STOKEMETER AMATEUR HIGHLIGHT – CHRISTIAN PEPER
One thing that we at Stokemeter recognize is the large amount of talent out in the action sports industry. You can literally find it in your backyard! Glad that was the case here. I happened to be driving to my friend’s place in Alpine, Utah and noticed a huge BMX track with awesome doubles, tabletops, and a whole array of other jumps. I had to stop the car and speak to the person who’s backyard this was. Turned out to be a kid named Christian Peper. Christian isn’t new to the whole BMX scene. I would find out later that when he was four years old, his dad took him to the ABA race track and set him up on a Redline Mini. He ended up racing for a few years until he became more interested in riding skateparks and dirt jumps. From age nine he always had little tables and rhythms in his backyard, but around age 15 he started to invest more time in digging and riding trails.
Like many extreme athletes, Christian is lucky to have parents that support the local scene by providing a lawn to build on, water, and shovels. Christian is passionate about preserving the sport of BMX. Don’t take this kid lightly, even though he says people consider him a “nerd” at school, this kids can take on the best of them, including city hall. He organized a dirt jump park for the city of Alpine, Utah. In doing so, he met with neighbors and city leaders to find ways to meet everyone’s needs, and spoke at his fair share of city council meetings. He also met with businessmen to discuss the lease and insurance issues. He now serves as a member on a sub-committee of the Alpine City parks commission. Once all of the legalities were taken care of, Christian and some others that he recruited cleared the trails, did quite a bit of digging, and that’s when talk began to spread asking for a bike jam.
When to talks continued and rumors of event were spread, Christian contacted local businesses and acquired sponsorships for food, drinks, bike parts, and music. He even acquired the services of the local Paul Mitchell Hair shop who showed up and gave free mohawk haircuts. The result, a few hundred people came to watch and/or ride. With the clogging of a few intersections and 8 blocks of sidewalk with parked cars, the cops also made an appearance; more than once. Despite the local authorities showing, the jam was a crazy success, and even though the formal park is closed, there are still a bunch of ramps for the BMXers to ride.
It’s great to see people making a positive difference for the sports they love and spreading that stoke to others. Christian continues to ride and promote the sport in Utah. He plans on serving a two year mission for his church after he graduates from high school. I have a feeling after that two years, he’ll continue to be a great ambassador for the sport. Keep pushing Peper!
Some Christian Peper trivia:
– Favorite BMX video of all time is Anthem II
– I need to ride more dirt before I leave on a 2 year church mission
– S&M frame, bars, and stem
– Odyssey forks, lever, sprocket, headset, and tires
– Profile cranks, seat, and hubs
– Alienation rims
– Shimano pedals
– Demolition brake
– Fly Bikes brake cable and pads
Oh, by the way, here is a video of Christian on the track he built: