Archive for Juni, 2010

Saturday in the Store

Samstag, Juni 26th, 2010

Saturday in the store with 2 guys.

Fede in Natooke Office

Julien in Natooke Workshop

We got some bikes ready for the bike parts swap meet tomorrow. One was this pink girls bike.

Aluminum Urban Fixie

The bike that was almost sold and the almost customer requested to have the horn added.

Fixed Gear Bike with Horn

Or Quinn’s converted bike that he sold back to us when he left China.

Mountain Bike Frame with Fixed Wheel

And we also some special beautiful bikes like this red Flying Banana with Modolo wheels.

Flying Banana with Modolo wheels

A group of young Chinese fixed gear riders came by and hung out at the shop for a while. The one kid is 15 years old and just won first place in the Chinese National drawing competition. Samantha is asking him to draw the shop for us. His friend has this bike.

White with Black Fixie Bike

And onother friend has this bike that we built up here at Natooke:

White with Pink Fixie Bike

There they went.

Young Fixed Gear Riders of Beijing

In the evening we went to a rooftop party in Chaoyang district of Beijing. It was a great night to be outside.

Terrace on the Top of the Roof

From here you have a great view over the city and the central business district. And we could even see the moon that is on the top left corner of this picture.

Beijing CBD by Night

Relaxing on the Roof Top

Urban Liveability and the Bicycle

Freitag, Juni 25th, 2010

Unfortunately I missed the speech of Shannon Bufton last Sunday. It seemed there was an interesting mix of people that had many questions at the end how the bicycle can improve the living quality in Beijing and how those kind of changes can be achieved. Shannon’s presentation and talk can be found at this link. I like the following quotes he had used:

  • Molly O’Meara, Reinventing Cities for People and the Planet:
    „In an urbanizing world there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility.“
  • Enrique Penalosa  – Urban visionary and former Mayor of Bagota:
    „Anything you do to make a city more friendly to cars makes it less friendly to people.“
  •  Dan Bruden –  US Urban Planner:
    „Cars are happiest when there are no other cars around. People are happiest when there are other people around.“

Just an anecdote from the shop today: I had a Chinese person riding a cheap road bike with upward turned drop handlebar come to the shop. He had heard about fixed gear bikes and was looking for a white bike with some golden parts. He did not mind the idea that you can pick and chose each part separately in my shop. At some point he said it might be better if he can just quickly buy a bike that is already built up. I unformatunately only had 3 of which he liked the yellow one best. I thought he would buy a bike, but then his girlfriend came. She was shocked that he was thinking of buying a bike for around 3000.-RMB. She kept saying that he can buy a bike in any shop for 500.-RMB. He still wanted this bike but she just kept on telling him that it will be stolen and he should buy the same bike in another shop. What does that mean? If you want a fixed gear bike, do not tell your girlfriend to drop by as she might not understand the difference between a shitty mass produced Chinese freewheel bike for 500.-RMB and a nice fixed gear bike from my store. On the positive side: At least I do not have to worry about him turning the drop bars upwards on one of my fixed gear bikes.

Mark came with his cool matt black Fyling Banana bike. I finally took some pictures of it.

Black Flying Banana Fixie

Freitag, Juni 25th, 2010

Mark passed by the Natooke shop with his elegant matt black Flying Banana fixed gear bike.

Black Flying Banana Fixie

I like the Oury lock on grips that he chose to have on his bike. Actually after taking this picture he decided for a new more classy Selle Italia seat.

Oury Lock on Grips on Flying Banana

Due to the upcoming bike parts swap meet on Sunday we decided not to do the monthly STC Friday Light Ride tonight. But next month we will have it again on the last Friday of the month.

Forever Keirin Ambassador

Donnerstag, Juni 24th, 2010

My friend Tomity-san who is a professional track cyclist in Japan recently wrote this email to me:

I’m fine and still training everyday, Keirin racing every month. It’s long time no see. I’m sorry for the long time no message.

I am emailing you because I’d like to tell my retirement. I retire Tachikawa Keirin race (24-26th,June) this month and it retires from Keirin rider at the end. It ends about the history of my Keirin rider of 29 years.

It was you and everyone’s assistance that Keirin rider had been continued to me long. I wish to express my gratitude very much for it. Thank you very much.

The race of my remainder is only Tachikawa Keirin race. I am training toward it. I plan to help Fuji cycle show room studio that the friend starts after it retires.

Hereafter, I want to associate with you through the bicycle. Picture with my team mate at Matsudo Keirin race (2,June)

Tomity-san and team mate at Matsudo Keirin race

I wish him all the best for this last race. And that your projects for the future go well.

Bikes in NYC and Advocacy

Dienstag, Juni 22nd, 2010

My last few hours in NYC. I had to use this time to upload videos to facebook and youtube. Just outside the cafe that had horrible non-coffee drinks but free wireless internet were two single speed bikes. One of them was very colorful.

