There's a truly inspiring movement going on in Oakland. Scraper bikes — brightly colored, their spokes woven with foil and often decorated with subverted corporate logos — are weaving through the streets.
Started by the young and motivated Tyrone Stevenson Jr., a.k.a. Baybe Champ, the Scraper Bike King, the Original Scraper Bike Team aims to, in Tyrone's words, "make a change in young people's lives, ’cause it's getting them away from the negative things that Oakland has to offer: gangs, drugs, and violence. Youth that's involved with the Scraper Bike Movement are dedicated and passionate about rebuilding our community by fixing and riding our bikes."
Tyrone requires that Scraper Bike Team members maintain a 3.0 grade point average, reside in Oakland, and always ride single file. After videos of Tyrone's work started popping up a couple years ago on YouTube, "more and more kids in my community wanted a Scraper Bike. I had all the kids come to my house and work on bikes," he told us. He's currently working toward starting up a shop. "We need a location in our neighborhood so we can come and fix on our bikes and build the Scraper Bike Team."
Check out the Original Scraper Bike Movement at originalscraperbikes.blogspot.com.
All photos by Matthew Reamer.