Scraper Bikes – California’s Counter-Car Movement

First of all I’d like to credit Lost at E Minor for the article which I stumbled upon which has since led to a crazy search for more information and images.

Images from Original Scraper Bikes Flickr Photostream

Images from Original Scraper Bikes Flickr Photostream

There’s a film about Scraper Bikes called “Scraper Town” which was screened at the EarthDance Short-Attention-Span Environmental Film Festival on March 17th:


What is Scraper Bike?

Urban Dictionary to the rescue: “A new trend that is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area Hyphy Movement in which people ride their tricked out bikes and go stupid, dumb, retarded while on their bikes. Generally, the bikes have nice designs, such as duo-tone paint jobs, and rims or spinners. The term was coined by the rap group Trunk Boiz of Oakland, California.”

Original Scraper Bikes, which (I think) is a team who are a part of the movement to engage with young members of the community by teaching them to fix and make the bikes  list their interests as:

The Scraper Bike Movement seeks to capture the creativity of youth living within dangerous communities. It gives them a positive outlet that is fun
educationaland promotes healthy lifestyles. The Scraper Bike Movement offers youth a sustainable group of peers that is positive and motivating. We want to expand and enlighten young peoples perspective on life through fixing and painting bicycles. Our goal is to support youth entrepreneurship and cultural innovation.

The Original Scraper Bikes team are linked to I definitely recommend checking out their website for a look into some of the great things people are doing for disenfranchised youth. And excerpt from their mission statement:

  1. Believe in teenagers. Teenagers can lead today. We don’t ever require adults.
  2. Trust teenagers. We provide reliable, easy-to-access information and activation strategies, but teens decide for themselves what to do.
  3. Celebrate teenagers. We think all measurable contributions from teens are valuable.
  4. Respect teenagers. We understand that teenagers have diverse abilities and constraints.
  5. Value teenagers. Our programs and products are free. We’re not after teens’ money; we want their passion, time, and creativity.

These are some pretty good starting points when designing youth focused spaces.

Another key individual in the Scraper Bike Movement is Tyrone Stevenson:

…the “Scraper Bike King” who pioneered the bikes, has played an energetic role in popularizing them. He sells them to places as far away as Germany, and teaches people to build them in the informal workshops he holds in his backyard. Andre Ernest, director of the Super Innovative Teens nonprofit, believes Stevenson has already made an impact. “He’s helping the kids who would otherwise be on the street,”…

Read more: here

Images from Original Scraper Bikes Flickr Photostream

Images from Matthew Reamer Photographer

Images from Matthew Reamer Photographer

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