Ask Ping!

October 31, 2008 10:36am | by:
With all the silly-season switching with bikes and gear, what’s your thought on riders' loyalty, or lack thereof, to long-time sponsors?

Dear David,
Lets just be honest here, David, this industry is brutal. In fact, the business world as a whole is very much dog-eat-dog. You can’t really blame a rider for taking the best deal he can get because you know that the manufacturer would do the same thing if put in a similar situation. That is just the way a capitalist society works, though we may not have to worry about that anymore after next Tuesday. Maybe I’m a little old fashioned but I still believe in loyalty. I’ve been involved with sponsors like Dragon and Troy Lee Designs since my early professional career and I’ve been with Racer X Illustrated for ten years now. I also listen to cassette tapes on a Walkman, drink Tang when I’m thirsty and my favorite movie is still Smoky and the Bandit. I’ve seen it a hundred times and I still chuckle when Jackie Gleason says, “Junior, when we get home remind me to smack your mama in the mouth. There is no way you came from my loins." But I’ve also made some great relationships with my sponsors over the years and that makes a big difference. When a rider doesn’t know anyone at the company that sponsors him it is easy to just walk away. One thing to remember before you judge a rider, or business, for cutting ties with someone is that you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. My suggestion is to let them handle their business and just enjoy the racing.

Dear Ping,
Sadly, I run around with normal people who don't know what motocross or supercross means. So, a JLaw Halloween costume (complete with bloody ear fragment) would just disturb my friends and coworkers. Are you or any of your industry friends running it this year? I'd guess that it'd be as popular inside the industry as the Sarah Palin costume will be to The Normals.

New York City

  • Josh Hill has the Josh Hill costume down perfectly
The Jlaw look is big at industry parties this year but if you are going to pull it off you have to commit. If you can get an orange jumpsuit…great. If not, you can just pour a beer all over yourself to get the right odor and then roll your car right in front of the house party. Like I said though, it’s a commitment. Other great racing inspired costumes are the Mitch Payton, which requires a stack of homemade championship plates, a wheelchair and a fluffy gray wig. Or there’s the Irv Braun, which simply requires a microphone and the ability to talk all night without any break whatsoever. Then there’s the Josh Hill, which is comprised of a pair of loose fitting Thor pants that fall down just below your butt cheeks. Another great one is the Kurt Nicoll, which is difficult because you have to be able to guzzle pints of beer without being phased, speak with a heavy British accent and act completely indifferent towards everyone. These are all hits but just don’t expect the “Normals” to get it.



With the 2009 Outdoor Nationals moving to a Saturday format, what are the chances of local races moving their bigger events to Saturday?  In SoCal it would be nice if races like the Golden State Nationals, Trans-Cal Series, Gold Cup, etc were on Saturdays.  Maybe I'm getting old, but I could use Sunday for rest, injury recovery, church, and spending time with the family before the Monday grind of work starts all over again. There are a few Saturday races like Perris, Lake Elsinore, etc, but they don't draw the big crowds or real fast guys.  What do you think? 

H.S. Walker

P.S. By the way, I really enjoy it when you make your down to earth political views/comments.

Dear H.S.,

  • Ping's blood pressure is skyrocketing right now.
I agree with you completely. I think the Saturday format is a huge step forward for the sport professionally and local clubs should follow suit. The REM guys run a tidy little program on Saturdays up at Glen Helen but it only consists of one track. That would take care of your “fast guys” problem because the locals that do that series every weekend have that track wired. I’ve seen local ace Tony Amaradio wax pros there that finish in the top ten at nationals. Just be careful of the old guys in bright orange helmets… they are a little squirrelly.


P.S. I’m biting my tongue (or fingers, in this case) not to go off on a rant here but I have strict orders to lay off the political stuff. But if you see me at the track come on over and ask me what I think of Nancy Pelosi…then stand back and watch me go off