The Danish Prince is visiting Beijing and he gave a speech about Danish bike culture to the students of Tsinghua university. Here is an article about it in China Daily.
Archive for September, 2010
After the past 6 days of rain the sky was amazingly clear and blue on this Mid-Autumn festival holiday. What a coincidence that the rain stopped just before the public holiday. It was great to be out cycling today. On the bridge over the North 4th ring road in the East side of the city I stopped and took a picture towards the West with the Fragrant Hills mountains so crisp and close. Please also note the huge traffic jam in both directions on 4th ring road on about 10 lanes:
From the same point I also took a picture towards the North and even there you could see the mountains where parts of the Great Wall of China are.
When I was in the Olympic Park I took another picture towards the West. I could even see some fences on the mountains. I love Beijing like this! I hope we will have more blue sky!
I was heading towards the Chinese Academy of Science for the Popular Science Week exhibition (科普日).
There were exhibits around environmental topics. But they had areas for the people to be interactive. Like for example they had a place where you could rip up a newspaper and then make your own recycled paper out of it.
And of course quite some things on wind energy and solar energy. They had little build up yourself model cars that were powered my solar panels.
They had exhibits like this comparison of the CO2 emission of a typical nowadays normal car (right side) compared to a hybrid car (left side).
We had provided the JisuPK, the bicycle roller goldsprints as an interactive way to just say biking can be fun.
This exhibition had already been on for 4 days. The first day high level officials had been there. Especially China’s Vice President Xi Jinping, who also came for a visit of this exhibition was interested in our JisuPK bike set-up. But unfortunately that morning the laptop with the software was not there yet so he could not race. Maybe next time Xi Jinping can challenge someone on our fixed gear bikes.
A lot of people every day came to sit on the bikes and pedal as fast as they can for a length of 200 meters. The record for this exhibition until today was 60km/h average speed and that was done by my new employee Dupree. Good work!
And I also had my bamboo trick bike there and did some performances to show people that the green material bamboo makes bikes which are really stable.
And after each performance the people would just all come close and ask many questions about the bike made out of real bamboo and of course for how many years I have been doing bike tricks.
Later I went back to the shop. I forgot that yesterday we did not take a picture of the nice light blue and orange fixed gear bike that a customer had us build up.
It was raining the past few days with really heavy rain lat night. Even the whole morning there was still rain and people were getting worried about our event this evening. But in the end it did stop raining around lunch time and Beijing style it magically dried up till the early evening. I love Beijing for that. So actually Yu Changqing and I were able to perform at the green bike event for the „World No-Car Day“. First I did some bike tricks and then he did some bike tricks. This is the first time that he is performing in the past 2 years.
Unfortunately it was very dark and I had issues to take pictures with my small point and shoot (Why did I lose my nice Canon SLR? In these kind of situations I really want a 5D Mark II).
It is getting dark really early these days. I took these pictures at 6:55pm and it was already pitch dark. It seems that winter is coming. Also temperature wise. A few days ago we were still having the fans on in the shop and recently we were talking about the heater. So here is the last picture I took of Yu Changqing’s performance, this time with flash.
And then for the first time ever Chinese Yu Changqing and German Ines Brunn performed together on a trick bike showing the crowd our love for bikes.
How wonderful it must be to have a boyfriend that is preparing a bike as a birthday gift. I would love such a gift. And what the colors he chose are very playful:
I like this Flying Banana fixed gear bike a lot.
And the even better thing is I know the girl! It is amazing how small Beijing is. Happy birthday Martina! Enjoy your great Natooke bike!
In times when you do not feel well it is extremely great to have friends. And I am lucky to have good Chinese friends that care for me. Yesterday 2 of my friends bought me some „hong tang ma jiang“ which is the sesame paste mixed with brown sugar and is said to be good against diarrhea. Today another Chinese friend gave me a huge pot of home cooked „xiao mi zhou“ (millet porridge) and self made „xiang cai“ (salty fermented vegetable) which is also supposed to be good against diarrhea. Eating those actually helped. I had already given up on Immodium which seemed to have not been helping. Currently my diarrhea stopped (I know you all do not want to hear about this). I am so happy that I have Chinese friends!
