June 13, 2017 § 124 Comments
When you enter a USAC bike race you waive most of your rights to sue anyone for negligently hurting you during the race.
But you don’t waive your right to sue people who intentionally hurt you. And you don’t ever waive your right to be protected from felony battery.
At the California masters state bicycling “championships” on Sunday, held in Ladera Ranch by promoter Jeff Prinz, a guy named James Doyle pulled a move that looks to me like a flagrantly intentional takedown. To view the video you have to type in either the password ladera45 or doyle.
The victim, John Walsh, wound up in the hospital with a bleeding brain, broken collarbone, broken back, and other ICU-worthy injuries.
If you are not a crit racer the takedown may not look obvious. If you are a crit racer, you will be shocked. Note that Doyle’s move appears completely premeditated. He is squeezed against the curb as he tries to pass at about 3:17, then backs off, waits for a gap to open, accelerates through, then lowers his shoulder and hits Walsh’s bars hard. Walsh is blindsided and goes down on his head. Doyle never looks back and sprints off.
In my opinion this was intentional, and not simply because I’ve raced countless crits and have seen riders make contact countless times and have been bumped countless times.
I believe this was intentional because in addition to the video, which is crystal clear, I know James Doyle. He is a despicable person. I’ve ridden with him and raced with him and I’ve been teammates with him, and the only way I can describe him is in Jekyll-Hyde terms. One minute he is super nice, a great teammate, and the next moment he is uncontrollably enraged.
Here are things I have personally witnessed this very bad person do:
- Scream psychotically at a woman on the Donut Ride who was startled when he came shooting up through a narrow, barely-wide-enough space between her and the curb. Note: This is exactly what he did in the video that shows him crashing out John Walsh.
- Scream psychotically at any number of riders on any number of days who were startled when he came shooting up through a narrow, barely-wide-enough space between them and the curb. Note: This is exactly what he did in the video that shows him crashing out John Walsh.
- Scream psychotically and challenge a very big and muscular (and friendly and gentle) cyclist to a fight when Doyle startled the cyclist with an outlandishly aggressive move on the Donut Ride. Note: This is similar to what he did in the video that shows him crashing out John Walsh.
- Scream psychotically and challenge a rider, who also happens to be a homicide detective, to a fistfight during the finale of Telo. Doyle then added to his douchebag bona fides when he called the guy a “cupcake” after the detective laughed and declined Doyle’s invitation to beat the shit out of him. The “cupcake” is super friendly and has by his own count been in more than 300 fistfights (and lost two). People would have paid good money to watch fistfight No. 301 and the resultant tooth donation that Doyle would have made to the pavement that day.
These are only a few of the incidents that got James Doyle kicked out of our club. Numerous riders in SoCal have seen his antics and been appalled by them. One friend described him as “The most dangerous rider I have ever seen because he rides every ride and competition as if it were a short-track motorcycle race. He makes no distinction between aggressively riding on the last lap sprinting for a win and fighting for 38th position on the second lap of the race.”
I don’t know what to say except that USAC better revoke his license permanently; Jeff Prinz better make a public statement and ban this jerk from his races; SoCal riders better ostracize Doyle when he shows up; someone better file a felony battery crime report; and James Doyle better lawyer the hell up and pray the DA doesn’t press charges.
UPDATE: Preliminary indications from Chris Black at SCNCA are that USAC will likely not find anything in the video that would warrant disciplinary action. If you think otherwise, and/or have examples of Doyle’s dangerous riding, hostile and aggressive behavior, please email email@example.com.
UPDATE II from USAC: On Jun 13, 2017, at 8:47 AM, Hodge, Chuck <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: “USA Cycling has already begun an investigation under our Policy III. Per our policy all riders are afforded due process when there is the possibility of revoking membership rights.”
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He does the same type of riding at El Dorado Park in Long Beach and we do not want him back. A real douche bag!
Every single promoter has a responsibility to their event, to the people who participate in it, and to the friends-families of the racers to refuse entry to this jerk. Silence is going to get someone killed. USAC, if it does anything is going to take its own sweet time.
@Gilbert I was curious if he was going to show up tonight. I suspect there will be some intervention if so.
What club does he ride for? If someone else gets hurt, and organizers knowingly let him race, they should be held liable for giving the guy a gun.
There are enough risks in racing, much less this kind of senseless violence.
Please update with any information on penalties and also the condition of the victim.
I think you’ll need to friend John Walsh on FB to stay abreast of his status. As far as I know Doyle is unattached, although in his race registration he appears to have claimed Monster Media as his home. I am pretty sure that’s not the case; can’t imagine those guys having anything to do with this bad person.
A couple of weeks ago we heard he was being a jerk in Orange County wearing (of course) his old Big Orange jersey, so people were like, “Man, Big Orange sucks.” Time to do a jersey buyback program, kind of like a gun buyback in a violent neighborhood.
Honestly, i would like to see a photo of the guy so I can avoid and warn the group if he shows up.
