Oakland Scraper Bikes

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Friday, May 02, 2008
By Yokota Fritz

What began as Stevenson's attempt to create the next best thing to having his own scraper-car — known in Oakland's hyphy-style rap culture for the matching body and wheel colors — has turned into a mobile mini-arts festival of 26-inch-tall Ferris wheels rolling through the streets of East Oakland.

At appearances throughout their neighborhood, the crew shows kids how to decorate and fix old bikes. According to Robert Calhoun of the Rainbow Community Center, "The kids ate it up."

"They don't just ride, they coordinate," Calhoun says.

Calhoun adds that the Scraperbike Crew's organization skills are "just like a marching band on a football field." He predicts that the phenomenon will stretch "coast to coast."

Calhoun's statement can be confirmed through a "scraperbikes" Google search, which shows Internet postings from people in Portland, Ore., and Okinawa, Japan, flaunting their own homemade scraperbikes.
Read more in "Local scraperbikes ride into global consciousness." See also the YouTube rap video. A hat tip to Alison for this. Alison, by the way, will be one of the bike hackers at Maker Faire this weekend at the San Mateo County Fairground. Drop by to say hello. The lovely ladies of Momentum Magazine also have a booth at Maker Faire.

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This is the coolest thing I've seen all year! I'm rollin' 29s on my Scraper Bike!
...what i like about the scraper bike 'movement' is the sense of empowerment it gives these kids...teaches them that there is more than might be readily apparent in their neighborhood...
...creativity is always good...
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