Art District Fixie Ride to UCCA

Today not many people showed up for the fixed gear ride. That was probably due to the temperature. But at least the sun was shining and the sky was blue.

Fixed Gear Bike Riders in cold Beijing

We had people on different kinds of bikes and from different countries like China, Hong Kong, Korea, England, Germany and the USA.

People from different countries riding along our fixie ride

The great thing about cold temperatures is that there are hardly any people on the streets or in the bike lanes. We had the wide bicycle paths all for ourselves most of the ride.

Empty Beijing Bicycle Lane

We cycled to Beijing’s 798 contemporary art district in old bauhaus brick factory buildings. The whole area is now developed with art galleries everywhere and commercialized with products for sale and restaurants, cafes and bars.

Cycling past the graffiti wall of the 798 art district

We first met other Beijing fixed gear cyclists (like from Singapore) that rode there themselves and had lunch all together. All my pictures of this ride are in a webalbum.

Fixed Gear Bikes and Photographer Nie Zheng

Then we went to the UCCA for a talk in the education series “Breaking News” called „Beijing a world creative city : How foreign artists come to Beijing to create“. Guest speakers were Dan Levin (Freelance reporter for New York Times) and Niko&Katiushka (Artists). On top of being the benchmark of Chinese contemporary creativity, Beijing has also become a place of creation for artists all around the world. This talk showed concrete examples about how foreign artists find inspiration in Beijing and how they can pursue a worldwide career from China. Niko&Katiushka gave us some introduction to their works. It was all translated into Chinese, at least the translator tried to.

Niko&Katiushka and Dan Levin at UCCA talk

The discussion at the end of the talk was quite interesting. The most unrelated question was from a Chinese asking why not all the old hutong is torn down as those old buildings are standing on valuable ground which could be used for malls.

I had to ride back to Beijing city quickly as I had the year end dinner with cycling friends at a great Beijing Roast Duck restaurant. The food and the warmth were good after an afternoon out. And for sure it was fun to chat about bikes and cycling.

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