Archive for Juli 19th, 2010

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.