Look at the video link. He is very distinctive. Short, weird pedaling style with his toes pointing in, typically wears the kit he’s in in the video. You will instantly find out who he is because it will probably not take him long to pull a crazy move. Also, he doesn’t travel to ride. Lives in Long Beach, I think, so his range is pretty much limited to the South Bay and Orange County. Since getting booted from Big Orange last year he no longer shows up here and instead has been gracing Eldo, Food Park, and OC with his presence.
Let’s hope the riders and promoters there take a stand against him.
Seth, James has been a regular on Montrose and the Bowl Ride (with the fast group). He hasn’t pulled anything violent or reckless but I’ve been marking him from Day 1. He does have a habit of pathologically avoiding the front and hiding in the gutter. Since he’s a small guy I assumed his tactics were based on exaggerated self preservation. Well, you know what they say about the golf swing.
Thanks for posting and more than likely preventing future injuries. Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Walsh and his family.
Hi, Al. That’s good to know. A lot of people in OC and the South Bay have markedly different experiences. I’ve personally witnessed them.
If he is racing in the kit of a club of which he is not a member, then that is also against USAC rules and he can be suspended for that also. If is license says “unattached” then strictly speaking he just race in plain kit with no logos or text
It looked like the race results had him as a Monster Media rider. Would be interested to see if that was a registration mistake or if he actually wrote that on his entry form.
Promoters do not have the right to ban riders from events. That
right belongs to USUC officials.
Let them bar this guy and see what happens. Who’s going to file a successful protest? Doyle? He has put a guy in the ICU and could kill another rider. Then the promoter is absolutely on the hook for knowingly allowing this crackpot to race.
This isn’t a doping offense. It’s a guy with intent and ability to harm or kill being allowed to race. I think any promoter who bans him doesn’t run a very big risk.
The guy running CBR banned a doper and dopers from his races. Granted, his series wasn’t USCF at the time but promoters can absolutely ban whomever they wish.
He’s not running it anymore. The current CBR promoter is also the Ladera Ranch promoter, where this crash occurred. Racers should advise him and others that they won’t race with Doyle.
You are correct. But promoters do have the right to protect other riders from violent people who intentionally crash out others.
I haven’t researched it to know if this is correct or not, but if it is: Why? Shouldn’t a promoter retain ultimate control over who races his or her event and who doesn’t? I’m genuinely curious about this. I obviously don’t think promoters should be able to be discriminatory towards race, gender, sexual preference, religion, etc., but as far as I know being an utter douchebag / criminal is not a protected class.
Promoters absolutely have the right to ban a rider from their event and refuse registration and applicable fee if said rider poses a risk to the safety of event participants and spectators. The decision to ban a rider can and has successfully been arguing to be protected under the category of a “reasonable act” (see below.) The rider can protest, and USAC can put future event permits under review should they choose, but if a promoter does not want to issue a race number or chip to a rider posing risks to others, they most certainly can decide not to and the USAC official cannot force them to.
Policy V1: USAC Race Permits
1.2 Race Directors shall agree that the safety of participants and spectators is an essential consideration in organizing a cycling competition and they shall take those reasonable acts necessary to promote the safety of participants and spectators.
Here’s the Gofundme for John: https://www.gofundme.com/2mjn6bg/donate
Is gofundme how we finance health care now?
Yes. Because Obamacare was so bad we now collect a few hundred dollars and call it good.
A grade left in the sun to rot doucebaggery.
I filed a report and called this prick out on every FB thread there is !! Also donated to Walsh GoFundMe !! Great one wanky us peeps have jhon Walsh back❤️
Thank you, Michelle!!
You better believe he has no place on Food Park this weekend.
Or any weekend. Thank you, Collin.
To be clear, I’m not advocating any violence against James Doyle or that anyone harm him. But he needs to be ostracized and it needs to be communicated to him that his behavior is not welcome in any cycling community. He’s a repeat offender and is incapable of moderating his dangerous and needlessly aggressive riding behavior.
Kinda hope he shows.
Kinda sure he won’t.
I can hardly believe this. I’ve some real asshattery in races before but never anything this deliberate. Not that you anything would excuse this sort of idiocy, but to make matters worse, there was absolutely no race justification for going through that gap. The rider to his immediate right held a gap open so he could easily pass the rider in front on the right side, and the road bends slightly to the right ahead, meaning he sent a guy to the hospital so he could take the longest possible line to the turn. And to top it all off, after pulling his monumentally stupid and dangerous pass to chase an attack, he immediately sits up when other riders start responding, making me wonder if he just did this for spite?
Unreal. Every time I get motivated to start racing again I see something like this — in a 45+ Masters race, no less — and wonder why I bother.
A lot of people are re-evaluating their racing “career” after watching this video.
It makes me want to move to CA and take him off the back of every race he enters.
He usually takes himself off the back because, wanker.
I wrote the following to Chuck thanks to your post:
I am a longtime road biker and have been a USA Cycling racer with the West LA based Velo Cub LaGrange since 2012. There is a discussion going on among members of our masters racing team regarding this past weekend’s race profiled in Seth Davidson’s blog (https://pvcycling.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/felony-battery/).
I do not know James Doyle and I watched the video four times. The first time I saw the incident where he takes down John Walsh left me apoplectic. My subsequent viewings hardened my feelings that this person should never be allowed to race alongside my fellow club members or anyone else.
