August 8, 2011
If bikes are ever going to live up to their potential as game-changers in the world's consumption of fossil fuels, their proponents are gonna need smarts, heart, and damn if they're not gonna need style as well. Luckily, Tyrone "Baybe Champ" Stevenson Jr. has all three covered. The Oakland cyclist started decorating his two-wheelers with flashy strips of foil, elaborate sound systems, and kitschy corporate logos, sparking a movement that now claims a hip-hop video with more than 3 million hits on YouTube, a dedicated East Bay youth massive, and a world of imitators. The Original Scraper Bike Team holds head-turning single-file group rides through its neighborhoods and has become a bike advocate on par with few. Broke environmentalists everywhere can jam with OSBT anthem: "My bike rides hard/Don't need no car."