Colorful NYC Single Speed Bicycle

Tall NYC Bicycle

Then I went to a very nice and friendly bicycle shop that I visited a few days ago. It is called Metro Bicycles and is quite big and nicely sorted with very friendly staff. I needed to get some last few things before leaving the apple. Goodbye and hope to be back here soon!

I also tried to get in contact with the Transportation Alternatives group of NYC. They have worked a lot with the local government on setting up bike lanes and ensuring more safety for cyclists. Their work really shows. I see such a difference than 3 years ago. I wish that we in Beijing with our Smarter than Car initiative can also receive positive changes for Beijing so that the number of cyclists will increase as much as it did in NYC.

Bike Shops and NY Friends

Montag, Juni 21st, 2010

I wanted to check out what some of teh bike shops had. I first went to „Dah Shop“ in Manhattan near the Williamsburg bridge. The guys there sell skate boards, BMX bikes as well as fixed gear bikes. They are really cool and might come out for a trip to China. They have cool brands like animal.

Then I stopped by a close by but completely different kind of bike shop called „Frank’s Bike Shop„. It was quite full and messy. I saw that I can pack a lot more stuff into my store in Beijing after seeing this efficient tight packing. But when I when asked for a quill stem Frank went behind the counter into the hidden rooms and after a while came back saying “ I think I have one but I cannot find it now, can you come back in 2 days or so?. If I would live here I think it would be a cool place to find some unique things.

Frank’s Bike Shop

Then again I cycled over the Williamsburg bridge which has great bike lanes and a cool view.

Cycling to Brooklyn on Williamsburg Bridge

Then I met my friend Andrew (he does stand up comedy and acting) who surprisingly now lives in NY for some organic tasty ice cream on the Brooklyn river shore.

Eating Ice Cream on the River Shore

Andrew and Ines

He then had to rush to an improv theater workshop and I had to go to the flying trapeze workshop. It was fun again, even though I found my swing to be off rhythm. We first did again some back end splits but then they also showed me how to do some backward flips. When the catcher came and it was my turn I forgot that I was supposed to to the back end split so the only thing I did was hit my toe on my own trapeze. They then did not let me fly anymore which pissed me off. Then I did pull ups and push up and practiced my 1 arm hand stands till I felt better again.

I went to go to see Anna in her house. They live there with 6 people but it is quite huge and is standing alone.

Anna and her House

Anna is producing the theater play called Peking Roulette: A Beijing Love Story. The Midtown International Theatre Festival and AG Theatrical Productions proudly present: Peking Roulette by Ben Thompson original score by Michelangelo Sosnowitz. A quirky look at life (and love) for an aging expat in Beijing playing July 15-31. She is doing a lot of the rehearsals in her living room which is bigger than the actual stage.

Peking Roulette Rehearsal Room

Then we had some Chinese covered rice (gai fan) to remind me of what I am missing.

Flying Trapeze and Films and Girls Alleycat

Sonntag, Juni 20th, 2010

Today morning after a long interview for the COG magazine on my trick cycling background and fixe gear bikes I went to my first class of flying trapeze. It was at the Espana Streb institute in Brooklyn.

Girl on the Flying Trapeze in NY

They also had space for other aerial disciplines and people were practicing.

Aerial Circus Disciplines

The flying trapeze was fun but less exciting than expected. It was not too difficult for me with my long gymnastics background and anyway the uneven bars and flying between had always been my favorite element. The class was first doing swings and then some figures and preparing for the fly. Then a catcher went on the other trapeze and actually caught me. Of course for this easy one there is no real feeling of flying because I just take my hands off my trapeze and he catches my arms. Here is the video of my fourth flying trapeze back end split with catch.

I will go again tomorrow and hopefully learn something more. Too bad that there is no school in Beijing.

Then I rode fast to get back to Manhattan to be part of the first screening of bike films. The bicycle film about me called „Riding in the Circle“ was screened in this session.

Bicycle Film “Riding in the Circle”

My friends had come to watch this movie. After the screening we went to a nearby cafe to have some lunch together.

Friends from Beijing in NY

When I went back to the movie theater the was a gathering of girls that were about to start the „girls only“ alleycat bike race. This was a picture before the handout of the manifest with the addresses of the checkpoints.

All Girls Alleycat

Then the girls checked the maps on where the alleycat checkpoints are.

Alleycat Preparation

Thinking of the Best Route to Cycling

Studying the NYC Map

All Set for the Race

Then the girls had to place their bikes on the opposite side wall.

Setting the Bike for the Alleycat

Then there was a picture with all alleycat girls before the bike race started. These are the cool and fastest bike girls of NYC. Keep the rubber side down all the time.

Cool Bike Girls of NYC

The guys on the other hand were hanging out in the movie theater. I watched a lot of movies today of which some were quite disappointing.

Cyclists featured in Movie

Urban Liveability and the Bicycle: Beijing at the Cross Roads. 城市宜居性与自行车:在十字路口上的北京

Sonntag, Juni 20th, 2010

Shannon Bufton Speech at UCCA Beijing

这周末我要在798的尤伦斯画廊做一个关于城市宜居性和自行车的讲座。 大家也许知道我来自于建筑和城市规划的背景, 在过去的六个月里, 我给予了北京这个城市和其自行车文化很多思考。

众所周知,北京曾经是个自行车王国, 曾有80%的居民用自行车出行。 如今随着大家放弃自行车而选择小汽车,自行车出行率降到20%。 每周有成千辆新车涌上北京的道路, 把北京变成了一个汽车王国。

与此同时, 北京正在认真思考如何成为世界城市, 怎么创建一个更宜居的城市。 目前世界上一些最宜居的城市正在朝这个方向发展: 把市中心以汽车为主导的交通形式转变为可持续性亲民的交通方式,比如自行车。

北京正处在这个十字路口, 随着自行车文化的消失, 北京可以看着它慢慢死亡, 或者可以开始倡导自行车2.0, 帮助北京更快的转换成一个宜居的世界水平的城市。

地址: 尤伦斯画廊 798
时间: 周日 6月20号 上午11-12:30
语言: 中英文

This weekend I will be giving a lecture at the UCCA in 798 about Urban Liveability and the bicycle. As many of you may know I come from an architecture / urban design background and over the past 6 months I have been giving a lot of thought to this city and its bicycle culture.

As we all know Beijing was once the ultimate bicycle city with around 80% of its residents using the bicycle to move around. These days ridership is down to 20% as cyclists ditch the bike in favor of the car. Thousands of new cars are hitting the streets in Beijing every week and are turning Beijing into the new ‚car kingdom‘.

At the same time Beijing is getting serious about becoming a World City and improving the liveability of the capital for its residents. The trend in the most liveable cities in the world is shifting away from a focus on the automobile for urban mobility in city centers and towards more sustainable and people friendly forms of transportation such as the bicycle.

Beijing is now at the cross roads with its bicycle culture in decline- it can let wither and die or it can start to promote Bicycling 2.0 in the city and assist in a more rapid transition to a World class liveable city.

Location : UCCA Auditorium, 798
Time : Sunday 20th June 11.00 am – 12.30 pm
Language : English / Chinese.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Trick Bike Show

Samstag, Juni 19th, 2010

Today the different movie programs of the BFF were well attended. Especially the „Urban Bike Film“. There was a huge line in front of the movie theater.

BFF Movie Waiting Line

And when we got in all the seats were filled up.

BFF Movie Theater for Urban Shorts

There was an alleycat race today and the prize ceremony was held before the Urban Bike Short films started.

Alleycat Race Award Ceremony

And then there was a bikes rock cheering for the 10th year anniversary before Brendt was sent on some movie theater crowd surfing.

BFF Cheering

It was funny to see this bike outside with this huge spoke card.

Bike with Huge Spokecard

I liked this card for a pregnant woman. I think if I am pregnant I will hang one on each of my bikes too.

Bicycle Card for a Pregnant Women

The bicycle film festival girls had arranged the great after party on this Saturday.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Party

I  did a late night performance in the hope that the people watching the second screening of the urban bike shorts could also come in time to watch. But I think only a small fraction of those came in time. And the one DJ lady forced me to perform exactly at 1am.

Ines Brunn Performing at the BFF Afterparty

Here is the video of my bicycle performance that Nora took capturing the feeling of the event. I love the song Fire by Jess Meider.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Trick Bike Show

BFF Street Party in NYC 2010

Samstag, Juni 19th, 2010

The bicycle film festival street party in New York was really great this year. Mainly because it was not raining so there were many people hanging out. Also there were quite some booths of local vendors. Like local frame builders that make bikes like this one.

New York Frame Builder

Also Taliah Lempert (who does bicycle paintings and who’s exhibition I had gone 2 days ago) had a booth at the street party.

Taliah Lempert at BFF Street Party

The fixed gear competitions were MC’d by John Prolly that has a famous blog called

John Prolly famous blog

They had ramps built up and there were quite some fixie kids jumping around. One of course was Ed Wonka Laforte that was in Tokyo with me last November.

Ed Wonka Laforte

Jumping around on the ramps was also Kareem Shehab who filmed the Death Pedal movies 1 and 2.

Kareem Shehab

I randomly recorded the fixed gear ramp jumping on a video and will uploaded soon.

Fat Tire Fixie

Then there was the bunny hop contest. It is amazing how high they can jump with the fixed gear bikes.

Fixie Bunny Hop

Ed Wonka Bunny Hopping

Tim or Ted

I did a performance at this street party. It was a good crowd that watched me do my bike tricks.

Headstand on the Bicycle

I did headstand and handstand and all my other tricks like the 180 spin while standing on the handlebar. I uploaded some more pictures on a webalbum.

Handstand on Fixed Gear Bicycle by Ines Brunn

Bike Tricks and Cheering Crowd in NYC

Also it was great to finally meet Tom Mosher that started up the first forum on track tricks. Unfortunately he had an accident and needs to recover before he can re-start hard with tricks.

Tom Mosher and Ines