Ask Ping

June 5, 2008 2:44pm

My son just turned four years old and he wants to be just like you…  Well, maybe more like Carmichael or Stewart. What would be your advice for a dad whose son wants to make it to the big-time of SX and MX and how can I get him there?

Thank you
- Garrett

Dear Garrett,

I’ve never seen someone start with flattery, move to insult and then follow up with sincerity in one of their questions. I’ll do my best to respond in the same way… Garrett, you sound like a wonderful, concerned father that truly wants the best for his child. That is surprising, considering you are such a humongous butt-licker. But my advice to you would be to focus on spending quality time with your boy at the race track. Show him that the very best riders in the world work hard and that hard work pays off in this sport and in life. You’ll both have to make a commitment to practice, maintain equipment and make it to as many amateur national events as possible but there is a chance that he could be the next “big thing” in motocross. Or not.

Good luck


Dear Ping,

I must say, Sir, that I am very disappointed in you. Either the hair product you use has had adverse effects on your brain or you are groggy from too many McGriddles, which I agree are wonderful. However, in your response to Kyle from Singapore you failed to mention his improper use of P.S. (which is the abbreviation for Post Script) or more specifically P.S.S. (or Post Script Script?). If I'm not mistaken it should be P.P.S. Not only did you miss it, you repeated it in your response! For a guy that usually chastises people for their poor grammar I was shocked to see that you missed that easy "lay up." Maybe you were too busy sculpting your rant about chicken kiosks and urine-soaked streets to notice. Then again maybe you didn't want to go for the jugular by insulting his intelligence, assuming bagging on his country was sufficient.

I guess I've come to expect more than that from a fine journalist like you. But I digress… who am I to question the Ping?

Omaha, NE

Dear Eric,

First rule: Never question The PING

First rule of Ask Ping: Never question The Ping. The second rule is pretty much exactly the same as the first one. Now, you write a decent letter and I can tell you put some time into it; that is commendable. What you failed to realize is that Racer X senior editor, Jeff Kocan, has a mastery of the English language that the folks at Merriam-Webster would be envious of. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“Well, first of all, P.S.S. means "post-subscript" and P.P.S. means "post-postscript." Both forms are used, and although P.P.S. is the more common, either could be considered correct.”

Then I had him take a look at the rest of your little diatribe to see what he thought.

“The word Sir doesn't need to be capitalized unless you're addressing a knight. Where he writes, "For a guy that" should be "For a guy who" - it's grammatically incorrect (and just plain rude) to refer to people as "that." Furthermore, Layup is one word, although some publications still prefer the somewhat antiquated lay-up. The two-word form isn't an option.”

Oh, snap! I hope you brought your number-two pencil and your Trapper Keeper, Eric, because you just got schooled! The next time you are feeling froggy, refer to rule number one.



This is a subject that has been all over the sport lately; Who is a privateer?  Personally, I think there really aren’t any left anymore. I think that they should do away with the whole yearly thing and do it race by race. The top privateer finisher at each round should receive a purse of, say, $3,000 dollars, but in order to qualify when you sign up to race you have to show them a copy of your last pay stub from a full time job that you work in order to pay for everything yourself. Whether it be pouring concrete, cutting grass, or selling vacuum cleaners all week you must have a job to be eligible. I know real privateers, including one who works at a bowling alley all week, makes payments on his bike to Honda and drives to Budds Creek every year not even knowing if he has the gas money to get back home. He hasn’t qualified yet but he will one day.  In other words, rename it the Weekend Warrior award and I, like most other fans, will really give a crap about the whole thing. How do you feel about this subject? 
P.S.  Attention all riders… including those not in the top ten: When they ask you how you want to finish at a race in an interview, please say that you are there to win like everybody else!

Dear ?,

The term privateer has been thrown around pretty loosely over the years in this sport. Back when there were only a handful of factory riders it was more obvious which guys were the privateers. There was a giant chasm between the factory riders and privateers in the sport. Now, there is a middle class. That chasm has filled in with teams like the Moto XXX Hooters team, Cernic’s Kawasaki, Bad Boy Energy Drink Honda, MDK and even the Wonder Warthog program. There is some middle ground now that makes it easier for riders to get to the races. Still, you wouldn’t deny that someone in the Wonder Warthog semi is a privateer just because he has a semi to work out of, would you? I think all of the privateer money should just be spread out to the rest of the field evenly. The guys finishing in the top ten are probably making decent money so use the privateer funds to pay the riders from 10th on back a little more. That money would mean the world to the guys that make the night show in Supercross and round out the pack at a national. The guys finishing out of the points at a national are still great riders and they are busting their butts for thirty-something overall. Have you seen the payback for a guy that finishes back there? It’s not something you could plan your retirement with….

Sean Collier = Privateer

Regarding your post script; If I ever race a national motocross round again, I am going to beat James Stewart soundly and win it… Does that sound ridiculous to you? Well, now you know why many riders don’t say it.


Got a question for The PING? E-mail it to