Retiring at the top of your game is a common goal among professional athletes. However, it is a tough decision and one Dave Ginolfi has had to face recently. The 2015 East Coast Lites AMSOIL Arenacross Champion came to a cross roads of sorts this summer as he became a father and encountered an industry job opportunity that he simply could not pass up. Business has picked up fast for Mr. Ginolfi, and while he isn’t exactly using the word, “Retired” he has moved on to the next stage of his career as an employee of Scott Sports. We caught up with Dave via telephone today and got Up to Speed on his unique situation.

First off, lets talk about winning the 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross East Division; we know a lot of work went into that championship. 

My training probably started mid-summer. I started mountain biking, road biking and racing my dirt bike pretty regularly. About six to eight weeks before the AMSOIL Arenacross season I headed down to GPF to bump the training intensity up a couple notches; comparable to a boot camp style training. I hit some other races with other pro riders to see where my speed was. I started off the season in Cincinnati with a 2nd place finish. Pretty much the whole season went pretty well, no real mechanical issues and I think I lost a chain one race, but that was the extent of issues. Honestly it was just a very ideal season; I was consistent enough to wrap up the Lites championship with two, maybe three rounds before the series ended which was huge. A lot of work went into the season, it almost seemed effortless as it was actually happening but I think that was because of all the hard work I put into the pre season to prepare me for this past season. 

You are considered a veteran of AMSOIL Arenacross, you have been through a lot these last few years. What changes do you like about the series? 

I have been around for a while; this year was my 8th season. When I came into the championship in 2008, it was stacked. I’ve been through some down seasons where there wasn’t as many riders, then the series went through a couple changes with the format and what bikes were allowed to compete (450’s), they went through a lot of format changes to get to where they are now. I think this series is amazing and I don’t think everyone has really caught on to how awesome and entertaining this series is. I think it may take another year or two but people will definitely catch on and realize what an awesome interchanging series it is. Another change that has been added to AMSOIL Arenacross is the Road to Supercross. I think it is an awesome concept and I wish it would’ve been around when I tried racing Monster Energy Supercross a while ago. The whole format of timed practice, qualifying, main events, it really gets your feet wet and you can actually see the results of these riders coming through AMSOIL Arenacross like R.J. Hampshire and Aaron Plessinger. They came in and did well then moved on to Monster Energy Supercross. But then we have also seen some other guys not do as good and it just makes sense. It weeds out riders that think they are ready but come to AMSOIL Arenacross and realize they are not ready. It seems like lately a lot of riders that are training at top facilities train on Supercross tracks on a regular basis and that makes them seem ready to dive into Supercross but they are missing that competitive element. I think time on the bike racing is a whole different ball game and AMSOIL Arenacross gives them what they are missing.

On top of winning the Lites East Coast Championship, you also became a father shortly after the season wrapped up. Talk about life changing.

(laughs) Yeah! It really is. Everyone talks about how having a child is life changing and it really is. It’s awesome, hands down.  But honestly I feel like it is a lot harder than people like to admit. It takes a good strong couple to make it work, each day it gets cooler and I’m just having a blast. She’s at the point now where she is actually smiling at me, and that is just priceless. My wife is absolutely amazing and I couldn’t do half what she does. I mean I hold her for 2 hours and my back is killing me and they are just attached to each other. 

Do you think having a child changed your perspective on riding at all?

I’ve done some races since she was born, I took about 2 months off before she was born and recently have done some races up in Canada. Overall my mentality stayed the same, I wasn’t worried about getting hurt or anything like that but I told myself two years ago that if a job offer ever came up that I would consider it and luckily one did come up with Scott Sports that I recently just accepted and right there is a huge reason. If I didn’t have my daughter I probably would have continued racing another 5 years but it makes me plan and think more about the future of my family. So I’m extremely pumped to say that I am working full time for Scott Sports and most likely won’t be racing AMSOIL Arenacross in 2016. 

You have had a great relationship with Scott Sports your whole career, how does it feel making a cross-country move and starting your new chapter in your life as a full time ambassador for the company? 

We are from New Jersey and we need to be in Salt Lake City by end of October so that in itself is a huge change, but at least there is beautiful scenery. I have been with Scott Sports my whole career, I started riding for them 23 years ago so it’s definitely cool to end my racing career with them and begin a working career with them. It’s really cool because motocrossers get a lot of negativity and a “bad rap” about not going to college and not pursuing a degree so to accept this job feels even more rewarding to have not have gone to college, stayed in the sport and kept a good reputation. It’s almost like motocross was my college and now having a job in the industry is a dream come true. 

Well congratulations on the new position! This leads us into what I am sure some people are wondering, It seemed like earlier this summer you had a lot of things lined up to start your own team for next season? 

Yes, I was negotiating all the sponsors to build my own team for next year at the same time I was submitting my resume to Scott Sports. I was training and felt great on the bike and I think I could have had another awesome season, but I have to think of my family, its not just about me. Motocross is a selfish sport but you have to be a selfless person to have a strong family, which I do.  I did have things lined up for 2016, and its a bummer I won’t be able to do it but I am now thinking ahead and for the future of my family and when I see the long term 5-10 year plan this is definitely where I want and need to be. 

Lets talk about the job itself, what will you specifically be doing with Scott Sports?

My official title is the Amateur Rider Support Coordinator so basically I take care of all the resumes that are sent to us. I have an elite group of riders that I will take care of all summer/ winter. I will make sure they are taken care of at the racing with their goggles and whatever else they will need. I will be at 5-6 of the major nationals and am hoping to squeeze in a couple of AMSOIL Arenacross races this winter, maybe race the Lites class and to see all my friends. 

Now that you are hanging up the boots, what advice do you have for the up and coming Road to Supercross riders for the 2016 season and beyond? 

Well first off I am not throwing out official retirement! I have seen my good friend Daniel Blair throw out about 15 of those “retirement” announcements and they always backfire so I am going to stay away from that (laughs)! However, my advice is to be smart about AMSOIL Arenacross. I have watched a lot of fast guys come into the series but it’s not just about speed. It’s about knowing the track and being consistent. I remember Tyler Bowers describing Arenacross racing to a game of chess; and although I have never played chess I get what he is saying, and agree. You have to be very strategic out there. 

There have been tons of people who have helped you from day one of your career. How did they feel when you broke the news you won’t be defending the title? 

Well this right here is the first time I am publicly putting it out there, besides my family, a couple friends and a few people at Feld but I think everyone will be cool with it. Everyone that knows me knows I have a passion for the sport and to stay in it even though I’m not competing, it is really the next best thing so I really think everyone will be pumped on it. 

Who have been the core people that have stood behind your career? 

Well right off the best this is a huge family sport- my Mom, Dad, and my Sister. My wife has been a huge supporter in this. John Knowles and Scott Sports as a company. Even my competitors like Daniel Blair and Gared Steinke, I’m really going to miss all those guys. Mandingo Pickles is another great company that has always had my back, I mean I didn’t start the company but I was one of their first riders and we had a really fun year with AMSOIL Arenacross. I have a lot of very good memories I will be taking!