Scraper Bike Team of Oakland documentary

A film by Drea Cooper & Zackary Canepari.

"In order to become a member of the Original Scraper Bike Team, you must: Be a resident of Oakland. Be at least 7 years old or older. Retain a 3.0 grade point average, create your own Scraper Bike… (It Has To Be Amazing, Or Else You Can’t Ride.) A single-file line when riding. After 10 rides The Scraper Bike King and his Captains will decide if your bike is up to standards and if you can follow simple guidelines. After your evaluation we will consider you a member and honor you with an Original Scraper Bike Team Shirt. Only worn when Mobbin’ Stay posted to our website for all upcoming Scraper Bike Rides..." -- The Scraper Bike King
The Original Scraper Bike Team of Oakland came to Maker Faire in San Mateo in May, and they were amazing.


  1. Sad to see that 3.0 GPA is the current “standard” grade. When I see “My child is a 4.0 student” bumper stickers, I’m reminded that current grade inflation in public schools makes just about anyone who attends and doesn’t get expelled a “straight A student.”

    Sad to see an otherwise perfectly good bike turned into rap media.

    1. Yes, because there’s no way *these* kids could be getting a 3.0 unless their grades were wildly inflated, right?

    2. I’m guessing you know very little about East Oakland. If a kid can keep a 3.0- while dealing with siblings or parents who are most likely in gangs, on drugs, selling drugs or incarcerated and also having to navigate the ever shifting dynamics of living in a war zone- they’re doing a pretty kick ass job. Especially when a majority of their peers have said f* it and dropped out of school.

  2. Sad to see that BB has come to posting items like this, of at best regional interest to the sub-16-yr-old set.

    1. Personally I think this is fucking great. Truly inspiring.

      It’s a group of kids in a poor crime ridden neighborhood teaching morals and ethics and DIY repair skills. It keeps them out of trouble, gives them a creative outlet, encourages comradery, team spirit, etc.

      This is truly a wonderful thing.

    2. Kids rallying around a club that celebrates a touch of remixing and scholarship and just plain enjoying their youth instead of violence in a place where many people have given up on them and their futures? Yeah, can’t see why that would be something wonderful at all.

      Champ talks like a good kid to have at the front of the pack, I hope he gets that bike/computer shop some day.

    3. Sad to see that BB has come to posting items like this, of at best regional interest

      BB posts SF-bay-area stuff all the time. Tech Shop, SRL, the picnic in golden gate park in July, the first maker faire…

      It’s one of the reasons I keep coming back.

  3. LOL I used to tape up my bike like that when i was 8, 25 years ago. Maybe I am the original scraper bike.

  4. AllisonWunderland and MoleMan: Here are your “Sad To See” virtual badges. Feel free to add them to your comments on Boing Boing!


  5. Yeah who cares about kids building and doing things?
    Let me know when they drop out of art school and start painting with used tampons; you know, something a little more sophisticated.

  6. It is great to see these children doing constructive, creative, healthy cooperative things and having fun doing it. I hope the enterprise – and the fun – continues and indeed grows. I have one question, which relates to my continual Australian surprise at how Americans live. None of the riders is wearing a bike safety helmet. Are they not compulsory over there?

  7. Living in Oakland you do see these kids coming out to events and rallies and being part of the community. Nice to see them getting some attention. I know that The Crucible offers classes ( ), but these kids in East Oakland could use some attention as well, possibly to open the shop that Champ describes!

  8. I saw this quite a while back. I think it is great. I had quite strong reaction (in a good way) to it. My wife, normally uninterested in stuff like this was transfixed. Stunningly put together and a great story.

  9. In the interest of fairness, I propose that BB only post items which are of absolutely no interest to anyone whatsoever.

  10. I for one think this is awesome. How dead inside do you have to be that it makes you “sad to see” these kids being creative? Also, the bikes look sweet.

  11. in response to australian dude’s question about helmets, looks like the king is on it:

    If you want to ride with the scraper bike king, you better wear a helmet. Tyrone “Baybe Champ” Stevenson Jr., known around Oakland as the “king” and creator of the scraper bike movement, announced his new rule of the road Saturday near Oakland City Hall.

    “Everybody is riding without a helmet, but once they see us wearing them more frequently then it will be cool,” said Stevenson Jr., who now requires anyone who rides with him to wear a helmet. “They’re going to start pimping them out just like our bikes.”

  12. Sad to see that anyone saw anything sad about this–these seem like pretty nifty kids.

    (Now all we need is someone to accuse Champ of pushing BoingBoing’s pro-Apple agenda…)

  13. This guy should get a medal. That bike shop idea of his sounds like something that could definitely happen if there were people behind it. Has anyone in the Oakland govt. seen this?

  14. It’s about giving kids something to do, something to be proud of and a mark of showing up to school and giving a damn even if you are not ‘perfect’ at it. In a difficult part of the world like that these are just small pushes that will get someone ahead in life by providing a more solid platform to do what ever comes next in their life.

    I’m reminded that all the little touches in life, big or small is what shapes someone and I can always be doing more to provide some positive to balance the many negative confidence and soul destroying blows. I know I have had my influences through out life.

  15. This is very well cut, and the story is great — this has the American spirit 2010 all over it. Make that shop happen!!!

  16. MoleMan thinks this video is only of regional interest to the sub-16-year-old set? Then why did I — a 47-year-old white guy who rides bicycles — find it cool and inspirational? Long live Scraper Bikes!

  17. Australian dude: actually only white people here wear helmets. They like ’em so much that they don’t even take them off when they go into stores and stuff.

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