Archive for Juli, 2010

Article: Peddling her Love of Bikes

Donnerstag, Juli 29th, 2010

Today a nice article about my person was printed in the China Daily newspaper. The interview had been done a few days ago by William Axford. The online version of the China Daily article is here. The pictures I gave them were taken by the photographer Simon Lim. On the cover of the metro Beijing section of the newspaper it says: Peddling her Love of Bikes – German cyclist wants to share her two-wheeled passion.

Here is a copy of the online article:

Freewheeling acrobat peddles love of bikes

By William Axford (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-07-29 07:48

Freewheeling acrobat peddles love of bikes
Ines Brunn, a German-born trick bike performer, demonstrates one of her tricks. [Photo Provided To China Daily]

Merely peddling her bike from A to B isn’t enough for Ines Brunn.

In addition to navigating her way through traffic, the German-born cyclist likes to perform gymnastic moves while zipping around on her bike.

She says for her, her bike is like a mobile balance beam. „I quit gymnastics when I was 13 because I wasn’t happy with the coach,“ she said. „By chance, I came across trick biking and I’ve been doing it for 21 years.“

From performing a handstand on the seat to standing on the handlebars, the acrobat, who has impressed countless audience, has done things most people would think impossible on a moving bicycle.

With the fusion of her gymnastic talent, Brunn has even created new tricks and her rare skills have taken her all over the world.

„Once I cooked dumplings for a segment on CCTV while riding my bike. It took a lot of picking things up, putting them down, building up speed and then going back to cooking.“But such impressive feats come with a price.

Brunn says that an extensive amount of practice has to go into mastering the moves. A wrong mindset or the slightest mishap can be devastating.

„You have to be focused. During one performance in Beijing, I tried to tell people I needed space and taped off a circle. Someone didn’t listen and I crashed, chipping my tooth on my handlebars.“

She hasn’t let the experience ruin her passion.

„My tongue touches the chipped tooth every five minutes or so, reminding me to keep my cool.“

Brunn stretches herself and rides her bike constantly in order to practice her amazing feats. Even the weather can’t keep her from peddling around.

„I rode my bike from the Fifth Ring Road to the Second Ring Road in the rain for a meeting recently,“ she said nonchalantly.

„My colleague was baffled but I didn’t mind. I love riding my bike.“


Freewheeling acrobat peddles love of bikes
Brunn shows off her amazing skills. [Photo Provided To China Daily]

Brunn brought her enthusiasm for the fixed gear bike to Beijing by opening Natooke, China’s first fixed-gear bike and juggling shop. With the ability for customers to pick out every part of their bike and customize it to their liking.

Brunn predicts fixed-gear biking will become more popular in the coming years and she hopes that her shops and bike outings with other enthusiasts will rekindle an interest in bike riding.

„My friends and I just want to inspire others to ride bikes again,“ she said.

„It’s so environmentally friendly and a real smart thing to ride.“

Q & A

Q: What makes fixed-gear bikes so special?

A: The back gear of the bike is fused to the wheel, so the bike is capable of pedaling forward and backward. The petals turn with the wheels. There’s no gearshifts or cables.

Q: Have you ever had an accident that made you think about quitting?

A: No. I think some things are addictive. People told me that I would quit after I got a job. If you have a passion for something, you’ll do it.

Q: What are some tricks that people commonly do?

A: One is called skidding, where you lean forward to stop the bike, causing the back wheel to come off the ground while riding. There are competitions to see who can skid the longest. There’s tricks too involving putting your legs over the handle bars, riding one handed and switching your feet on the pedals.

Q: Where do you get your parts for the bikes?

A: We order them from all over the world – America, Europe, Australia. Most of the parts have come from Taiwan but more are starting to be made on the Chinese mainland. I don’t like mass-produced bikes that are one color and just one style.

2010 BEIJING FIXED GEAR REVOLUTION II – Aug 13-15 2010年8月13日至15日

Mittwoch, Juli 28th, 2010



The Fixed Gear Revolution II will be held in Beijing on August 13th to 15th 2010. This is the second time that there is a domestic professional Fixed Gear competition held in the capital. The Fixed Gear Revolution II is divided into a SCRATCH race, an ALLEYCAT race, TRICK CONTEST-BUNNY HOP CONTEST, JISU PK (gold sprints) competition with party and BIKE POLO match. These major competitions mainly for Fixed Gear bicycle fans (only bike polo is open to any kind of bike) are interesting and huge prizes are waiting for you! The ALLEYCAT race includes a game at each of the eight unknown sites, each site will have different difficulty and cultural characteristics. The map and the address of the eight sites will be distributed 1 minute before the start of the alleycat. The other three competitions also have great prizes waiting for you. Or just come and watch the event.

