So, you know the story with Jeffrey Herlings getting hurt. Major bummer… But here's my beef. I keep hearing all the PulpMX guys dumping on him saying he shouldn't have been riding an 85cc bike for a charity.
Now, come on, Ping… You have to see the issue with this. Why is it that you guys are only concerned about "championship" winnings? What happen to riding a motorcycle for enjoyment?
Now, I'll admit, I haven't heard you say he made a bad decision, but I have to hear it from the horse's mouth. Tell me you didn't THINK this.
It's easy to look back now and say that riding a mini bike in a charity event for his boss was a terrible idea. That's how it is with almost anything that goes wrong. I've made financial investments that seemed like winners at the time only to lose all of my money. I dated girls who seemed awesome at first only to realize down the road that they were steaming piles of crap that I should have stayed away from. And I've been injured racing when I made a bad decision on the track. It’s very easy to see the mistakes on Monday and be mad at yourself, but that will only lead to a lot of regret. Sometimes these things happen. As for Herlings, specifically, I'm sure he didn't intend to break his femur; I'm sure he was told to take it easy and not get hurt. But his supervisor put on the charity event, so it's difficult to say no. In hindsight he should have just made an appearance and signed autographs or whatever.
As far as riding motorcycles for enjoyment, well, I'm not sure that applies here. At the professional level, it is your job to perform, not just have fun riding. His sponsors pay him good money to do a job, and you can't do it when you're hurt. Injuries are more easily accepted in the industry when you are burning laps at the practice track than when you snap your femur riding a kid’s bike.
I noticed at Millville this weekend that many of the riders were taking their foot off the peg at the lip of the jumps (specifically the uphill step-ups). My only hypothesis was that they did this to transfer more weight to the seat and possibly get the power back to the ground quicker. Is this a different form of scrubbing? Maybe I'm over-thinking and they just did this for balance. If you would share your extensive motocross knowledge to a goon that couldn't figure it out, it would be much appreciated.
I didn't see riders taking their feet off in that section, but I've seen a whole bunch of that move lately. There are a few possibilities here: First, it can help with balance or direction change. By taking a foot off and leaning one direction, you can get the bike to move side to side in the air and change your landing point. I doubt every rider was so off-balance that they had to keep doing that lap after lap, though. It could also be to keep their feet from getting snagged by ruts if the lip of the jump is extremely rutted. It doesn't sound like that was the case. If they were scrubbing the jumps, then their inside foot would come off the peg to allow the bike to drop down to the side. This is most likely what you saw. The last thing it could be is leg swag. I feel like a jackass even typing that out, but it is something that really exists. This trend started with one pro rider and has now moved all across pro and amateur racing, and it serves absolutely no purpose. There is no benefit to doing it whatsoever. Remember when Ricky Carmichael used to reach up and grab the front of his helmet over a jump? Maybe it was to adjust his goggles on his face, or to move sweat or just a nervous tick but he did it a lot. Before long, more and more riders started reaching up and grabbing the front of their helmets. Monkey see, monkey do, I guess. Mike, promise me you won't start taking your leg off the bike when you jump now that you've seen this.
I've noticed a common trait this year at the conclusion of the races that I thought your wisdom could shed some light on. What is the deal with the media assault on the riders at the conclusion of the race? These guys have just completed 30+2 and the media wont even give them a minute to get ready to be on TV. They have to take off their helmets, rinse out their mouths, take a drink and wash off their faces in less time than it takes and NFL Receiver to run a 40-yard dash. Seriously! They run plenty of commercials before and during podium interviews, so why can't they just run a commercial at the conclusion of the race and give all the podium guys (not just second and third) a minute or two to get cleaned up, then interview the podium finishers, and then do their concluding commercials. It seems a little ridiculous to me that every week the first-place finishers don't even get enough time to wipe off their faces before they go on TV. Maybe they think it's cool to capture their finishing image, but you'd think it would seem more professional to sponsors to at least have them represent their companies with a clean face. Not to mention the fact that the majority of viewers are riders themselves and know exactly what it looks and feels like to get the stone spray sandwich for lunch. Can we give these guys a break?
I'm sure the television crew is trying to capture the riders right as they pull their helmets off to tap into their emotions and get better interview. Let's face it: The vast majority of riders’ post-race interviews are boring and predictable. So, while the riders have mud all over their faces and they are spitting and dumping water on their heads, they are at least more likely to say the things that are on their mind. The interviews in Tennessee were great, and they didn't even give Baggett a chance to spit out his mouth-piece. His interview may have come out a little cocky to some, but I promise you if they gave him ten minutes to cool off, wipe his face, and collect himself he would have just rattled off sponsors and said very little. I'm all for Georgia getting right up in their business as soon as the helmet comes off to see what is really going through their heads.
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