Scraper Bikes Become a Sensation Thanks to YouTube
NPR brings us this interesting story about how Scraper Bikes--bicycles that "have rims so big that they scrape the inside of the wheel well"--have become a sensation thanks to a group of teenagers who made a music video about their creations and posted in on youtube. Interestingly, the "scraper" movement started with cars, but since many of the people involved can't afford cars (and in particular gas), Tyrone Stevenson Jr., an Oakland youth, took the aesthetics of scraper cars "and applied them to bicycles, fitting large wheels on small frames."
So why should we care about these tricked out bicycles?Why Should We Care About Scraper Bikes?
As I've argued in the past, cycling suffers from an image problem: either you bike because you can't afford something better, or you are an altruistic idealist. What's more, cyclists are typically portrayed in mass media as nerds and losers. So to have a movement taking shape among America's youth that makes bicycles cool is undoubtedly a positive thing, regardless of the fact that scraper bikes are less practical than they are unique and interesting. Of course, it should not be forgotten that high gas prices have helped shed light on the prudence of choosing a bicycle for recreation and transportation purposes.
Lastly, building these bikes has provided an outlet for many youth to express themselves without turning to violence or drugs. As Mr. Stevenson, the self-proclaimed "Scraper Bike King" put it, "The true meaning of a scraper bike is basically, I want to give back something positive to the community. . .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."
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