Archive for September, 2009

The 60th Anniversary Eve

Mittwoch, September 30th, 2009

This is the last day before the big celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic of China 60 years ago. And this is an especially round number as it means that the year of the foundation was also a Chinese Earth-Ox year just like this year. Each element-animal combination only re-occurs every 60 years.

Beijing is covered with volunteers in yellow sweat shirts to make sure the city is secure. It is mainly the elderly population. And they are always on the watch out during their shifts.

Beijing Local Security Volunteers

For the last rehearsal before the big event some roads and public transport was shut down from 3pm onwards. 87 of Beijing’s metropolitan bus lines were affected by that. Everybody had been informed that there might be problems to move around and you are definitely required to carry your passport with you as a foreigner at all times. Some other preparation measures were described in this article. And some really great pictures of preparations in different places in China is found here. Especially the pictures at the end are great.

Actually I had no issue getting to the spinning class by bike as I was not crossing the Changan Boulevard. The streets were much emptier than usual. I am looking forward to the celebrations tomorrow.

Natooke Shop listed on many Chinese Websites

Mittwoch, September 30th, 2009

I found our Natooke bike and juggling shop listed on various Chinese websites. I will just a few here. website fashion site fashion site where to tour site where to buy site

Rain-Free Day on Oct 1 in the Works

Dienstag, September 29th, 2009

The original article is found on China Daily. But I like it so much that I copied it to be read straight in this blog:

With rainfalls predicted in Beijing on the eve of National Day, ensuring a sunny day for the coming parade is becoming a challenge for the capital.

The Beijing Meteorological Bureau has predicted that rainfalls will hit the capital tomorrow, but may stop on Thursday, Oct 1.

Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Administration, said yesterday that the weather for the National Day parade is a challenge with the complicated weather situation.

Meanwhile, China Air Force is preparing to manipulate the weather to ensure a sunny day for the coming Oct 1.

In order to keep clouds, rain and fog away from the sky, the air force has prepared 18 converted transport planes and 48 fog-clearing vehicles with more than 260 soldiers to attend to weather-control measures, Xinhua reported.

So far 10 of the 18 planes have arrived at the Shanxi airbase for preparation for rain reduction on National Day, while the rest are at Zhangjiakou waiting for a commander from Beijing Municipal Meteorological Bureau, it reported.

„The Air Force pays high attention to the artificial weather manipulation and we believe that the more equipment applied, the larger the area we can manipulate and the better weather we can have,“ Cui Lianqing, deputy director of meteorological department in China Air Force told Xinhua.

Transport planes will sprinkle environment-friendly catalysts to eliminate clouds and reduce rainfall, Cui said.

According to statistics from the Air Force for the past four decades, there is a 36 percent chance of low clouds and a less than 20 percent chance of rainfall on Oct 1 in the capital.

The plan said that if low clouds and mild or moderate rains are a possibility on Oct 1, the air force will cooperate with the municipal metrological bureau to spray the catalyst in the sky before daybreak, Xinhua reported.If there is heavy fog near the training airbase for the National Day air parade, fog-clearing vehicles will blow it off. This is a widely-accepted practice at some foreign airports, the plan said.

Since September, the air force has carried out six weather-control experiments and gained good results with 10 fog-clearing vehicles, Xinhua reported.

Wuyang Old Style Bike Conversion

Dienstag, September 29th, 2009

And this is how the Chinese old style bike with the double top tube looks like with the newly laced Natooke wheel sets with extra deep rims and fixed gear hubs:

Natooke Wuyang Old Style Chinese Bike Conversion

Thanks for the picture Philipp 🙂


Dienstag, September 22nd, 2009

I just found a video of last year’s performance at the Ditan Park book festival. I did bike tricks for the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper. It is uploaded to Please have a look at the video here. The Chinese commentator is funny.


Wedding in Tours

Samstag, September 19th, 2009

Friends had their wedding today in the center of Tours in the main Cathedral.

Cathedral of Tours

The wedding couple greeted all the guests standing outside of the cathedral.

The French Wedding Couple

The inside of the cathedral was very nice.

Interior of Cathedral of Tours

Wedding Guests inside the Tours Cathedral

After the wedding ceremony everybody was talking pictures of the family.

