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


Over the last few years, we have seen some collaboration between Adidas and TLD. As an Adidas junkie, this excites me. As a TLD guy, could you explain how the collabs work and what this might mean for the future? Does Adidas have complete control of the design and then let TLD produce the gear at their facility? We all remember the Nike boots that were exclusive to JS7 and Dunge. While I never thought the Nike boots looked that cool compared to the other brands, it is always exciting to see big-name brands showing interest in moto. Is there any chance we could see an Adidas boot in the future? Or even a full-on Adidas line of gear?

Give er' the berries,




Troy Lee and a gentleman called Al Van Noy from Adidas became friends over their appreciation for design and innovation. Al is a long-time motocross fan and he happened to drop into the TLD offices one day. Troy wasn’t there, but he called back a couple days later and the two immediately became friends. That relationship has turned into a partnership between the two brands where they have helped each other with design and engineering concepts, sharing of materials and fabrics, and collaboration of projects from the painting of Notre Dame helmets for their homecoming game to the TLD/Adidas gear you’ve seen in limited edition. I haven’t heard anything about Adidas getting into the gear or moto boot market; it’s small potatoes for them and quite flooded with good products at the moment. However, I think we’ll continue to see the brands work together and continue to innovate when it comes to design, style and manufacturing. 


Hey Ping,

Thanks for your involvement in the sport as you're still a great asset. A while back you said Ryno was telling you that riding without knee braces gives you better control and feel of the bike (or something like that). You said you tried it and that he was right. I have been riding with knee braces since around 1995 and think about trying to ride without them but have yet to pull the trigger. My question is this… Do you ride with or without knee braces now and your reasoning why?


Eric “Race Ace McCann”


Thanks for the compliment… much appreciated. I take Ryno’s suggestions with a grain of salt… sometimes a spoonful. However, he’s also been around a long time and when he explained his theory about body mechanics and how bracing actually weakens your joints, it made sense to me. If you haven’t listened to his episode of The Whiskey Throttle Show, it was fascinating. Also, I’ve had three new ACL’s put in and every single time I hurt my knees I was wearing the very best custom fitted brace you could buy. So why did I continue to hurt my knees? Well, many times it is rotational injury in our sport that does your ACL in, and there is nothing that a standard knee brace can do to prevent that. I’ve mentioned before that Asterisk makes a brace attachment that connects your boot to the brace, making them one unit, and that does prevent some rotation of the foot and leg. I figured I would try it and see how it felt. The first two or three rides I felt completely naked; it was somewhere between riding without a helmet or that nightmare where you wake up and you’re at school butt-naked. It was weird! But right away I could feel that I had a better connection with the bike through my knees and ankles. I could also tell that my feet were tucked in closer to the bike and much less likely to get snagged in a rut or dirt clod on the track, which meant my knees were actually safer. So, to answer your question, I’m going on one year without wearing knee braces. I’ve been using neoprene knee sleeves in conjunction with traditional TLD knee cups, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back. It’s a personal choice, but I highly recommend giving it a try. Now, should you sit in a sauna until you’re dried up like a piece of beef jerky? Should you live in a commune where you do yoga all day and farm organic beets and chard? Uh, I’ll have to get back to you on all that.



What’s up Ping!  

I guess I’m supposed to start my question with something witty, or possibly kiss your a** in some manner, but at 45 and working a real job, I just don’t have time for that horse sh*t. So, here’s my question: Does Aaron Plessinger have more value to Yamaha as GNCC champion or 7-13 place at Supercross and Motocross? Keep in mind Kailub Russell says he is done after this year, leaving a huge void and opportunity for someone and/or another manufacturer to grab that title. Yamaha also needs to find a spot for Ferrandis and I believe Barcia has proven better at Supercross and Motocross than AP 7 on the 450. Thoughts????




