Chris Doyle: What Now?

In April of 2018 - almost exactly two years ago - BMX legend Chris Doyle went into cardiac arrest on a Kink trip in Albuquerque. Chris powered through and bounced back in incredible fashion. Since then, he has ironed out his health issue, started a podcast, welcomed a second child into the world, hosted multiple large events, and so much more. 

We caught up with Chris to see how "retirement" was treating him and to get some insight on everything he has in the works - both in and out of BMX. 


First and foremost, how is quarantine life? I know you have two young kids at home. Everything good?

Yeah, man. Doing good here. We're healthy and safe and just trying to keep it that way. Our son is only five-months-old, so he's been pretty easy to deal with. The real struggle has been trying to keep our three-year-old daughter entertained during this time. She's in preschool, takes swim lessons, does gymnastics... She's not using to having to sit around.

How’s your health? Are you getting out on the bike at all? 

Health-wise, I'm probably in better shape than I've been in a long time. I exercise for about 30 to 60 minutes each day either doing cardio or light weights - sometimes both. These days, I only get to ride once or twice a week. I've found that the more fit I am, the easier it is to jump back on the bike and maintain the skill level that I want to be at. Of course, our new stay-at-home order has limited my sessions, but we're lucky to still have a few outdoor parks here that are open. However, if there are more than a few people at said parks, I don't bother trying to ride. Gotta respect the social distancing!

How about television hosting - I know events are at a bit of a standstill, but do you have anything on the horizon? 

I'll be doing the live commentary at Battle of Hastings again this year, which I'm stoked on! Other than that, nothing official. Most of the production companies that I've done work with in the past will give about a six-week heads up to let me know if they want to hire me. I feel like we were right on the verge of that before everyone started cancelling events. I love covering BMX events, though. I take it seriously and hope to do more soon. 

Not long ago, you formally “retired.” How’s that going and what exactly does that mean? 

It only means that I'm not a paid professional anymore. I will always ride and, like I said before, try to maintain a decent skill level. I don't think people realized that I wasn't a paid professional for about a year prior to me posting that "Hot Rod" clip on my Instagram. 

I have mountains of respect for the guys who are my age - and older - that are still able to make a living riding BMX - still progressing and pushing the sport.

Around a year and a half ago, you launched the Palaver podcast. Is that something you had wanted to venture into for a while?

I probably talked about it for a year or so prior to actually launching it. The best part of being a pro bike rider was getting to travel and meet so many different people with different backgrounds. Anybody that has been on a trip with me knows that I love sharing stories and learning about how other peoples' lives brought them to the back of the 15 passenger van sitting next to me. I think going through the pro experience myself and having traveled with so many interesting characters gives me a little bit of an edge and allows for some great interviews. For example, I don't think a guy like Jerry Bagley would've opened up to other interviewers in the way he opened up to me. If you haven't heard the Jerry Bagley Palaver interview, go check it out. It's a good one!


It’s been a little while since you released a new podcast. What’s the current status here? 

In the intro for the interview that I did with Morgan Wade, I explained that I would be on a bit of a hiatus since my son was about to be born and I knew I wouldn't be traveling. I've never really had to go out of my way to get an interview. I usually just do these at events when I know potential interviewees will be available. I drove out to Bethlehem to interview Chris Stauffer - that was about the furthest I've gone out of my way so far. Totally worth it. At the beginning of last month, I started reaching out to some guys that I'd like to interview and wanted to get the ball rolling again, but then the world fell apart. I really do not want to do these via Skype or anything like that. There's such a better vibe when you're face-to-face with the person that you're interviewing. Most recently, I asked Sean Burns to do an interview when he recovers a little bit more. That is definitely an interview that I'll go out of my way for. As soon as Burns gives the green light, I'm booking a flight!

I see you embracing Instagram Live. What prompted this? 

Like I said, I really wanted to get the ball rolling again with the podcast and, seeing as how we're under a stay-at-home order, I still wanted to do something to keep people interested in my little project. Instagram Live is incredibly user friendly and the platform is pretty big. The Q&A that I did was fun and pretty successful in terms of interactions, so I'm going to try to do more of that stuff while we're all shut indoors and looking for things to do. 


The Live Awake Nightmare commentary with Kris Bennett was awesome. Whose idea was this? 

The idea came from a fan on Instagram who suggested that I do a YouTube series where I commentate my own video parts. I decided that it'd be more fun to cover an iconic video that people love and have the editor speak about what went into the making of the video - while live and allowing people to ask questions. People were way more into it than I expected! Big thanks to Kris Bennett for being a part of it!

Can we expect anything more like this in the future? 

Absolutely. The fun of all this is being able to interact with people and give background and insight into these pieces of BMX history.

Editor’s request - watch DK Intuition with Cory Muth. Possible? Maybe bring in Will Stroud and Leigh Ramsdell for some extra spice… 

Ah, that'd be awesome. I'll ask Muth if he'd be into it, but you shouldn't hold your breath. Muth doesn't like being in the limelight very much. It might be cool to do one with Stroud where we talk about The System Video or something. Maybe do one with Ramsdell for one of the videos that he's made - or maybe have him dress as Captain Idiot and we commentate Road Fools 3! Endless possibilities out here!


Any other ideas that you think would be interesting?

Not related to Instagram Live, but I would really like to gather a collection of Colin Winkelmann stories from those that knew him best and release it as a podcast. I can't take full credit for that idea, though. It was suggest from CanuckBMX on Instagram.

Anything else on the horizon you can tell us about? 

I've had my real estate license since 2016 , which I put into referral - on hold - while I still rode BMX professionally. My plan was to reactivate my license and start working in that industry here in Pittsburgh next month. However, with all that's going on in the world, I feel like my start date will get pushed back. For the podcast, I just want to continue to get some good stories out to the world. I would like to increase my production quality - maybe get some better audio equipment and some actual cameras. BMX-wise, I'm turning 39 at the end of this month and, all things considered, I feel healthy. 

I'm strongly considering working on a "This is 40" style edit. I don't think it'd be anything groundbreaking, but it'd be fun to have something to work on again, riding-wise. It'd definitely just be a feel-good edit.

You’re a very wise man. Give the world some advice to get through these difficult times… 

Continue to support the BMX brands, shops, mail orders... Support the folks that are continuing to provide BMX content to keep us from getting too bored. Of course, watch and listen to all of the Palaver podcasts. Oh, and wash your fucking hands!

Check out Palaver on iTunes, YouTube, and Instagram!

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