Ask Ping

December 21, 2007 9:48am | by:

Ping, I was just wondering why Indian Dunes motocross park that was in Valencia, CA, is never mentioned as a breeding ground for American moto-x in the ‘70s & ‘80s? I hear about Saddleback and Carlsbad all the time but never Indian Dunes… Hear are a few greats that got started there: Jim Holley, Erik Kehoe, Johnny O’Mara, Kenny Zahrt, Willy Surratt, Kyle Lewis, Mouse McCoy, Shane Tritler, Bobby Moore and Larry Brooks to name a few,and every great pro from the ‘70s and ‘80s spent a lot of time there. Yes, I'm kind of biased because my father Gary Lamb and Walt James ran the park, and my nickname was Daniel Dunes back in the day, but I'm sure some would like to hear about and reminisce about the contribution Indian Dunes gave to American moto-x. It was a 600-acre park w/ moto-x tracks, a TT track, go-cart track, ½-mile speedway track, ATC track, a river, and hundreds of acres of free riding. It was a virtual moto playground! Open seven days a week….
       Unfortunately non-racers kept getting hurt and filed lawsuits to pay for there own stupidity,and it ended up having to shut down. My dad and I were just wondering. Thanks.
Daniel Dunes

Dear Daniel,
Good question. And I’m afraid I don’t have an answer. I never got to ride at Indian Dunes but I’ve obviously heard stories about it. By the time I got to California they had closed Indian Dunes, Saddleback and they were working on Carlsbad. With Carlsbad, it wasn’t long before it was replaced by commercial buildings—that one was lost to urban sprawl. But Saddleback and Indian Dunes could still be racetracks today! So, I’ll leave you with a list. It’s a Christmas list of sorts. A list of people I hate. 
      First, I hate people that get hurt at a track and then sue the track owner. Those spineless, crap-for-brains people make me sick. You signed the waiver and you knew that what you were doing was dangerous. Sorry you sucked too much to stay on two wheels but don’t blame the track owner.
       Secondly, I hate anyone that lives in a house or works in a building that was once a riding area. I’ve owned two different homes in the past five years that covered over two of the best riding spots in Riverside County. So, obviously, I hate myself.
       Daniel, I hope you can get past the bitterness of losing that track and the stench of rage that is wafting from this letter and have yourself a nice weekend. Trust me; anyone that really follows the sport knows what a great facility Indian Dunes was.


(P.S. Our publisher, former Monark factory rider Scott Wallenberg, tells me that Indian Dunes was also the site of some Hollywood movie shoots, including the tragic helicopter scene from The Twilight Zone movie where Vic Morrow and two underage actors were killed instantly when the chopper malfunctioned and came down on them. That’s a really sad sidebar to the Indian Dunes saga…)

I'm a New Englander and here the real men ride NETRA enduros and hare scrambles.  My question to you is: would you ever consider racing off road? You are a talented rider who picked up Supermoto pretty easily but could you do the same off road?  I'm not talking "fake" off-road like WORCS either—all that is is a big huge motocross track with a mile of woods thrown in. How about a rocky, rooty, muddy, bar-bending race in the woods?  Would you ever have interest in trying one?  Here's a pic to show you what I mean.  Bad idea taking my goggles off, I know, but I blasted through my tear-offs on the first lap!
Tom L. Natick, MA.

Ping is afraid of roots.

photo: Jason Hooper

Dear Tom,
I’ve tried some of that off-road stuff and while I had a good time, it just wasn’t something that I want to do on a full-time basis. Mud, rocks, tree roots and water holes are things that I dislike most about motocross tracks. Why would I want to go subject myself to those exact elements for two or three hours at a time? I’d rather save myself some time and ghost ride my bike off a cliff, burn a big pile of money in my yard, kick myself in the nuts and then sit on the couch and watch television. And let me tell you something about that “fake” off-road series out west: It is very different from the terrain that the enduros and hare scrambles races run on east of the Rockies, but it is anything but easy. The one I did in Lake Havasu was brutal. Oh, and, Tom… There is this new invention called Roll-offs. They would have saved you a trip to the optometrist.


Dearest Ping
I really don’t know who you are as a racer but I like your writing.  Anywho, is teams like pro circuit backed by cacasucki or are they using there own cash?  By the way, is it true supermoto bikes have purse holders and a mirror so you can put on you makeup while you ride?
Chad Reed
(Sorry, I mean Ken)

Dear Ken… or Chad,

Did you know that Ping rode for Pro Circuit Kawasaki back in the day?

photo: Andy Trecki

As a racer, I won four Supercross races, made three podium appearances outdoors, won the Bercy SX, held a factory-supported motocross ride for ten years, got a bronze medal in X Games Supermoto, won five Supermoto Lites rounds and managed to give away several good championship opportunities. I also got docked five positions by Big Dave Coombs for taking some other kid out.  As a writer, I took a couple years of journalism in high school, started writing a column for this website in 1998, took that column to print in ‘99, joined the Racer X Illustrated staff full-time in 2004 and I continue to enjoy smashing clueless douche bags like yourself into the ground every chance I get.
       Now, as far as supermoto is concerned, you either don’t know what you’re talking about or you really are Chad Reed and you are upset that you didn’t do better at the X Games this summer. And did you really start that question, “Is teams like Pro Circuit..?” Are you retarded? No, seriously? You might be missing a chromosome. If you aren’t a nine year-old boy writing this letter as a joke, please get some help. They have a short little bus that will pick you up. Good luck.

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