Please do not let this guy race with us again. He hurt someone intentionally.
If his license is not revoked soon I will never race with your organization again and will encourage all I know to do the same.
Nigel Agravante Stewart
Velo Club LaGrange
USA Cycling member #367123″
Thanks for sharing this.
If USAC won’t police jerks like Doyle, why race? It’s risky enough, thanks.
1. California Penal Code Section 243(d) When a battery is committed against any person and serious bodily injury is inflicted on the person, the battery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for two, three, or four years.
2. California Penal Code Section 245(a)(4) Any person who commits an assault upon the person of another by any means of force likely to produce great bodily injury shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment. PLUS three years PRISON for inflicting Grave Bodily Injury.
I would like to see someone file a police report and attach the video as an exhibit.
Breaking news: a prosecutor has reviewed the video and is probably going to file a felony complaint. No need for anyone to file anything if the prosecutor believes she has evidence that a crime has been committed.
Here’s hoping the criminal justice system works for a change…
I’ll bet he’s a real nice guy when he gets behind the wheel of a car too.
I always wanted to race Ladera but I see lots of good reasons to shampoo the carpet, get a haircut, wash my spokes – pretty anything but race a crit ever again. Hopeful this dude doesn’t ever discover MTB or CX racing
Ladera is not for the faint of heart. No matter where he goes, at least people are forewarned.
Scream psychotically… on the Donut Ride…. a fistfight during the finale of Telo.
Another reason why it’s a fringe sport. I know this guy is an extreme example, but the last time I heard how “rubbin is racin” AT TELO was the last time.
And I know there’s not much to do if someone with a rage problem shows up to a disorganized regular ride. I don’t have any answers other than not doing it. No doubt, it is a whole lotta fun. But, damn, a few make it suck really bad for the many.
FWIW, the promoters don’t have the authority to ban attendees. That’s on USAC, who really don’t care for grassroots.
Yes, they do have the authority. The rules specifically allow it; see one of the previous comments that cites the language.
You’re right, though. None of it makes any sense from any vantage point. Not even mine.
UPDATE: Preliminary indications from Chris Black at SCNCA are that USAC will likely not find anything in the video that would warrant disciplinary action.
How? Well, USAC won’t be getting any of my money anytime soon if they can’t protect their riders from gross stupidity
If they can’t see their way to banning this jerk it will be just one more reason for another entire slew of riders to step off the crazy train. Last year they lost 33% of their members in SoCal. What business could survive that?
What business could survive that?
A monopoly. Note well, the national federations associated with USOC/IOC were granted monopoly status. Chris Lotts can tell you all about what a monopolist does to competitors. My favorite was USAC scheduling races opposite Chris’ and then throwing a ton of prize money in. I suppose Dorthy Wong has similar stories.
FWIW, I told you SCNCA won’t stick their neck out on banning this guy. This isn’t SCNCA’s fault. It’s USAC’s problem. It’s *THEIR* rule book.
USAC deserves some multi-million dollar liability litigation on the matter, though I am not a lawyer.
BTW, someone should tell the people related to the rider down USAC racers pay for insurance with each entry. . Time to make a claim on that insurance policy. The rider will have enormous medical expenses going forward.
Regarding USAC’s insurance policy on racers, it’s not an especially good policy, although it’s better than nothing.
Few years ago I crashed in a crit due to another’s negligence. IIRC, the USAC policy had a max payout of roughly $20K and $1500 deductible. That would cover a ‘routine’ emergency room visit and followup care if it was, say, a broken arm. But it might not cover even 1 day in ICU. In my case, I was better off using my regular health insurance.
Better than nothing, but USAC policy won’t go far if it’s a serious injury and needs lots of followup care or rehab.
Yes, there is not much insurance in the thing you are required to buy with each entry. The victim should try to use it. The medical bills will be enormous.
“Insurance” is one of the more interesting hustles that USAC runs. The average racer shrugs off the few dollars that goes straight to the federation. The federation knows there are lottery-like odds of a racer being able to use it.
And you’d better read the fine print.
About 4.5 years ago, I started making dopey videos of our NPR “training races” and even some “real” races. Everybody thought that I was pretty strange for doing so (I am not saying they were wrong). Then about 3 years ago, I added a rear-facing camera and this time everybody thought I was VERY strange (what kind of weirdo has both front AND rear cameras strapped to their bike?!? Who does he think he is?).
Now, it doesn’t seem so strange anymore, and can you imagine how this situation would be playing out right now if our hero Scott had not been right behind the assault with his GoPro running? It could well have been yet another “well you now how it is, shit happens in racing.” But because Scott caught it all on ‘tape,’ we know better.
So before you buy that next carbon component for your bike, RUN DON’T WALK and get a camera (or better yet, two) for your bike. These days I don’t have much time for editing dopey training race videos, but when I’m on the bike I have the cameras running to catch anything notable, whether a car that comes within inches while I’m riding in the gutter (https://vimeo.com/168482040), a crash that results in a separated shoulder and two surgeries (https://vimeo.com/119722145) or even fun stuff like catching the nicest guy on the bike you’ll ever meet – basically the Anti-Doyle – laying down some of the most epic smack talk SoCal has ever seen (https://vimeo.com/172675116).
