The Original Scraper Bike Team is pleased to announce that we have selected Rion F. Manning as our new Executive Director, effective immediately.
Rion is an avid cyclist hailing from the hilly streets of Seattle, Washington, where he and his best friend worked on building a bike community and organizing group rides, as well as getting people on bikes, sometimes for the first time in years. When he moved to Oakland in 2015 he began to focus on fixed gear riding, which led him to groups such as Phixedbikes and the Fixed Kings Expeditions, who challenge themselves to ride fixies in all areas of the bay: no distance too long, no elevation too high.
He deeply believes that bikes bring all people together, and has especially seen this theory come to life in the Bay Area.
“I’m excited about having the opportunity to really address social issues in Oakland, East Oakland especially. The fact that I can use my bike and my bicycle knowledge to do that is great.” That is why he is excited to be able to help the Scraper Bike Team implement their vision of using bikes and art to help mentor the youth of their community. To help them grow and achieve great things. As well as being a fixture in the community at large to help enact needed change for all of its neighbors.
Rion joins as the team is developing a new after-school program, in partnership with Higher Ground Neighborhood Development Corporation. Funded by grants from the California Department of Conservation’s Transformative Climate Communities program, and the LyftUp East Oakland partnership between Lyft and TransForm, the school program represents a new extension of founder Tyrone “Champ” Stevenson’s vision for the Original Scraper Bike Team.
“The Higher Ground program is going to be foundational,” according to Champ. “The Scraper Bike Team is all about getting butts on bikes, supporting youth entrepreneurship, and filling the gaps for transportation equity in Deep East Oakland.” In addition to teaching kids to ride, fix and decorate bikes, the program will provide new space at five East Oakland schools and libraries for “dream workshops, youth mentorship, all kinds of new programs.”
Champ will retain his title of Scraper Bike King, and transition to a new role of Chief Visionary Officer. He’ll help the Original Scraper Bike Team develop new ideas for programs, and working with Rion to make them real. “Rion will help execute the vision, get things in motion, implement the programs. He’s very educated, takes the initiative, and supports the Scraper Bike Team mission.”
Long-time Scraper Bike Team member and East Oakland bike guru Reginald “RB” Burnette, will continue to work directly with the team, and also remains the primary liaison with the Oakland Public Library, which hosts Scraper Bike Team programs at The Shed, a shipping container-based shop space at the Martin Luther King Jr. branch library. The Shed will be getting a large build-out as part of the TCC to provide more space for bike build and youth mentorship programs.
“My goal this year is to get kids back riding Scraper Bikes. Not just bikes, Scraper Bikes. And not just kids, families too.” He’s excited to begin working with Rion because “we found someone who’s driven just as much as us, just as eager to be of service to the community.”
Rion is looking forward to working with Champ and RB. He sees them as “very passionate about their community, and about riding bikes. They want to lift up youth, advocate for their space and their community. What really stands out to me is their passion, which I think translates to every facet of their lives.”
Rion can be contacted as firstname.lastname@example.org.