Archive for August, 2009

Last Juggling for 3 Weeks in Beijing

Montag, August 31st, 2009

Today was the last day before Fede will go to Africa. And I am going to go to Europe in 3 days. So this was the last Beijing Jugglers Group meet-up until September 23rd.

Fede Saying Goodbye

But also for some other jugglers it was the last time with us in Beijing. Like our multi-talented Joe that had just spent 4 hard weeks at the Chinese National Circus School in the South of Beijing to increase his acrobatics, staff juggling and 5 ball juggling skills. He was in Beijing for almost 1 year and now had to go back to the USA to continue his studies.

Joe Juggling Five Balls in Beijing Juggling Group

It was a sad juggling evening. But in 3 weeks we will start again.

Beijing Jugglers Saying Goodbye

Presents from Tomita Toshihiko

Sonntag, August 30th, 2009

Wow, what a great surprise!!! The delivery service knocked on the door having a package for me. From Japan? It was from my friend the Keirin track bike racer Tomita Toshihiko. Last year he had designed a Senjafuda (千社札, literally “thousand shrine tags”) for me but I was not expecting to receive so many wonderful things regarding fixed gear as well as many Senjafuda stickers.

Presents from Keirin Ambassador Tomita Toshihiko

Such an honor to receive this from the Keirin Ambassador Tomity. Special stamps, special spoke cards, the cute Keirinman Magnets (now I have a complete set 🙂 ). And it also included this beautiful Shimano Dura-Ace NJS stamped cog with engravings: „to Ines Brunn“ and „from Tomity“:

Shimano Dura-Ace NJS Stamped Cog with Engravings

as well as this Keirin bike chain bracelet made from recycled NJS chain also with engravings:

Tomity Keirin Recycled Bike Chain Bracelet with Engravings

THANK YOU SO MUCH TOMITY-SAN! I love the statements: „Bike is peaceful“ „Life is beautiful“ „Bike is heartful“ „Ride safe“

And I like the coincidences in life: We had already planned to go to the nice quiet Japanese cafe/bar/restaurant for a relaxing lunch with free softdrink refills on the 35th floor.

View of Beijing from Japanese Restaurant Wain Wain

Greening the Beige at Club Fair

Samstag, August 29th, 2009

Today was again a club fair where the Beijing community clubs and non profit organizations could display themselves. The location was maybe not the best to get a „fair“ kind of feeling as there were just two straight lines of tables on either side of a quiet street.

Beijing CityWeekend Club Fair

The Green Lady Carissa had prepared a table for the „Greening the Beige“ group to create awareness for the upcoming events. The first one is the International Day of Climate Action on October 24th where we want to arrange the 350 Beijing Green Train bike ride together with the The other big event is the 3rd Annual Greening the Beige Event in November under the theme: „RE-ENERGIZE BEIJING“.

The team was making origami windmills from used paper. They had some clothes made out of used colorful plastic bags on display to demonstrate that waste can be re-used and given a new purpose. The amazing green allies and volunteers came from Beijing Dance/LDTX, China Charity Challenge, New Beijing International Movie Festival, Whole Soul Bakery as well as other individuals supporting environmental awareness activities. And they were handing out fashionable red star pins from Cable 8 Culture Center. Here a picture of a part of the Greening the Beige energetic team:

Greening the Beige Environmental Volunteers

Wudaoying Hutong – New Shop Space

Mittwoch, August 26th, 2009

The hutong street (Wudaoying) of our bike and juggling shop is really nice. Most of the hutong buildings are still residential and we have nice neighbors around us who had been living there all their lives. But the Wudaoying Hutong is said to be the new cool street of Beijing – like Nanluoguxiang closer to Houhai. So down the street we have seen places be renovated and new cafes and shops and art galleries open up. It is a changing fast. But now they are even starting with the building across. Where will our neighbors go? I think this will turn into a new shop space…

Wudaoying Hutong Development

Beijing Fixed Gear Get Together

Dienstag, August 25th, 2009

Our Beijing Fixed Gear group is growing. Every week we have someone new – either as a visitor or as a resident. Today we had a new fixed gear rider from Japan who now lives in Beijing. It was his first time to ride his nice Japanese fixie in Beijing’s messy streets at night. We went to the Worker’s Stadium to play around even though there was something going on and there were buses parked everywhere. It was probably some preparation event for the upcoming 60th anniversary of China. But we still found a spot to hang out.

