Archive for Januar, 2010

Articles on Boosting Cycling in Beijing

Montag, Januar 25th, 2010

There are recently some news on how Beijing will boost cycling as a measure to reduce the carbon emissions of the city and fight the increasing traffic congestions jamming the Chinese capitol.

One of the articles was on the scotcman news and had the title: „Beijing to make new bike drive“

Another one was yesterday on the Guardian called „Campaign to boost cycling in Beijing“.

Tianjin Fixie

Donnerstag, Januar 21st, 2010

My friend Mike from Tianjin that rides fixed gear had a day off and came to Beijing by train to ride around the city. He just recently had an article about him riding a fixed gear bicycle in the Tianjin Plus Magazine in their January edition. Unfortunately I was too busy to go on a ride with him around Beijing.

Mike’s Fixed Gear Bike

The new blue Luma headset he bought matches his bike perfectly. The Chinese Beijing fixed gear riders were having a small dinner at a restaurant (Kuan Dian) of one of our riders.

Beijing Fixed Gear Dinner

The most unusual dish was the frozen green mango. It tasted like artificial fruit in bright green color.

Green Mango Dish

Jiming and 3 guys are soon going to head out to Japan to ride fixed gear bikes there. They want to film it. I am looking forward to see how that goes.

Jiming Fixed Gear Rider

NyK Art Exhibition at Lan Club

Mittwoch, Januar 20th, 2010

Invitation to Pause Art Exhibition by nicoykatiushka (NyK)

Today we went to the opening reception of the art exhibition of my Chilenean cycling friends nicoykatiushka (NyK) called „Pause“. It was at the Lan Club (LAN 蘭, designed by Philippe Starck) in Beijing and their artwork will stay displayed until February 28th 2010.

NyK Art Exhibition at Lan Club

NyK’s creative work is based on a collaborative method which they have been developing since their wedding day, on June 20th, 2003. For the past 6 years, nicoykatiushka have developed a system of art and life incorporating factors that are determinant throughout their process based methodology. Influenced by daily life as well as their nomadic lifestyle which fluxes between Beijing, New York and Santiago (Chile), NyK conduce a fresh and active dialog that allow stimulation from outside their close knit nucleus.Nyk Whisper Artwork

NyK explore notions of relationship and experimentation with installations that combine aspects of performance, video and photography. Within the mixing of mediums one will often be confronted with the image of NyK as the protagonist of these experiments. Pause presents a temporary stop, a moment to look into past and recent works created in and out of China. Recent works exhibited will include Eye Shift (revisiting Steve Reich), Whisper and Fuck Beijing.

Fuck Beijing Artwork
NyK’s work has been shown extensively, showing in galleries and museums such as Exit Art (NYC), The Artist Space (NYC), Kuandu Fine Arts Museum (Taiwan), Museum of Contemporary Art (Chile), Aratoi Museum (New Zealand) and Ex-Teresa Arte Actual (Mexico).

NyK Art Exhibition Opening

In 2006 NyK formed NYKFFA (nicoykatiushka Foundation for the Arts), a mobile platform for collaborative artistic projects, supporting the idea of artist communities and networks by hosting video festivals and exhibitions run by artists. NyK recently created Antenna, a non for profit organization whose main role is not only to create a framework and a stage but also to bring together different cultural experiments and to collaborate with artists and curators to produce one moment of potentiality.

I like their work. I personally liked „Eyeshift“which is the visual version of what the composer Steve Reich was doing to music in „Music for 18 Musicians“. We used to listen to that piece in school in music class while we were all lying on the ground. I loved those music classes.

Green Commuting

Dienstag, Januar 19th, 2010

For those of you that know how it is in Beijing you will understand how happy I am. There are over 4 million cars registered in Beijing, there are traffic jams almost all day long on the main roads, cars use the bicycle lanes to cut through traffic jams, the bicycle lanes are used as parking lots and some bike lanes have been converted into car lanes or parking lots. What used to be the bicycle capitol of the world has recently become bike hostile. Also cars and buses cut cyclists off, never giving them the right of way.

