(Note: Some questions have been lightly edited for clarity.)
For the last several years, we keep having the same debate about our American riders participating in the MXDN. Will they go, or won’t they. It always gets reduced to how patriotic the rider is, which is ridiculous. We need to recognize that the timing of the event requires our best riders to make the decision between their careers, and representing the USA. The problem isn’t the riders, it’s the date that this event is held. The National series ends in August, and the GP’s don’t end until September. This seems like the central problem. When are the AMA, MX Sports, Feld(?), the manufacturers, and the FIM going to get on the same page as to when the seasons end to allow our best riders to participate?
Is it paranoia to wonder if, after Team USA’s winning record, the FIM figured out a way for us to get beat by having this discrepancy in series finales? How hard would it be for the GP’s to finish a week earlier, and the Nationals to end a week later? Perhaps you could give us some insight, first, on how important it would be to have the GP’s and the Nationals end at the same time, or second, what was different in the distant past when our best riders did participate in the MXDN.
I’m not going to comment on conspiracy theories, but this is an interesting debate, and I see both sides of it. From U.S. fans’ perspective, we want our best riders to go, no questions asked. The fact that we’ve gotten our asses handed to us the past five years or so has made fans here extra sensitive about riders who turn the event down. I love this country as much as anybody, and I want us to beat France so badly I’m willing to give up all foods that have the word “French” in them. But I’m not getting angry at riders who refuse to go. The timing is bad for our guys, there’s no financial compensation, you forego any down time, you lose prep time to your competition for SX, and this year we’re going to a track that would be incredibly difficult to win on even if we sent our very best guys. I’m not making excuses, I just understand why they’d say no.
Bump our schedule out and move theirs up… easy solution, right? Well, the problem is that track owners aren’t willing to give up certain weekends that work for them. You think RedBud would just give away the July 4th weekend? Nope. You think any national promoter wants to host a national after summer is over and kids are back in school? Nope. You think the Luongo is going to lift one finger to make it easier for U.S. riders to compete? Nope.
I’d get used to seeing our title contenders opt out.
The ongoing conversation about electric motocross bikes got me thinking... Let’s flash forward to a magical future wherein MX and SX are run with the reliability and efficiency of a post-Chipotle bathroom break. The AMA, Feld, MX Sports, WADA, USADA, Jody Weisel, Lars Ulrich, Napster, and all the factories are bff’s, gathering to sample spaghetti and wine at the Luongo residence quarterly.
The powers that be, in their pure efforts to entertain fans, have designed a perfect e-bike series. The new managing brain trust has designed a flawless calculation incorporating wattage, battery power, amps, voltage, and flux capacitors which ensures complete fairness. The racing is amazing and all the riders have the temperament of Andrew Short and the looks of Dave Castillo.
And now my question... would anyone watch? Attending a race today impacts all the senses. You hear the screaming horsepower, the squeal of hot brakes. Your insides vibrate as 40 bikes rip off the gate, tearing open the ozone layer. The smell of race gas is in the air and the taste of terrible fried food is ever-present. I’m excited about the possibility of e-bikes and I hope our sport can become eco-friendlier, but if I’m completely honest with myself the thought of watching them silently race seems a tad boring. One of the highlights of a supercross race is when the bikes finally start and I feel God smiling upon me because I know I have at least 20 minutes without hearing Lurch.
Please help my future self,
Eric in Phoenix
This is the million-dollar question that has yet to be answered regarding electric motocross racing. The technology is available to build electric bikes that will be capable and very fun to ride—Honda is already way down the road on this. But when the sound, smell, and vibrations are removed from the equation, is the attraction still there? I don’t know.
I’ve tried to imagine watching racing where there is a DJ playing music throughout the night to fill the void, but I’m not sure how that plays out. This isn’t the Electric Daisy Festival. Or what if electric bikes came with noise makers that sounded exactly like real bikes? Could that be a solution? We need to start working on these ideas and wrap our heads around it because it is coming. In the meantime, take some time to smell the race gas and rev your bike while you sit on it. Not only do the vibrations feel fantastic on your undercarriage, it will be a memory you can tell your grandkids about when they ask what combustion engines were like
Please hurry. No time for pleasantries or brown-nosing because I need you to straighten out a motocross buddy of mine here in Venezuela. His name is Henry Gomez.
Henry loves his animals and is strictly vegetarian… Great. In this new millennium where we can’t hurt anything or anybody's feelings lest Helen Degenerate throw a tantrum or, even worse, starts dancing, I need you to point Henry north.
My question: Do you know of any motocrosser worth his salt that is a vegetarian?
He will listen to your advice. Please point out to Henry that he needs to eat his meat in order to be a strong motocrosser. Point out to him that we are not waiting for a break-out year for Tibet or India at the motocross des nations because they ride like, well, vegetarians.
You can’t moto on a diet of Coke, pickles, and popcorn.
Appreciate your prompt action to straighten out Henry.
Greetings from Meat loving Marcel
Your boy Henry is definitely leaving some performance on the table by leaving meat on the table. I know there are plant-eaters out there who will argue for all their worth that you can be an elite level athlete on a plant-based diet. I’m sure I could also get a good look at a T-bone steak by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’ll just take the butchers word for it. The only motocross guy I can recall foregoing meat and still being competitive is Jeff Stanton late in his career. Jeff went from being a stout bulldog on the bike to looking like a sequined unitard-wearing figure skater in one off-season by saying no to meat. I can’t remember how much winning he did post-vegetarianism, but he looked sickly. The very best athletic directors, trainers and nutritionists will give you this simple advice: eat plants and animals.
I’ll pose this question to the plant-eating community: If we weren’t meant to eat meat why do we have incisors? Those sharp teeth are found on all predatory animals for ripping and tearing into other animals, not grazing in a meadow. If you don’t eat meat because you think cow farts are destroying the planet, well, I’m embarrassed for you. Don’t ever come to a fire station because you’ll be convinced WE are destroying the planet. Obviously, you should stay away from food that has been processed as much as possible and eat fruits/vegetables/nuts as well. Marcel, I love animals too… they’re delicious.
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