99% of the time I get home and erase the video footage without even taking a look. But I have those cameras running for that 1% where something went down on my ride. And I’m glad Scott had his running on Sunday.
Get a camera(s) on your bike!
The sport is risky enough given the time spent on shared roads. Now we have to protect ourselves from other riders with cameras?
Think about that for a minute. You are surrounded by people with the same passion for the sport, yet you have to protect yourself from them on a weekly basis.
Again, the situation being discussed is extreme, but, if you’ve gotten fast enough in So Cal, you know many others do less risky versions of the same thing frequently. And it’s ridiculous.
Well, the camera won’t protect you. It will only document what happens around you. Unless of course the other rider car sees the camera and changes their behavior because of it. But I think the function of the camera is almost entirely documentary rather than protective.
I guess you can say it’s sad that you have to close your garage door at night to keep folks from stealing your bike(s) inside, but hey, I close my garage door. And have cameras inside.
If all goes right, you just clear your memory card in between rides and charge ’em up for the next ride. But if something goes wrong… well, it sure is nice to have a video recording of the incident.
And of course, there are plenty of POSITIVE reasons to run a camera on your bike – we have a member who has a real love for the bike and it shoes when he turn wackadoodle 300 mile in 21 hours ride into a watchable video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgPWudaL3UQ.
(1) Car manufacturers will offer built-in looping dash cams in new cars within 2 years.
(2) A helmet manufacturer will offer a helmet with a built in 360 cam within 3 years.
(3) Self-driving cars will largely solve the car vs cyclist danger inherent in our sport but sadly will be unable to solve the cyclist vs cyclist danger.
Until we figure out a way to get drones to ride for us.
Well stated and factually supported. This was not a ‘one off’ move. As you know, I have already documented my own unprovoked confrontational encounter with this ‘pool shitter’. If USAC chooses not to discipline him then riders should voice their objections to the USAC in writing and also refuse to race against him. p.s. I would pay good money for ringside seats to fistfight no. 301!
Additionally, promoters have the right to refuse entry to unsafe or dangerous participants.
Is Chris Black blood-related to Doyle or what? I’m no expert, but that was obviously intentional- to the untrained eye.
I think Chris is just reporting what he has heard or what he suspects based on past incidents. It’s not his jurisdiction as I understand it.
Hey Seth, with a guy like this, you probably better watch your six off the bike as well after this post. Good luck.
Hi, Ben. Thanks. He will need a number, and we’re already into the thousands.
Seth has also got thousands watching his six, on and off the bike, so if Doyle or anyone else gets some stupid ideas in their head they would be well-advised not to go there.
Really? It’s a bunch of amateurs riding bikes in circles. Seth understands this. I urge you to reflect upon your actions responding to another Internet tough guy.
You seem to presume a violent response. I never said anything about violence. I don’t believe in perpetuating the cycle of violence.I said we watch out for each other. And we do and will.
Thanks, Robert. That’s exactly how I understood it. No one here advocated violence, but we’re not going to tolerate others being intentionally hurt.
I don’t presume a violent response. I can’t help you with this.
I have been in many situations just like this one. You have a breakaway and then trailing riders. Some of whom REALLY want to close the gap, and others who are either not interested, not up to the task, or perhaps even deliberately trying to screw-up the chase.
Mr. Walsh here was certainly riding first position in the chase. Abd he suddenly sits up. He does not look to either side to see what’s up as far as guys who might want to go around him. Instead, he appears to ride (ahem) “a bit loose”. He drifts to the right, back left (shutting the door on Mr. Doyle) and back to the right again. The latter action prompts Mr. Doyle to make a very strong burst of an attempt to get around him on the left. And then Mr. Walsh cuts left AGAIN, certainly not holding his line. Only this time, Doyle is obviously committed to his action. Shoulder contact is made, the contact is hard, and it’s enough to cause an immediate crash.
I do not know Mr. Walsh’s motive in staying on the front after sitting-up. He is either unaware of the intentions of those behind him, or he has an interest in “getting in their way”. Perhaps a teammate up the road?
I see aggressiveness. I might even see recklessness (dude, that’s an INSANE and dangerous pass!). I see either naivete or deliberate interference on the part of Mr. Walsh too. But I’m not sure I’m witnessing MALICE here. I think I’m seeing boneheaded jerkiness combined with a guy on the front who is very likely pissing off the guys who want to race. If you’re going to dare to get in people’s way, you may end up on the ground.
My prayers to Mr. Walsh and his family, and I hope for a speed recovery.
Mr. Doyle: take a chill pill. It’s just a bike race. To the promoter: How about a course that’s a bit wider? This thing was narrow all the way around.
And congratulations to Surf City Cycling for your utter determination to gather victories against age-graded peers when you’re obviously 100% capable of doing quite well in the elite event.
