that just isn’t realistic, so we help where we can. I hope you would do the same.


Dear Ping,

Have you ever thought of yourself as a super hero? Not the comic book type, but a super hero of the sport. Just like every comic book super hero is named for a special power, certain riders in our sport have attained super hero status for similar reasons. Carmicheal could easily be “Captain Determination” and MC = Superman (obviously); Chad Reed – “The Bridesmaid.” And I could go on from there. But what about you, Mr. David Pingree, what super hero would you be? Probably something that signifies your relatively small non-menacing stature coupled with your Rottweiler-like bite.  The name David “The Angry Panda” Pingree comes to mind…. I think we have a winner!
Eric in Iowa

Dear Eric,

Ping does have a super power...

I do have a certain super-power that few people know about. I can ingest large quantities of ice cream at an unimaginably rapid rate. In fact, there is only one other guy that has ever been able to eat more or eat faster than me and he retired to the Midwest somewhere and has turned his attention to the pizza business (that’s right Pederson, I’m talking about you). Sure, my talent doesn’t do anyone any good (including myself) so maybe it shouldn’t be considered a superpower. Either way, I have never considered a nickname promoting my special skill (and I gave “Snack-Pack” to Zach Osborne). How about the Milk Shake-n-ator? Captain Chocolabike? The Pillsbury Dough Badass? Or, if you want to go with The Angry Panda thing, we could do that.  See, I have ridden for a factory Chinese race team so it makes sense. How about Ping-rei, The Angry Panda? I’ll see about getting that on the back of my TLD pants, as soon as my man friend (though he’s only a temp) Sean Beaucair comes back from Baskin Robbin’s—we’re testing later today.


Dear Ping,

For quiet some time now I have been trying to learn the whippertail/scrubba-dubba sequence as well as the "one handed tear off ripper". But my biggest goal in my career as a beginner/pro motorpickle racer is to learn the ultimate Whippertail Scrubba-Dubba-One Handed Tear Off Ripper!!..My cool message board buddies who think J-Law will get type two diabetes from otter pops have discouraged me saying Jo Jo Keller was the one and only one who could and ever will master the ultimate Whippertail Scrubba-Dubba-One Handed Tear Off Ripper! But being so young I have never actually seen nor heard of this so called Jo Jo........Back to
the question..How do I learn this monstrous task?!!

Trevor Durtschi ....P.S.(I do big time poppa wheelies in the pits)

Jo Jo doesn't like pit riding

photo: Paul Buckley

Dear Trevor,

What language are you writing in? I didn’t understand anything in that hyphen-filled rant. Is this Baz? The only thing I can really suggest is that you never, ever say anything like this to Jo Jo himself because he will bop you on top of the head with his fist, cartoon character-style, and pile-drive you into the ground. And stop doing wheelies in the pits— Jo Jo doesn’t like that either.