This night we had a Beijing Fixed gear bike meet-up in the Dongdan bicycle tunnel. It was the first one this year and I have not been in the tunnel at night for a while. Beijing TV had contacted me 2 days ago and asked when it will start. I told them at 8pm. But yesterday one of the Beijing fixed gear riders Yao Fei called me and said that he wants to film a bit and I should really come at 8pm. Yesterday he said the time has changed to 9pm. So last night I called Beijing TV and told them that we start at 9pm. The Beijing TV lady said that it will be hard to change the time and asked if at least I could be there earlier. So I agreed to be there around 8:30.
I cycled there together with Shannon and Mike. When we arrived at the tunnel I was really surprised to see a police car, a police van as well as 4 Jinbei (vans). At first I thought there must have been an accident in the bike tunnel. But then I saw them taking heavy boxes out of the vans as well as things that looked like lights. Soon we had a huge camera focussing on the 3 of us. I was astonished to see more video cameras. I had to laugh telling the others that I now understand why Beijing TV said they do not like that we changed the time. Soon some more fixed gear riders arrived. The lady from Beijing TV said I should do some tricks and then I will get interviewed.
It was just amazing the amount of equipment they were setting up. They had huge lights that were powered by a diesel generator that they placed further down in the tunnel. Yao Fei asked the whole fixie group to stand in a line for some group filming.
I did some tricks on my pink track bicycle. The other riders were asked to ride around me.
It took a while for me to realize that almost all the camera equipment was organized by Yao Fei and not by Beijing TV. Especially as the lady from Beijing TV came up to me and said she will come for an interview another time as there is too much going on.
It was then that I found out that Yao Fei was filming for a few minute movie that will be shown at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai starting on May 1st. That is why that had all this major equipment and also the approval from the security bureau to do the filming in this public tunnel.It was just amazing. They had the rails and a camera mounted on it to film while riding past. And of course monitor screens to review the current footage.
The motto of this movie section is “love and share”. It shows what is going on in China right now with the growing fixed gear bicycle culture, which is extremely good for cities as riding bikes reduces the carbon emission. I might actually have to go to Shanghai during the World Expo to see this movie.
They filmed all kinds of things and kept changing the lighting. They also filmed our friend Guan and his tattoos. It took them quite a white to get the 3 huge lights in the right position but in the end it looked great.
I uploaded many pictures to my webalbum that you can see at this link. What a fun, unexpected and interesting evening! Thanks to our friend Yao Fei. And I am really looking forward to having a look at the China pavilion in Shanghai after May.