We are watching the same video but seeing different things. The rider in front has no obligation to the rider in back other than not to brake check him. Doyle’s job is to get around safely. He has an entire right-side when his first squeeze move fails.
Also: You’re ignoring that this is Doyle’s signature move, practiced on numerous people on group rides. Racing dangerously in super-tight space with curb on one side. It his aggressive beyond belief.
He has been called out on it, asked to stop, and he doesn’t. This move was a punishment takedown. He lowered himself and did not bump bars. He took out the front wheel with completely unnecessary contact.
Your clinical explanation is good but this isn’t a laboratory. It’s a bad guy with a long racing rap sheet. FYI, at least one LA County prosecutor who’s not a bike racer reviewed it and instantly concluded felony battery charges were appropriate.
Let’s see if Orange County DA agrees.
Also, there are no chill pills. Repeatedly dangerous riding and confrontations should get you kicked out of the race and future races, especially when someone winds up in the ICU.
Also, this had nothing to do with the course width. Doyle had an entire right side to pass on. Slamming bars as you pass on a wet day on the second or third lap? Uh, no.
Also, Doyle reputedly defended his actions because he “won’t be intimidated.” I don’t know if he actually said that, but if he did, how much more damning can it get?
Finally–in matters like this your credibility is tied to your willingness to identify yourself. I let people post anonymously, but those who refuse to use their names on contentious issues are simply opiners, not people with credibility. That’s not an insult or a knock, just a fact of this particular blog. Over time people have come to see the value in accepting the consequences for what they say in a public forum.
Others, not so much.
Apologies. I’m Patrick Mannion. I was not aware of your rule and have no problem identifying myself. I’ve not lived in the area for quite some time, and do not know either person. I have been in both roles (many times). I will most certainly agree that Mr. Doyle’s passing attempt was (at minimum) reckless. He didn’t have the requisite room the first time, and he didn’t have it the second. He was most certainly anxious to get around and go after that break. I did see the door get closed on him, but can’t conclude (based on this video) that revenge was his motive to pass again on the left. Proving Doyle’s motive will be the stumbling block to this case, but I will admit to not being an attorney.
I think he had a stick up his ass about trying to prove (again) that he could do it. I think he was an asshole. And I don’t think Mr. Walsh deserved to be on the ground and injured. My very good friend (of 34 years) is friends with him.
However, I do distinctly disagree with you on Walsh’s responsibility for situational awareness while choosing to remain on the front after having sat up. He did not look at his surroundings, and he made some slippery moves. Perhaps not intentionally. I know that deep section rims are hard to control in gusty winds, and rain usually brings those.
“I do not know Mr. Walsh’s motive in staying on the front after sitting-up.”
uhh, maybe Walsh just ‘redlined’ or ‘blew up’ on this particular day — I’ve heard that can happen after an extended hard effort :sarc:
What was Walsh supposed to do? — hand signal, slow down, and cut across the road to the right hand side? :roll eyes:
As Seth stated, the responsibility is on the racer behind, to go around safely.
No need to be sarcastic with me. I will always treat you politely, sir. I guess what I mean is, I don’t know what’s going on in either brain. The video can’t provide that data. And I’ll even give you that one. Let’s just say Mr. Walsh “blew-up.” But can we prove that Mr. Doyle intended to take him down as revenge for having the door shut? I think it sounds like there is plenty of evidence of reckless riding (alone) to perhaps get him out of racing. I understand that you folks probably have more emotional skin in the game here. You guys race together.
It’s not about having more emotional skin in the game. It’s personal experience with him. When someone repeats behavior it’s intentional. Whether it was revenge doesn’t matter. There are many intentional acts not motivated by revenge.
Fair enough. You guys know his past behavior and I don’t.
However, I will ask you to look at the video (stopped at the moment their shoulders touch). How much “road” does Doyle have at this moment? Did he have enough road when he initiated the second pass attempt?
Motive is not an element of a battery case. A person intends the logical results of his actions. It does not matter whether Mr. Doyle acted with a malicious motive, it is sufficient that he undertook a course of action the logical result of which was likely to cause a unlawful touching. But then I am a lawyer and former prosecutor which means that I know nothing about the law or even less.
Right. And thanks.
my thoughts exactly
John is a good guy – When I was 16, screwing around on the Donut of course, I semi intentionally got speed wobble heading down to Better Homes and Gardens (old Donut!) – Walshy reaches out, grabs my bars and straights me out going like 30+ – Thanks bro! Then he yelled at me for a while, but I didn’t go down!
Thanks. Great story!
Chris Black here, Vice President of SCNCA, Category “A” Cycling Official, and retired CHP Officer (Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team). My comment about the video in question was not a public comment and was taken out of context. It was directed to someone who adamantly wanted something done about the aggressive riding. I encouraged this person to get as many witnesses to the aggressive riding as he could find to report it. I was merely stating my opinion (not that of USAC) that the video by itself could be interpreted differently. In any event, my intent of the comment was to help make sure all of the available evidence was presented so that a fair decision could be made in this case.
I think we all want a fair decision. But I know there is concern that USAC won’t bring the hammer down on this jerk. Those of us who’ve ridden with him and watched his antics are sickened by that video.
