To Propheter, Everyone In BMX Is Like Family
At 9 years old, Brandon Propheter knew that he liked to spend afternoons with his friends riding bikes around Jamestown — a pastime that many of us can relate to. As it turns out, some of those early childhood friends also liked to spend time at Charlie’s BMX Track on Dutch Hollow Road, ripping around berms in competitive races on the weekends.
Propheter may not have known it at the time, but soon after he first put his tires down on that local track, he was destined for a future career as a professional BMX rider.
“A bunch of my friends, we would always just ride bikes on the street,” said Propheter, a 2014 graduate of Jamestown High School. “They were racers and would introduce me to the track up (at Charlie’s). Ever since then I have just loved riding my bike, my mountain bike or my race bike, whatever bike it is.”
It did not take long after his first taste of competitive BMX for Propheter to begin his rise through the local and regional ranks.
Of the three amateur levels of racing–rookie, novice and expert–he soon moved his way to the latter category at 11.
“My dad and I went to Titusville (Pennsylvania) and raced there and then we decided we were going to go to Pittsburgh for my first ever national race. We just jumped into racing bigger events.”
Moving up to larger races comes with benefits, not just in level of competition, but also in exposure. Amateur and professional BMX events are often held at the same time and venue, allowing factory teams to get a look at the up-and-coming talent. Virginia-based factory team Powers Bike Shop took notice of Propheter just a few years into his career, and liked what they saw.
“When I first got discovered by the team, I was 12 or 13 and I just went up and talked to their lower-level team. There is the bike shop team and then the higher-level factory team. I asked the lower-level team if they would watch some of my laps. I raced with them for a couple of years and was just determined to get on the factory team. I spent a lot of time riding and training.”
While still living in Jamestown, Propheter began traveling around the East Coast and beyond with Powers Bike Shop leading up to his decision to turn professional late in 2018. Also playing a major role in his career has been Ohio Dreams Action Sports Camp in Butler, Ohio, where Propheter has honed his skills as a rider as well as a BMX coach.
In addition to running clinics across the country, including at Charlie’s BMX, Propheter also had the chance to make his first overseas visit to France in 2016 with the Powers Bike Shop team.
“I was an amateur, but I’ve always been considered a coach. The whole week we went to three or four different tracks and put on the same type of clinics. The tracks and facilities out there were really well kept. They seemed to be a lot more technical in riding terms, but the people were so devoted to cycling. It was definitely an experience I will always remember.”
After graduating from Jamestown Community College, Propheter moved on to SUNY Fredonia where he is one semester away from graduating with a degree in criminal justice.
Whatever his future may hold, it is a safe bet that he will get there riding on two wheels.
On Aug. 31, Propheter and his team will travel to a race in Louisville, Kentucky before fall swings into gear.
“My favorite memories are just traveling and seeing a punch of different places. Some of my best friends are from racing and we’ve gotten close to a lot of people who are so genuine and nice,” Propheter said. “Everyone around BMX is like a family.”