Archive for April, 2008

1st Beijing Fixed Ride

Sonntag, April 13th, 2008

Today was the first ride of the Beijing Fixed Group. We managed to gather all the fixed riders of Beijing that currently have a fixed gear bike. And then the same amount of bike lovers that do not have a fixed gear bike joined as well.

Pictures of 1st Beijing Fixed Group Ride

Trick on a Fixed

Well, if you look at those pictures you will find only two people on fixed gear bikes (me and Ben). Also you might have noticed that the route we took was maybe not what you would expect. First we wanted to ride around in one of Beijing’s famous art districts in Dashanzi called 798. We did not know that they are re-doing all paved roads in that district at the same time. While we were stanidng around we bumped into one of the guys from the Hong Kong fixed gear group that I would have rode with 10 days ago in Hong Kong if the weather had been better. And furthermore it turns out his friend has the same friends as Ben. The world is a village!
BJ Fixed meets BJ Fixed

Then Tim suggested we ride in the direction out of the city. We went till North fifth ring road to a market. You can have a look at the above link to the pictures of what kind of market we went to. Getting there was a bit rough as not all paths were paved.

Dirt Path with Fixed Gear

If you are a fixed gear rider and you are in China and drop by Beijing, then please join us. We promise that we can stay on paved roads. If you are on Facebook then please join our Beijing Fixed Group there. You can also find us in the magazine CityWeekend Beijing.

After the ride today I went to the house warming party of the famous musician Guo Jian of the Chinese reggae band Longshendao (LSD). After a few drinks they started making music. The famous Ember from Canada was also there. It was fun for a Sunday night party.


Guo Jian

Fixie Tricks and Chinese Rock

Samstag, April 12th, 2008

Today I got my back wheel spokes of my pink track bike tightened, changed the handlebar and put in my smaller front wheel. Then I went out to play around with my friends who were inline skating.

Saddle Handlebar Scale Trick

I uploaded some videos to youtube. Sorry but the formatting of this blog is still horrible if I try to display the videos embedded – so here are the links:

Link to Video: First try of headtube seated wheely with support of a friend
Link to Video: First try of regular seated wheely with support of a friend
Link to Video: Being interrupted while trying to do backward circles
Link to Video: 4 backward circles on my beautiful pink track bike
Link to Video: First saddle handlebar stands on real fixie

We had dinner in the Japanese lounge just to find out that everything has become incredibly expensive. Now I do not really recommend coming here for food. Maybe just for a drink and enjoying the nice view of Beijing.


After dinner we went to a listen to some live music in a small bar near the ancient Drum and Bell tower of Beijing. Tonight folk rocker Ma Tiao and his band were playing Chinese rock music. That was a good mixture of traditional Chinese sounds and hard rock music that went well with my Margaritas.

Beijing Rock Band

Riding in the Rain Without Fender

Donnerstag, April 10th, 2008

So now I know how it feels to get wet and dirty between the legs. It did not look like it would rain today. I was wearing a short skirt and high boots and riding around the city on my Corima track bike. In the evening when I was hurrying from one appointment to the next it was raining – well actually just drizzling. I have often been cycling in the rain, even in Beijing. But this was the first time I rode my Corima bike in the rain – it does not have any fenders. So yes, I knew I would get wet from the front and back wheel. I wore my messenger bag a bit more loose so that it could touch the saddle. I was hoping that the bag would protect me from all the water coming up from the back wheel. But that was not the case. Not only was my skirt soaked around the bum, but also the front of my skirt got wet. The water running down my legs ran inside my boots (not a nice feeling).

But the most shocking experience was the amount of black dirt. Sure my boots and the messenger bag were dirty. The white top that was under my jacket and tucked into the skirt was black at the back. At home I realized that also my black skirt would have been black color just from the black dirty water. I rinsed the skirt and top for quite a while till the black dirt was all gone. That must be all of Beijing’s pollution that contaminated the rain. I have never seen such black water before.

Dirty Boots

I had to shower to get the black stains even off my bum and legs. But at least we have hot water again!

New Pink Fixed Gear Bike

Dienstag, April 8th, 2008

I am trying to get used to the feeling of this track bike. The bullhorn handlebars are moving no matter how tight I pull them. The pegs are too big as my shoes sometimes get stuck between pedal and peg. The pedal arms are built longer than where the pedal is screwed in – it looks nice, but that then touches the small 24″ front wheel when I turn it 180 degrees. Other than that I LOVE MY PINK BIKE. But I do not like having pink ribbon in my hair…

Pink Track Bike

And just a note on how small Beijing is. Today at the juggling night I lady came into the bar and said „Hi Ines“. She was just in Beijing for a visit and just walked by this newer bar and just came in to have a look how it looks like. She was only in Beijing a few days and on her way to emigrate to France. She was a good friend of my boyfriend some years ago before she moved to Guangzhou. I was amazed that she even recognized me. I told her to wait and called my boyfriend to come by to see her. What a coincidence.

