Ask Ping

Ask Ping

August 1, 2015 8:00pm

Ping,

I was wondering if a rider beyond their competitive years could still put in a lap that would be a pro level performance? Could Roger D, Hannah, Smith or O'Mara stay with Dungey for a lap or two? I know my eyes aren't what they used to be, not as strong anymore, reflexes are slower and it can take a couple days to recover from a race, but I still feel I can keep up or be faster than some of the younger guys.

Thanks, DK

 
Roger D in his glory days.
Roger D in his glory days.

DK,

I'm not going to mince words: You are a delusional old man. Listen, I hate getting older as much as you do, but I'm not going to stand here and tell you that I can run the leader's pace for a lap on any track at 40 years of age. And none of the guys you listed can either. Ryan Dungey (and every rider at the top level) rides every day and works tirelessly to perfect his craft. You and I get to ride a few times a month, on basically stock equipment, and are more worried about the size of our prostate than shaving tenths off our lap times. It would be idiotic to think you could hop on and go that fast under those circumstances. And this applies to all sports, not just motocross. You don't see Joe Montana taking snaps in the preseason in hopes of showing the new guys how it's done. Michael Jordan isn't dunking from the free-throw line anymore, and I didn't see Ken Griffey Jr. cracking hits out of the park in the last home-run derby. You know why? Because there is no replacement for youth. On top of that, there's injury, arthritis, weight gain, hair loss, irritable bowel syndrome, mortgages, kids, wife, in-laws, retirement accounts... the list goes on and on. My point is that unless you are talking about whittling wood or yelling at kids to get off your lawn, you don't get better with age.

PING

David,

Could you shed some light on the ever-increasing amount of sponsor mentioning that goes on during the broadcasts as well as in written articles? It seems to me that back in the old days only the riders gave the sponsor speeches on the podium.  While bad, it was the only time we had to endure it. During the races Art and David would only say McGrath on his Honda or Emig on his Kawasaki and not every time. Now it seems that everything from the name of each series, to the broadcast itself, to the starting grid, to the 30-second board, to the holeshot award, to each and every rider every time they're mentioned, to some of the individual jumps on the track, to the finish line itself, to the moto results and the overall standings are sponsored by some company and the announcers are compelled to mention them each and every time. And I'm certain I've forgotten a few. I'm very tempted to turn the volume off during the broadcasts to avoid this verbal diarrhea but I don't because I'd miss the sounds of the bikes.

I realize it's all about the money but I'd like to know how much the networks and websites get paid for all of these mentions?

Thanks for your time,

Ty Miller

Bloomington, IL     

If you see ads in this image, you have problems.
If you see ads in this image, you have problems.

Ty,

I understand your frustration, but it was just a matter of time before this happened. If you want to grow the sport, you need money, and that cash has to come from somewhere. This is how capitalism works, Ty. You get to watch motocross in better time slots, but you'll have to hear about the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. You'll watch GEICO Honda riders clear the Lucas Oil Leap and see Monster Energy/Pro Circuit Kawasaki's Adam Cianciarulo sign autographs at the Thor booth during the Motosport Outlet pit party at the Red Bull Redbud National. It's a mouthful, I know. I'd go off on a rant about how unacceptable it is if it weren't for the fact that Ask Ping is brought to you by Racerxonline.com and the fantastic folks at Filter Publications and presented by Dragon Alliance and their revolutionary NFX goggle with additional support provided by Troy Lee Designs, Works Connection, and Adidas. Sorry, man, but this is the world we live in. Just today on my way home I endured a flashcard-like stream of billboards subliminally convincing me I need to get on a Delta flight to Hawaii and get Lasik eye surgery while getting my teeth whitened and applying for a refi through Nationstar Mortgage. Then the light turned green and I went another block. Advertising isn't going away, so you might as well get used to it. After a while, you won't even notice the gratuitous plugs from the broadcasting team, the banners smeared across the screen, or the endless barrage of product ads and mentions. But for some reason, you'll finish watching the race and go online to sign up for a free auto insurance quote. After all, fifteen minutes could save you 15 percent or more on car insurance!

PING

Dear Mr. Pingree.

Greetings from Iceland. Now we have summer here so we can go riding almost as much as we want without having the bikes prepared for some kind of snow or ice riding. Which includes studded tires or Timbersled modification.

I have two questions. The first one is regarding fitness level. As every rider knows, fitness level plays a huge role in your riding. If the fitness level is really poor the form and technique goes straight to sitting the whole lap with your elbows swinging down to your thighs while holding on for dear life on the handlebars. Since your pro days, have you always kept doing some kind of training and riding to keep the fitness level at some kind of minimum so you can ride properly? Or have you at some point been away from training and riding for so long that you would have said no if you were asked to try out a new bike or model because of your fitness level?

The second is regarding new bikes. I just watched the 2016 CRF-450R intro. How are those kinds of testing done? Do you have a routine or do they vary from testing to testing? Is it a 3 hour thing or a whole weekend? Do you always go x number of laps before you change something to get a certain feel or does fitness level at each time maybe also come into play as well as track chosen for the testing?

Thank you for your weekly input in Ask Ping and for the videos on new bikes and settings.

Sincerely

Sigurjón Snær Jónsson (direct English translation would be Victoryjohn Snow Son-of-John)

Your next winter bike.
Your next winter bike.

Sigurjon,

Ay, yes, the knees-to-elbows-seated-riding-position for the weak and out of shape. I've done that a time or two. I've always tried to stay in shape, but at times it was difficult. While managing the Troy Lee Designs race team I put on weight and only got to ride on a rare occasion. I never got to the point that I couldn't ride because I was so out of shape, but I did say no to a couple of races because I knew I wouldn't be able to finish. I've turned things around lately, and my fitness is probably better than it's been since I quit racing full-time back in 2003. As far as the bike tests, they are all pretty similar: We show up and get a briefing on the changes to the new model. Our photographer gets a chance to shoot static images of the new machine, and then we get to ride it for as long as we like. The support personnel there are great about helping get the bike set up properly for each rider, from sag settings to clickers to gearing to map settings. Once the bike is set up properly, I shoot whatever video images we need to get, and then I'll typically put in a few short motos to make sure my assessment of the bike is correct. When making changes I usually do two laps and then pull in. After that, you'll typically start to adapt to the way the bike feels rather than make an adjustment to improve it. I can usually tell in one or two laps what the bike is doing and have an idea of what direction I want to go with setup. If I don't know, I'll come in anyway and ask the folks from the manufacturer what they suggest. Testing bikes is a lot of work at times, but it's so much fun. Glad you enjoy the videos. Thanks for reading.

PING

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