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Central Point man dies while riding mountain bike

A Central Point man died Saturday after an apparent mountain bike accident on the Old Military Road near John's Peak, authorities said.

Craig Steven Lyle, 54, was found lying in the middle of a dirt road near his mountain bike and was pronounced dead at the scene, said Jenny Hall, a Jackson County Sheriff's Office spokesperson.

Hall said Lyle was found on a road that turns from pavement to dirt, but the entirety of the Old Military Road is paved.

The John's Peak Road, which veers off the Old Military Road and leads up to John's Peak Off-Highway Vehicle area is only partially paved, so Lyle likely crashed on that road, but that could not be confirmed late Saturday, when the press release was issued.

John's Peak OHV area is a popular area for many outdoor activities, including mountain biking.

Lyle, who was wearing a helmet, gloves and other riding gear, was seen traveling at a high rate of speed down a dirt road by two all-terrain vehicle riders who were locking a gate when he sped by, Hall said.

Upon leaving the area, the ATV riders found Lyle crashed in the road and called 911 at about 4 p.m.

"It did not appear that he impacted anything other than the road after flying off the bike, and there was no damage to the bike," Hall said. "Investigators thought that he possibly lost control, or that he possibly swerved to avoid something."

But it is unknown how Lyle crashed, she said.

Judging by the quality of his gear and bike, Lyle appeared to be an experienced rider, Hall said.

— Sam Wheeler