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Ping chimes in on practice tips, which pro racer he'd like to spend quarantine with, and the San Diego SX where he broke his femur.

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Ping,

Thanks for calling it like you see it. Do you have any tips for using a GoPro to analyze technique? I know having someone else shoot video gives better perspective, but I can easily change camera positions and spend hours watching video. But I'm convinced the camera somehow prevents me from keeping my head over the triple clamps and then adds curse words in my voice.

Also, does riding pit bikes significantly help improve technique? I seldom have time to drive to a track, but I could do some figure eights in my backyard on a small electric bike. Would this help much given my limited riding time?

Msp332

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Msp332,

I don’t really see how looking at GoPro footage can be helpful when you have it on your person. The shots would be so close-up you wouldn’t be able to analyze riding position and technique. Stick to having somebody shoot video from a distance… that is an incredibly helpful tool.

Likewise, I don’t see value in riding a pit bike to help with technique. There are full-size electric models that are great, however, including the Alta and the KTM Freeride. Those bikes aren’t cheap, but their size makes them a viable alternative to work on fundamentals in a silent and stealthy way. Nothing can replace riding and those will bump up the amount of time you have to ride. 

- PING


Ping,

If you had to be quarantined in a house for 14 days with one current or former pro rider, who would you choose and why?

Personally I’d probably pick someone like Jason Lawrence because I value my alone time and I imagine he’d be sleeping most of the day, so I would pretty much have the house to myself. Then again, the sweet and salty rations would probably disappear at an alarming rate so it might not be the best choice. Anyway, I’m curious who you could stand to be cooped up with like that.

591mx

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591mx,

I spent at least 20 minutes thinking this question through. I realize it’s a hypothetical, and therefore carries little weight if I choose poorly, but I still spent some time thinking it through. At first, I thought AC would be great because he’s a good guy with a good sense of humor. But he’s a gamer and he loves to golf, two things I have absolutely no interest in. Then I thought about Damon Bradshaw, just because it would be fun to listen to him get wound up about being quarantined in the first place. I settled on Danny “Magoo” Chandler because I didn’t know him well, but I’ve heard he was hilarious and fun to be around. Also, I would love to do a Whiskey Throttle Show episode with him so he could tell the story of his life in his own words. I feel like many people missed the chance to know him and see how truly talented he was. 

Good luck shacking up with JLaw… You’re going to come out of quarantine super mellow and addicted to Cheetos. 

- PING


Ping, 

What is your biggest regret in your racing career? Basically, if you could do it all over again what is the one thing you would change?

Slipdog

Slipdog,

I think a major turning point in my career was the San Diego supercross in 1996. I was trailing Windham by about a dozen points going in, and he broke his collarbone the week leading up to the race. All I had to do was finish up on the box and I would have been in a great position to win that championship. I felt like I was easily the second fastest rider that year [KW was simply better], so that shouldn’t have been a problem. I was trying to make a statement in practice by throwing down some heaters and it led to a mistake. Pedro Gonzales checked up and didn’t jump a triple in a rhythm lane. I was right behind him and committed to jumping it so I jumped a little to the right, landing on a hay bale and breaking my femur, among other bones. It was the end of that title run, my entire season, and even the following two years as I tried to find my confidence again. If I could have just taken my time that day it could have changed the trajectory of my career. Instead, Jeff Willow got his one and only win that night and I spent nearly three years trying to get healthy and reach my potential. But, like my buddy GL says, if my aunt had balls, she would be my uncle. Cest la vie. 

PING

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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