Most 5-year-olds are just starting to learn—and feel confident—riding their bikes without training wheels.
But 5-year-old Stone Kepler is gaining confidence in riding BMX bikes.
In fact, he’s been riding dirt bikes since he was 2!
“I thought it looked fun and wanted to be able to do back flips like I saw other people do”Stone Kepler
Stone was familiar with dirt bikes from his older cousin, Jackson, who was a rider. He would watch and beg to try on his own. Stone was gifted a hand-me-down dirt bike from a friend of his mom, and the rest is history. Not long after, his dad started taking him to a BMX track to learn how to ride and he was once again, gifted a dirt bike from a fellow park rider.
Stone is steadily improving his abilities at least two to three days a week at the 9th Street BMX at Duncan Park in downtown Austin.
“I can do a flip on the trampoline and can go up on my bike on big ramps,” Stone says.
In fact, since Stone is currently home-schooled for kindergarten, his days at the Park are part of his recess.
“We’ll typically do our book lessons in the morning around 9 or so for a couple hours, until it seems like Stone is needing a study break. Then we’ll go out into the community, I’ll teach him real life things like using money at the grocery store, then we go to the park and just let him ride for at least an hour,” his dad, Kris, says.
Stone is one of the only 5-year-olds at the park, riding amongst many aspiring BMX riders and dare-devils.
So does anything scare the little dare-devil himself?
“Going up big ramps…but I usually just walk it up first and then ride,” Stone says.
In the world of BMX and dirt bike parks, ramps and trails are similar to a swimming pool (the “shallow end” to the “deep end”) or a ski mountain (the “bunny slopes” to the “black diamonds”). Stone is by no means reserved in the ramps he will try.
“I am always right there, watching him. Even though it can be tough, I really try not to hold him back too much. He’s an active kid and likes to try things. Recently he was going up a bigger than usual ramp, and I was standing by to catch him if he bailed…but he ended up just going on through. He never ceases to amaze me,” Kris says.
Stone is most certainly a BMX-rider in the making. He takes gymnastics classes and does CrossFit kids twice per week in order to stay in shape and get stronger for the sport.
However, it is important to note, that bike riding is not the only thing this kid likes to do.
His top dream is to be a professional breakdancer, or a “Bboy” as Stone calls it.
Most recently, Stone has started taking a weekly break-dancing class under Gabriel “Wicket” Jaochico, a local instructor and famous break dancer who has worked with A-list artists such as Will Smith, Chris Brown, LL Cool J, Omarion and Christina Aguilera just to name a few.
“Stone has been dancing…forever. I am a DJ, so I’ve introduced him to a lot of hip-hop stuff. Ever since hearing all the music I play, that kid could dance. He’s seen a ton of videos too. Most days, as part of maybe another recess break or music class, he watches a Jabbawockeez video, and I tell him, ‘I’m going to come back in 20 minutes, and I want you to show me what you learned.’”