Global Times News Article: No gears, but a business license

Today there were more articles about our Natooke opening party yesterday. The one in the Global Times was written very nice. Here is the link to the original version.

No gears, but a business license
Source: Global Times [23:35 March 08 2010]

The opening party of Natooke last weekend. Photo: Matthew Jukes
The opening party of Natooke last weekend. Photo: Matthew Jukes

By Matthew Jukes

An impromptu street party broke out in Wudaoying Hutong over the weekend to mark the official opening party of Natooke.

The shop has been in place for a while, as a hub for the fixed gear bike and juggling groups that it caters to, but on Sunday the owners decided to celebrate the arrival of their business license in style.

„We thought we’d have the party in spring because it would be warm. It’s going to snow tonight!“ said CEO Ines Brunn. „We hope that there will be more people that get on their bikes in the city and come ride with us. Oh and that more people start juggling!“ she added, before disappearing into the throng.

By early afternoon a juggling workshop was well under way, thanks to the shop’s director, and Beijing juggler Federico Moro, surrounded by a ring of eager learners of all ages.

„It has been great, everyone is really happy. We’re setting up as a good business in this neighborhood, no one else is doing something like this on this street,“ said Moro, after his workshop. According to the juggler, this shop is the first of its kind to sell juggling equipment to the individual practitioner, a concept that hasn’t taken off in China yet. „Juggling is spreading all over the world. In China I want to be here for that and help it to develop,“ he added.

As the learners made their way into the shop to get out of the cold with a few balloon animals, cheers rose up from the crowd as another pair of participants got on to the Goldsprint machine (a kind of bike simulator) to test their biking potential from the comfort of the shop.

As always with an outdoorsy crowd, there was a bit of a green message. The shop was passing out reusable plastic bottles for the crowd and a slogan on a red banner urged everyone to respect the environment.

Vance Wagner, a green conscious friend of Natooke, had popped down to celebrate. „I think this means that the culture of bicycling is becoming cool again,“ he said. „This is another place that provides an alternative mode of transport to cars.“

As the day progressed, the shows grew steadily more and more spectacular, impressing the crowd with a trick bike display and street performance routine. Passersby and friends of the shop alike were also equally happy to take part in toasting to congratulate the shop as champagne was passed round and party poppers were let off.

Judging by the remaining crowd at the end of the day, the little alternative hub in Wudaoying looks set for success for the coming times.

Ines Brunn at Natooke Opening Track Stand Competition

There are also some more articles written in Chinese on various websites across China.



“骑自行车既方便,又环保,我们都很喜欢。”来自德国的伊泉是自行车达人,还在五道营里开了自行车商店,专卖形形色色的“组装车”,昨天下午她带着自己的车友一起在胡同里“秀”车技,“静止”、“穿梭”,赢得阵阵叫好声。伊泉告诉记者,为了倡导低碳健康生活,以后每周五下午都将在胡同中上演“车技秀 ”,“希望越来越多的北京人也加入到我们的活动中,倡导绿色出行。”

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