Monday, August 1, 2011

Cruisin' on my Scraper Bike.

I have been informed that this is old, but it's new to me, so I'm going to go with it anyway. Some of you probably don't know this about me, but I love hip hop music. I am hugely into it, and am very much into underground groups, and do my best to seek out the freshest in hip hop before anyone else. I was very excited that Tanya Morgan showed up on Jay-Z's new album, because I have been a fan for years, and in fact have 2 albums worth of their stuff on my iPod. I could go on about hip hop most of the day, but I am trying to help you understand that I know good hip hop. The video below is anything but. From a technical perspective, the song isn't terrible, but the whispering effect on the chorus is, and some of the rappers are a little weaker than the others. I'm not posting this video to critique the production value or the skill of the performers; instead, I want you to see what these kids are doing with bikes. It's fascinating. 

Scraper Bike 

I'm also fascinated by their casual disregard of traffic, but that's a different post altogether. The video below tells you what the Scraper bikes are all about.

Scraper Bike King

I think that it's great that bicycles bring out so many different things from such a wide variety of people - for some (fixters) it's all about purity of form and function, clean lines and matching chains - and for these lower income kids it's about making the bike - any bike, whether it's a cruiser or a mountain bike, or even a trike - as flashy as possible, using foil, cardboard, and spray paint to do it with. I'm fascinated by the Scraper bike, and wonder how long it will be before we see  them here. It took fixed gear riding a while to show up in force in Dallas, and now I see fixed gears all over, and there is even a shop that caters to fixters, with all of the accessories they need to be individuals (which is an expensive pursuit). Apparently Scraper bikes have been around for a few years, but I'd be willing to bet that we start seeing them here in Dallas sooner rather than later. Scraper bikes are almost the complete opposite of fixed gear bikes, because it looks like the opportunity cost is much lower - and the bikes are much more individualized. I'll jump for joy when I see my first scraper bike in Dallas, because it means that even more people than before are making cycling part of their lives, and using cycling to express themselves, declare who they are, and to help them find their place in the world.

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle,  I no longer despair for the future of the human race."  HG Wells.

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