Ask PingFriday, July 21, 2006 | 12:25 PM
I was at the Calgary race and saw the “Ping” on your helmet as you went to the line for the second moto. I asked my buddy if he had ever read your column and he said, “Yeah.” I asked him if he thought that might be you and he said, “Nah.” Really, though, how many guys in the MX world can call themselves “Ping?” A brief search on the internet revealed that it was indeed you; I guess a 13-10 in Calgary for 10th overall is pretty good. You might have garnered fifth or better if you have used that Bowflex machine in your basement for something other than hanging laundry, however. I enjoy your column and wish I’d had a chance to tell you so in person in Calgary. You should write a blurb about your weekend up here in the Great White North, assuming all the folks in the U.S. MX world would care about what happens up here. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the track and the race in general, as compared to the U.S. tracks you’ve raced on over the years.
I think there is an Asian hot-dog-eating champion and one Chinese-food deliveryman character on Seinfeld that go by the name Ping also. In motocross circles, however, there aren’t many. And I don’t even have a Bowflex anymore. Those things are so ten years ago. I’ve moved on to the Ab Lounge. It’s super comfortable to watch television on. Anyhoo, check out the next issue of Racer X Illustrated, which will have a feature story on my trip to Canada.
After a season of Stephenson ripping you apart on TV, I would expect more out of you. You know, a one-liner, low blow, or any type of degradation. Whats the deal? I think Denny has you owned. Also, what is your take on the internet message boards? I feel like they are mostly a bunch of tools and they should find another sport to go ruin. Seriously, do think some kid that wants to learn motocross types in a Google and ends up with more interest in the sport? I think not. They're probably going to think motocross fans are hateful retards and wonder why they are bashing pro riders just to prove a nonexistent point to the other morons.
It’s important to me that you understand that Denny Stephenson and I are good friends. I’ve known that guy for a long time, and he is one of the nicest people around. I don’t remember how or where our little media jousting match started, but it was all in good fun. He took a shot at me somewhere and then I returned fire. Back and forth we went for several months until he actually worked a dis into the Daytona Supercross show. His commitment to having the last word was unwavering and admirable. Unfortunately for Denny, I had (and still have) an arsenal of incriminating photos of him that he would rather not see in print. We called a truce after I let one of these photos fly on Racerhead, and there hasn’t been a bad word spoken since. But if you hear of him talking poo somewhere, please let me know—I have a Las Vegas party picture just waiting to be scanned. As far as the message boards of the sport go, I stay far away. There are a few genuine enthusiasts that are just trying to share their passion for f the sport with others. Sadly, there are also spineless tools that log on in anonymity and make rude and ignorant comments out of bitterness and envy.
How much money does a guy like Clark Stiles make racing motocross? How good does one have to be to make a living in doing this stuff?
While I haven’t done Clark’s IRS filing in the past, I think I have a pretty good idea what a privateer of his status is pulling down. It’s not close to what Carmichael makes. It’s not even close to what Josh Grant or one of the other top 250F-class riders make. But Clark is making a living doing what he loves to do (I assume he loves it). If he didn’t have a passion for the sport and personal goals he’s trying to achieve for himself, then he would be better off heading down to Chick-Fil-A and working his way into a management position, because he would be making better money, have full benefits, and get Sundays off. Besides, they have really good chicken sandwiches.
Do you have a question only David Pingree can answer? Send it to [email protected], with "Ask Ping" in the subject line.
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Playing soccer on 250cc motorcycles might sound like a strange form of riding, but in Russia they do it with great passion—and for very little reward. Page 112.