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Category Archives: California

Film makers for a project called California is a Place produced this short film about Scraper Bikes. They showcase the Scraper Bike King of East Oakland, CA and his Captains.  It’s a really uplifting story about Black urban bike culture and how it’s keeping kids out of trouble while simultaneously embracing a green (and fly) mode of transportation.  Check out the video here

These bikes are just one of just one of many types of California bike culture I’m aware of: the lowrider bikes, beach cruisers, fixed gear, etc.  I love the aspect of personalization;  maybe some friendly competition and showmanship will get kids dedicated to biking more.   

(photo via Know Your Meme)

They couldn’t sum up the project better than on the Invisible 5 site:

"Invisible-5 investigates the stories of people and communities fighting for environmental justice along the I-5 corridor, through oral histories, field recordings, found sound, recorded music, and archival audio documents. The project also traces natural, social, and economic histories along the route."

Sometimes it does feel like this area is completely invisble to the dominate environmental movements in LA or San Fran.  

I grew up 15 miles from one of the communities they pass through.  When I try and describe to urbanites from San Fran, LA, or other parts of the country where I’m from, they have absolutely no idea where I’m talking about.  When I say, "Well, when you’re driving from SF to LA on I-5, my home town is one of the cow town’s you pass by"  only then do they get it. 

And it goes without saying that most of these communities have a majority minority population.

So if you’ve ever wondered about those little cow towns as you drive past, listen to this wonderfully curated collection of those communities’ struggles.

Check out the Invisible 5 site here