Ask Ping!

January 16, 2009 11:23am | by:


  • Troy didn't design that #2 on top
I have been absent from the motocross scene for a few years since my parents stopped dumping money into my hobby. I had to get a real job, got married and recently had a son. Since his birth, I find myself getting excited about racing again, knowing someday soon I can dump my own money into his amateur racing career. When I was younger, one of the most exciting parts of the new season was seeing the new bikes, team changes, new gear, and new custom painted helmets! I remember drooling over McGrath, Emig and Henry's new Troy Lee lids. These days it seems like sponsors and gear companies have total reign over the design on a rider’s helmet. The only individuality I see on a rider’s helmet is sticker placement! How many black and green Monster Energy lids or stock graphic helmets do we need out there?

I figure since you are the new manager of the Troy Lee team, you might have the inside scoop. Seriously, bring back the custom painted helmets! I understand these companies are selling a product, but come on! Your team probably wouldn't exist if it weren't for the custom lids we hardly see these days.


John Dalszys  

P.S. Good luck with the team. I'll be rooting for the best looking bikes on the track. Any chance the team graphics will come out for a CRF50? I'm starting my 8-month-old son early!  

Dear John,

I completely agree with you. Troy’s custom helmets were pure works of art. One of my favorites was McGrath’s when he rode for Suzuki in 1997. The problem is that Troy and every other helmet manufacturer wants their riders wearing the exact same helmet they are selling. And the energy drink companies have a specific design that has to be just so, regardless of who’s painting it. It is a bummer and especially now with the team look the riders have absolutely no individuality out there. Our guys will be running some limited edition stuff this weekend… I guess that’s as close as you’re going to get to custom these days.

John, good luck dumping your nest egg into your son’s hobby. On paper it doesn’t look good and your accountant will tell you that you are a complete idiot. But you can’t put a price on spending time with your boy doing something you both love. Good luck.


  • Who wants marshmallows?!
Hey Ping,

Love your column, especially your political views, usually because they’re the same as mine. You remind me of another no nonsense, never-have-to-guess-what-they’re-thinking kind of person. And that person would be... that's RIGHT.. Ted Nugent. One of Ted's latest comments was {people come to my shows just to roast marshmallows off the flames coming out of my ass} and that's kinda the way I feel about you. Now all you have to do learn to play a Gibson Byrdland and write songs about having sex and killing things and you'll have the funds to finance your own mx team. Thanks, Ping and Happy New Year,


p.s. if you need a manager I'm available

Dear Vern,

I scoured the Internet looking for a picture of Ted Nugent shooting flames out of his rear end and came up empty handed. How can a guy get a nice, even brown color on his marshmallow if he has no flame on which to roast? That is frustrating. I did find a video clip of Ted blowing up one of his guitars with a flaming arrow, which shows his affinity for fire, music and, uh, other stuff, I guess. Yes, we conservatives are stoked to have Ted on our side. If I need a manager I’ll let you know, Vern. Until then, stop by the TLD truck and say hi. I’ve been eating lots of carne asada and black beans this week so we can make some killer smores off the flames coming out of my ass. There, I said it.


Dear Ping,

Because of the awesome weather we have been having lately in the northwest, I have found myself watching some old supercross races I had recorded.  In particular, Anaheim 1996.  I am just wondering what pissed you off the most from that race? 

1. Greg Schnell running you into the bales while you were leading the race, knocking you down.

2. You blitzing through the whoops a few laps later and hitting a hay bale, taking you and James Dobb out. (although Dobb still finished third)

3. Or the fact that Art "Give me some vaseline I'm comin' through" Eckman kept switching between calling you Pingree and Pingram?  

Well that's kind of all I wanted to know Mr. Pingram.

Thanks, Ryan

p.s.  Isn't Whistler about the coolest place ever?

Dear Ryan,

Firstly, Whistler is insane. If I was independently wealthy and didn’t need to bother with a job I would buy a spread up there, fill my garage with mountain bikes and skis, grow a beard and completely take myself off the radar. I love that place. Now, about Anaheim 1996… I remember it like it happened this morning. In fact, I was pissed off at Greg Schnell about that until just a few minutes ago when I finally got over it. I was ready to win races that year and after pulling the holeshot in the main I thought I had that one locked up. And then Greg blasted me. I was so frantic to get going that I had my brain in the “off” position for the rest of the final. I had worked my way up to Dobb with a few laps to go and was trying to get around him for third. It would have been a good recovery from the earlier debacle. But instead of being patient I tried to go between James and the hay bales in a set of whoops that went all the way around a corner. It was a really cool section and it’s too bad they don’t make tracks like that anymore. Actually, the move Trey Canard tried to pull in his heat race last week looked a lot like what I did. Except that I had so much speed going when I went by that I blew James, a hay bale and myself into a big pile in the middle of the track. When I got back to the Pro Circuit truck after the race Mitch was just shaking his head at me. My team manager, Mike Hooker, told me that my bike looked like a war-wagon because it was bent and broken and totally thrashed. And I had scraped all the skin off my elbows and was crying like a baby. Those are good memories, Ryan, thanks for bringing them to the surface again. Is it too early to start drinking?


Mr. Pingram.

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