Backward Circles on Track Bike

Dienstag, April 8th, 2008

Yeah! I did my first 3 backward circles on my new fixed gear pink track bike

Have a look at the video!

(P.S.: If I embed the above video in this blog then in some browsers the formatting gets really stupid and all the text is invisible.)

Sunday Dinner Party

Montag, April 7th, 2008

My Chinese friend Echo and me planned to host a party together. Due to the public holiday we decided to have a Sunday evening dinner party.

The preparation was longer than for parties I used to host, because of the preparation of the food. Echo arrived at my place more than 3 hours before the start of the party with lots and lots of ingredients like all kinds of vegetables, various kinds of meat, shells, tofu, spices, pots, bowls… and another friend who wanted to help cock but decided that my kitchen is too small. So she went back to her place to cook some dished herself. After about half an hour Echo’s brother and wife arrived in suit and tie to help cook. After first taking some pictures with the huge flower bouquet that they brought they got started with the cooking. I went out to buy the drinks. When I came back I found them all just relaxing on the couch because of multiple problems. Some kitchen utilities were missing so they asked a friend to bring them when she arrives. The bigger problem was that the vegetables could not be washed because my household did not have a good quality vegetable washing fluid and the nearby supermarket did also not have anything satisfactory. And the most frightening: There was no gas (for the stove and oven). We called a worker to check our gas meter and he found out that the batteries of the gas meter were just dead. So with new batteries we could start cooking the meat, but not the vegetables.

When the door bell rang 20 min before the start of the party my heart jumped for joy as I was expecting our friend with the vegetable washing fluid to arrive. But no – it was 3 guests that all arrived early. But the next door bell ring was the washing fluid. Now it was slightly more chaotic to cook as there were now quite some people in my small kitchen. But it was a lot of fun to cook and prepare together – „da jia yi qi“. Echo and some other Chinese friends said that it felt as happy as on Chinese New Year. Thank you all for the great evening!

April Dinner Party

Echo showed all of us a video of the school for mentally challenged people that she volunteers at one day per week. That was very moving and I am happy to see that my Chinese friends are helping others in need. There are way too many people on Earth that just think about themselves and what kind of new car they should buy.

Tomb Sweeping Day Urban Climbing

Samstag, April 5th, 2008

In 2008 China changed the public holidays to some more traditional days. One of these new Chinese public holidays is the „Tomb Sweeping“ day on April 5th where you should think of your ancestors. Many families gather together and burn money (fake money) for the family members that had passed away. And some families even go to the graveyards.

This year the Friday April 4th was the public holiday. We decided to join our Chinese climbing friends for a 2 day „Hike and Spa“ trip north of Beijing. We started at 6:30am in Beijing to avoid the Friday holiday traffic and arrived early near Changping in Mang Shan. After doing a tour of all the possible parking lots (all empty) with our caravan of cars we finally stopped. All our friends and us were wearing hiking clothes and hiking shoes. I found it quite funny that the „hike“ consisted first of stairs and then at the top we continued on a paved road. It was really beautiful weather. And it was peaceful as there was nobody except our group going up.

Mang Shan View

Here is a link to more: Pictures of the hike

When we walked back down the stairs it got really crowded. So many other holiday tourists came. We were really happy that we did start so early and have the place for us.

Acrobatics on Mang Shan

And as we are climbers we could not help ourselves but we had to start climbing on the man made walls. Even though I still do not know what they meant by „climing“…

No Climbing Sign

Urban Climbing

After the hike we went to the nearby natural hot spring spa and just enjoyed the hot water pools and showers for a few hours. It is especially enjoyable when you know that at home you do not have any hot water…

The rest of the trip consisted of huge Chinese meals and the exquisite Chinese MaoTai rice wine.

Fixed Gear Ride in Hong Kong

Mittwoch, April 2nd, 2008

I am not that often in Hong Kong and I was so happy today that Brian from the HK fixed group decided to request a special ride so I could have some fun tonight. But unfortunately it started raining in the afternoon and kept a slight drizzle till the night 🙁

Next time I hope I can get out to ride with the group here. If you are interested, check the HK fixed website for the riding schedule. There usually are rides on Thursdays. Or just drop by in the RODAFIXA boutique in Central.