Archive for Januar, 2010

From Bikes to Cars to Bikes in a Generation

Mittwoch, Januar 13th, 2010

Today I received this article that a friend of mine (thank you so much) found in the Global Times newspaper. It describes that with the push for Chinese people to get cars, Beijing is now congested (I can totally agree) and this has stimulated the Chinese Government to issue a plan to persuade more of the Beijing residents to ride bikes (I am so happy! This is great!) like commuters. Bikes are not expensive in China, but as bike theft is a huge issue (Yes, I know that) the government wants to increase bike rentals in Beijing like in Hangzhou.

Global Times Beijing Bike Article

Beijing UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Dienstag, Januar 12th, 2010

The track cycling world cup competition will be held in Beijing in 10 days. I will be going to the events on all 3 days – Friday January 22nd and Saturday 23rd evening as well as Sunday 24th afternoon. I saw the 2008 Olympic games track cycling events and it was a really great atmosphere in the velodrome. I think this will be similar. I am really looking forward to this. Quite some people from the Beijing Fixed Gear Group will be going there together.

Beijing 2009-2010 UCI Track Cycling World Cup

The event is co-presented by the General Administration of Sport of China, Chinese Cycling Association, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, Government of the Shijingshan District of Beijing. Athletes from over 50 countries and regions will take participate in the game.

Beijing 2009-2010 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Schedule:

Friday January 22nd 2010 (18:20-21:40)
10min Women’s Sprint 1/2 final Round1
15min Women’s Individual Pursuit 3rd-4th place final
10min Women’s Sprint 1/2 final Round2
45min Men’s Points Race 30km Final
5min Women’s Sprint 1/2 final Round3
5min Women’s Individual Pursuit Medal Ceremony
20min Women’s Scratch 10km Final
10min Women’s Sprint
5min Men’s Points Race 30km Medal Ceremony
10min Men’s Team Sprint Quarter final
5min Women’s Scratch 10km Medal Ceremony
10min Women’s Sprint Quarter final Round2
15min Men’s Individual Pursuit
10min Men’s Team Sprint Medal Ceremony
5min Women’s Sprint
5min Men’s Individual Pursuit Medal Ceremony
5min Women’s Sprint Medal Ceremony

Saturday January 23rd 2010 (17:20-20:25)
15min Women’s 500m t.t. Final
10min Men’s Team Pursuit
5min Women’s 500m t.t. Medal Ceremony
10min Men’s Keirin Round2
10min Men’s Team Pursuit Medal Ceremony
30min Women’s Points Race 20km Final
5min Men’s Keirin 7th-12th place final
5min Men’s Keirin 1st-6th place final
5min Women’s Points Race 20km Medal Ceremony
25min Men’s Kilometre t.t. Final
5min Men’s Keirin Medal Ceremony
10min Women’s Team Sprint
5min Men’s Kilometre t.t. Medal Ceremony
25min Men’s Scratch 15km Final
5min Women’s Team Sprint Medal Ceremony
5min Men’s Scratch 15km Medal Ceremony

Sunday January 24th 2010 (15:50-18:50)
10min Men’s Sprint 1/2 final Round1
50min Men’s Madison 40km Final
10min Men’s Sprint 1/2 Round1
15min Women’s Team Pursuit
5min Men’s Sprint 1/2 Round2
10min Women’s Keirin Round2
5min Men’s Madison 40km Medal Ceremony
10min Men’s Sprint 3rd-4th place; 1st-2nd place Round1
10min Women’s Team Pursuit Medal Ceremony
10min Men’s Sprint 3rd-4th place; 1st-2nd place Round2
5min Women’s Keirin 7-12 place
5min Women’s Keirin 1st-6th place
5min Men’s Sprint 3rd-4th place; 1st-2nd place Round3
5min Women’s Keirin Medal Ceremony
5min Men’s Sprint Medal Ceremony
10min Winning Nation Medal Ceremony

Sarah’s Baby Shower

Sonntag, Januar 10th, 2010

Sarah will soon have a baby boy so she invited her friends over for a baby shower. This was the first baby shower I attended and of course I did not win the baby word scramble nor the baby bingo games. But it was great to see Sarah who seems very happy and doing well. And it was fun chat with friends and eat delicious cookies, brownies and ice-cream cake.

