Archive for Mai, 2010

Fixed Gear Bike and BBQ Party

Samstag, Mai 8th, 2010

Today I finished a fixed gear bike for Tang Zheng. It was the very last orange frame I had in the Natooke shop.

Tang Zheng Fixed Gear Bicycle

Natooke Alloy Fixie with Bullhorn Bars

In the evening there was a barbecue party at a friend’s palce who has a nice rooftop apartment with a beautiful view of all of the Beijing central business district (CBD). But what did it do? It started raining and we went inside where most people joined in a jam session. This is a picture taken by Maika.

Happy people enjoying the music

New Look of White Beauty Bike

Samstag, Mai 8th, 2010

And here is a picture of the white beauty Flying Banana fixed gear bicycle with a riser bar and temporary saddle. Isn’t it really beautiful?

Flying Banana White Beauty in New Look

STC Friday Light Ride

Freitag, Mai 7th, 2010

We usually have a bike ride on the last Friday of the month. But because last week was not possible. Shannon and I organized the monthly STC ride on this Friday night. It is called Friday Light Ride because it A, is an easy ride for any person on whatever kind of bike and B, we encourage people to use lights which makes the group stand out from any other cyclist or electric bike person.

Friday Light Ride organized by STC Beijing

The weather tonight was perfect for an evening bicycle ride through the city. We met up at the drum and bell tower with the other cyclists.

Drum and Bell Tower meeting point

Heading out by Bike just after sun set in Beijing

Then we rode towards the West and along the shore of the West lake and then towards the South to the Financial district.

STC Friday Light Ride cyclists with lights

Most people said they did not know about the Financial street called Jinrong Jie. It has extended in the past years with more and more glass/metal high rises. It is a nice place to ride along during the evening. Then we headed down the Chang’an Jie. And took some pictures.

Some CTS Cyclists in front of the Hall of the People

Tiananmen with STC Cyclists

We had quite a big group and except for one flat tire we all had a great ride.We organize these Friday Light Rides to show people how easy it is to get around town even at the 7pm rush hour time. We hope that more people chose the bike rather than taking a car or taxi.

Friday Light Ride Cyclists in Beijing

We then went to a small courtyard restaurant called Hao Di in Huangchenggenbei hutong having barbecued things like lamb skewers, chicken wings, mushrooms, seafood and others. It was great fun for those cyclists who came to have dinner with us.

Dinner in a Courtyard

The Chinese STC Cyclists

Fun and fast dinner with cyclists

After the dinner a smaller group went to have ice cream, mainly the foreigners. The Chinese find it funny that foreigners like to have something sweet after dinner. And then I went to meet some friends in Nanluoguxiang hutong in the Salud bar where we got discounted drinks. What a perfect day (it had started with the 5:30 am 130 km bike ride).

Early Morning Miaofengshan Road Bike Ride

Freitag, Mai 7th, 2010

Shannon Ricky and I said we meet for an early morning road bike ride all the way up North-West to Miaofeng Mountain. We had a 5:30 am meeting point just at the famous Beijing Hotel. I had luck because I found an electric bike rider that was riding at 30 km/h that I could draft behind all the way to the meeting point. Shortly before our meeting point I noticed a road cyclist standing on the sidewalk. My first thought was “great to see Chinese people in lycra this early on a weekday”. My second thought was “was that maybe Shannon? Maybe he does not know where the Beijing Hotel is”. And then by the time I thought my 3rd thought I was almost at the meeting point. Shannon came after a while and was unhappy that I passed him without stopping to help with his flat tire. Both me and Ricky gave him our pumps. Mine is the kind where you need to turn the inside of the head around if you switch from American to French valves. Well it is probably not the best thing to do early in the morning standing right over a sewage grid. Well the obvious happened, I dropped the pump head and it nicely rolled into the slits and dropped into the sewage water.

Early morning tire pumping

After a long flat ride as a peloton I suddenly hit a rock a got a pinch flat. Now that my pump had no head anymore and Ricky’s wasn’t working Shannon helped me pump up the new inner tube. But with his pump he broke my inner tube valve. So I took off the new now broken tube and patched the original inner tube and put it back. Then it was not far to the foot of the Miaofengshan where we split up so that each of us could try to beat their own best time. I was already feeling quite tired so I only did the 13km uphill ride from the gate to the village.

Miaofeng Mountain Bike Ride

Cycling up Miaofeng Shan North-West of Beijing

Shannon and Richy continued the additional 6 km continuous uphill to the temple at the top. It was quite windy on the mountain and I was happy when they both came back.

Ricky in the Miaofengshan Village

Shannon cycling back to Beijing from Miaofengshan

As we approached Beijing city the traffic started getting worse and worse. And what I find annoying is all the cars parked and driving in the bike lane. Like here, this picture shows a pure bike lane, but it has people parked on the left and right side plus cars riding in the center. Where should the cyclists ride their bike?

Cars parked and driving in the huge bike lane

Or here in this picture the white line on the left divides the car lane from the bike lane. But the cars are all jammed up and standing in the bicycle path. No cyclist can ride through this mess. So it was even worse that after today’s 130km bike ride that Shannon insisted that we try out the route for tonight’s STC ride and we had to squeeze ourselves through the city traffic jams.

Beijing City Traffic illegally in the Bicycle Lanes

Beijing Fixed Gear Bike Ride

Donnerstag, Mai 6th, 2010

I am so happy that I had time for a fixed gear bike ride tonight. Because it is seldom that I can just leave the shop at 7:30pm. What a great feeling to ride with the group.

