West vs East Chris Doyle Interview

Doyle's West vs East Interview

Doyle has been known as the “pros pro” for some time now for a number of reasons;  He’s constantly the nice guy to all riders, knows what his sponsors wants, and is the constant badass on whatever he rides.  He’s also known for coming out to SoCal every year and killing the local trails.  We decided to sit down with Chris while he was visiting out west at Heath Pinter’s house to get what the big differences are and everything else in-between.  Click here to view it all, and click images to view big.

How often do you make it out west every year?
Usually, it’s 2 or 3 times a year if I’m lucky.  This is, typically, between the months of December and March.

Do you normally try and escape the east coast winters or do you ever go during Summer to shred with the guys? 
I don’t go out to Cali during summer unless it’s for a contest, a sponsors’ road trip, or something along those lines.  Spring, summer, and fall out east are usually pretty nice, but our winters can be brutal.  Therefore, I use winter for my annual California getaways.

I also know that when you come out west, it’s normally “work” since all the mags and etc are out here.  You ever feel pressure when you come out west?
I wouldn’t necessarily call it “pressure”.  I guess it depends on if a sponsor has flown me out for a certain objective or project.  The first time I went out this year was to film for my fork promo and I only had a short time to gather footage which was a little daunting, but it actually came together pretty easy.  I make sure to let my sponsors know that I’ll be in their area, and I try to make sure that I shoot pics and do things with the magazines if I can.  Stuff like that should be Pro BMX 101.

Heath’s house has become a sanctuary for dirt jumpers from all over and I know you’ve said that Heath’s is very relaxing for you.  What about it gives you that vibe?  I always consider the east coast to be a bit slower paced/ relaxing but that’s just me.
As far as trail scenes go, I think that California is a bit more laid back, simply because out east we’re trying to fit in as much trail riding as possible in the span of 6 months or so.  Cali trails, for the most part, run year ’round granted you have a reliable water source.  Heath’s place is super chill; It’s quiet, the jumps aren’t too intimidating, and the sessions are usually really fun.  Big THANKS goes out to Heath Pinter for always putting me up and showing me a good time when I’m in SoCal!

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I know you have a love hate with west coast jumping spots.  Does the sand in the dirt ever effect you as opposed to pure clay in the east when riding?  

Out east when the clay gets really packed and grooved, it can become almost cement-like which makes it fast and fun… albeit, a little intimidating.  The soil out west is a bit softer and a little less intimidating should you have to bail.  However, I wouldn’t say that I have a love/hate thing with west coast jumps, if I’m in the sun and there’s a few good buds around, I don’t care, I’ll ride a 5 foot single with a chopped up landing.

Most trail riders have to dig and mold jumps (“No dig no ride”) to their liking, what’s the biggest differences with the dirt and with the riders that dig?  Did I just ask about dirt molecular structure? 
I can’t really say that one soil type is easier or harder to work with.  However, out west, when you’re working with sandy/rocky dirt, it seems like there’s about 3 extra steps between getting the soil out of the ground and onto the jump.  Pennsylvania trail riders are spoiled in that the dirt stacks better and the clay is really easy to work with.  There’s been a few times when I was trying to help Heath work on the jumps and I just felt like the biggest amateur with a shovel.  However, doing work at your own spot always seems easy since you know the terrain.

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You ever come out to ride street or do you just prefer to stick to jumps?
I’ll ride whatever. I usually just go with the flow of what everyone is doing on that day.  Like I said before, if I’m out in the warm sunshine while it’s snowing back east then I’m satisfied.  We rode a good bit of street the last time I was out and it was actually really good, especially since we had good “week day spots” to hit.

Who’s normally your buds to ride with on the west?
Heath, Lazer, Enns, and Biz are the most consistent guys that I ride with when I’m in Cali.  However, everyday is different as far as who else gets added to that list.  The last few times I’ve been out, our crew has gotten pretty big with some heavy hitters.

What would you say the differences are between west vs east personality traits and not just from bmxers?
Contrary to what you said before, I find west coasters in general to be more laid back, especially during the winter months.  As far as BMX goes, it seems like every kid that I meet out west is on flow from some brand or is almost pro.  Very few kids that I meet out west actually paid full price for whatever it is that they’re riding… this is regardless of skill level, too.

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Break down a usual day for you on the east vs west, or is there any differences?

This year, in the PA winter, I usually just do whatever “adult world” stuff I have to do until about 2:00 when the Wheel Mill opens and I can go riding.  I have an awesome crew that I ride with on a daily basis and our sessions are usually awesome… shout out to “The Other Guys”! After riding, it’s usually just walk the dog and cook dinner with the wife.  We’re Pittsburgh Penguins season ticket holders, so there’s usually a lot of hockey games thrown in the mix this time of year.  Out west, I wake up early (due to the time difference) and it’s just about figuring out where we’ll ride that day, assemble a crew, and then hit it.  Lazer (Andrew Lazaruk) has become somewhat of a point guy for the SoCal scene – he usually has a plan for the day before he’s out of bed.  Also, a lot of my west coast day depends on if I’m gonna be shooting with anyone.  Typically, before daylight savings time we’re just trying to fit in as much as we can before the sun goes down.  This past Cali visit, I think we rode everyday for nearly 3-5 hours a day and I shot a lot with Mulligan and Castillo.  Also, one day we went snowboarding and rode trails in the same day.  That was a sick day!

When’s the next time you’re coming out west?
Unfortunately, I think I’m done with California for the year.  However, I never know what my schedule will bring.  I’d like to get back up to NorCal again sometime soon to ride SF and maybe hit some trails but we’ll see.

Congrats on that killer Wheel Mill edit.  Came out sick!  I know that place has got to come in handy during those harsh PA winters?
Thanks! You have no idea! Having a place that is that good and is so close to me (only a 20 minute drive) has been a game changer! I don’t think I’ve ridden this much in a winter since 2002 and I’m so thankful for the people that keep that place up and running.

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