Sarah and Jess

Sarah’s Baby Shower

Ice Skating on Beijing Lake

Sonntag, Januar 10th, 2010

Finally for the first time this winter we went ice skating. Every year they change the layout on the qianhai lake in the center of teh city. This year there is no free area (like last year) which is a good way to control the number of people on the ice. We decided to buy the 10.-RMb ticket for the big open space even though we saw that this year the designated ice-rink was a little bit bigger than last year. As always there were hardly any people on ice skates. The typical view is like this:

Beijing People Enjoying the Ice

So still the small wooden chairs on the iron frame are the most popular. But this year the price for the ice bicycles increased and we hardly saw any. But a new think is the electric bumper cars.

Beijing Ice Bumper Car

The games near the island on the lake were not so popular, like the basketball or the dart ballon:

Beijing Ice Games

Or also the throw the hoop around random objects game was also not attracting many people today:

Throw the Hoop Game

Next time we go ice skating we will go in the skating rink as the ice was very chopped up in the main area. This year they also made a special section for the ice scating lessons and one section for ice hockey. Very smart idea. I hope it stays cold and dry 🙂

Ines Brunn UCCA Talk

Samstag, Januar 9th, 2010

Today was Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) talk series „China Story 6“ that they invited my do on „Unstoppable: Fixed Gear Bike Culture in Beijing“.

UCCA talk series “Unstoppable: Fixed Gear Bike Culture in Beijing”

Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) is a non profit, comprehensive art center founded in Beijing by collectors Guy and Myriam Ullens in November 2007. UCCA presents exhibitions of established and emerging artists and develops a trusted platform to share knowledge through education and research. The core of UCCA programs includes conferences, lectures, special events, artistic performances, and films. UCCA activities are a magnet for many kinds of audiences, from art fans and specialists to families and children.

We had arranged with the UCCA management that we could bring some of the fixed gear bikes inside and display them during my talk and performance.

Fixed Gear Bicycle Display in UCCA Museum

It was nice to see that many people came out to the contemporary art district despite the cold weather, snow on the roads and traffic jams. Even though some came a little bit late. This picture shows part of the audience before I started my talk.

Lecture Audience in the UCCA Cafe Area

And it was very nice to see some of my friends come, even from as far as Germany.

Friends that came to my talk

My talk started with a brief bicycle history explaining that the first bicycles were fixed gear. Then showing the bicycle messenger scene around the world and how that created a sub-culture with many people doing urban cycling and wearing messenger bags. Then I showed how the first people started riding fixed gear in China and how big the Beijing fixed gear group now is with over 80 cyclists.

Ines Brunn Speaking about the Fixed Gear Bike Culture in Beijing

I then also asked some people of our Beijing Fixed Gear Group to come on up and explain why they ride fixed gear bicycles. The first one was my friend GMing.

GMing Talking about Fixed Gear Bikes

And then I took off my clothes and did a trick bike performance. Well of course not all clothes. My bicycle show was very well received and I had many people come up to me afterwards.

Trick Bike Show during Talk at UCCA

Ines Brunn Performing Bicycle Tricks at UCCA

In the question and answer session one Chinese person made a nice comment saying that he hopes that I can inspire people to follow me and ride bicycles like Forrest Gump in the movie when he started running across the USA and then had many people follow him. All in all it was a very nice event.

Afterwards I went with my friends to eat some cheese fondue. Julien found a nice way to explain to geeks what fixed gear bikes are. They are like Linux: Most people do not understands why people use it but the people using it have huge fun. And there are more and more people using it. And actually I am a linux user too.

Michele Travierso’s Picture of my TED Performance

Just recently I uploaded my talk I had given last November at the Beijing TED event up to slideshare. You can click here and have a look at that presentation. The topic I had chosen for that event was „Changes of Perception – Bicycle Culture in China“. At that TEDxBeijing conference I wanted to inspire people to ride bicycles and change their perception of bikes being something for poor people.

Over Easy Dance Band Gig

Freitag, Januar 8th, 2010

We went to a small renovated hutong bar near Houhai for a concert of our friends. The Over Easy Dance Band plays foot-stomping rhythm and blues. They claim „If the Rolling Stones knocked up the Scissor Sisters, we’d be the spawn“. The band consists of Jimmy Biala on drums, Matt Forney on electric guitar, Meilan Frame on vocals and flute, Matt Roberts on the doghouse bass. But Jimmy flies forever to the United States in February so this was their last gig.

The Over Easy Dance Band

They played songs from Depeche Mode as well as Tom Waits. I think it is the first time that I heard a band play Tom Waits in China. It was really nice. Too bad the entertaining drummer is leaving Beijing.

