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Hi David,

I, like many other riders, I broke my tib/fib right above my ankle joint when I cased a jump. It’s left me with an ultra-sensitive fibula where the plate was screwed in at the joint. Do you know if other riders have this problem, and if so, what have they done to help lessen the excruciating pain when they put on their boots?

Thanks for any insight on the subject!



While I haven’t suffered that injury, I know many who have. My first suggestion is to get the plate taken out as soon as you are able. Yes, it will extend your recovery time and your time off the bike, but you’ll be glad you did it for the rest of your life; look at the big picture. If that isn’t a possibility, find a boot that doesn’t have a booty. Often times the booty squeezes your ankle too tightly and causes discomfort or pain. CBD creams can help with inflammation and pain in the area as well, so try that. Lastly, play around with which socks you use. Try wool socks, thin socks, two socks… see if one works better than the other at protecting the sensitive area. Again, the fix is to get any and all metal out of your body. You might have some numb spots still, but typically the pain goes away because you aren’t pushing your skin and interstitial tissue against a metal plate. Hope it works out for you. Cheers!



Love your SoCal vibe music in the Whiskey Throttle Show. As a native Texan, we have both kinds of music: country and western! Any chance you have an iTunes playlist out there or at least a list of bands you recommend to expand my horizons westward? 


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Wait till you hear this shit // amazing art by @jamiebrowneart

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Glad you like it! I’ve always loved the sound of bands like Sublime and 311, so this genre has been one of my favorites for a long time. I’ve gotten to know Jared Watson, the singer of The Dirty Heads, and they have given us permission to use their music in the show. Their manager, a legend of a man called Cheez, also manages Sublime with Rome and a country artist you might know, Mr. Travis Tritt. Anyway, we use both Dirty Heads and Sublime with Rome in the show and I’d recommend starting there as far as playlists go. Some other epic bands in that same realm include Stick Figure, Iration, Rebelution, Slightly Stoopid, and Pepper, to name a few. Check those out; I think you’ll love the music, but you might have to trade in your shit-kickers for some flip-flops. 


Hey Ping,

Hope all is well with you. Appreciate all you do as first responder, dad, and moto journalist. A great example for so many reasons. On to my question: Some riders mention settings and comfort often, some do not. When they do well, they "found" something. So, when they do have a bad result, did they "lose" it? With all the video and telematics and data now why would they change anything if it was working so well last week? Are you more impressed with a rider that just adapts and makes it happen, or a rider that is so finely tuned and can translate what he feels or needs? Is this the difference between the top 5 or 10 in the field and the rest is the ability to find perfect? Thanks Mr.101.




Great question. Testing and giving crew chiefs proper feedback to make changes is a learned skill. I don’t think there is a rookie out there who could direct a suspension technician to make specific changes. They typically just explain what the bike is doing, particularly the bad traits, and it’s up to the suspension tech to read between the lines, watch what the bike is doing and make the appropriate changes. Over time, riders learn what the clickers and knobs do and they develop the ability to communicate in the language of the crew. The feeling all the guys are looking for is a setup that makes them comfortable. That’s it. When you are going that fast you have to be able to relax and focus on the track, not what your bike may or may not do in a certain section. If your setup is working right, riders will say they “found” the setting. The problem is, that setting might not work as well on a different track the following weekend. There is no magical setting that works perfectly on every type of dirt and terrain; that’s a unicorn. Guys who win titles find a setting that works pretty well everywhere, and they make small tweaks week-to-week in order to get that comfort they want. I’ll say that settings get more important as your horsepower goes up. Back when Ricky Carmichael raced a 125, he could go out on a bike that wasn’t a great setup and still win. Case in point: he used my suspension setting for the whole 1997 national motocross series. That makes it very difficult for me to come in and complain about a harsh feeling in my forks, doesn’t it? But as you get into the 450 class and bikes are making more power than some cars, handling becomes critically important and equally difficult to nail down. Most of the time riders aren’t futzing with engine setup, they are trying to get it to hook up and go straight when they twist the throttle. The guys at the pointy end of the pack are there because they know how adapt even when the bike isn’t perfect, but they also know what changes to make to find that feeling again. Because, after all, when you’re comfortable you are fast. 


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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