Historically, USAC has been very hesitant to turn down license and fee revenue. Case in point, the guy who punched Adam Hodges Meyerson about ten years back. USAC argued that the incident happened in the parking lot after the race. They usually don’t get it.
This is a horrible incident and injuries.
My opinion based on the video (and no knowledge or the race situation or strategy) is he bumped him and took him out in a fit of rage.
There was plenty of room to pass on the right
The guy should be banned or suspended for a couple years..
I have a few lingering questions for you or any experienced racers based on a few experiences I had this year with an aggressive rider or two during a couple races this year. Some were blocking for riders ahead and seem to be taking unsafe blocking practices.
Another incident involved someone swerving in front of people at high speed because he was unhappy with the way the race was going.
Copied and pasted appears in quotes.
From the author-
“The rider in front has no obligation to the rider in back other than not to brake check him. Doyle’s job is to get around safely”.
Is it acceptable for the rider to swerve and steer the guy into a tree or toward on coming traffic on a non-closed course with a yellow line rule?
Don’t you have some responsibility to ride in a safe manner to avoid taking others.
Are there any written or known blocking rules and what would be unacceptable?
“What was Walsh supposed to do? — hand signal, slow down, and cut across the road to the right hand side? :roll eyes:”
This is kind of, sort of what I do in that situation. If I am chasing hard at the front I motion people to pull thru, if they don’t I pedal until I can’t then move to the middle or side and signal I am no longer pulling at the front to prevent any pile ups before I slow down, trying to give some warning.
Thanks for your great writing, I usually enjoy your blog, but not as much today as it reminds me of the dangers involved in the thrill of racing.
Maybe it and the video can provide some teaching and training for people racing or at least remind everyone to show some manners.
Good questions. Sharp swerving unless to avoid an object is not acceptable. Otherwise, if you want to get around someone and there’s no space, you have to wait until it’s safe.
I watched it yet again:
Doyle had snaked behind Walsh when he very, very, very, first swerved-off the pace. Doyle did not immediately pull-through and instead just followed the wheel wherever it went. Thus the reason Doyle found himself over at the left-hand curb area. That’s where Walsh had retreated to. He was TRYING to give up, but Doyle wasn’t wanting to ride at the front in chase-mode. When Walsh slowed even further, that’s when Doyle found himself faced with needing to ride into the wind. It was his own wheel-sucking that put him in the disadvantageous position, and he took out his frustration on the guy in front of him through a “GTFout-of-my-way” intimidating pass attempt.
But still hard to show intent to injure. I’d call it a reckless disregard for safety.
Patrick: regarding “intent to injure.” To me, the key is that it wasn’t a shoulder bump, it was a forearm into the handlebars. You have to watch the slo-mo to really get this. The contact that occurred was almost guaranteed to crash out the other rider.
I’d be willing to believe that the offending rider was not in great physical control of himself, and was leaning into an expected shoulder bump that never happened and overcompensated, causing the contact. But there was really no reason to be trying to fit through the inside anyway, as many others have pointed out.
My mom always told me, “treat others like how you want to be treated.”
How does anyone with the right mind ever want to do something like this to someone else…? I understand he was frustrated but if you really need to get that out of your chest, cuss or something… dont intentionally try to harm someone by crashing them out…
I am seriously shocked as the cycling community is so tight and one of the best I have ever been a part of. Interacting with riders with all kinds of backgrounds, ages, stories is why I LOVE riding my bike.
I genuinely hope this never happens again to anyone.
Thanks Mr.Davidson for the great write up!
You’re welcome and thanks for being such a class rider. Now stop tearing my legs off, please.
“I was wrong. I was stupid. I don’t know what came over me. I understand I’ve got anger issues and here’s what I’m doing about it (). I’m truly sorry for the pain that Walsh is in right now. I’m also sorry for the pain and inconvenience I’ve caused to his family. My intentional actions caused this, and I understand I’ve done this on several other occasions without remorse. Man, have I screwed up. I take responsibility. The first step is fixing his bike and donating a large portion of my paycheck to his recovery. I’m not in a position to pay for all of it right now but I sure will try, and I understand that I’ve got a long journey to earn back the trust of the peloton. In the meantime, you won’t see me on raceday or group rides. After anger management classes, I hope to return in 2018. Again, I’m truly sorry. I’ve been in touch with John and his family to apologize in person.”
Words you will never hear from Mr. Doyle.
Fucking nails it. As usual.
Don’t need to race crits to see that was a pathetic move. Any “fake racer” who understands the social contract that exists when you’re in a group can see it. Between the doping, $10K bikes, and dudes/shit like this, masters road racing is a bit of joke. Lots of very hard guys in endurance MTB racing and a helluva lot more perspective. Thoughts and prayers to Mr. Walsh and his family.
Probably needs to get off the roids.
I kind of have to agree with krakatoaeastofjava (Patrick Mannion) here, at the same time John Walsh is someone I consider to be a friend and a all around great guy in the world of bike racing. I have not raced that much on the road in the last few years so maybe I don’t know this Doyle guy and whatever other asshatery he has been a party to, but in that situation there is more than one way of interpreting it. Some minor chopping out of the corner before leaves Doyle on his brakes and looking for a way around. John hits the gas for a moment and then lets up, then we see what we see.