Beijing fixed gear ride

Beijing fixie riders

The route we took was really easy and with not too much traffic. It is nice to ride along the Changan Boulevard towards the West and then along the second ring road over to the Place (Dongdaqiao Lu). Anthony mapped out that route:

Fixed gear ride map

Riding on Changan Boulevard

I am happy to see Chinese girls become regulars on these rides.

Chinese Fixie Girls

We had again some new people that just started riding, so we stopped at the Fuxingmen rainbow to wait for the others.

Beijing fixed at Fuxingmen rainbow

I took some more pictures and uploaded them to a webalbum.

Riding at night in Beijing on Fixed Gear Bicycles

Fixed Gear Bikes at the Place

Road Bike Conversion

Donnerstag, Mai 6th, 2010

Elaine came back from the USA and brought back the steel road bike of her best friend. She was so excited to start to convert her bicycle to fixed gear. Of course that means stripping everything off the bike.

Road bike for conversion to fixed gear

After a while Elaine had the blank frame and was still really happy.

Elaine with her road bike frame

But then the problems started. For example with the bottom bracket. Elaine’s mood slowly dampened.

During the day other fixed gear riders came to the shop. For example one Chinese guy that just bought this hand built beautiful Nagasawa frame from Japan and then unfortunately had a crash crushing the tubes near the head tube.

Beautiful Nagasawa Frame

We also finished a Natooke bicycle for a new Chinese fixed gear rider which is a friend of Xiao Shu.

Natooke White Modolo Track Bike

This morning I had an interview from the Chinese magazine called „Villas Life„. They are interested in bikes. Not only fixed gear but also recumbent bikes that are not so popular yet in China.

Natooke Fixies

Mittwoch, Mai 5th, 2010

More Natooke fixed gear bikes. It is getting busy here at this unique Beijing bicycle shop. Chris seems happy to have his new bike.

Urban fixed gear bike from Natooke

Then my friend and bike performer Zhou Chang Chun came by to say hi before he had to go to the train station to go back to his hometown in Dongbei.

Chinese bike performer

And then later that night I finished putting together Julius bike. He did not mind to have a beer before the final adjustments were done. But we need to find a fridge now that the weather is getting warmer so that we actually have cold beer.

Julius’ fixed gear bicycle

But he was also happy to ride away down the Wudaoying hutong.

Wudaoying hutong and a fixed gear rider

Beijing TV on Cycling being Green

Mittwoch, Mai 5th, 2010

Wang Ying from Beijing TV came to my shop to interview me because she is the host for a show on environment and green topics. Of course in front of the rolling camera she said that she does not bike and would never want to cycle herself. The cameraman then stopped the camera and said she cannot say that so we re-did that part of the interview. Even though her job is to host this show on green topics but she was really offended when the cameraman proposed to buy her re-usable chopsticks because she said she is not such an environmental person. She does not care about green. But she is doing that program. She should change her job. I love TV.

Flying Banana for Huang

Dienstag, Mai 4th, 2010

The Natooke bike shop was quite full today on the first working day after the May holiday. Dongdong came by to gt inspiration for the colors of her bike while others were working on their bike.

Natooke bike and juggling shop

Huang Xiao Dong came together with 2 fixed gear friends to buy a bike. Everbody was helping getting the bike built up as fast as possible.

Huang watching the work on his new bike

He is a BMX rider and chose to have no brake and no cages or strap on the pedals becausehe says he can stop without all that.

Huang without brake nor cages and straps

He had chosen the sunflower yellow steel (chromoly) Flying Banana track bike. I think it looks great in this simplicity and with the matching yelow Oury grips.

Sunflower Flying Banana Steel Track Frame

Beautiful Natooke Flying Banana

Beijing Fixed Gear Bike Flat

Sonntag, Mai 2nd, 2010

Today the shop was officially closed but I decided to set the meet up for the Beijing Fixed Gear bike ride to be at Natooke. So I went a little bit in advance and had to help someone with his bike. A few guys came to my shop for the ride and when I called the others that were at the Mess shop they said they do not want to ride but just go to the Place. We decided to go for a ride and started heading out West along the canal.

Bike ride along the canal

But then Richard got a flat tire. Only Roger had tire levers, but the damn outer tire just did not want to go off.

Richard fighting the damn bike tire

I was just about to leave to go back to the Natooke shop to get tire levers and a spare inner tube when Ricky suddenly said that he also has a flat tire.

Second flat tire

I anyway cycled back to the shop and got the tire levers and cycled back to the place along the canal. At this moment they had already gotten the tires off and had patched the tubes. After the repair we decided to meet the other fixed gear riders at the Place but we dropped by my shop where Richard asked to have his back tire changed. So I spent some more time in the shop.With only a few remaining people we cycled to Chaoyang district to the huge screen at the Place to ind that the others were about to leave to go to a nearby bike shop to get a back tire changed.

Ready to leave the Place

Paul was still practicing the no handed track stand on his fixed gear bicycle.

No handed track stand on fixie

But then they decided we could also go to my shop and have it changed there. So I again (for the 4th time today) rode to my shop. I was more busy with the flat tires than riding. But the short ride was still nice in the late afternoon sun.

Beijing Fixed Gear Ride

Riding past construction sites in Beijing

Afternoon sun on fixed gear bicycles