Archive for November, 2010

Cycling to Jaffa

Montag, November 22nd, 2010

Another day at the bike shop. This is really relaxing. I get to do some emails and facebook and watch some videos on youtube. It is almost like a holiday. Do you see my Natooke water bottle on the inside of the bike shop next to the beer bottles?

Gordon Bennett Shop Outside

I had brought my trick bike to the shop and now it is standing inside behind the cool decoration made by used broken inner tubes.

Trick Bike and Inner Tubes

Arnon had a great idea to just close the shop and go our for a bike ride. He was riding his nice Colnago fixed gear bike.

Fixed Gear Bike of Arnon Fisher

He gave me an old Italian single speed bike similar to the Chinese Flying Pigeon Light Roadsters. By the way most of the pictures in this blog entry are Arnon’s pictures. They can all be found on facebook.

Ines on a single speed bicycle

We road towards the beach. Because I have only been in Tel Aviv so far he decided to cycle with me to Jaffa.

The old city of Jaffa

Cycling along the Beach in Israel

I stopped to take some pictures. But I did that of course without getting off my bicycle.

Ines taking photos

Ines Brunn and the Ocean

Arnon also did not get off his bike. His bar tape has such a flurescent color.

Arnon and the Ocean

But we did both shortly get off our bikes for a picture together.

Arnon and Ines on the bike ride to Jaffa

People had recommended to visit the old city of Jaffa and they had said I could cycle there. I was amazed by how close it is. It felt like cycling from Chaoyangmen to Yonghegong in Beijing. And that is a really short distance. But it was nice to be in Jaffa. We sat for a while near the ocean.

Ines in Jaffa

Then I decided to do some tricks.

Ines Brunn doing a Handstand on the edge of the Ocean

Holding the Equilibrium

Another Handstand on the Rocks by Ines Brunn

Thank you Arnon for taking these nice pictures!

Arnon and his Camera

Ines on the Rocks

The sun was already setting when we cycled into the city center.

Sunset over Jaffa Harbour

We then went to the famous flea market of Jaffa. But they were already closing down.

Flea Market in Jaffa

When we cycled back to Tel Aviv we saw the full moon rising just above the houses. That was amazing. What a good idea that we closed the shop for 2 hours. I should consider doing that in Beijing sometimes.

Full Moon over Tel Aviv

Gordon Bennett Fixed Gear Tel Aviv

Sonntag, November 21st, 2010

Today I had a relaxing day hanging out in a bike shop that was not mine. I was at Arnon’s fixed gear bike shop in Tel Aviv that is called Gordon Bennett.

Gordon Bennett in Israel

It is a cool little shop in the center of Tel Aviv.

Bike Shop Owner and Customer

Similar to my shop a lot of people drop by to say hi. I get more men in Beijing but Arnon gets more women. They mostly do not ride a fixed gear bike but just want to chat with the cool owner.

Bike Shop in Tel Aviv

Inside the Fixed Gear Shop

One Less Car T-Shirt

In Israel there seem to be many nice old frames from the 1970’s. So a lot of people have beautiful steel road bike frames converted to fixed gear.

Frames and Beers

As I know how it is running a bike shop I of course helped Arnon when there were more than 1 customer at the same time. So I helped change the outer tires for a customer.

Ines changing the Tire

Do not ask me why Arnon was shaking for this first picture he took. Maybe he was afraid I could not change the tire and therefore shaking due to fear. Who knows. It was a fun day.

Ines Brunn in Gordon Bennett changing Tires

Sea Port Performance and the Beach

Samstag, November 20th, 2010

Today I met the organizers of the Bikes 2010 exhibition which is going to be held here in Tel Aviv.

My Trick Bike and the Exhibition Organizers

They had organized many volunteers and camera men like Aviram to make it possible for me to do some performances at the Tel Avis Sea Port which gets quite a lot of visitors on a Saturday.

Aviram filming my Bike

It was a nice feeling to perform on the side of the ocean. And the weather was amazing: Sunny and warm. I did 3 times a show to attract people to come to the bicycle exhibition starting in a few days. Here are two of the many pictures taken by others.

Ines Brunn at Tel Aviv Sea Port

Headstand on Fixed Gear Bike by Ines

There are many pictures on facebook as that seems widely used here in Israel.

Some people of the Tel Aviv fixed gear bike group came to meet me.

