Ask Ping!

Ask Ping!

July 29, 2011 8:00am
Hi Ping,

I have two under-21-year-old males working for me. While they have intelligence, they are as dumb as rocks; late, hungover, etc. Their hormones seem to remove all common sense. They drive me nuts sometimes. How did you or Mitch Payton deal with the same aged riders? I would guess that mini rider process removes some of this but you must have to deal with it sometimes. (Like when that chick stole your bike + bed).

Thx, MM



Dear MM,

As a group, kids are dumb. But, you know, adults aren’t exactly pegging the brain-o-meter these days either. Common sense, common courtesy and common decency are just not that common anymore. But kids are a special kind of stupid. Flooded with testosterone/estrogen and plagued with an underdeveloped brain, the youth of today will make you shake your head faster than watching your wife try to parallel park a car. Sorry, babe, but you looked like Austin Powers stuck in that hallway.

But you can’t be that hard on kids when they act like idiots because, guess what? You used to be that idiot. Even if you don’t remember it, someone, somewhere has a story about you as a kid when your brain was stuck on stupid. So, I guess what I’m saying is try to be patient. I dealt with some young kids as a team manager and Mitch absolutely loved it. He would laugh at me any time I would vent to him about their shenanigans because, apparently, I pulled the same stuff when I rode for him. See what I mean… we’ve all been there.



Hey Ping,

I just got done watching your Kawi 250F video and why is it that you wear a neck brace sometimes? I`m a big fan of yours and your style, but when anyone wears one I think their style goes out the window. I say you should ditch it for good. Please don’t rip me a new one for my thoughts, but I’m just wondering what you were thinking since you don’t seem to wear one all of the time. Thanks and God Bless. Hope school is going well for you.



  • Hey, I've got a package for, huh?... what the hell?
Dear ?,

I’m not going to rip on you because this is actually a great question. Why don’t more riders wear neck protection and, for that matter, chest protectors? I know there is much speculation about the effectiveness of the Leatt, Alpinestars and other neck braces and that has led some to stop wearing them. This is a sensitive subject and everyone has to make his own call on it. For two years I wore both brands at different times and sometimes I didn’t wear either. Of course it was most comfortable not to wear either, it’s a lot like swimming naked in your pool in that way. But after a big crash that leaves your neck sore, or a visit from the UPS guy while you’re swimming with your rudder out, you realize that you need to rethink your neck protection/skinny dipping practice. After a lot of back-and-forth, I am going to wear a neck brace 100 percent of the time from here on out. For that matter, I’ve finally figured out a chest protector (TLD’s new under-protector) that works perfectly in conjunction with it and I’m wearing that as well.

The problem here is two-fold: First, it simply feels more comfortable to just wear a jersey. And second, it doesn’t “look as cool” to have a chest protector and neck brace on. At least, that’s the general perception. But you know what really doesn’t look or feel cool? Halo bolts in your head from a broken neck. How pissed would you be if you injured your neck because you weren’t wearing a brace, knowing that you had one sitting in your garage? I couldn’t live with that. And with all your major organs sitting in your chest and abdomen it seems really stupid NOT to wear a chest protector. Yeah, I’m getting older and definitely giving this stuff more thought than I used to; my priorities are much different than they were when I was 20. So, I apologize if my style doesn’t look as good as it once did, but I want to be able to get up from a crash and ride another day. I hope you’ll still be a fan.



Dear Mr. Pingree,
You guys used to love watching Lance Armstrong and 'Le Tour' when he was winning. Do you still watch and take pride now it's known that he was just as much a cheat as all the others? I hear some legal eagle over there has his sights on Lance big time.

Best regards,




Dear Rob,

That sport is in a sad state, isn’t it? You don’t want to believe it but the truth is that every rider in the lead group over there is using PEDs…All of them. There’s no way you can climb those passes at those speeds for that many days without some artificial help of some kind. And Lance is going to be made an example of. His teammates, sponsors and friends have hurled him under the bus during this spectacle and the prosecutor isn’t going to rest until the truth comes out. But even if he does get convicted, what good will it do? The IOC (International Olympic Committee) testing process is several years behind the newest drugs and masking agents being used. And I don’t think there is even a testing process to identify HGH, a common drug used to aid in recovery and stack heavy workouts. Besides, the reputation of The Tour [or the Olympics or any major sporting event] would suffer if the sport’s top athletes were found to be doping so they aren’t in a hurry so they aren’t motivated to catch everyone. If every athlete using illegal PEDs were eliminated from competition the face of professional sports as we know it would be much different right now.

I don’t really follow the Tour de France. I’d rather go ride my bike than watch a bunch of sweaty guys in spandex ride theirs. I know for a fact that I’d pass a drug test, and my sluggish pace up even the slightest of grades will testify to that. Can Cadel Evans say the same?



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