Ping chimes in on broken collarbones, sponsorship problems at the pro level, and pretending to ride a dirt bike with an iPhone.



Thanks for staying in the moto industry, as this column is one of the best things I get to read on sites like this. 

Here is my question: I just broke my collarbone on 12/28 and had surgery a week later. Feeling pretty good. Is there something I can wear besides hockey or football pads that help with this? I wear a chest protector but it didn’t help me more than our CA government helps residents of this state that actually work. I am all in on buying protective gear as I am a 33-year-old father and husband, so I need all the help I can get. 



Collarbones are difficult to protect, unfortunately. Unless you can force yourself to hit the dirt, face-first, and distribute the impact over the entire front side of your body, you put a limb at risk when you hit the deck. Instinct kicks in when you run out of talent and find yourself hurtling towards the ground at a rapid rate of speed; arms reach out like a fat kid grabbing for a lollipop, and when the inevitable impact occurs, it is typically a wrist, forearm, or clavicle that bears the brunt. Believe it or not, this is a good thing. The two parts of your body you really need to protect are your head and your torso… those are the parts of your body that will kill you in a significant traumatic injury. Bones heal, ligaments can be replaced, but that weed-wacker engine of a brain you have in your skull is more complex than a common core math problem and rupturing an organ is a serious bummer. 

I wish I had a good solution for you, but I really don’t. Do some strength training on your shoulders/traps/chest/back and keep the sling you got during your ambulance ride in case you need it again. Heal up quickly!



On your Whiskey Throttle Podcast (which is great, by the way) with Carey Hart you guys were talking about Feld and Sponsors. It really did blow my mind the way they treat team sponsors vs Feld sponsors. Now, you said something to the effect of “no one can see sponsors on a bike,” which is true because the plastics are small and the sponsors name is even smaller. In Nascar you can clearly see the sponsor because they don’t take the best piece of real-estate on the car to put the drivers number and name… Why don’t we do this in SX and MX? I’m pretty sure we could read a Lowes logo or a Target logo on the left number plate if that’s all that was there. I’m fairly confident if we were only left with the back of the jersey, front number plate, and right side number plate for rider numbers, all us fans could figure out who Eli Tomac on the #3 Monster Energy Kawi is, and even if we don’t know the rider we will know “the #256 on the Whiskey Throttle show KTM” is…  now pass this on up and we can start getting more title sponsors for the teams.  

“No clue who drives the 48 but I know that Lowe’s is for Pros”

Thank you, 


Thanks for supporting the show. I was blown away with what Carey had to say as well; I assumed he had more pull with Feld than I did at TLD a decade ago. However, the same problems still exist, even with a championship team. The idea you are talking about has been tried before. At the nationals about ten years ago they made side numbers optional and most teams placed sponsor logos on the sides of their bikes. The idea seemed like a good one, but between the mud, rider’s legs and the quick movement of the sport, it was still difficult to make out sponsor logos. For whatever reason, the trend ended and here we are back at square one. 

Carey’s point was that we’ll likely never have the exposure on the bike because of these constraints, so the exposure has to come on the podium and on the TV broadcast. If the producers would just pull the camera back a bit, fans could see the sponsor logos on their jerseys and those companies would feel like their investment was worth it. Hart said he was getting calls from Jimmy at Jimmy Johns in the middle of the night, yelling about how his logo was cut off on the podium interview after Roczen would win. Feld told him that they wanted to get the rider’s facial expressions after the race so they didn’t want to pull back. The truth is that they don’t want to see Rockstar/Red Bull/Dodge/etc when they conflict with the series sponsors that they have. 

But why not run a ticker across the screen with sponsors? Why not allow teams to sell merchandise in the pits? By putting the financial responsibility of the teams directly on the manufacturers you are hamstringing the sport; this is exactly why teams that should be flourishing, like JGR, are on the brink of shutting their doors. NASCAR teams and riders make a boatload of money selling their merchandise at the races, and that is a solid funding mechanism that allows them to keep showing up every weekend. This is an argument that’s been going on for years with absolutely no change. The good thing is that pretty much every rider and company has online stores now… you want a souvenir from the races? Get it at your favorite riders’ site. Like my show? Go to www.whiskeythrottlemerch.com and get some WTS swag! You have the ability to do that now, and support whichever rider/team/company you want. Thanks for the internet, Al Gore!


Hey Ping

Longtime fan! I’m an amateur mxer/40-plus volunteer fireman 14 years in! I Love it, I drink Fire Department Coffee every day, blah blah blah… listen to every Whisky Throttle Show and read every @Ping! I even worked for John Ayers a few summers as a roady! Would love a job in the industry driving a rig! Have my CDL… anywho! Great job btw, love your commitment to the sport itself. I love the sport; totally consumed with it! Ok, to the question: When I’m at work and have free time, I play the turborilla/Mad Skills MX game on the ol’ iPhone. I noticed the whisky throttle banner in the back ground! Are you a sponsor of my favorite game? Do you play? Thanks for all the laughs and straight-to-the-point, no BS reporting. You and GL have bivouacked me! 😂😂😂



Bivouac! Lol… That word is still funny to me. Thank you for all the support and thank you for your service with the fire department. One of the guys who developed that game is a friend of mine and we worked out a deal where we help each other out. They have a new tournament coming up that is going to be really cool… I probably don’t have to tell you, but check it out. I play, but I’m not even close to being great at it. In moto terms, I’m a vet novice rider with bad knees and not nearly enough seat time. Come to think of it, that’s what I am in real life as well. When I do have time to kill, which isn’t often, Mad Skills is my jam. Part of my problem is that I’ve tried to build my bike up organically. I know I could just buy the fastest bike and start kicking ass, but I am determined to get there on my own and “earn” it. Now that I’ve typed that out, I realize how stupid it sounds, and I’ll be buying the full race bike later today. See you on the leaderboards. Bivouac!


Do you have a burning question you need answers for? E-mail Ping at ping@vitalmx.com. Want more? Click the @PING tag below to quickly find all the previous columns.

Create New Tag
Show More Comment(s) / Leave a Comment