At first glance, it is easy to dismiss “Scraper Bikes” as a silly trend, or even worse a waste of paint and tin foil. Yet again, at first glance many spandex clad road riders may look just as ridiculous to the untrained eye. I originally saw a Scraper Bike video on YouTubeÂ a year or so ago, and like most, I must admit that I found it almost laughable, and I definitely didn’t give them much credit. Then yesterday, Stevil Kinevil brought to everyone’s attention a new video that included the back story and what the concept of a Scraper Bike means to the kids of Oakland, CA.
Man, was I ever wrong to judge someone on first impressions. I feel that in today’s world of ever-improving technology it’s pretty easy to lose sight of the inherent good that a bicycle can bring about. These kids are doing way more than just decorating their bikes and trying to draw attention to themselves. They are learning valuable life skills, building a sense of community, and most importantly staying out of trouble. Champ, the creator of the Scraper Bike Scene even goes as far as to say he is “going green in the ‘hood,” and has aspirations to create a bike shop/community center that will help future generations of Oakland teenagers to fulfill a better life. The world and the cycling community needs more people like Champ, people who selflessly are willing to go out on a limb to improve others lives with the magic of a bicycle.
Often times, I think it is easy to lose sightÂ of what is actually important about bicycling: the simple pleasure of getting on a bike, any bike, and going for a ride. I for one, am proud to welcome these and any riders to our little group of humans united by love of bicycles.