Groovy Rhythms and Funny Drummer

Beijing Radio NetFM

Freitag, Januar 8th, 2010

Around Christmas Bruce Connolly did two radio shows about me and my bike shop in the up and coming Wudaoying Hutong. It was on the Beijing Radio NetFM in the Touch Beijing section. I cannot find the actual radio recording on their new website, but at least a short introduction about the contents and the pictures that Bruce had taken in my shop in December. Bruce came by today and gave me the CD with the both radio sessions that I am looking forward to listening to later.

Car in Beijing Bike Lane

Donnerstag, Januar 7th, 2010

As I cyclist I really do not like cars that drive or park in the bicycle lanes. Today I did have to laugh on how this car was parked.

Car Parked in Beijing Bicycle Lane

I like these bicycle lanes that have a fence to avoid cars just pulling over into them, but with this car parked so tightly no bike could pass. Well, the car is not from Beijing, so maybe the driver had never seen the street sign with the bicycle and therefore just thought that the lane was actually a parking lot.

Car Completely Blocking the Bike Lane

Tsinghua SEM & INSEAD Green Talk

Donnerstag, Januar 7th, 2010

Today I went to a lecture organized by Tsinghua SEM and INSEAD EMBA about China’s unique opportunity to achieve sustainable peaceful development held by Dr. Lee George LAM who is Chairman of Monte Jade Science and Technology Association of Hong Kong.

Tsinghua SEM and INSEAD Green Lecture

The title was from „factory of the world“ to „green economy of the world“. I would like to share some of the things he mentioned (no guarantee that I noted them correctly, sorry for any possible errors):

China uses 9% of the worldwide available oil but only produces 5%. China wants to have half of the cars produced in China by 2020 be cars with alternative energy. For 2030 most cars in China will be either hybrid or electric cars.

China will focus on low carbon emission power. But the energy generated by solar, wind or geothermal will not be enough to support the whole country, therefore the focus is on nuclear power. By 2020 5% of all power plant will be nuclear and they will contribute to 10% of the power produced in China.

China is focusing on railways. The plan is to have 16000km of high speed train tracks by 2020. That will be 4 horizontal lines, 4 vertical lines as well as 2 special lines: Beijing to Shanghai and Beijing to Guangzhou. For example on the Wuhan to Guangzhou 1000km long railway the average (not maximum) speed is 350km/h.

Germany is leading the world in terms of green construction and green houses. China will follow these good examples.

China has a natural shortage of fresh water. The country has only 6% of fresh water of the world but accommodates to 22% of the worldwide population. Roughly 300 cities in China are short of water. 40% of the rivers are polluted. There is acid rain especially in the areas with many industrial production sites. last year there was a drought in China and 2.5 million people were short of fresh water.

China is the number 1 producer of waste. Consumers need to be educated to think sustainable and reduce waste. There is investment in green technology and clean technology and that will increase.

Then Dr. Lee George Lam suggested everybody to become a „Green Leader“. We all should make our daily contributions. Like riding a bicycle (actually, he was suggesting taking a subway, but bicycle is even better as you know) or eating less meat. I think he said that if you eat 500gr less beef, that means you reduced your carbon emission by 500gr. But the main thing every individual that starts taking care about these issues should do is: Spread the word. Educate your neighbors. Inspire your friends to live greener. Set up a green business. Lets make a sustainable future for our next generations!

Cycling and Spinning

Mittwoch, Januar 6th, 2010

I thought that Beijing was collecting all the snow on the roads of Beijing. But that seems to have been mainly inside the former city walls. Today I cycled outside of the 2nd ring road and was shocked to see that many roads were covered with snow. And unfortunately most of the bicycle lanes were still completely covered with compressed snow. That was very horrible to ride on with my fixed gear road tires. And I had to go out to the 798 art district outside of the 4th ring road. There drivers obey the traffic rules even less. But I know that so I did not panic when I had a car driving around a corner on the wrong side of the snow covered road heading right at me.

I then went to the spinning class held by my fellow cyclist Patrick Dean. I like it because it is held by a cyclist so it is a real cycling kind of spinning rather than just an aerobic workout. And it is free for members of teh Beijing Peloton and MOB bike groups. This was the first class of the year and it was packed. it was nice to see other cycling friends that have not been there for a long time.

But after I cycled home my bike was really looking bad. With the dried up salt everywhere and black slush sticking to it which started slowly to drip off.

Street Salt and Black Slush on Bicycle

I am still amazed how black the colors of the snow is.

Black Beijing Street Snow

And here is a close up of some of the melting slush.

Melting Black Snow from Bicycle

Because of the amount of dirt and salt a shower was the only option. After a long scrub I could actually see the shiny bright yellow color of the rims again as well as the frame color. I hope it does not snow again soon.