Like Peter in Office Space I ditched TPS reports, political BS, and being chained to a computer all day in exchange for a blue-collar gig. I'm happy, fit, sleep well, and don't have a care in the world. But of course I'm making a fraction of what I once did, which results in me not quite having the greenbacks in my checking account to moto down like I once did. Racer X readers will probably line up to horsewhip me, but I'm walking past my nearly new (paid-off) YZ250 and grabbing the Kona Process or my dad's golf clubs from the 80s instead. Oh, the humanity!
Is there a minimum wage one has to make (after taxes) to enjoy our fine sport at the grass roots level? Perhaps 25-35K a year net income? And if wages are frozen, are we excluding a lot of people who make less than this, reducing our numbers and making the sport unsustainable with the generational turnover we are experiencing in the USA?
Congratulations on making your own happiness a priority. You may be eating Top Ramen three times a day, wearing hand-me-down clothes, and moving into a cardboard box under a freeway overpass, but dammit, you have a smile on your face. I don’t know what the exact dollar amount is to be able to afford motocross racing, but I certainly feel like the cost of bikes and equipment have increased at a quicker rate than median incomes. I mean, you used to be able to work a summer job and afford to buy a bike with your earnings. Now you’d be lucky to afford new tires for a bike. The good news is there seems to be a renaissance of the 125 two-stroke. More and more folks are realizing they have just as much fun riding a used 125 that they can throw a new top-end in as they do a brand-new machine for $9,000. I thought we reached a breaking point at $8,000, but that was a thousand bucks ago and prices keep heading north. See you on the line in the 125 class.
What is your take on today's style of gear with tighter fitting jerseys and pants compared to the more loose gear in the past? I understand clothing evolves with the times and that the more fitting gear gives an athletic style that Seven, Thor, and others are going for. Are there any specific years that you especially liked the color schemes or styles of certain gear companies (My favorite being the 2008 Fox gear and 2009 Thor gear)?
Racer X Fan
I don’t mind the fitted look on some folks, but you have to have the right build for it. When I see vet riders with boilers stuffing themselves into these compression suit jerseys it reminds me of that scene in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley squeezes himself into David Spade’s jacket, singing slightly off-tune, “Fat guy in a little coat.” Nobody wants to see that. Sports Illustrated is in on this as well, pushing plus-sized models as the hot new look. Sorry, but type 2 diabetes and hypertension aren’t sexy to me. Motocross has regular fitting options and I implore any guys who aren’t sure if they can pull off the fitted look to pass on it. And that probably includes me, at the moment. If I want to see a stuffed sausage I’ll pick up some Johnsonville brats.
For me, there is no better gear (in terms of looks) than the JT Racing stuff from the 1980s. It was clean and simple while setting the standard for style. I thought Fox had some amazing stuff from the late 1980s into the next decade and I’m obviously a big fan of Troy Lee Designs products now. Troy continues to push the envelope and show creativity that is unrivaled, in my opinion. I loved the Steve McQueen look the team guys ran at Washougal. If you can’t find a look you like you can always go with jeans and a flannel. Or just run the jeans and work boots for the original Steve McQueen look.
Dear Mr. Ping,
Thank you for your always honest and straight up answers and analysis. In what I like to call the glory days, I was used to watching supercross and I loved the build-up to the last lap nac-nac from MC over the big triple, the heel-clicker by KDub, the no-footed can-can by RC for some time and then that was pretty much it for the trademark celebration of a win.
What happened? Why did Chad Reed, JS7, RV2, RD5 and now KRoc/ET3 not have a signature celebration move? All we see nowadays is a whip at the finish line with an index finger sticking up.
Are the tracks so difficult now that they don’t want to risk it? Has the sport become too serious for those shenanigans? Is the competition so tough that they have no energy for it at the last lap? Or are the riders really taking this as a real job and not seeing the fun side of it?
I hope this question is interesting enough for you to answer it. I’d love to go back through videos to see how you celebrated your wins one day that I have some free time.
It’s funny, this has to be the 10th email I’ve gotten about this subject. Personally, I’d rather see a good whip over the finish than some gimmicky freestyle move—that’s just me. Heel clickers were cool back when nobody was doing them, but now if you aren’t doing it as part of a combination including a backflip I’m asleep in my chair before you get your feet back on the pegs. Sorry, but I’ve been to Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus Live show so you’re going to need to bring the dynamite if you want to impress me. Don’t waste your time looking up my winning moves because you’ll be disappointed. Honestly, I was so thrilled I’d just won that I was scream-crying in my helmet at a volume that could shatter a set of crystal stemware up in the VIP suites. I was struggling to see my way to the podium through the tears, let alone muster up some kind of finish line jump celebration. And I’m whiter than Kenny G buried in a snowdrift, so busting some dance moves after crossing the line was out of the question as well. If I had to guess why there aren’t flashier antics I would say riders are tired at the end of the race and they just want to get across the finish line. If you’re looking for amazing tricks, go see the Nitro Circus Live. Anybody that can send a huge gap in a Barbie car has my respect.
Have a question for Ping? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.