On the Friday August 13th at night there will also be a 19km fixed gear scratch race where it is just a matter of cycling speed and no knowledge about Beijing is required to win it. The fastest will get prizes.

Fixed Gear Revolution II Event Schedule

Friday August 13th
Event: SCRATCH RACE around the Olympic Forest
Location: North 5th Ring Road Northeast Corner of Olympic Forest
Time: 10pm

Saturday August 14th
Location: Start at Worker’s Stadium East gate, then 8 undisclosed stamp points in Dongcheng District and Chaoyang District
Time: Afternoon

Saturday August 14th
Location: Workers Stadium Southwest gate, open space outside of MGM Garden bar
Time: Evening

Saturday August 14th
Event: JISU PK (goldsprints) & PARTY
Location: MGM Garden bar (Worker’s Stadium Southwest gate)
Time: Night

Sunday August 15th
Event: BIKE POLO Match & FAIR
Location: To be determined
Time: Early Afternoon

Note: All participating bicycles must be Fixed Gear (no bikes with gears or freewheel), except for the BIKE POLO. Any bike can be used for BIKE POLO. If you know who you want to play with please sign up for BIKE POLO as a team of 3-4 people.

If you would like to participate (for free) in the Fixed Gear Revolution II, please contact Maggie to register or send me an email.

Registration phone number: 010-64075030 (Maggie 12pm-8pm)
Information required for registration: name, phone number, city

Special thanks to: adidas, motorola, SAG, Mess, Natooke, Flying Banana, STC

大家期待的Fixed Gear Revolution 2将于2010年8月13日至15日在北京举行。这是在国内第二次举办Fixed Gear专业性比赛,比赛分为ALLEYCAT、TRICK CONTEST-BUNNY HOP、极速PK、BIKE POLO四个大项,其中ALLEYCAT作为参与性最强的一项比赛被很多Fixed Gear爱好者所期待,这同时也是最具有趣味性与难度的一项比赛,丰厚的奖品正在等着大家!比赛里我们安排了八个站点,每个站点都会有不同难度和具有北京文化特色的游戏需要你完成,为了公平起见比赛的路线图和各站点地址将在比赛前1分钟公布。其他三项技术性比赛同样也有丰富的奖品等着大家,希望各位喜爱Trick的骑手们踊跃报名。

2010年8月13日晚上还有Fixed Gear自行车19公里比赛.

Fixed Gear活动日程安排





活动内容:BIKE POLO (自行车马球)


注意:所有参赛车辆必须是Fixed Gear,参见BIKE POLO可以使任何自行车,但尽量请大家在比赛前以3-4人一队的形式报名

报名电话: 010-64075030(Maggie 12:00-20:00)

特别鸣谢:adidas、motorola、SAG、Mess、Natooke、Flying Banana、STC

Alleycat Ralley in Erlangen

Dienstag, Juli 20th, 2010

I heard that there will be an alleycat race in Erlangen (a bicycle city that I used to live in and also the origin of Siemens company) and that has been published in all newspapers. So I was thinking „wow, a real alleycat race – why on Earth did they publish that in the public newspapers“. Because usually these races are more underground and only people that ride fixed gear bikes know about it. But then I found the website for the „Bikenite“ and saw that it is rather a ralley than a real fixed gear only race. So it is more to get the word out to the public about riding fixed gear bikes and having a ralley where anybody needs to find and cycle to certain check points in the city. I hope that will increase the acceptance of fixed gear bikes in Germany.

Cycling and Juggling

Montag, Juli 19th, 2010

Tom from the Peloton sent this link to a funny movie. It shows what happens if you are a cyclist and asking your wife or husband if you can go out for a ride. There is also the follow up movie of what kind of discussions you might encounter after your bike ride.

There is construction across from my shop so I assume there will be a new shop. I asked one of the guys from Wudaoying hutong and he said that someone wanted to open a bike shop but he did not allow that. As if I were to believe that. Does he really think that could frighten me?