Ha, no need for kissing ass or witty repartee… I just appreciate the question and the fact that you’re back on the job in a time when people would rather collect unemployment than get back to work. I would point you to Cooper Webb for a little perspective here. Jumping up to the 450 class is not easy, and Aaron has had some injuries that have kept him from realizing his potential. I still think he has what it takes to be a player in that class, he just needs some things to fall his way. For Cooper, it was a change of scenery that elevated him to champion status. Maybe Aaron needs the same thing, or maybe he just needs more time? I guess it’s all about what you’re passionate about, and if Plessinger wanted to go race off-road, he would have done that. Maybe he could return to it when his opportunities run dry in this sport, but that’s down the road for sure. I do, however, see the vacancy being left by Russell next year, and I think you could see some folks from the moto world jump over and try to be the next GNCC king. Davalos, Friese, Reed, Bloss, Bowers, Chisholm, Tickle, Cunningham, Noren, Sipes… I would be nudging those guys to start making some calls to the folks at KTM, etc., to see what opportunities might be there if they enjoy longer motos. Much longer motos… through the trees. 


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.

  • toddshark

    8/1/2020 10:47 AM

    Hey Ping... I'm 53 and during my 20's and 30' I basically shredded my knees resulting in multiple surgeries to both. I started riding again a few years ago and tried my son's state of the art knee braces and HATED them. I went wirh EBC neoprene slip on's with knee cups and at least some lateral bracing and I love it. Once I got past the fear of reliving the surgeries I never looked back. To tug on the wild Ryno a bit. I dont work out in a creek bed however I gave the gym up years ago and do all natural training, including similar movements with dumb bells. I feel better and my knees and ankles never get sore so there must be something to it. Just thought I would add in my experience having had knee issues and now at 53 I feel/look better than ever. Get out of the pretty little gym and go natural. It freakin works, its way less expensive, and I can easily grab a quick workout without a 15 minute commute each way. Keep it going Ping. Us old guys need your wit and wisdom. Thx Toddshark...
  • toddshark

    8/2/2020 4:47 PM

    Nothing super special really. I just decided to give up the gym scene where I often used machines and worked out heavier. All that did was make me stronger on one consistent movement, which then peaked after a few weeks and then just made my joints hurt with no real gains. Once I quit the gym, I purchased the Bow-flex Dumbbells set that go from like 5 lbs up to about 52 lbs (each). I try to mix things up every few weeks and just do different (typical) workout movements, only I don't use a bench. I try to stand for every exercise so I am forced to use all the little balance muscles that surround each primary muscle being worked and this also forces me to constantly keep my balance as as I fatigue throughout each exercise & rep, this putting focus directly on my lower back, Abs, ankles and knees. I don't worry so much about lifting heavy and I pretty much super-set my entire workout with little to no rest in between, which creates burn, fatigue, and forces me to work my entire body to stay stabilized and use good form, and also keeps my heart rate up. I do all the typical stuff (bicep & tricep curls, latt pulls, shoulder press, small fwd lunges, small backward lunges, step fwd up steps then backward (3 steps to be exact) sometimes with weight at my side, sometimes with it over my head (again not super heavy because that's not the point). I just make up a routine about once a month and try to shake things up to confuse my muscles. I don't really ever get soar but I can feel each time I switch, it takes me a few workouts to start stabilizing my movements. This is frustrating at first but that's the point. Your body figures it out and puts the stress on the muscles that are needed to stay stable and get stronger. And just to take it up a notch, I also literally shadow box for 2 minutes in between every 2 exercises. This again, keeps my heart rate up and works my knees and ankles. Since I started this self-made-up workout, I've never felt better, looked better, rode better, slept better, and performed better. I'm not a workout nut so I try to maintain 3 times a week and since I super-set and shadow box between sets, my workout literally only takes about 20-30 minutes and when I'm done, I'm spent and sweating pretty good. I try to get in some time on my bicycle but I don't do as much as I should. Since I started this regiment, I'm faster, I can ride twice as long, maintain my pace, and I just don't get soar any more. That's about it really. No real secret sauce, Just make the body work and provide muscle stabilization for every single exercise and there is no need to go heavy. Just enough to make it burn by the time each set is done and to force your body to maintain balance while getting fatigued (similar to what you saw Ryno doing). That's about it. Hope that helps.
  • CPR

    7/31/2020 4:25 PM

    Ping I was surprised to see you include Reed in the GNCC reply, especially given that he’s said that he didn’t enjoy the long hard slog of the outdoors, but then I saw on his social media that he currently has a couple of XC KTMs and a stack of 18in hoops! 2020 just may been the strangest year ever.....
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