Ask Ping

February 28, 2008 2:48pm | by:

Dear Ping, 

I always love to read your column and I thoroughly enjoy everything you do for all of us, your loyal readers. OK, getting to the point: As you know, the famous and lovable Travis Pastrana came out and did a little show at the San Diego Supercross for the parade lap. I enjoy watching everything he does and have trouble contemplating how good he is at everything; Rally champion, former freestyler, and 125cc class competitor, etc, etc, etc. When watching Supercross the week after, I couldn't help but notice them showing his little back flip thing from the prior week's highlights. I am perfectly fine with that, however, a few years ago at the Daytona Supercross he was strongly ridiculed and disqualified for doing the same exact thing (just not landing it). Not only that, he was told that if it was ever done again, he would be banned from the AMA for life! Sure enough, about a year or two later, he comes back and is not only allowed to do another one but it's actually showcased for supercross?  What's the deal on this issue?  Sure it was the parade lap, but shouldn't the AMA be more lenient when they hand out warnings in the first place?  The same questions could apply to the fuel issue the GOAT and many others had as well.
David Stewart
Kansas City, Missouri

Dear David,
There are two things I can tell you about this. First, Travis Pastrana is awesome. I used to think that he was trying to get attention or trying to kill himself or that he had mental issues. Maybe I’m right on all three counts. Still, he hasn’t let his success in any of the sports he excels in go to his head. And while I still maintain that jumping out of an airplane without a parachute is attempted suicide more than anything else, I appreciate that he’s still the same crazy kid that he was a decade ago when he jumped his bike into the bay in San Francisco. Secondly, the AMA is a disaster right now. I think the collective motorcycle racing industry would be better off if the Three Stooges were officiating the races. Moe and Larry could work the starting gate and the flags while Curly handled sign-up and tech inspection. And even if they spent half their time bonking each other on the nose and smacking each other on the back of the heads they would be more efficient than the AMA is right now. And what’s going on with Moe’s hair? That rug couldn’t be more obvious if a genie were flying around on it. I keep waiting for that clump of fur to stand up on its hind legs and beg for a peanut. Maybe I’ve been watching too much TV Land. For the sake of motorcycle racing here the U.S., we need to hope that the AMA gets their crap together soon. Personally, I think the two backflip incidents are totally different. The Daytona flip happened in a heat race where none of the officials knew what was going on. In San Diego, he was part of the opening ceremonies and I’m sure the flaggers and crew by the finish line were told to watch out for a yellow bike flying at them upside down. I thought it was awesome and it was definitely the loudest I heard the crowd get all night.


Hi Ping,
Do you know why Reed doesn't look at Erin Bates? He always looks at something on the track and he says things like I'll keep my head down and butt up. I'd like to see some one take care of the ladies on the podium like Hannah and Bailey did.
Gov. Ryan

Dear Gov. Ryan,

I thought the governor of Illinois was Rod Blagojevich but maybe I was wrong. Maybe it really is Governor Ryan, Supercross fan and old-school ladies’ man. Either way, I’ve seen Reedy do the same thing during his podium spiels. He stares off into the distance with one hand on his hip and the other holding up his obscure new energy drink as he twists side to side slightly, seeming vaguely interested in what Erin is saying. I know Erin is a tall drink of water (very good looking water) and she can make you nervous. The fact that a guy of average height looks directly into Erin’s, um, lungs doesn’t help either. Maybe Reedy’s wife, Ellie, would punch him in the mouth if she caught him looking and he knows it. I have no idea what it means to keep your head down and your butt up unless you are a professional wrestler or an Iraqi prostitute. Actually, I think I heard Hannah use that same phrase on a trophy girl once.


Racer X,
My name is Jake Allen and I am a college graduate from South Carolina. I raced motocross for about 11 years then went to college. I was wondering if you could help point me in the right direction on how to work my way into the industry.
Jacob Allen

Dear Jacob,


Ah, yes, the elusive industry job. Just a heads-up, though, an industry job isn’t all glitz and glamour. Just the other day I was out riding with Ivan Tedesco, Nate Adams and Ryan Villopoto when I realized that I didn’t pack clean knee-brace socks in my new gear bag. I had to use the same pair that I used the day before at the industry-only ride day at the Castillo Ranch. But that wasn’t all! The free bike that I got to use for the year had a dirty filter and the spokes were loose. Not only did I have to get my hands all icky tightening the spokes, but I had to open a new box of pre-oiled, disposable air filters that my friends at Ready Filter sent me and change out the dirty filter. I mean, it came with rubber gloves so it wasn’t that bad, but still. Maybe you should re-think your plan of getting involved in this daily grind of a career. If you still think that the world of motocross is for you, there are a few sure ways in. One way is to become a man-friend. Befriend a top rider and do everything for him including washing his nasty, sweaty gear, breaking in his boots and making him turkey sandwiches. Another option is to invent a product for racers. How about confidence pills or an artificial ACL that lasts? And, if all else fails, you can always use the tried-and-true method of sleeping your way to the top; Although that might be rough in an industry with very few females. Good luck with that.


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