Ping chats about racers being cool to fans, wearing different brands of gear, and how to deal with injury and recovery as you get older.

@PING is brought to you by Troy Lee Designs, Eks Brand, and VP Racing.

I don't have a question for ping... Just an observation. Riders are some of the most incredible people. I had a chance to meet you at Millville one year. I went up with our pro Rider and got to limp around in the pits like I belonged. I had a shattered hip at the time, so it took forever to get anywhere. I was checking out practice qualifying and it was just shy of a million degrees.

I hobbled down through the pits and just at that moment David Pingree rolls in on his KTM. You looked like a water sprinkler on a motorcycle. You sat down in the shade and looked miserable. Like a duck I walked over and pulled out my sharpie. Without even thinking about it you jumped up and signed a poster for me. After 20 years that bad boy still hangs in my weight room. I was so impressed. No matter how lousy you felt you put that on hold to take care of a fan. To me that shows the level of dedication that the riders have. Simply incredible. It was a highlight for me. Thank you from a random guy who you did something incredible for.

Man, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this letter. Mostly because I’ve had a few people over the years tell me that they asked me for an autograph or something on race day and I didn’t meet their expectation. In my mind, I always tried my best to interact with the folks that essentially paid my salary. If you’ve ever been in a situation where a rider didn’t engage with you, cut you short, or just seemed like he didn’t care, I hope you’ll put yourself in their shoes before you pass judgement. Racing is stressful, it's physically demanding and it requires an unusual amount of focus and commitment, particularly on race day. So, if a rider seems distracted, it’s because he is. I’m glad that I was able to pull my shit together and chat with you; it sounds like I was sweating like a diabetic in a Krispy Kreme with the “Hot Donuts now” sign lit up. Thanks for the note.

How are you? Absolutely love the column and the custom bikes you build, test and present! I have seen that there has been some attention around your wearing riding apparel that isn’t Troy Lee! My question isn’t about why the change or which manufacturer is better, but more, what differences do you notice between the way the different brands perform? I’ve always wondered what the opinion of a top-level rider is on the matter!


Thanks for supporting my projects and this column… much appreciated. My agreement is such that you’ll see me in various brands of riding gear from time to time. For the most part, there isn’t a whole lot to the pants and jerseys in terms of protection. I’m not spending enough time in each brand to give you reliability feedback, I can just say that there isn’t much difference in protection there. Fitment is just different from body type to body type, so you have to find something that fits your build and go with it. Gloves are really important to me as a main contact point with the bike and I’m pretty picky. I like the palms of my gloves to be super thin so I don’t lose feel and dexterity. The material has to be tough enough to stand up to the rigors of motocross while being thin enough to give me the feel I want. NOT all brands are created equal here and I’ve definitely ridden with some gloves I don’t like recently. The good news is that most brands have different styles of gloves, so there should be something that fits your needs. Chest protectors fall into this same category, so just find something that fits your body type, but find something! There are great products out there, you just have to look. Helmets are the one piece of equipment I won’t compromise on.  You’ll only see me in three brands of helmets after the results I’ve seen in 3rd party testing. Boots are a little subjective, based on foot shape and what type of riding you’re doing. I’m in the process of getting some different boots to test right now, so I don’t have too much to offer there yet. Soon!

Just finished the Safety Show, watched Rex just before that. While I love all the shows I've seen, I feel like you stepped it up a bit. Given the uneasy times it's great for us motoheads to have something entertaining, yet still informative, to grab hold of. One of the things I really like about your show is that not only are the guests entertaining, but also very informative on where the sport was and where it has gone. I also appreciate you not being politically correct, and calling it like it is.

In the show you allude to what happens if you get complacent during a recovery. That's the boat I'm in right now; I'm old, overweight, and have poor cardio. Working as an engineer at a desk job recovering from injuries leads to a lot of atrophy. I have bad knees, bad ankles, a bad shoulder, and wrist problems and it's really difficult to get the exercise I need. I'd love to hear your guys take on exercise with a body that's historically been under the knife. If you power through it, do things get better? Do the joints feel better once you build your strength up? Does building your strength up decrease all the swelling in the joints?  
Thanks again,
Rich Thomas

I’m stoked you’re enjoying the shows. Hopefully you learned some things from the safety crew, and we have a health and fitness show coming up with a couple very respected trainers in the sport, so that will be a good one for you as well. Here’s what I can tell you: Get moving. We just had Doug Dubach on (that show should be up today), and if there’s one guy to draw motivation from, it’s him! Doug is 56 and still rides several times per week. He said the important thing is to keep moving, and I couldn’t agree more. My knees are smoked, my hips are worn out, and I lost count of how many times I’ve broken wrists and separated shoulders. When I stop exercising, all of those injuries start hurting worse. I’d recommend a few things that I do, starting with bicycling and swimming. Get on a (Specialized) bicycle and pedal. Riding is low impact and it will work wonders for your knees and ankles. Swimming is another good one, if you're able. I also recommend a PowerDot unit; the increased blood flow will flush swelling and promote healing through improved circulation. Lastly, find a good joint support formula (glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate) and CBD oil and make that a part of your daily diet. If you do those things, there is a 100% chance you’ll feel and look better in just a couple months. Best of luck, and let me know how it goes.

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


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