Thanks for posting your name. I disagree. This is Doyle’s signature dick move. And the lowered shoulder, bar hook, if that’s not a takedown then nothing is. Oh, and there was 2,000 yards of pavement on the right and no wind.
Seth, do these two have personal history? Is there some overall “FU” relationship between the local peloton and Doyle (in general)? Doyle has some well-known habit of trying to squeak through small holes, just to be a dick? I’ve raced with habitually squirrely guys…and only Mark Whitehead’s behavior comes close to what you describe. Has this guy ever had dq’s or warning from officials?
I was about 8 bike lengths back and got delayed by the ensuing pile up. There was a slowing in general due to the break going up the road. No one pulled through prior to the incident. That entire straight away us narrow to begin with but trying to push through on the left was stupid and the hit was deffinatley a planned, calculated attack on John. I’ve been racing in CA since 1993 and on La Grange since 2003. I’ve seen many a bonehead move but this is truly the first where it looked wholeheartedly intentional with the blatant and obvious “lean and hook” of John.
Please email email@example.com. USAC is already laying the groundwork to say they can’t prove intent. Please reach out. Don’t let USAC run away from this. Chris Black and Chuck Hodge are looking for any excuse not to reduce USAC’s membership.
I am not sure why you would think USA Cycling is “is already laying the groundwork to say they can’t prove intent”. USAC initiated an investigation on Monday morning after receiving the complaint and have appointed one of our most experienced people to it. That said, ALL members are entitled to due process under our Policy III, and we will follow our policies and guidelines in this investigation. I hope all of our members would appreciate the same opportunity if they were named in a complaint.
In regards to “losing membership”, that is not a concern when an investigation shows a member has violated regulations. We have already issued two hefty suspensions earlier this month for another incident.
I welcome anyone who was at the event with direct knowledge of the crash to e-mail me at chodge at usacycling.org so we can have you speak with our investigator.
Thanks for the opportunity to clear up some of the rumors that have been circulating on our handling of this.
Hi, Chuck. Funny you should ask–I just posted about that very thing. Thanks for commenting. Every hour that James Doyle has a USAC license is an hour too long. If this had happened during the finish of a Tour Stage the guy would have been punished instantaneously. USAC has video evidence, eyewitness statements, circumstantial evidence, and repeated past behavior. What are you waiting for? A signed confession?
Time to nut up and ban this guy. He is bad news. Your membership is watching.
Not excusing anything, and I’m certainly not a crit rider, but is it that easy to get knocked over?
It’s very, very hard to knock over an experienced crit/track racer/national champion like Walsh. It would have to be a powerful blow and take him completely unawares. Which this appeared to be.
In a fair fight, I would take John every time. But this was an ambush sneak attack. With that and the wet road, John never had a chance.
Doyle’s ambush tactic and smaller size make for a devastating combination in this instance. Using the element of surprise, he is able to keep his weight centered over his bike as he moves underneath John in order to set up his attack – the ‘hook,’ which pushes John both up and over. By pushing John up, Doyle reduces/eliminates the contact patch between John’s front wheel and the road. This makes his victim now vulnerable to a lateral attack. By first coming underneath John, Doyle’s push sideways doesn’t just move John laterally; instead it takes out his front wheel and in a split second John’s body is slammed against hard asphalt at speed.
If you were teaching a class in how to attack someone on the bike, this would be in the first day curriculum.
Thank you. Nails it.
At the risk of being the lone contrarian at the outrage party, I don’t really see a clear cut case of intent to do harm, at least in a legal sense. It looks like he got cut off, and when given a window, came up on the inside and gave a deliberate shoulder bump to clear space and no doubt make a statement. It was aggressive, too aggressive – definitely douchey – but did he have the presence of mind to deliberately try to hook bars and take him down to injure him? I doubt it.
This stuff goes on all the time in road racing, especially in the crucible of crit racing. If literally head butting someone as a sprinting tactic is a thing, this is small potatoes (however, the result isn’t small potatoes, and I wish the best for the poor guy who went down).I’m not a lawyer, but no DA would take this case.
Having said that, I think it’s good to ostracize people like him. This sport needs to clean up its act. In my view, the energy used to police, ban and ostracize dopers should also be directed at just good sportsmanship. I’ve been a competitive cyclist for twenty years and just have no interest in the crit race scene because I’ve seen stuff like this too much. It’s not only the physical aggression, but the screaming and the yelling and the posturing and the egos and the general dick swinging douchebaggery that’s just a turn off. It’s absurd that promoters and governing bodies don’t or can’t make and enforce clear rules of sportsmanship or conduct. You want to attract new people into the sport, especially young people. If I’m a dad with a kid who cycles, why the hell would I want him exposed to assholes and the worst examples of poor sportsmanship?
I guess you missed the parts of these comments where this guy has a history of roidrage type behavior?
And … I got a phone call from a guy who knew him 20 years ago in Ohio and officiated/promoted over 200 races. His comment after seeing the video?