The House will Turn into a Shop

Having a bicycle shop in Beijing makes you get the interesting as well as strange people come in suggesting various things. Especially Chinese people surprise me. I have been asked if I sell flags of various countries, or if I can help get some antique model trains from Germany. Advice has been to give my customers good customer service by requesting them to come back after 3 months and then open all the bearings and grease them so that they do not brake after 4 months. That would probably be a good idea if I were to sell the mass produced cheap low quality bikes that you get everywhere in China. A funny similar suggestion was to provide service to the elderly bike riders to repair their old bikes for free so that they like coming and then will buy a bike from me. That would be so funny of all the over 70 year old Beijingers would start riding flashy fixed gear bikes. I am happy the old cyclists already come and chat with me just because they know I love bikes and especially nice old ones. Another great suggestion was to do advertisement in the newspaper to get children to start the sport of trick cycling. That would be wasted money, I prefer to continue to perform in schools and show the children what trick cycling is and see if someone is interested. Another funny suggestion was to hire the Chinese cycling acrobats (that just stand together on one freewheel bike) to get more people interested in fixed gear bikes. Ha ha.

But a good suggestion of one of my Chinese friends was to find people to work for us. We are currently looking for an intern to help us with our website and office stuff. But we also are looking for a fixed gear bike mechanic or someone that wants to learn about single speed bikes to help us build up all the bicycles. Of course an intern is welcome. If you know someone that could be interested just contact me.

Tonight I went to the Beijing Jugglers meet up in Yuging Yishan bar. It is a bit dark but it is great to be able to use the space for free.

The Chinese and Foreigners Juggle Together

It is great to see that the group is growing and attracting beginners and professionals at the same time. It is really fun as everybody helps each other.

Newcomers and Professionals train together

Germany Closes Highway for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Montag, Juli 19th, 2010

I am so great to hear that Germany closed 60km of one of the busiest highways for a full day to give that space to the people. People came walking, riding bikes or skating to enjoy a day outside. The different community clubs set up different activities. And there were 20000 beer tables set up for people to sit and enjoy along the longest table. Here are some pictures from Spiegel where I really love the people just doing a great bike ride on the highway.

A40 Closed for People

Cyclists on the Autobahn A40 in Germany

This amazing mega-event was called Still-Leben and there are quite a lot of articles about it. Here is the link to the article on SPIEGEL ONLINE. Or here is one article on USA TODAY. And this is the picture of the autobahn crowded with pedestrians posted on USA TODAY:

A40 Closed off for a Mega Street Party

Here is the text of the article published by the GUARDIAN:
Life’s a picnic on Germany’s autobahn
Three million attend giant banquet on stretches of road between Duisburg and Dortmund

One of Germany’s busiest motorways has been brought to a standstill after a huge party saw picnic tables line 60km (37 miles) of the country’s famous autobahn network.

As many as three million people turned up for a giant banquet on one of the busiest stretches of the network between Duisburg and Dortmund, in western Germany.

A radio traffic report said: „Attention on the A40. There is a 60km (37 mile) closure between Duisburg and Dortmund due to the longest table in the world.“

The cultural celebration called rather appropriately Still Life was held in celebration of the Ruhr region.

The event’s organisers said they had given away 20,000 tables so people could eat, drink, dance and perform plays into the evening.

One lane of the autobahn, which crosses North Rhine-Westphalia state, was kept free for skaters and cyclists – and more than one million revellers brought bicycles, including the state premier, Hannelore Kraft.

„This is fantastic,“ she told Reuters. „I grew up right next to the A40 and still live close to it. It’s great to see it now without cars but with so many people and so much cultural variety.“

There are no general speed limits on Germany’s autobahns. Cars often speed up to 200km per hour (125mph) or more. In dense or dangerous areas, drivers are often required to slow down to 120 km per hour (75mph).

The Ruhr region was chosen by the European Union this year as a European Capital of Culture 2010 the first time the distinction went to an area rather than a city.

Magic Hospital Donations

Samstag, Juli 10th, 2010

In our shop we have a jar to collect donation for the Magic Hospital organization. That is called „Fen For Fun“ jar as the collected money helps the organization send clowns and performers to cheer up children with severe deseases that are stuck in hospitals in China.

Natooke has so far raised 183.15 RMB thanks to our customers. Keep dropping some change in the jar. It is right at the entrance of our shop 🙂

3G Software Industry Event

Freitag, Juli 9th, 2010

A friend Zhang Xiang Dong invited me to perform at an event for the 3G industry to share the latest software developments. He was the MC of that event and he thought that my passion and love for bikes is similar to some of the developers passion for the 3G mobile applications they are developing.

Ines Brunn at 3G Event

It was the smallest stage that I have ever performed on. It was just 3x5meters with a big blob coming out of the wall and covered in fake plastic grass which limited the space to about 2.5 meters. Plus it was actually a stage, so it was elevated from the ground with one fragile light box on each side as well as a screen and a projector.