Beijing Fixed Gear Bike Hang Out

JMing and the Mess guys did some photo shoot for new cool Adidas shoes. And as fixed gear bikes are cool they took the pictures of the guys on their bikes.

Adidas Shoe Photo Shoot for New Collection with Fixed Gear Bikes

Natooke Hang-Out

Sonntag, August 23rd, 2009

Beijing Natooke: It is great to have a space for hanging out. Friends drop by for a chat when they are in the neighborhood. Interesting strangers also come to the shop and end up staying for an hour or so. People come and try out some of our juggling equipment. Others are fascinated by our tall bike and get persuaded to try it out. Other say they do not want to try it out because it is too tall and looks scary. Other people do their first ride on a fixed gear bike. I like the relaxed hang-out and come and play feeling of our Natooke shop.

Natooke Shop Fixed Gear Bike and Juggling Hang Out

Natooke Fixed Gear Bikes

Sonntag, August 23rd, 2009

The Beijing Natooke shop has some fixed gear bikes that belong to it. This is my small pink bike that is using an old vintage Cinelli junior track frame. The front wheel is smaller so it can bar spin. It is great for doing tricks.

Ines Pink Fixed Gear Bike

This is my commuting and long distance blue fixed gear bike. It is a Corima Track frame. It has a front brake to ensure my safety in messy city riding.

Ines Blue Fixed Gear Bike

This is my 100% refurbished old Tianjin Flying Pigeon single speed bike that I converted to fixed gear. Unfortunately the fork width was more narrow than the hub I wanted to use. So it does not ride so nicely free handed. But it is great for riding in rainy weather as it has fenders.

Ines Flying Pigeon Fixed Gear Bike

This is Fede’s fixed gear conversion. He also took a Chinese Flying Pigeon. But his was a 28 inch one and he removed everything unnecessary. So it has the minimalistic fixed gear style. I think this is the cheapest fixed gear bike ever made in the world.

Fede Flying Pigeon Fixed Gear Bike

And here is the Natooke shop tall bike. It is made from two old Chinese bikes, one a 28 inch male and the one on top a 24 inch female bike. We were thinking of having it fixed gear but we thought for riding in the daily traffic it might be better to be freewheel. But it is colored in the Natooke colors and amazes every Chinese person.

Natooke Tall Bike

Goodbye Party

Samstag, August 22nd, 2009

Friends of mine are moving to Paris. Sophie and Ben had been in Beijing for a long time. They invited for a goodbye BBQ party.

Sophie and Ben Goodbye Party

It was nice to see them before they leave. It was a beautiful day today and great to be outdoors. And they had chosen a great location to have a BBQ in the city center. Some of their friends had children that enjoyed the playground. There was so much nice lawn that people sat on blankets.

Blue Sky and BBQ

Enjoying the BBQ Party

Marathon Runner

Donnerstag, August 20th, 2009

This morning I received a spontaneous call at about 7:40 a.m. from a person that said he knows me and is waiting in front of my door. I was already up but just about to shower. He had participated in the Green Olympics event last year and that was where we had met. He is from Shandong province and cycled to Beijing last year, the event where I also had long distance cycled back to Beijing. He actual does a lot of marathons. He already participated in about 40. He is looking forward to doing more overseas ones. Currently he is on his way to Lhasa for his next marathon. He came to Beijing to board the train to Lhasa tonight. I wish him good luck for the marathon!

The Cyclist and the Marathon Guy

This evening while riding back home at full speed my bike handlebar got hooked into a strap of a handbag of a woman walking on the bike lane which made me fall. I am looking forward to soon importing cool urban bike helmets for the Natooke shop. Then I will start riding with a bike helmet in Beijing daily life.

Fixed Gear Meet-Up

Mittwoch, August 19th, 2009

Fede is getting better at whipping. The old Chinese guys showing him how to whip are in the back of this picture watching Fede whip the top. That is the big wooden thing spinning in the bottom left corner of this picture. But he still needs to practice to reach the old Chinese guys‘ level.

Fede Whipping the Top

The bike race for this evening was canceled. So I went to meet the Chinese Beijing Fixed Gear bike riders for a meet-up. We went to the an open space with lights and practiced some tricks there. Like backwards riding and wheelies. Some new guys were trying the skidding and track stands. GMing tried the surfing. I think he will learn it soon. He gave me a present that he found online. It is an iron on badge and it looks like this:

Proud German Biker Badge

I think I will actually put it on my messenger bag.