Ask Ping!Friday, October 28, 2011 | 9:50 AM
I’m a father of a newborn baby boy and would love for my son to follow in my footsteps. I never made it as a pro rider and I don't have millions to spend on my kid’s racing program, so I’m asking you, what do I need to do to get my son to the FACTORY level? How young is too young to start? Should I be reading Racer X magazines to him at night in his crib?
Well, from the looks of that photo you are doing the right things so far. He’s got a good magazine to study, a set of grips and a confidence-building outfit. Good stuff. Now if you can get the angry, moto-dad scream down and brush up on tossing things across the room as you belittle your little guy for finishing second you should have all the ingredients for grooming a champion. Or you could try encouraging him to participate in the things he enjoys and see where that leads you both. Maybe it’s the PGA tour instead of the AMA MX and SX series. Would that be so bad? If you are absolutely unwilling to bend here I will pass along your email to Ricky Carmichael’s mom and she can give you some tips for raising a winner.
What are your thoughts on the current riding styles of our top motocross riders versus twenty or thirty years ago? I personally enjoyed the flashy styles of 1981—open-faced helmets, drab riding gear, and insane whips (handlebar turned to the right OR left). All joking aside, today's technology and advancements most likely allow riders to travel at a faster pace over certain obstacles, but can also be attributed to riding style changes, such as the scrub. Is that the real reason though? Is it because the hippies of the '70s weren't smart enough to scrub every jump they approached? Could you imagine Bob Hannah attempting to scrub the face of a massive triple for the first time? And instead his rear tire hooks-up and sends him 150 feet into the hot dog stands! With that said, what is your prediction for future riding style change?
As a tip of my cap to the heroes of yesterday I would like to direct your attention to this photo I found. Look at that thing and try to tell me they didn’t know how to scrub a jump. That scrub makes anything Stewart can muster look short-bus status. He’s going to throw a hand drag just for gits and shiggles. Hang on a sec. You know, maybe that guy is just completely out of control and on his way to auguring in like a field plow. I don’t know for sure.
Have you ridden old bikes, Adam? And I don’t mean, like, old as in 2001 RM250. I’m talking about a bike with no radiators, drum brakes and footpegs so razor thin you could shave with them before you went out on a date. Have you ever ridden a bike that vibrated and handled so badly it felt like you mounted a pair of Renthals on a Home Depot paint shaker? That’s what the heroes of days gone by had to deal with. They were more concerned with trying to keep their scrap heap piles of junk from flicking them off like a stubborn booger than turning two doubles into a quad, skimming whoops or scrubbing jumps. Maybe those racers were dealing with some residual effects of their parents smoking dope 24/7 throughout the 1960s and dropping acid in their shaggin’ wagon vans on the way to the local races. How does that NOT affect you? But you know what I love about motocross? The one thing that has never changed is the competitiveness and drive inside the very best riders in our sport. DeCoster, Hannah, Johnson, Stanton, Ward, Bailey, McGrath, Carmichael, Stewart, Carsten, and Villopoto all share a fiercely competitive spirit and more heart than the others they lined up against. That’s what won them titles. Those characteristics transcend time and as a fan of motocross you can appreciate them no matter what kind of bike they were riding during whatever period of time. What does the future hold in terms of riding style and advancement? I can’t imagine that it’s possible to go faster than the very best are going right now. But I’ll bet Bob Hannah said the same thing back when he was killing it on his YZ490 with a Mono-Cross swingarm. Of course he probably said it with more attitude and swagger than I ever could. And after he got done saying it he probably grabbed the closest good-looking girl he saw and made out with her. Bob rules.
I have asked Matthes this question and I would love to hear your response. If the FIM, FELD, and the AMA came to you and asked you what three things you would change about supercross, what would they be and why?
Love the podcast shows with you Weege, and Matthes. Keep up the good work!
Wow, where do I begin? I mean, just seeing the DVD cover sends me into Vietnam-style flashbacks and I break into a cold sweat. The other night it came on Cinemax and the next thing I knew I woke up in my closet wearing nothing but steel-toe work boots cutting all the shoes in half in my closet with a serrated butcher knife. The two-stroke sounds over four-stroke motorcycles, ridiculous editing, and Team Nami are just too much for any movie to overcome, regardless of how amazing your stunt doubles are. And that scene where the hot, blonde chick clowns the younger brother by nonchalantly throwing a backflip during a morning ride was just too much. Add in my ridiculous cameo as Tyler Evans’ wingman and it just adds up to be embarrassing. So, I’d say pull it from every video store and let’s try again. There you have it. You were talking about the movie, right?
Got a question for Ping? E-mail him at [email protected].
Share this article:
Did you like this article?
Check out THE HUNGARIANSin our Latest issue of Racer X available now.
Some teams arrive at the Motocross of Nations with an eye on the Peter Chamberlain Trophy. For Team Hungary, just getting there was a victory in itself. Page 160.