The original article by China Daily is here.
More than 80 percent of Beijing’s office workers are willing to saddle up and commute to work by bicycle, according to a report released on Saturday.
But the report adds that the would-be cyclists will not be choosing the green option unless a list of prerequisites is met first.
Top of the list is the need for safe bicycle lanes that are not used by car drivers for parking.
The office workers said they would also need to feel confident that their bikes will not be stolen because the theft of cycles is rampant in the capital.
And their final demand is that a more convenient and efficient bike rental system is developed, especially near subway stations.
The report, conducted by China Mainland Marketing Research Co, together with another report named Bike for a Better Beijing, which was released on the same day by Friends of Nature, point out challenges facing cyclists in the city.
„Motor vehicles are the priorities in the design of Beijing’s road systems, making it dangerous to cycle in the city,“ said Li Bo, head of Friends of Nature in China.
Li said about 75 percent of interviewees who took part in the research said Beijing lacks parking lots designed for bikes.
„Too many people have had their bikes stolen, so they only ride shabby ones instead, which makes riding a bike shameful instead of fashionable.“
In addition, the bike rental industry in Beijing has faced challenges because it requires high investment but has low usage.
Wang Yong, president of the Beijing Bicycle Rental Co, said he had invested more than 50 million yuan in the business since 2005. He said business had been so bad that almost all of his rivals had left the market during the past five years.
Guo Haiyan, vice-president of the Chinese Cycling Association, said the main reason for the low take-up rate for bike rentals was the lack of convenience.
„The number of motor vehicles is growing so fast in Beijing, exceeding 4.5 million and occupying so much space,“ she said. „It is not an exaggeration to call the city ‚a flowing parking lot‘.“
Guo said, with all the problems caused by motor vehicles, it is high time to slow down and think about what would make Beijing a „livable city“.
Shannon Bufton, an Australian who is the founder of Smarter Than Car, an NGO dedicated to promoting the use of bikes in Beijing, said the idea of a livable city has evolved in the West.
He said in the 1940s, Western countries used to believe in motor vehicles as a more convenient mode of travel but, 20 years later, severe congestion hit many countries, just as it is doing in Beijing right now.
He cited Copenhagen as an example of how a city can evolve past the stage Beijing is now at. The city used to be crowded with cars before the government made part of the city center car-free.
„It is the idea of ‚reconquering cities‘ initiated by Danish designers, which means reclaiming the city center from cars for people.“
Denmark is one of the nations with the highest GDP but despite its affluence, Danish people choose to cycle, even in the winter.
Another role model for Beijing is Bogota, capital of Colombia, he said.
Bufton said the use of bikes in the city has multiplied nine times in the past five years and special wide lanes have been created down the center of roads for cyclists to use.
„People have to get out of their cars to experience the advantages of cycling but all the advantages are based on convenience,“ Wang added.
„When we see rich people and celebrities driving their cars every day and when it is almost impossible to find a place to park your bike; when all the roads are designed for motor vehicles, it is ridiculous to ask the public to ride a bike.“
There was also an article about the „Bike for Better Beijing“ published in the Global Times.
Today was also an article about the very bad traffic jams in Beijing the past few days.
Just a few days ago was an article in China Daily about how it is not easy to cycling in Beijing with all the cars in the city.
Screening of ‚Beijing Bicycle‘
To celebrate ‘World No Car Day’ Friends of Nature together with STC are organizing a ‘bike to movie’ event at Ditan Park.
We invite all variety of bike riders to join together and ride to the event to show support for bicycles in Beijing. Come and join us for a classic movie under the stars.
The event is free and the first 50 participants from STC (Smarter Than Car) will be treated to a free T-shirt and water bottle.
Ines Brunn will also be doing a very very special trick performance together with Yu Changqing. That’s right 2 people on 1 bike doing tricks that most of can’t even manage when standing on solid ground!
