Streetfilms: Scraper Bikes, Bike 4 Life and Bike Culture in the Bay
Born in the streets of Oakland, scraper bikes first gained attention as a trend in bicycle customization that spread with viral speed, thanks to YouTube. Since the Scraper Bike video
debuted two years ago, they’ve become much more: a practical means of
greening urban space, a social movement, and a rallying point for young
people organizing against violence in their communities.
Tyrone "Baby Champ" Stevenson, who styles himself the Scraper Bike
King, says the first scraper bikes were created by Oakland teens who
coveted, but could not afford, scraper cars — souped-up sedans painted
with bright colors and with rims so large they scrape the
undercarriage. Scraper bikes are such a hit that many teens skip the
cars and keep pedaling well past the age of 16.
On July 25, Stevenson organized the second annual "Bike 4 Life" ride
to call for an end to violence in Oakland’s neighborhoods. "We’re
trying to bring together a gun truce," he says, "because a lot of
people in our community are dying from guns." This Streetfilm features
scenes from the ride and more from Stevenson about the movement he