Family of Bride and Groom

Family of Bride and Groom

And then all the wedding guests were wishing them well.

Congratulating the Wedding Couple

I was happy to see there are bike lanes in Tours, but they were very narrow. The bike symbol was all crunched together.

Bike Lane Symbol in Tours

After that we moved on to the Chateau de Vaugrignon for an apperitif with Champagne on the terrace of the chateau.

Chateau de Vaugrignon

There we later had a very nice dinner with excellent food and drinks before the place was turned into a dance floor and we partied until sunrise.

Wedding Couple

Dancing like Crazy

Still Wearing Formal Clothes

Dancing around the Wedding Couple

70 Years l’Atelier Industriel de l’Aeronautique

Samstag, September 19th, 2009

Today was the 70 years anniversary of l’Atelier Industriel de l’Aeronautique. So we went to have a look at the festivity.

70 Years AIA Celebration

70 Years Celebration

They had the helicopter that we say flying yesterday on display


and the AlphaJet


as well as the TransAll which was parked with the Puy de Dome Mountain in the background.

TransAll and Puy de Dome Mountain

But I was happy that they also had also set up a bicycle parcour for children to promote safe cycling.

Bicycle Safety Parcour

We then went on towards the city of Tour. Along the way the kilometer counter of the car went from 99999km to 100000km 🙂

Car at 99999km

Car at 100000

Puy de Dome

Freitag, September 18th, 2009

We spent some time on the highway via Saint-Etienne to Clermont-Ferrand.

Saint-Etienne Highway

We went to the major French site „Puy de Dome“ which is the highest of the volcanic mountains in the Auvergne.

Volcanic Mountains in the Auvergne

From the Puy de Dome summit there is a good view of Clermont-Ferrand.

Puy de Dome summit

But the wind was very strong at the summit. It felt like we were being blown away. It helps to be a rock climber and able to hold ourselves on the fence.

Strong Wind at Puy de Dome Summit

By coincidence our friend Manu was accompanying a helicopter test flight (once in 2 years) and they were headed towards the Puy de Dome. So we waited in the cold wind trying look and listen out for a helicopter. Finally we saw them.

Helicopter Test Flight

He was sitting in the back and waved at us. Unfortunately my camera is not so good, but you can see the guy with the white shirt.

Manu in the Helicopter

A bit later we met with Manu and he took us to a magical fountain. The water contains gas that is released from the water and as there is a kind of natural siphon structure it erupts about every second when enough gas has gathered.

Magical Volcanic Fountain

Val and Manu have bought a very nice old stone building that they have been renovating for some time already. It is getting more and more beautiful. In the evening after having some ham from a full pig leg we went to the inaugural concert of the Harmonic Orchestra of Clermont-Ferrand. They played various classical and modern pieces.

L’Orchestre d’Harmonie de Clermont-Ferrand

Forest near Lyon

Donnerstag, September 17th, 2009

The weather was beautiful today. So we set out hunting for mushrooms in a forest near Lyon. It had been quite moist lately in this region but despite searching in vain we only managed to find 3 old ones. So we had to find something else for dinner.

Hunting for Mushrooms in a Forest near Lyon

The guys went to play some tennis and the girls (Nanu and me) went inline skating.

Playing Tennis

Inline Skating

Chartreuse Mountains – Le Cirque de Saint-Meme Hike

Mittwoch, September 16th, 2009

We continued on to the Chartreuse Mountains to a small village called Le Cirque de Saint-Meme. At the beginning of the short hike was the first small waterfall.

Le Cirque de Saint-Meme Waterfall

But hiking up brought us into the clouds. The forest became foggier.

Hiking in the Foggy Forest

When we arrived at the 3rd waterfall it was hard to see it at all. It must be more impressive in the spring time when it hass more water.

Chartreuse Mountain Waterfall

Chartreuse Mountain Waterfall

But it seems to be quite moist here most of the year as some trees were completely covered with moss.

Mossy Tree

Chartreuse Mountain Small Waterfall

Hiking in the Chartreuse Mountains

At the end of the hike there was a short moment that I could see the actual cliffs of the Chartreuse mountains peaking through the clouds.

Massif de Chartreuse