Yu Changqing is a 74 year young Beijinger that started doing tricks on bikes at the age of 13. Over the years he had performed hundreds of times at National festivals and events. After meeting Ines Brunn and watching her perform he was inspired to get back to doing tricks. The 2 are now practicing tricks together on his trick bike. A beautiful mixture of young and old, East and West, male and female bond through their passion for bikes.
于先生北京人，今年芳龄74， 从13岁起就进行车技表演。 他曾经在不同的场合，仪式庆典上进行了上百次表演。 在遇到了伊泉并看过伊泉表演后， 他被感染了，决定重新回到自行车上。两人现在正加紧训练。 大家将会期待一场新老，东西方，男女荟萃的精彩表演。
Due to limitations imposed by the Ditan Park Management the movie screening will begin at 7 pm – therefore STC will organize a group ride after the movie to a bar or club for those that are interested in partying on.
Meeting point : North Gate of Ditan Park. 6.30 pm
Time : Tuesday September 21st
6.30pm – free t-shirt + bottle collection / 6:30PM 填写免责书， 发T-Shirt 和自行车水壶
6:45pm – Presentation and Ines and Yu’s performance / 伊泉和于先生车技表演
7:00pm- Screening of ‘Beijing Bicycle’ / 放映‘北京单车’
9:00 pm – STC ride – venue TBC / 骑行活动
Bring : Your bike and bike lock. Bring friends. Bring some snacks along or eat before the movie !
Contact/联系 : Shannon 13426474634
Please RSVP if you would like the free drink bottle and t-shirt ! email@example.com
如果参加此活动得到T－Shirt 或自行车水壶 ， 请邮件回复，firstname.lastname@example.org
Natooke shop is glad to have a new employee helping is out in the shop. Thank you Dupree! Dupree and I put a bike together for a customer. It was an alloy frame fixed gear bike.
It has a very classy look with the silver and chrome.
Dupree was super happy to have built his first fixed gear bicycle. And he waited for the customer to come to hand it over himself.
This evening I was extremely tired as my stomach was not well, but we still went to Jess’s birthday party. It was nice to see friends and have a relaxing evening together despite the continuous rain.
My cycling friend Anthony is heading out to live and work near Dali in South of China. He had won the Alleycat race we had organized for our Fixed Gear Revolution 2 event just a month ago. He came to donate the golden cup trophy to the bike shop.
It was the first time for me to see the golden cup in close up: They had actually written „Alleycat Champino“ on it! How funny.
Today there was a fixed gear ride that I had organized but I was feeling really sick and had been sleeping the whole day so I had only come to the shop to tell the guys I am not riding.
It is fun to meet up with Yu Changqing for our tricks together on one bike. Every time we meet there is someone new coming out of the woodwork. Somebody that played a role in the community of hobby trick cyclists in and around Beijing. Today we had a guy from Changping that had heard about us training and came to watch. He does juggling on his old flying pigeon for fun. He first showed us the one sided diabolo.
Then he showed us the diabolo with a sling around the body.
He can also play with the flower stick type of a devil stick. So he showed us that in the same position on his bike.
And even with this cyclist from outside of Beijing city of course coach Liang has some suggestions for him. He suggests that it would be better to balance on the front wheel when doing the devil stick. And he shows what he means.
And of course also 80 year old coach Wen has some comments to make on how to best keep balance on the bike and have the hands free to do other things.
Yu Changqing is very happy to be back on his bike doing tricks. It is great to watch him get more confident every time we meet up.
To warm up we do our tricks that are already going smooth like this „lixianghe“.
Our „paerduo“ headstand trick is getting better.
It is great to have the 2 coaches around that both used to do bike tricks themselves. Coach Wen does not say much but says it in a very precise manner. I really like him as our coach.
Of course also coach Liang had some comments to make on my arms.
So we tried the trick a few more times on this beautiful sunny day on the backside of Deshengmen and they were happy with the progress I was making.