Maker Faire is everybody’s fair. It doesn’t just belong to the roboticists or the scientists or the artists or the crafters. The magic is that it belongs to everyone who loves making, creating, and sharing. Representing for East Oakland, Calif., at this year’s Maker Faire Bay Area (May 22nd and 23rd at the San Mateo Fairgrounds), is the Original Scraper Bike Team, bringing their fleet of flashy modded rides, as well as their positive attitudes and passion for making. We connected with the crew’s founder, Tyrone Stevenson, aka Baybe Champ, the Scraper Bike King, to find out more about the Scraper Bike Movement.
1. Tell us about the project you’re bringing to Maker Faire.
The Scraper Bike Project captures the creativity of youth living within dangerous communities. This project teaches youth bicycles safety rules, bicycle repair tips, and how to create what we call a Scraper Bike. We want to engage up to 250 youth, between the ages of 12 and 24, with a positive outlet that’s fun, educational, and promotes healthy lifestyles. Scraper Bikes have gotten three national press mentions: NPR, Current TV, and The Christan Science Monitor. We want to expand and enlighten young peoples’ perspectives on life through fixing and riding bicycles. We set up a lot of events over the past few years to bring awareness to this grassroots movement. We plan on creating a sustainable, positive, educational, and green way of life in inner city neighborhoods.
2. How did you hear about Maker Faire and why did you decide to participate?
We heard about the Maker Fair two years ago, and had to see if it was as great as people said it was. Sure enough, we attended the Maker Fair Bay Area 2009 and it was great. This year’s Maker Fair theme fits perfectly with the image of the Original Scraper Bike Team, and we can’t wait to show off our bikes, and build new bikes on the scene at this year’s Maker Fair.
3. Tell us about yourself. How did you get started making things and who are your inspirations?
Oakland, Calif., is the birthplace of the Original Scraper Bikes, coined by me, Tyrone Stevenson, in 2007. This unique style of bicycles has empired into a global movement due to the sensational YouTube music video Scraper Bikes by the Trunk Boiz. With over 3 million views worldwide. My biggest inspiration for this project are the youth who are creating works of art from simple and limited materials.
4. Is your project strictly a hobby or a budding business? Does it relate to your day job?
Our project is strictly a hobby and it does not relate to my day job.
5. What new idea (in or outside of your field) has excited you most recently?
The newest idea that excites me is our film on Vimeo [by California is the place], that was released a few weeks back with a collective series of films based in California. The film is entitled “Scrapertown” and it focuses on the impact the Scraper Bike Movement Is having in the urban community of East Oakland. It’s a must-see film.
6. What is your motto?
Our motto is “Blue, yellow, orange wit bling, Scraper Bikes is on the scene.”
7. What advice would you give to the young makers out there just getting started?
Never give up, no matter the challenges. Ask for help when it’s needed and always allow your work itself to speak for you.
Thanks, Tyrone! Can’t wait to see the whole crew rolling around the Faire, looking fresh! For all the information you need about Maker Faire, including how to get your tickets online, check out the Maker Faire website. See you there!