Ask Ping!

June 5, 2009 9:02am | by:

  • Factory motocross team or just a bunch of weirdos that didn't get enough hugs from mommy?

Love your column! What is up with the Moto-X community? I was part of the Michigan Militia of the ‘80’s and have the best memories of what a great family sport we have. It would seem to me the public service announcement telling parents to let their kids be who they are was taken a little to serious by our demographic. It is hard to find anyone at the races that do not have a sleeve or more of body art. Our government is going crazy about lead in dirt bikes while these kids have more metal in their faces than on their bikes. And what is up with the douche at the H/D tent at Glen Helen last week? Could there have been a bigger black eye for the sport and it’s ability to attract families than this moron begging people to enter his brothel of immorality? Our sport does not need this image to grow.


Dear Scott,

Thanks for reading. It’s good to hear from people that still have some traditional, old school values. I like to tell myself that I’m not THAT old, but I guess I am. Maybe things have just come into perspective a little more since the birth of my two little girls. Whatever the reason, I agree with you 100%. The freethinking progressives in this country encourage you to let your child express him/herself in whatever way they want, regardless of what the parents think is appropriate. Apparently common sense doesn’t apply with these folks. If my girls come home with metal in their faces it’s getting ripped out faster than you can say scar tissue.

I didn’t see the Harley display up close but I know the one you are referring to. Sadly, that has become more and more accepted in this country. I wish our sport, and society in general, could get back to the way it was decades ago when families came to the races, camped out and enjoyed spending time together. But now little Johnny is too busy drawing up his neck tattoo and his teenage sister is out buying meds to control her flared up STD. Meanwhile, mom and dad are hammered drunk and on the brink of divorce. Welcome to family life in 2009.


Dear Ping,

What's your opinion of Josh Grant's penalty at Hangtown? I think it’s a BS call. When watching the broadcast, you can clearly see a solid yellow flag on the side that Grant was on. The other side had the yellow and red flag. Which flag are you supposed to follow? Maybe Grant only saw the yellow flag and didn't think much of it. In my eyes, Grant did nothing wrong. The flaggers should have only had one color flag during that time to avoid confusion to the riders.



  • Wilbur goes wheels up for a penalty
Dear Steven,

First of all, the rule itself is sound. There have been too many injuries where a rider was down and someone didn’t know and landed on him. So the idea of the flag is a good one and something that is necessary. The color choice for the flag was probably not too well thought out. I’m guessing that after the debacle this weekend they will change it up. The mistake in this case was the flagger with the solid yellow flag; he shouldn’t have had that flag up, in my opinion. If he was waving his arms and the other guy was displaying the red and yellow flag then Josh might have been able to discern what to do. The fact is that it was a little confusing. Still, everyone heard the same thing if they attended the riders meeting. If you make rules you have to enforce them. My guess is that Josh, and all the riders that were penalized, will pay more attention the next time they see a flag with yellow or red in it.


Oh Mighty Electronic Ping,

I have a few questions regarding the TV coverage so far this year. First off, what is your take on the broadcast team? Why was there no sound from the bikes at Hangtown? It was just them talking with no background noise, it was like playing MX Unleashed with the game on mute; It's just not the same. The background noise would help the broadcast and act like filler, just like on the radio, you usually have background music, and it just makes it sound better. Second, do you have any access to the ratings these races are pulling? MX Sports and Lucas Oil seem like they are trying to make things happen and I hope the people are tuning in and making it worth their time and money. Thirdly, (is that a word), how do you think the better TV coverage will affect the turnout at the races. Many people I've talked to this week aren't going to the Freestone National because it's much easier and cheaper (plus you see more action), just to watch it at home. I guess that's a good thing? Anyway, your valued insight is always appreciated and enjoyed.


DC in So Tex

  • Why stay home and watch it live on TV when you can get sunburned, drunk and dirty at the track?
Dear DC,

I haven’t seen a show yet. I know that David Bailey and Weege are capable and I’m sure the show will continue to get better as the season progresses. Plus, when the racing is good it’s easy to produce good television. I don’t know why they wouldn’t dub in bike sounds; maybe that is something they should work on. I don’t have access to the ratings but I think those numbers will come out eventually. Yes, thirdly is a word. And I think that initially the live television could have a direct affect on live attendance. There is a widely accepted theory at public events called the 80% rule. It says that when a venue gets to 80% capacity it will stop growing. So, if some people stay home to watch the race then it will allow more new fans to check it out. That combined with the increased revenue generated from good television numbers will allow track promoters to create more seating and spectator areas which will allow more spectators to come. You see how that works? Well, it’s just a theory. Maybe I’m full of crap. At least we figured out that thirdly is a word. Feel free to use it as often as you like.


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