Article: Peddling her Love of Bikes

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.

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