Ask Ping!

  • Who wants a cold sore on their lip?
Dear Mr. Pingree:

As a trained virologist*, I feel compelled to write this letter to you and the motocross community. I recently heard a top exercise physiologist refer to Epstein Barr as a bacterium. In fact, it is called EBV – the “V” is for virus. EBV is one of the eight Herpes viruses that can infect humans. Yeah, I said Herpes.

It’s often been stated that this “Epstein Barr” is the result of overtraining. It’s true that hard training can lower your immunity thereby making one susceptible to infectious agents. However, I’d like to propose an additional risk factor to which many of our young stars likely succumb: hitting too much fanny. I’d bet most of these guys get more ass than a toilet seat at Yankees Stadium. As a team manager, you might suggest to your riders: 1) wrap it, and 2) no kissing.

There is an old virologist joke that goes “You can always tell the virologist because he’s the one that washes his hands BEFORE going to the bathroom.” I am guessing that most of the riders don’t wash their hands before. Or probably even after. Who knows where those filthy fingers have been?

Dr. Mark

*Virologist-Virology is the study of viruses and virus-like agents: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit cells for virus reproduction, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy.

Dear Dr. Mark,

You make a good point. Abstinence isn’t a word that most racers can spell, define or adhere to. And sometime during my racing heyday I picked up a nice little case of the herps in the form of cold sores. To this day if I sunburn my lips or if they get dry and chapped or if I get super-stressed-out I wind up with a wound on my mouth that looks like I took a closed-fist punch from Rampage Jackson. Even so, I’m betting that most riders that do contract this are getting it from being worn out by travel, training and stress. I’ll pass along your suggestions though, just to be safe.


  • At least I beat this guy
Dear Ping,

I watched the hillclimb last weekend at Glen Helen and saw you get worked by Micky Dymond in the crossover event. You just can’t help but finish second, can you?


Colton, CA

Dear Ryan,

Good to hear you made it out there on Mothers Day. The fact that you showed up indicates that you are a motherless punk with absolutely no social skills. If you did have a mommy she would have taught you to not be such a dick when you write in to other peoples columns. That said, you have a good point. I laid down what I thought was an unbeatable, smoker of a time up the hill only to have MD top me and steal $500 cash right out of my pocket. Hey, the guys not a two-time national champ for nothing. Good job, Micky D… Next year the money is all mine. Wait, didn’t I say that last year to Caselli?


  • Braaaaaaaap
Dear Pingree,

I just saw that electric bike feature in the new issue of Racer X. Do you really think that we’ll all be roosting silently in the future or was this just for fun?

Kory T.

Dear Kory,

It was definitely fun but I’m not ruling out anything about the future. I never thought that two morons like Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt could become celebrities from a fake reality television show. I never thought that pizza crust would be stuffed with cheese and who could have ever predicted the intertwining of lemon and lime flavoring in Sprite cola? It’s got Limon, people! It’s still a long ways down the road but I think that electric bikes will be a reality simply out of necessity. As populations increase we will be more and more scrutinized on the sound issues. At some point it is just easier to ride a bike that makes as much noise as a toaster oven.