An Open Letter to Ryan Gauld

James Lissimore's picture
An Open Letter to Ryan Gauld

Now, I feel the need to touch on something that has been really troubling me.


I love the sport of motocross. I don’t make much money from doing this job and most months, just breaking even is good enough for me but I love the people and I love trying to tell the stories of the sport with photos and video. I’ve met some of the most amazing people while doing this job, made life long friends, and been treated to unbelievable hospitality along the way that I can’t even begin to repay. Thank you to everyone who has made doing this such a rewardable experience.


I’ve had opportunities to spend more time covering US races and other non-moto stuff but I turn it down to keep following the Canadian series because I love the sport and I really want to do what I can to help cover it and hopefully grow it. There are a lot of amazing people who deserve more money, better support and a brighter future and hopefully one day we can help get it there.


Unfortunately, there’s one person who feels the need to keep taking shots at us and I can’t understand why. We’re just trying our best to cover the sport with the little money we have and I don’t think we’re harming anyone along the way. For some reason though, Ryan Gauld feels the need to continually attack us and for the life of me I can’t understand why.


I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, nor take it too personal. If you spend anytime reading Ryan’s stuff you’ll realize that he doesn’t just reserve his bitterness for us alone, and spends his time taking shots at anyone and anything that doesn’t fit into his narrow view of how things should be or aren’t in his circle of friends.


Still, I question why? For any series to be successful you need all the media you can have and every other series I’ve covered has gone out of their way to make media feel at home. Instead, Gauldy, a CMRC employee, chooses to call us “The Biggest Moochers in Canadian Motocross.” among other things – calling out our work, “Web stuff is about as easy a job you can have in this industry.”


His latest attack on us comes on the heals of Ryan Lockhart’s return to racing at Gopher Dunes. Gauld organized a betting pool based on Newf’s finishes. Half of the winnings would go to the injured riders fund. On Friday, he mentioned the pool to us as we were driving out and said to sign up the next day. Normally one wouldn’t want to hand any money over to a person who continually shit talks them but even so, in this case, I would have done it in a heartbeat, for a good cause.


I don’t feel the need to defend myself(well I guess I do or I wouldn’t be typing this) Despite web being the easiest thing in the world according to Mr. Gauld, I have a lot of different deals in place to try and carve a living out of the sport I love. Obviously I’m trying to cover the day for DMX in both photos and video but I also shoot for most of the teams, shoot for IMX( a print mag? No way) and I’m filming a documentary for KTM. Sorry Ryan that I don’t pump up how hard I’m working in every single thing I write so you might not have known that I actually do work at the races and don’t just hang out and mooch.


So suffice to say, I never made it over to put my money in the pot and neither did Billy. Nor did a ton of other people, including his own co-worker, Brett Lee, who admitted to not having time to get in on it either. But Ryan chose to single us out in particular, as not giving back to the sport and mooching off the teams. Funny how that works. The funny thing is, I probably still would have thrown a few bucks in at the end of the day if he had said something and not even cared about the pool. I contribute to every cause I can, from money to donating my photos, or time if it’s needed.


Thankfully, after talking to people in the pits it’s safe to say that he and his circle of friends are the only ones who feel this way and it’s nice to know that people who actually matter in the sport appreciate what we do and don’t share his views. I've been overwhelmed by the support from the people who truly matter and it's all of you that make this worthwhile even despite a few vocal detractors.


Canadian Motocross is at a crossroads right now. Manufacturers are scaling back or pulling out all together, promoter apathy has led to a lack of opening ceremonies this year, less track prep, very few banners, etc. Now more than ever, we need all the media to pull together to help get as much coverage out there as possible and make the series as valuable as possible to sponsors. We all do this out of a love for the sport. Almost every person who’s involved in Canadian moto could easily make more money doing almost anything else but it’s the passion that bonds us all and keeps us on the road.


I know that Ryan likes to think that anyone who’s never raced pro is a “poser” but you can’t measure passion for the sport in results on the track. If you love motocross, you love motocross regardless of your background. I invite Ryan to stop focusing on whether or not someone is “core” enough to fit into his extremely narrow view of who can be a motocross fan and start celebrating everyone who’s into dirt bikes – from the guy in the fox shirt who doesn’t own a bike but likes watching them to the hardcore racer who’s at the track every weekend. Every single person is important to the sport and I personally am happy to have them all as fans.


Ryan, we get it that you work hard. You tell us that in everything you write. You know what? We all work hard, that’s just part of the job. Please, let’s just all work together and help this sport grow. You've got our numbers, I'd love to talk to you and figure out how we can work together to make the sport we all love better.



James Lissimore


Ok, here's my take after watching this for years.

Ryan certainly isn't filling the shoes his position has when he pushes his personal opinion on the rest of the sport. There are responsibilities and professional courtesy that go along with his job titles. But as a former racer, do any of his ill-timed words really surprise us? Not really no, not at all actually. It's just the fact that Ryan is in the position he is, that leads one to think that professionalism would follow(considering Ryan is a former professional racer one would garner that he would know how to transition) but Ryan has yet to learn the grown-up game of life and is still stuck in his "racer-mentality" and that, is not making him friends. And because of that, making Canadian MX suffer.
Don't get me wrong, Ryan's insight and dedication to his job goes without saying, he does work hard. But like mentioned, so does the rest of the industry.(People even work hard outside of the industry Gauldy!)
From the column about his ex-gf, to the stuff he says trackside, and now this.....the CMRC should not be your little clic of circlejerkies(stolen from the Pulp show) but instead an organization run like a business, with the intent to grow. Gauldy, you're personal opinions and negativity is doing anything but helping us grow.

Long time coming

Richard Dance's picture

I applaud your approach and stand on this issue ,as a long time fan of the sport I am sick and tired of the rhetoric.The first time was kind of funny but now it's just sad.
In any industry competition is usually healthy promoting growth by being clever and inventive.
It's amazing that the powers that be would sit idly by and watch their employees constantly embarrass themselves personally , their product and the majority by this constant immature approach of bashing the competition. I would venture to guess that this very strange business approach only serves a very few insecure individuals. How many potential sponsors has this discouraged away from a sport that desperately needs help?

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My vote is for a second poole in Moncton. This time bet on who will win the fight? All proceeds to the losers dentist.

Week reply

For one, it's 'pool', and secondly, way to give a pathetic response to sensitive issue.

sp*** WEAK

Since you are so smart. The word you were trying to spell is Weak not Week.

I personally feel topics like this, (if expressed at all publically) should be brought up in a forum. Not posted on your company website, especially when you are talking about the competition.
Plain and simple.

I am not saying James is right or wrong in calling out Gauldy, but I think this was a poor way of doing it.

Weak Week or week

You're right, my bad. Along with a grammar jab, I was trying to call you out on keeping it civil and mature instead of taking the easy way out with a jab to the 'hang low's'. Thanks for the correction.

Now let's get back to the sport we love and hope that everyone will come out on top instead of being detrimental to CDN moto which is at a sensitive point right now.

Not fighting words. I just

James Lissimore's picture

Not fighting words. I just hope he will choose to focus on the sport and not on trying to make others look bad.

Totally agree with you James.

Totally agree with you James. I have never raced a bike either but I love the sport. I have said for years our series will never grow with out the media helping to promote it, yet they make it so friggin difficult to cover the series. I applaud you for telling your side of the story & respect you even more now.
PS: I cant wait to see what Ryan's reply will be to this. Stick to your guns, you do a fantastic job of covering the sport here & in the USA

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