Local kids - two miles from my house - turn old bikes into colorful showpieces; they do tricks and parade around in formation. The song lyric says "don't need no car"; they make bicycles into a pop culture phenomenon.
I need a new category called "My Oakland": Local scraperbikes ride into global consciousness. From the Oakland Tribune.
The video shows the intersection of High Street and Foothill - about two miles southwest of my house. Last year I was driving on 35th Avenue at Foothill when I saw a Latino youth on a three wheeled bike just like the ones in this video - decorated with metal foil and colorful paint. I rolled down my window as I waited at the stop light and spoke to him. "Did you build that yourself?" I shouted. "It's amazing. You could sell it for a lot of money! Great job!" The young man looked a little bewildered - middle-aged white ladies driving through East Oakland normally don't call out pleasantries from their cars to passing youth.
I had no idea this was a cultural movement in the making in my front yard. I don't "hang out" in that area much, usually just drive through on my way somewhere else, or pop in and out to visit a library branch or a friend, so I have only spotted the one scraper bike in real life.
This phenomenon is good for the planet (bikes, not cars; recycled materials), it's locally-grown, it's fun, it builds community and it features pop music. The Dove has always liked hip-hop since the late 70s in NYC, and I appreciate the high spirits and creativity of these young men - not only do they fix up bikes and careen around on them, they made a video and started a contest.
Update: Oakland Parks and Recreation Dept. has been offering Earn Your Bike since 1994 - where kids learn to fix up old bicycles, and upon completing the course earn their own bicycle to refurbish. Also several local recreation centers offer film and video courses. These scraper bike entrepreneurs could have gotten their skills at the local community center.