Members of a Facebook group dedicated to cycling in North Texas are calling for a boycott of a vehicle customization company in Van Alstyne after a video posted on the social media platform showed a man spinning his engine as it passed a cyclist to blow waves of exhaust smoke towards a cyclist.
Kevin Soucie, the owner of Turn 5 Fabrication, posted the video that appears to show a driver overtaking the cyclist, who was riding on the side of the road, to the Facebook community group McKinney Uncensored.
The video showed a red van passing the cyclist as the man drove recordings, pointing the camera at the passenger side mirror and saying, “Oh my god, that’s a cyclist.”
The driver then sped up and zoomed in the rear view mirror to show the truck pumping billows of black smoke at the cyclist and along his path, what cyclists call “rolling coal”.
Soucie told the Star-Telegram in a phone interview that he was “vaguely familiar” with the video but didn’t “know all the details”. He said he didn’t believe the video was captured in McKinney, but near town. He didn’t deny he was the driver in the video, instead saying he didn’t want to comment.
“The only thing I would say to that is don’t let someone’s personal actions affect the place of business where they work,” Soucie said, saying he didn’t want to comment on the phone anymore. video or the response from the community.
When asked if he owned the store, Soucie said “yes and no” and declined to elaborate. The company’s Google listing includes a photo claiming Soucie as the owner. The same image can be found on the company’s website.
Car enthusiast and off-road cyclist Magan Tyler posted a screen recording of the Facebook video to the North Texas Cycling group, along with a Google listing of the business that includes a photo where Soucie is named as the owner, and asked the members not to go.
She said she knew from the voice of the person in the video that it was Soucie. He’s a car enthusiast, although Tyler said she hopes her membership in this community doesn’t make others look bad.
Members of the cycling group took that information, she told the Star-Telegram, and went to Soucie’s Google listing and posted reviews based on the video. Tyler said she didn’t intend or expect it to happen, but it seems to be the community’s way of righting a wrong.
“Owner posts videos of himself endangering a cyclist on the road,” one of the reviewers said. “He’s not someone I would recommend working with.”
“If the owner is acting like their business, I strongly advise against it,” another reviewer said.
Some reviews have been positive since Soucie’s posts gained traction, with most positive reviews saying he does a good job, while a couple poke fun at cyclists.
Tyler said rolling coal is dangerous. It obscures a rider’s vision and can burn their eyes, creating the potential for them to crash and injure or kill themselves. It also makes it difficult to breathe, and when a cyclist is already exercising, it can also be dangerous.
As a member of the car and motorsports communities, Tyler said she doesn’t want people to think this is behavior other members of those communities consider acceptable.
If Soucie wanted to try to make amends, Tyler suggested that she contact groups of North Texas road cyclists to ask for forgiveness and donate to local cyclist organizations or groups promoting their safety.
In a video sent to Star-Telegram by a Facebook user, Soucie said he wanted to apologize, that he “did something really stupid” and that the cyclist did nothing wrong to him.
“People can hate me all they want, they can hate me all they want, they can badmouth me all they want, but when you start badmouthing a company, which isn’t a reflection of what I do in my personal life is where I draw the line,” Soucie said after saying he wanted to apologize.
He has since made the video inaccessible to people who are not his Facebook friends or removed it.
He said in the video that boycotting his company hurts his employees who “are loyal enough to stay here working with me even though they didn’t agree with what I did.”
“It’s just pointless comments, leaving negative reviews for the business and trying to ruin this establishment,” Soucie said in the video. “I ride a bike myself and I’ve dealt with people who have done stuff like that. And you know what? I always just sort of laughed.
“It’s not like I hit the guy or swerved the guy,” Soucie said in the video. “I crossed a lane because he was in a lane. That’s what cyclists do. But I understand that what I did was not cool and it was kind of a bad reflection of my company.
Texas law allows cyclists to ride on the road in a traffic lane.
Soucie said in the video that it’s an example of cancel culture, “and that’s really not cool either.”