I noticed, a few years ago, every winner on the podium seemed to have a Stratocaster hanging around his neck. While I never heard the post race concert it looked like it was about to be crack-a-lackin! Between the strippers on stage and the under age males spraying alcoholic beverages, it reminded me of the Motley Crue concerts of my youth. Being a psychology major, I was left to ponder the correlation between musical ability and being blazing fast on a dirt bike. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Elton John had thrown his leg over a 450 instead of a piano stool, or whatever he throws his leg over. Some rhinestone goggles and pink-rainbow accented AXO gear would surely stick out in the pack. Maybe Michael Jackson, David Lee Roth, Snoop Dogg, etc. missed their calling. Were you aware of this curious combination of art and athleticism?
P.S. Glad you are becoming a fireman. Stay away from the moustache. Motocross does not need its life-coach running around looking like a blonde Freddie Mercury.
I have a picture in my mind of Elton John standing on the podium wearing one of his eccentric outfits and his over-the-top glasses while holding a first place trophy that I can’t get rid of. Thanks for that. The guitars were actually part of a promotional push by Fender. Maybe they assumed that all "dirt bikers" also loved rock music and wanted to pick up an electric guitar and shred a few hot licks. Did I just say, "Shred a few hot licks?" I’m not sure I even know what that means. The fact is most riders can’t do much else besides ride a motorcycle. They focus most of their energy and time into riding and other hobbies get pushed aside. If you don’t believe me go throw a football or play a little basketball with some top riders. If nothing else you will have a good laugh. There was no ensuing concert, despite the seemingly obvious signs. Although I think James Stewart did make a series of successful lip-synching videos on YouTube. Aside from Carey Hart, Daniel Blair and maybe a few guys that can play an acoustic version of Nirvana’s Lithium at a house party, I don’t think there is a correlation between art and moto. And while I appreciate your concern, I think you are downplaying the popularity of Freddy Mercury’s mustache. Just look at all the people that rocked it successfully! Sadly, I bear a startling resemblance to Adolph Hitler when I grow a mustache so you will probably never see one on me. Thanks for the note, Endo.
Hey there David,
Reed will be on the MX Rad KTM team with possible Red Bull money for next year. He will NOT be riding the entire series of SX here in the land of OZ. Will be interesting to see if he is on a 350 (which I doubt) or a 450 with linkage (which I'm hoping for). Gear is still unclear. Can't reveal my sources on this one...but if I'm wrong I will pay you 5 bucks; deal?
I was interested to see that you left, what looked like a dream job, at TLD to go back to school. Must have been a difficult decision. To do something that you seem to have a passion for and will definitely offer you some long time job security in the medical field will pay off in the long run, that is for sure.
I left the industry as well a few years ago, went back to school and am now working as a pediatric perfusionist in Australia. I have made a few moto friends here (some of my info sources) but haven't had the same opportunities that are available in the states. My family and I are now trying to get back home after our little adventure here.
Not sure why I'm telling you all of this. I have always enjoyed your columns, I guess am just glad to see that that someone else has gone and realized there is life after moto. The bookwork is tough...good luck with it!
Just one of your readers,
(I got the following email two days later)
Hey there Mr. Pingree,
I should know better than to run my mouth before being 100% sure. Just heard that MX Rad KTM didn't have enough to offer Reed. Looks like I owe you 5 bucks. Good thing the Aussie dollar is close to that buck right now, I shouldn't be out too much.
Guess Honda still has a shot at him? Let me know where to send the check.
I’m not going to bust your balls here, Eric, because much of what we hear during these months is just speculation and half-truths. It happens to all of us. My best guess right now is that Chad will end up over at Hart and Huntington. They have a big sponsor on the line and it seems like there could be a good chemistry between the two of them. But, hey, that could all be crap by tomorrow. I am, however, going to hold you to that five dollars and I would like you to send it payable to Steve Hudson at FCA- SX/MX Ministries. You can Google that to get the physical address. And you can go ahead and add a few bucks to it if you like. It’s a good cause.
I’ve had so many people ask me the question: "Why would you leave a dream job like that to go back to school?"
Maybe we all interpret "dream job" differently or maybe people just don’t understand the reality of that job, but it was an easy decision for me. And maybe it was easy because I’m not leaving the industry altogether. Either way, it’s awesome to finally be doing something completely different than what I’ve done the past thirty years and learning something new each day.
Thanks for reading, Eric.
How do you feel about "your boy" Ben Townley sucker punching Johnny O'Hannah after the race at the MX of Nations?
Well, of course you would think that after the controversial contact that was made between BT and Shorty that weekend. By the looks of that photo though, I’d say O’Hannah deserved it. I mean, who does he think he is with that old JT Racing jacket and that ridiculously big chin of his? I’m actually surprised someone hasn’t taken a poke at him sooner. Besides, BT had clearly been "Tasting the Rockies," to borrow a phrase from the local brewing company there in Golden, CO. He even got the novelty foam fist to go with his cold ones! And look at his eyes… the last time I saw something that glazed I was having a staring contest with a hot donut at Krispy Kreme. That donut won, by the way. They always do. And I can count about nine industry people that I know were hammered in the background of that one pic so this was clearly post-race on Sunday. Maybe Ben was a little too aggressive too early. Maybe O’Hannah just didn’t see him swinging at him. Either way, I’m saying this one wasn’t Townley’s fault. Again, please send all hate mail to DC.