Trick Bike Shop on Small Stage

But luckily I did not fall off the stage, nor brake anything. Of course I could not do all of my bicycle stunts, but enough to fill the 5 minutes and impress the crowd.

Ines Brunn During her Trick Bike Show

More pictures are on my webalbum, just click here. They were done by the chef of the HLQ bar Frank Jiang.

Ines and Frank Jiang

Tour de Beijing

Freitag, Juli 9th, 2010

There is a nice article in the Global Times about the Beijing road bike group called „The Beijing Peloton„. The past 2 years I have been riding with the group. Just this year I did not yet go on a single road bike ride in the mountains as the weekend is busy in the shop. Maybe I can join again in winter when there is less going on in my shop.

Ines on ZLOG

Mittwoch, Juli 7th, 2010

A picture was posted on ZLOG from the New York City bicycle film festival.

Ines at BFF NYC

IBM Global Study on Commuter Pain shows Beijing Status

Dienstag, Juli 6th, 2010

IBM did a global study on motorists and how they feel about their communte. Here is an excerpt of their report:

IBM Global Commuter Pain Study Reveals Traffic Crisis in Key International Cities

– Overall, traffic has gotten worse in the past three years

The daily commute in some of the world’s most economically important international cities is longer and more grueling than before imagined, reflecting the failure of transportation infrastructure to keep pace with economic activity, according to IBM’s first global Commuter Pain study released today.

IBM surveyed 8,192 motorists in 20 cities on six continents, the majority of whom say that traffic has gotten worse in the past three years. The congestion in many of today’s developing cities is a relatively recent phenomenon, having paralleled the rapid economic growth of those cities during the past decade or two. By contrast, the traffic in places like New York, Los Angeles or London has developed gradually over many decades, giving officials more time and resources to address the problem.

For example, the middle class in China is growing rapidly, with the number of new cars registered in Beijing in the first four months of 2010 rising 23.8% to 248,000, according to the Beijing municipal taxation office. Beijing’s total investments in its subway system are projected to be more than 331.2 billion yuan by 2015 as the city expands the system to more than double its current size, according to Beijing Infrastructure Investment Co., Ltd. The city plans to invest 80 billion yuan in 2010 in building its transportation infrastructure.

Overall, though, the study paints a picture of metropolitan-area commuters in many cities struggling to get to and from work each day. For example, 57% of all respondents say that roadway traffic has negatively affected their health, but that percentage is 95% in Beijing.

Similarly, 29% overall say that roadway traffic has negatively affected work or school performance, but that percentage rises to 84% in Beijing.

IBM Commuter Pain Index: Beijing wins with the highest commuter pain index!!!

IBM compiled the results of the survey into an Index (called Commuter Pain Index) that ranks the emotional and economic toll of commuting in each city on a scale of one to 100, with 100 being the most onerous. The Index reveals a tremendous disparity in the pain of the daily commute from city to city. Stockholm had the least painful commute of the cities studied, followed by Melbourne and Houston (which tied) and New York City. [Beijing wins with the highest commuter pain index reaching the highest possible level of pain of 99 out of 100!!! Melbourne is one of the best cities with 17]

„Traditional solutions — building more roads — will not be enough to overcome the growth of traffic in these rapidly developing cities, so multiple solutions need to be deployed simultaneously to avoid a failure of the transportation networks,“ said Naveen Lamba, IBM’s global industry lead for intelligent transportation. „New techniques are required that empower transportation officials to better understand and proactively manage the flow of traffic.“
31% of respondents said that during the past three years traffic has been so bad that they turned around and went home. The percentage in Beijing, however, is 69%, the high for the survey [Beijing wins again]

The Commuter Pain Survey was conducted by IBM to better understand consumer thinking toward traffic congestion as the issue reaches crisis proportions nationwide and higher levels of auto emissions stir environmental concerns. These events are impacting communities around the world, where governments, citizens and private sector organizations are looking beyond traditional remedies like additional roads and greater access to public transportation to reverse the negative impacts of increased road congestion.

This year marks the first global Commuter Pain survey. IBM previously conducted the Commuter Pain survey in the United States in 2008 and 2009.

IBM is actively working in the area of Smarter Transportation using a worldwide team of scientists, industry experts and IT services professionals to research, test and deploy new traffic information management capabilities in cities around the world. Findings from the Commuter Pain Survey will be used to assess citizen concerns about traffic and commuter issues; expand solutions like automated tolling, real-time traffic prediction, congestion charging, and intelligent route planning; and serve as a basis for pioneering innovative new approaches to traffic mitigation.