OAKLAND, Calif. -- At the height of the hyphy movement, Tyrone "Champ" Stevenson along with his friends and family, pioneered colorful bike designs resembling Oakland's iconic scraper cars.
Called "Scraper Bikes," the eye-catching set of wheels feature vibrant, shiny tape placed along the spokes.
In 2007, Stevenson and the Trunk Boiz introduced their creation to the world through their viral song "SCRAPER BIKE," which racked up 4 million views on YouTube.
Fast forward to today, the legacy of scraper bikes continues to be passed down. Stevenson founded the "Original Scraper Bike Team" to encourage creativity, entrepreneurship, and bike education amongst youth community members.
"Scraper bikes have really been a positive thing for not only myself, but a lot of the kids," said Stevenson. "Teaching the kids the laws of bikes is really important."
He added, "It was all about creating a curriculum that we can teach for generations."
In partnership with Higher Ground Neighborhood Development Corp., the Scraper Bike Team offers fun and educational youth programs and one-on-one mentorship.
"We've been able to provide this programming for the past two years, serving over 130 kids," said Khariyyah Shabazz, the Deputy Executive Director of Higher Ground. "This program comes and teaches youth the importance of bike safety, bike careers, as well as how to ride a bike."
And the Scraper Bike Team is just getting started.
"Advocating for safe streets in East Oakland for kids to get back and forth to school, getting back and forth to parks and libraries is essential for the Scraper Bike Team," said Stevenson. "Creating a bike share program so kids and adults have access to bikes, affordable if not free, is a priority."
He added, "Those are just some of the things that the Scraper Bike Team and myself are working on so we can create this bike infrastructure for East Oakland for generations to come."