According to the China Daily news article in an effort to get people back in the saddle again, the local government has now begun an ambitious plan to return byways to eco-friendly cycle routes. The plan was outlined in a directive on Jan 1 from the municipal reform and development commission, which supervises the city’s industries.

The plan calls for better law enforcement to make sure designated bike lanes are only used by cyclists. Bike rental facilities will also be resurrected, with at least 500 stations set to be run by a private enterprise by next year, according to the directive. The authorities will also abandon outdated traffic regulations that marginalize cyclists and make it easier for cyclists to use public transit in populated areas, including the CBD, Zhongguancun and southern Beijing – all to be completed by 2012. The government made the move in the face of rising traffic volume and slower commutes.

This plan, named „Green Commuting“, will also help the city lower emissions, experts said.

„In fact, authorities have been forced to come up with new solutions to solve the city’s traffic deadlock,“ said Ou Guoli, a traffic management professor at Beijing Jiaotong University. „Experience from super-sized cities overseas has inspired Beijing to rediscover the lost art of cycling.“ Ou said cycling may well take off again, but not before the authorities clear the way by rewriting traffic rules, issuing favorable policies for bike rentals and tightening measures to prevent bike thefts.

This is such great news! I am so happy that the government has come up with this „Green Commuting“ plan. This plan will encourage the use of bicycle in the city. And it will make cycling in Beijing safer again. What a bright future! Maybe there will also be some regulations on having less cars in the traditional Beijing hutongs, or even turning them into pedestrian and cycling zones.

Flying Banana Frames

Montag, Januar 18th, 2010

It has been so cold the past weeks in Beijing. Our Natooke shop is in a traditional hutong building and we do not have any proper heating. We did buy some electric heaters and that gives us some warmth near the heater, for example in our office. But the rest of the shop is around 3 degrees Celcius. But today I finally started taking some pictures of some bike parts. I started with the beautiful chromoly Flying Banana frames. I did not take many pictures because my fingers got really cold.

Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike Frame

Flying Banana Chromoly Bike Frame

Flying Banana Beautiful Steel Bike Frame

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour

Sonntag, Januar 17th, 2010

As I love outdoor sports like rock climbing, skiing, mountaineering I was looking forward to the Banff Mountain Film Festival coming to Beijing. A friend rock climber and mountaineer has opened a bar and cafe down the Wudaoying hutong where my bike shop is. It is called the „Together Cafe“. Inside there are many outdoor magazines and pictures from his expeditions to Tibet. The film festival started yesterday and I actually wanted to go but never checked the schedule. When I finally looked yesterday afternoon I was shocked to see that the first movie screening session was already over as it had started at 9am and the second one was already on going. So we could only go today and went for the early starting screening. There were quite some people even though I think there were only 3 foreigners.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Beijing Screening

We saw a movie called „Cliff Note“ (悬崖笔记) about cliff diving in a canyon. Amazing was a movie about free solo rock climbing and then base jumping from the top. Or just base jumping when you fall during the free solo climbing. Also doing slack line balancing between peaks or cliffs without being secured and also just using the base jumping parachute in case you fall.

I enjoyed the movie called „Searching for the coast Wolves“ (寻狼记). It was the very touching story of the former cross country running champion and biologist Gudrun Pflueger from Austria about her research about the coast wolves in Western Canada. She actually had an encounter with the coast wolves that seem not to have any bad experience with human beings in the past centuries and therefore did not see any threat in Gudrun and just played around her.

The Chinese movie maker Ricard was asked to come up and to talk about his outdoor movies. One is called „Dragon Breath“. On the back of the DVD is reads (including the typos) the following: „During the Spring Fesitaval, four Chinese top climbers came to Shuangqiao Gully, located in Mt Siguniang in Sichuan, to challenge the Dragon Breath, the hardest route in the vally. This documentary record their climbing and life in the vally.“ They only screened trailers of 4 of his movies and of course we recognized some of our Chinese outdoor and climbing friends in these movies.

