Archive for Mai, 2008

With Radio to Qinhuangdao

Samstag, Mai 31st, 2008

Today I went with Radio Beijing to Qinhuangdao. This is one of the Olympic cities – Soccer will be played here. It is North-East of Beijing on the coast. The famous Beidaihe beach (especially popular for Beijingers) and the place where the Great Wall meets the ocean (Shanhaiguan) are very close by.

Qinhuangdao Beach

We met the people from Radio Qinhuangdao and had a very exquisite seafood dinner in a new restaurant overlooking the beach (see picture below). We had crabs, fish, shrimps, oyster and sea cucumber as well as famous baijiu (high percentage rice alcohol).

Seafood Restaurant

The highway from Beijing to Qinhuangdao is nicely built out – 3 lanes in each direction with new asphalt. But it was not possible to go to a service station for a short break as each and every one was blocked by huge trucks. There was no way to get off the highway and enter and teh next one was always around 40km away. Good that we did not need gas and that none of us needed to go to the toilet. And also the highway exits are scarce – sometimes 30 km to the next one and no parking lot in between.

Qinhuangdao by Night

Trouni! Get Lost!! Party

Freitag, Mai 30th, 2008

This is the time of the year when many foreigners leave Beijing. Some of them leave because their internships are over. But this year many have to leave due to visa issues. Trouni had his goodbye party in a cosy Hutong bar. It had a nice upstairs room with chalk and a small door to get onto the roof terrace.


Goodbye Erguotou

Goodbye Erguotou

The door to the terrace

Pink Fixie Bike for Tricks

Mittwoch, Mai 28th, 2008

First time to take some pictures of my real fixie bike: Old steel 43cm track frame with raiser handlebar and without a handbrake. Handlebar can spin if I have a 24″ front wheel installed, back wheel is a 650c DeepV. Gear ratio of 20/45 which is about 60 gear inch is great for wheelies and catwalk. Pedal arms are still a bit too long (especially for the small front wheel), I will have to change them.

Pink Fixie Bike for Tricks

And I now have smaller pegs. In the beginning I used the typical very long pipe style BMX pegs. They were too massive and long and in the way for doing some tricks. The ones I now have are vintage BMX style frame standers. Thanks to Marcus for pointing them out to me. And they are even the same color as my frame. These kind of pegs are still a bit too big as I get my heel caught between them and the pedal but much better than the first ones. I am looking for any other suggestions…

Vintage BMX Frame Standers

Zhou and Ines Doing Tricks on Bicycles

Montag, Mai 26th, 2008

Yesterday I met with the Chinese bike performer Zhou. He showed me his tricks (Click here to see the video of his performance) and I showed him mine on my artistic bike and then we did some tricks together (Click here to see the video of us doing the Saddle Handlebar stand together).

Saddle Handlebar Stand Together

Saddle Handlebar Stand

Playing around with Bicycles

A Beijing Evening Newspaper reporter and a photographer came and asked Zhou some questions. Today there was this article in the Beijing Evening News

Beijing Evening News

Article in Beijing Evening News

His friends had self built bikes. This was the first time I meet Chinese that have interest in making these kind of cool bicycles. I have heard of some foreigners who visited Beijing with tall bikes and other strange bicycle. But it is great to know that there is a bicycle cult scene starting to grow in Beijing.

The Cool Bike Gang

Cool Self Made Bikes

Zou and Ines and Cool Guys

Cycling through Beijing

Samstag, Mai 24th, 2008

After rock climbing I was cycling through Beijing. As the weather was really nice. I took just some snap shots along the way (click here for some pictures). The sun was shining so many people were using umbrellas to protect themselves from the sun.

Bicycling with Umbrella in Beijing

I finally met Zhou Chang Chun who is a Chinese stunt bicycle performer. I have heard about him for the past 2 years but today I finally met him. We rode a bit together on the streets of Beijing:

Bike performer

Zhou and Ines on our Bikes

The Foreigner and the Tricycle

Donnerstag, Mai 22nd, 2008

Today I was having lunch at the small hopefully-not-soon-to-be-torn-down family „baozi“ restaurant (well more the small hole in the wall type). As it was a nice early summer day with just a little bit of haze I wanted to eat sitting outside. That was already strange in the ears of the restaurant owner and family. When they found out that I do not want to sit under the sun umbrella it created more fuss. They tried again and again to tell me that if I do not sit inside or not sit under the umbrella then rays of sun will touch me. I tried to convince them that I like that and that is why I chose to sit outside in the sun. Then they tried at make me understand that sitting in the sun is warm because the rays of the sun will touch me and make me hot. After quite some discussion I was able to take a small stool and put it outside in the sun to eat my baozi and jiaozi (two kinds of Northern Chinese dumplings). The whole restaurant was talking about that strange foreigner (probably all thinking how stupid I am).