“I knew Jim left the scene locally in 2001 or so, and moved back to his native California. I had hoped that with time and within a larger cycling community, he might have changed. Sadly, this appears to have been a vain hope.”
Much of the armchair analysis I have read here and elsewhere is way off base. Therefore the best that can be offered is the long cut. Unfortunately what is difficult to pick up are vocal cues due to the recording setting. I will just say that James was in no way acting rational or calm, from the start bell.
(includes post crash laps to demonstrate how it begins to settle in with James on what he has done – he drops to the back of the peloton after seeing John on the ground after several passes)
case sensitive pass: usac2017
moments of note:
@4’13” – james is already shouting and resorting to vulgar name calling to riders around him
@4′:51″ – james continues with name calling
@5′:10″ – more of same. James clearly on edge with head swiveling more than any other rider.
Thank you. This is a disturbed asshole who has done something wrong, knows it, and is now in full deflection mode. Identical to how he behaved when called out on group rides. It’s always other people who suck and don’t acknowledge his skilz.
..because ProTour DS’s scout 45+ Master races looking for talent… Jeeeez. The dood must have really needed that bottle of chain lube at the top of the podium. :Count on USAC to drag their feet and do the minimum possible. They have many years of precedent. Best bet: The entire field refuses to roll from any start at which the guy stages. A start line protest + entire field demand registration refund + threaten to boycott the promoter’s future events. Instant results. Vote with your pocketbook. USAC is adverse to conflict. They are very shy. They would rather crawl under their desks and rock back and forth and whisper to themselves.
I have to say I agree with you. If USAC won’t do the right thing, it’s on the racers.
Oh come on.
I do and have raced crits, lots of them…for decades, at a high level. The dude that went down was dicking around not pedaling on the front of the field as the race was in hot and heavy action. He left the curbside open, then drifted back towards it. The other guy tried to get by on the tight side, by the guy who crashed drifted back and the dude squeezing through tried not to hit him, but then found the door slamming shut and had to save himself, so the bars collided, and the lead dude (less than gracefully – like the way he was riding) went down like a sack of potatoes.
I know James from when we raced together as teammates on 2 different teams in SoCal. I have not contacted him in any way about this story and don’t correspond with him. I do know he isn’t the the type of person who would intentionally crash someone. I do not know John Walsh-although his name sounds familiar-AMW.
I have raced bikes for many years and with some of the top racers in the country and some of the top events in the country and Canada including the Gastown Grand Prix, Redlands and CCC Bend criterium(to name a few top level criteriums) all in the P/1/2 fields and have also raced the Ladera race once or twice. I read the comments before watching the video and had to post my opinion. The Ladera race is the same course I raced on, which is too narrow and it was also wet, which adds an element that all of you are missing-probably from being from SoCal(Anyone here race the Port Townsend Criterium?). What I see is James trying to pass after John has slowed down and let a group go off the front. James needs to get around John and sees an opening on the left side. I think James sees his opportunity as a corner is coming up and John has to go right to make it and John begins to drift right. James goes on the outside or left and has begun to pass John, when John veers back to the left. James is not intentionally bumping John, he has to straighten his bike so as to not run into the curb as John drifts back towards him. I see no malicious action on James’ part. On the contrary, James was doing what he could to get around John and hold up his bike. The crash was unfortunate, but that happens all the time in racing and I have seen a lot of racers who maliciously cause accidents, do stupid stunts or act aggressively elbowing, pushing or punching other riders, including on training rides that are supposed to be friendly. And what upsets me most is all the people who are trying to ostracize James for something that if it had been someone else on say Monster Media or whatever, that they have some kind of man crush on, would have never happened. I also hope John gets better soon and wish him all the best.
After tens of thousands of views, thousands of comments on FB and hundreds of comments here, numerous personal interactions where eyewitnesses confirm that James is a douche, a dangerous rider, a hothead, and an aggressive ass who’s been a jerk for more than two decades, one single person finally says they know him personally and that he would never intentionally crash someone out. What an indictment. But I guess it’s better than zero.
I watched the video and if it was in reverse or 2 different riders altogether, my opinion would be the same. If you said James is a lousy rider, the worst Cat 1 racer ever known, and a pot smoker to boot, I wouldn’t disagree with you. Regards.
If those two guys were riding in reverse I would be really impressed.
In reverse order, i.e. John passing James. If you think you have a case why don’t you file one? Walsh v. Doyle. Also, what indictment? one of opinion on a chat-board? There isn’t even a license suspension
. It is your sand-box, good luck.
You were kicked off the team for being a pompous dick, too.
Wow, how professional. Making up a statement like that. I am interested in attending the court case if there is one. Not worth your time apparently. But you do have time to insult and defame people.
How can I defame an anonymous blog poster? Unless “Chuckie” is your first and last legal name.
OK Seth, or is it Franklin?
That depends on whether you like my first name or my middle name. By the way, hanging out and commenting extensively on a controversial topic without identifying yourself makes you a complete chicken-ass douchebag. It’s the main reason I let people post anonymously. It creates a big red flag saying “afraid to stand behind what I write.”