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Ask Ping

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Ping,

I have a different type of question to ask you, but it is still about moto. I’m seriously looking to get out of California with all the liberal BS and taxation that’s going on here. I still ride and race and am looking to warmer areas of the country to consider moving to, but somewhere where I have a decent selection of tracks and trails to ride. I’m also considering what the local cost of living, housing, and wages are in case I still want to work.

When I look on these best cities to retire to, they list the best golf courses, but no mention of MX tracks. I’m 62 and considering semi-retirement. I’ve been looking in eastern Texas, North/South Carolina, Idaho, Utah, etc. Have you ever considered this after you finished your “I gotta get the [email protected]*% outta Cali” rant on DMXS and looked for a place to move? 

Mike in the El Cajon zone 

P.S. Can you get Racer X to repost the Chinese Takeout article again? That’s good stuff right there.

Mike, 

If I had a dollar for every time I ranted about getting out of this place, I’d almost have enough cash to pay for a full tank of gas here in the Golden State. Maybe it’s the smog or simply too much sun, but our state government has gone off the rails. When Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters are your leaders and you keep voting for them, well, that speaks for itself. To call these moonbeams crazy is an insult to insane people everywhere. Regardless, I’m stuck here for the foreseeable future, so I’m trying to find my happy place. I’m optimistic that my accountant will let me write off wear-and-tear on my middle finger from driving in SoCal traffic. If so, I could be looking at a nice return this year; maybe I’ll buy a yacht.

Anyway, good luck on your search. By the time I can retire my knees will be trashed and I’ll be looking for places with good early bird specials and easy wheelchair access, not dirt bike tracks. I’ve got 20 years left with the fire department, my Racer X work is out here, and all of my wife’s family is here. Just go, man. Save yourself… it’s too late for me.

PING

Pinger,

Hope all is well. My question for you is this: Why in the name of all that is holy are factory riders practicing with weekend warriors? Two of the sports’ top riders, both riding Husky, are out for the season due to collisions with other riders. Why can’t the tracks have pro days assigned to top level teams and riders and closed to the average guy with a backwards Fox hat and a Marlboro, who just bought a bike, to show off for his side chick? Or wouldn’t it be in the sports’ best interest if MX Sports or teams made a practice facility? I know they do that for supercross.

I also know that land isn’t cheap, and that’s why they can have several supercross tracks, as they are small in comparison to an outdoor national track. But teams are paying top factory riders a pretty penny to line up on the weekends. This sport is brutal enough, and it’s a real bummer when a guy gets injured due to something that could have been avoided, like a sketchy C rider whiskey throttling into our top guys.

Thanks,
Fan who hates to see the injury report grow

Fan,

Man, I hear what you’re saying. The problem is that these teams’ budgets are already stretched thin, and adding $20-50 thousand dollars per year to have a private MX track isn’t in the cards. If you look at the injuries, they all happen here in California during a two-month period between the time supercross ends and the motocross series moves back east. Right about now, riders are packing their bags and heading to Florida, or somewhere on the East Coast with private training facilities, or tracks that are much less crowded.

The solution involves—wait for it—common sense. Don’t go to the tracks where pros are going to be working. I’ll tell you right now that means from May to June, don’t go to Pala on Tuesday, Milestone on Wednesday, and Glen Helen on Thursday unless you are an intermediate or pro-level rider. And if you go to those places on those days and you send your kid out there on a minibike (which happens every single day), we should have a number posted for CPS and you should be kicked out of the park. THAT is exactly how kids get killed.

There is no other stick and ball sport or motorsport where the top athletes are practicing at full speed with full-blown amateurs, let alone children. It’s reckless and it’s going to continue to hurt people. I hope Deano and Jason heal up quickly, and I hope folks will keep this in mind this time next year.

PING

Dear Ping,

Thank you sweet baby Jesus for writing your column. I was forced to switch from moto to racing mountain bikes a few years ago, and now the only moto things I get to look forward to are watching the racing on the Boob-Tube and reading "Ask Ping" every week. You're the bestest. 

Anywho, I'm writing you to inquire about your relationship with, or access to, Cooper Webb. The attached photo is of my son (left) from an Easter celebration. His aunt made him wear some silly stuff and pose in front of an Easter banner. After posting it on the Book-of-Faces, more than one of my moto friends pointed out that he looked a LOT like CW... and holy lookalike, Batman! He does!

That got me wondering... I may have had a hazy night or two in the Upper Peninsula back in the nineties. Although I've never received a random card on Father’s Day, I thought I ought to look into the possibility of Webb's mom being from northern Michigan.

Any help you can muster would be greatly appreciated. 

Michigan Mark

Mark,

The resemblance is uncanny. I don’t know Cooper’s mom, but I’m guessing there is going to be some serious discussion at the Webb dinner table this evening. On the other hand, they say every person has a doppelganger somewhere in the world and maybe your son has found his. Coop isn’t a bad guy to look like, and if he can keep his career rolling, maybe your boy could even throw on a #2 jersey and pull some of the local birds up at Baja Acres or wherever.

I’ve been told I look like the lead singer of Rascal Flatts, and I don’t think that’s much of a compliment. That guy looks like he ate a brick of salt, drank a handle of whiskey, and then got his tips frosted at the local beauty salon. I should glue a photo of that guy to the freezer to slow me down every time I reach for the Haagen-Dazs. Anyhow, good luck with mountain biking. Maybe you could talk Webb into a paternity test just to be sure?

PING

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