Just in front of my stool on the street a 3 wheeled bike (tricycle) transporting some metal junk and a taxi stopped. I did not see it happen, but the taxi driver got out and looked a tiny scratch on the side of his back door. So I assume that somehow that was from the tricycle. The taxi driver called the police and soon after a motorbike policeman arrived. By that time it had already attracted the attention from all the people in the restaurant as well as the shop owners of all the small business next door (the „Tante Emma“ stores as the Germans say). The policeman actually said he thinks it was the fault of the taxi driver. This was probably not what the taxi driver was expecting. But the small shop owners were happy and also started all confirming that the taxi driver didn’t see the tricycle and ran into him and therefore it was the taxi drivers fault. I was happy about that conclusion because from where the taxi had stopped it did look like he had cut in front of the tricycle. And I was happy that the crowd was all gathered around the policeman watching what he was doing and confirming his decision and not interested anymore in the foreigner eating quietly her baozi on the side of the street.

Tricycle for Transportation

This is a tricycle but not the one involved in the accident mentioned above. This was from the last time I moved in Beijing – we did it all environmentally friendly by tricycle.

3 Day Mourning Period

Mittwoch, Mai 21st, 2008

We just had a 3 day mourning period in China which started on Monday – one week after the earthquake. People were requested to wear black in this mourning period. Some people distributed long ribbons for people to wear. But more amazing was that all the entertainment venues had to close and all the entertainment programs had to be canceled for this 3 day period. I asked a friend to come and do sports and the response was no. This solidarity in this mourning period was unbelievable.

3 Minutes Silence for the Earthquake Victims

Montag, Mai 19th, 2008

Exactly 1 week has past since the strong earthquake made China shake. For Southern China this was the second catastrophe of 2008 (the first one being the snow storm). Many people lost their lives and unfortunately many children died in collapsed schools. The earthquake also shook Beijing but the damage was minimal. No comparison to the South of China.

In Beijing we just held 3 minutes of silence to show our condolences to the victims and their families. It was held at the same time as the earthquake last Monday at 2:28pm.

And it was breathtaking to look out of the window. People were gathering in big crowds on the bridge crossing the ring road. The traffic that was flowing freely on the 8 lane ring road with the 4 lanes parallel to them suddenly all stopped at 2:28pm and you could hear horns everywhere. All cars and bikes stood still for 3 minutes in silence. I hope that the donations we made will help the families of the victims return to a normal life.

Unicycling through Beijing

Sonntag, Mai 18th, 2008

It was such a beautiful Sunday: Blue sky, only some small white clouds and sunshine. There was also a bit of wind but that made it more interesting. I rode my long distance 36 inch unicycle (it is not a Coker „The Big One“ – but it is the same size and mine has a hand break) to a friends‘ house for lunch and tea before we went to the park for rock climbing and hanging out with our friends.

36″ inch Unicycle on the Streets of Beijing

Radio Beijing „Presentation of Colors Ceremony“

Samstag, Mai 17th, 2008

As mentioned Radio Beijing is arranging an event for promoting bicycling. As I have been chosen to ride from the Olympic City Qinhuangdao to Beijing I was invited to participate in a ceremony at the Deshengmen Tower in Beijing.

Deshengmen and Bicyclists

The below picture shows part of the group of people that will ride form the 5 different Olympic cities to Beijing (7 of us on this picture wearing the blue and white cycling clothes)

2008 Beijing Olympic City Bicyclists

Just before the „Presentation of Colors“ ceremony began it started raining so everybody had to take shelter. Luckily it was over in 30min. I was supposed to perform trick on my trick bike but as everything was wet it was not so easy. I just did some tricks on the stage till my tires started slipping. In the end various bike enthusiasts had their pictures taken with me. I only took a few pictures there.

Bicycle Enthusiasts