Chinese movie maker Ricard

After that we met our friend Nicolas Favard who is a French jewelry maker. He does very beautiful jewelry and each piece is unique. He designs pieces of art for his customers. If you are in Beijing I recommend you drop by his boutique in Sanlitun in the Nali Patio on the 3rd floor.

Riding in the Circle

Samstag, Januar 16th, 2010

Last year a Japanese film crew came to Beijing to film me cycling. They have put together a short movie called „Riding in the Circle“ about my passion for cycling and my life in Beijing. They put the movie trailer on their website – you can go there and watch it.

They have submitted this movie to the Bicycle Film Festival 2010 as well as other movie festivals and I hope it gets selected.

In November when I was in Tokyo and met with the film crew again they had given me contact sheets with some of the pictures they had taken during the making of the film February 2009 in Beijing.

During the Filming of Riding in the Circle Movie

The Making of Riding in the Circle Film about Ines

It was great to see all these pictures that brought back the memory of a really intense but fun  time in 2009. That last dinner we had had some Erguotou (very strong Chinese rice alcohol) to celebrate the end of the filming.


The result was me hugging the bicycle that was painted on the bike lane in front of the restaurant. I have not drunk any Erguotou since then and would like to avoid it also in future.

Ines Brunn Hugging a Beijing Bike Lane Bicycle Logo

Liman’s Surprise Party

Freitag, Januar 15th, 2010

It is Liman’s birthday. She is one of those people that do not tell others when her birthday is and rather not have any celebration. So I did not know until her boyfriend invited me a few days ago to a surprise party. So he arranged that all of her friends meet at a friends place and prepare a cake and flowers. She thought she was going to see a movie and just drop by that friend on the way to the movie theater. But we were all there when she came.

Surprise Birthday Party

She was really moved by this. And it was a very nice party with nice people and it lasted quite long.

Natooke Bike and Juggling Shop

Donnerstag, Januar 14th, 2010

This afternoon I took some pictures of our Natooke bicycle and juggling equipment shop. We are currently getting various products delivered and waiting for a lot more that we ordered before the Chinese New Year holiday. I uploaded all pictures of how our store looks like today to this webalbum.

Natooke Bike and Juggling Shop in Beijing

Inside of Natooke Bicycle and Juggling Store

Italian Juggling Balls in Natooke

Play Juggling Equipment Shop

Bicycles and Juggling in Beijing

World Cup Press Conference

Donnerstag, Januar 14th, 2010

For the upcoming track cycling world cup in Beijing there was a press conference today. The organizers, the Chinese cycling association and other officials were present.

Track Cycling World Cup Press Conference

Cycling Association Official

The organizers confirmed that everything is prepared for the big competition which is the 4th and last in the series.  They have prepared everything for a safe and smooth event. Cyclists from 38 countries have already registered to compete in the different races. But they did not confirm who of the Chinese National cycling team will compete.

Officials Visiting the Beijing Laoshan Velodrome

After that official part we were able to go inside the Beijing Laoshan Velodrome and watch the Chinese National track cycling team and members of China Giant professional cycling team train. Here are pictures from the Women’s Keirin race:

Chinese National Team Women’s Keirin Preparation

Chinese National Team Women’s Keirin Race

And then it was the turn for the men of the Chinese National team as well as the Giant team. I like the Keirin race as the cyclists first have to follow the motorcyclist. I uploaded many pictures to my webalbum, click here.

Chinese National Team Preparing for Keirin Race Start

Chinese National Team Men’s Keirin Race

Since 2007 the Chinese National team has the French coach Daniel Morelon who is a French legend. He is a four-time Olympic champion and won seven world titles during his reign in the 1960s and 1970s. He used to coach the five-time world champion Felicia Ballanger. He has brought especially Guo Shuang to new levels and are looking at good results in the upcoming World Cup.

Chinese National Team French Coach Daniel Morelon