Ask Ping

December 14, 2007 6:44am | by:

Dear Ping,
I used to race a lot when i was younger, but not so much anymore.  (I actually remember you showing up to an MRA race in Delta, Ohio, riding a Suzuki with an Airwalk sticker down the side of your box van and kicking everyone's ass.)  It really sucks when you have to start paying for stuff yourself, so I faded out of racing a bit…  I mean, I still have a bike, but I don't really care to go to the track.  I'd rather ride in my back yard, which brings me to the real reason I am e-mailing you.

Why is it that at an AMA race it seems that the most important thing is how big your motorhome is, how white your gear is, what carbon fiber component you have on your brand new four-stroke, and how weird that guy is who just showed up in the back of his truck?  Racing has lost its appeal to me and I wonder if it has lost its appeal to anyone else out there. 

Why do motocross racers have to be so materialistic when it comes to their things.  There's a vibe at the track; if you don't have money, you get vibed.  You have probably never had that problem being that you are David Pingree, but have you noticed a change? 

Don't tear me up too bad.  My dad still reads this site even though he's pushing 60.


Jeremy Ball

Never buy cloudy or yellow-tinged diamonds.

Dear Jeremy,
I know exactly what you are talking about. I mean, just last week I pulled into Perris Raceway in my 50’ Prevost coach with an oversized picture of me on the sides when I saw Chad Reed wearing three-carat diamond earrings and his ball cap on backwards. Is there anything that screams “Look at me” more than that? I mean, who does he think he is? So, straight-away I sent my man-servant Rivas, who I hired to lick all my cars clean and polish the new travertine floors I just had installed in my race shop, to run over and find out if they were real. Well, they were, but get this… Rivas told me they were totally cloudy and the cuts were irregular! Ha! I laughed so hard I almost fell out of the reclining leather chair I was lounging on inside my coach.
It was difficult to stop giggling and get dressed so I could ride but I managed to do it. Of course I had all brand new gear but as I prepped my goggles I decided to use tear-offs instead of roll-offs. After all, the track wasn’t muddy and it would be irresponsible and wasteful for me to use an entire canister of roll-off film. And right then I learned something about myself: I hadn’t lost touch with my humble beginnings. Right after Rivas finished cleaning my bike off with an entire case of contact cleaner and two rolls of paper towels, I hit the track.
       That was a big day for me, Jeremy, and I hope it taught you something. First, never buy cloudy or yellow-tinged diamonds. It is tacky and cheap. And second, when your man-servant doesn’t put a new filter in every time you ride just because he thought it “wasn’t that dirty,” don’t have him deported. Simply stop feeding him for a week and dock his pay. That will teach him a valuable lesson…. Wait, what was your question again?


Love your stuff.  I was very sorry to hear about your wrist and arm.  One would've been bad enough!  Dude, I'm curious about the technique being used by 99.9% of the riders I see in all the mags, etc.  Dave Despain always said "keep your feet on the pegs" as he ended his Motoworld shows.  Well, what's the inside scoop on why all the pix  show the riders with their feet sometimes 6-8 inches above the pegs,  even for jumps that they are NOT stylin?  Is it a necessary move  (combined with the rebound) to help get more carry over the next  jump?  Thanks and best of luck.


Keep your wheels on the ground and your feet 6 to 8 inches off the pegs!

Dear Monty,
Thanks for the condolences. What you have to keep in mind is that Dave Despain just needed a catchphrase that would stick. “Keep your wheels on the ground and your feet 6 to 8 inches off the pegs” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, you know? The reason that you see a lot of riders with their feet off the pegs that way is because many of them squeeze and control the bike with their knees. Whether you are trying to scrub a jump or you are trying to lift your bike up and over an obstacle it is often times difficult to keep your feet planted on the pegs. The only other reason that some riders don’t keep their feet on the pegs is because they can’t. My legs are so short, for instance, that when I stand on the pegs I only have a couple inches of clearance between the seat and my butt. You try keeping your feet on the pegs through a jump section when the seat keeps smacking you in the hiney. It’s not easy.


A couple of years back it became cool for pro riders not to wear chest protectors.  With the recent spinal cord injuries it brought out the interest for a Leatt Brace design that so many people are wearing now.  Now we have had at least three collarbone injuries (that I know of) in the pre-season by podium contender lites class riders:  Trey Canard, Ryan Villapoto and Austin Stroupe.  Don't get me wrong I will take two broken collarbones over a spinal cord injury any day, but is the Leatt the reason for all these breaks?
Sorry my letter isn't a funnier note, just curious to hear what you think.
Aaron "I'll holeshot you any day" Cooke

FACT: It only takes 7 pounds of pressure to break your clavicle.

Dear Aaron,
While the folks at Leatt Brace adamantly deny that their brace is the cause for these collar bone fractures, it is curious that there have been so many lately… The energy absorbed by the brace as the helmet hits it has to be transferred somewhere. It only takes seven pounds of pressure to break your clavicle. Did you know that, Aaron? Maybe you should take a break from practicing all those starts and do a little research. So, if the brace is to blame for breaking collar bones, then you just have to ask yourself if the increased risk of collar bone injury is worth the decreased risk of injuring your spinal cord.
        Also, I can remember RJ and Hannah going out to battle with full-body JT V2000 chest pros with shoulder pads or HRP “Flak-Jackets” that also offered shoulder protection. I’m not sure whose idea it was to quit wearing such gear, but that’s probably come at a price of safety too.


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