Scraper Bikes: Urban and Internet Phenomenon

Scraper bikes, tricked-out bicycles adopted from scraper cars (with wheels so big they scrape the inside of the wheel well), have become increasingly popular among carless teens in Oakland, CA.
September 18, 2008, 1pm PDT | franny.ritchie
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"'Actually, scraper bikes saved my life," says Tyrone Stevenson Jr., who prefers the title "Scraper Bike King.'

'Because I was at a young age, getting into a lot of serious trouble, selling drugs and on the verge of going to jail. So my mom told me this is a way to channel anger and frustration, just focusing on something that's creative, something that's me, and the bikes is me.'"

Stevenson says he's already making a living scraperizing bikes, but he's got big plans for the future: trademarks, patents and, someday soon, a scraper bike shop.

"The true meaning of a scraper bike is basically, I want to give back something positive to the community," Stevenson said.

"Because there's so much going on. Drugs and killing and stuff, this is a way of giving the kids a way to a positive future, but being creative at the same time."

Thanks to Franny Ritchie

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Published on Saturday, September 13, 2008 in National Public Radio
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