At the age of two, Chino Braxton could ride a pedal bike without training wheels. By age six, he began to ride dirt bikes. Over time, pedal and dirt bike riding evolved into a passion, prompting him to do stunts. He would eventually ask friends to film his attempts and upload the footage on YouTube. Braxton’s YouTube videos, which were performed using both pedal and dirt bikes, quickly blossomed into viral sensations, generating over 11 million views and attracting new fans across the world.
Now 21, Braxton is a prominent motocross athlete and is renowned for his electrifying, motocross tricks. He has an endorsement with Under Armour and will soon be launching a line of boots through the footwear, sports and casual apparel company.
Recently, Braxton made a surprise visit to students involved in B-360 Baltimore, an organization that utilizes dirt bike culture to end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline, and build bridges in communities.
Braxton spoke to the excited students at the James McHenry Rec Center, located at 911 Hollins Street in Baltimore about STEM and mechanics.
“I was born and raised in Baltimore,” said Braxton, who is also a former rapper. “I grew up in the Reisterstown Road area near Park Heights. I took a liking to bikes and focused on it. I want to give back to the community as much as possible.”
Launched in March 2017 by Baltimore native and engineer Brittany Young, B-360 has provided service to more than over 2,200 students. Through STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education, community engagement and workforce pipelining, B-360 is changing the perception of engineers and dirt bike riders in Baltimore and beyond.
Young, who arranged the surprise visit, has been selected for Red Bull Amaphiko Academy’s first U.S. cohort, is an Echoing Green Fellow, and Light City Labs’ “Social Innovator of the Year.”
“I met Brittany Young when she interviewed me,” Braxton recalled. “She interviewed me about how I got into riding, and where did I see the culture going in the coming years. I liked what she was telling me about B-360 and got involved.
“Kids gravitate towards me and I want to be a positive role model. My goal is to work more with the program. I think it is something special for the community and Baltimore City. Dirt bike riding is looked at in a bad way and B-360 helps to shine a positive light on dirt bike riding.”
During Braxton’s visit, he also spoke about his experience as a rider and artist, and the importance of safety.
“I touched on safe riding when I spoke to the students,” said Braxton. “There was a time when I didn’t ride with a helmet because I thought it was cool. But after falling off my bike, and going through the things I went through, I want kids to be safe. I fell and broke my nose. I don’t want them to go through those experiences. I stress to kids to be safe and do what they need to do to protect themselves.”
As he continues to showcase his unique stunts, Braxton is hoping to use his platform as a professional motocross athlete to raise awareness for the sport, and encourage children to pursue it as a career.
Outside of dirt bike riding, Braxton is also a fashion aficionado and recently served as the face of Supreme & Fox Racing’s Motocross-Inspired SS18 Collaboration that launched in May 2018. The collaboration will bring a new line of motocross-themed apparel and accessories.
“I hope encouragement came out of my visit with the students,” said Braxton. “I wanted to let them know they should never give up or let anyone tell them they can’t do something. Anything is possible.”