Tel Aviv fixed gear group

Arnon tried my trick bike which seems way to small for him.

Arnon Fisher on Trick Bike

Then I went back to the hotel to rest as I was feeling the jetlag. But there was no time to rest as I received a call from a guy called Eli saying that Arnon is worried because he cannot take care of me today so he asked his good friend Eli to do that. And Eli happened to be on a nearby beach chilling. So Eli said I should come out and look for 2 handsome guys with a cute black dog. And so I did. It was easy to find them. I was happy to see that you could just park your bike on the beach.

Bikes on Tel Aviv Beach

I was hoping to be able to go for a swim, but as it was already after 3:30pm the sun was about to set and it was getting chilly. After Soraya came we decided to have a late lunch as most Israelis do on a Saturday. But I did not have a bike. So Eli suggested that I can sit on the top tube of his fixed gear bike as he anyway is used to carrying his cute dog on the back of it.

Eli and his dog ready for me to get on the bike

The first try we fell to the left side. So I decided to sit on the top tube facing the other direction. Then we fell to the right side. The dog was getting confused why we were doing this. Maybe it was the lack of my balance or maybe it was the jetlag. Or maybe 2 people and a dog on one fixed gear bike is too much. Ronen said it is because Eli just never took a women on his bike. So he then showed him how easy it is to ride with me sitting on his top tube of his mountain bike. I think the dog was also happy that I was on the other bike.

Eli with his happy Dog on his Bike

We then had dinner at the Cantina on Rothschild promenade. After a lot of food I was dead tired and walked back to my hotel. What a nice day.

Arrival in Israel

Freitag, November 19th, 2010

After an intimidating check-in, security and departure process and an unexpected special escort right when I stepped out of the airplane in Israel I am now happy to be here. The hotel is right at the Tel Aviv Marina.

Tel Aviv Marina

Boats in front of the hotel

And the hotel is just on the edge of these nice beaches. With today’s 26 degrees it feels really warm compared to the recent Beijing temperatures.

Tel Aviv Beaches

The beach promenade has a two directional bike lane. Unfortunately many pedestrians do not care about these lines painted on the ground.

Beach Promenade Bike lane

Funny was this part of the bike lane guiding you to ride directly onto the sand of the beach. That reminded me of some of the nobby tiles on the sidewalk for the blind people in Beijing streets that sometimes go right into a tree or a pole.

Bike lane into the sand of the beach

And as in most big cities around the world bike theft is an issue. Just to show the Beijing people who always claim bike theft is biggest in Beijing, here in Tel Aviv they steal anything off your bike. That hardly happens in Beijing. Be happy guys!

Parts Stolen off the Bike Frame

There is a nice view of Tel Aviv city from the hotel.

Tel Aviv City

It was interesting to see how Tel Aviv deals with recycling plastic bottles. In various places there are these big cages for anybody to drop off their plastic bottles as well as unwanted CD and DVDs.

Plastic Bottle Collection Station

In the evening I finally got to meet Edan Topper who had contacted me years ago and then written an article about all kinds of cycling disciplines unknown in Israel. He included pictures of me doing artistic cycling. He was one of the guys that started the web platform Groopy for the diverse cycling community of Israel. That is now the biggest online cycling platform in Israel. There is also a whole article about track cycling and velodroms as there is none in Israel.

Edan and Ines in Tel Aviv

We had a great dinner together talking the whole time about cycling. He is a passionate road cyclist and loves riding. He would love to see better cycling infrastructure in Israel but is down to Earth in saying that the government should use the money first to focus on education and health care. After the dinner we went for a nice walk along the city promenade and then for some Spanish sparkling wine in Cava. It was very inspiring to talk to him.

Ines in Tel Aviv Nightlife

Searching for Assistant

Donnerstag, November 18th, 2010

Natooke bike and juggling shop is searching for an assistant. We would prefer a Chinese national with good level of English. The job would require a lot of back office work with occasional shop work. A person with an affinity towards bikes would be preferred. If interested please contact me at

Today when I met up with Yu Changqing for our late morning (it is getting cold) practice I found out it is his birthday today! Now he is really also in our Western counting 74 years old. I invited him for lunch. All the best to him for the next 20 or more years!

Natooke in MING Magazine 明日风尚

Mittwoch, November 17th, 2010

Our shop is getting so famous that we do not even know when there is a new article in a newspaper or magazine or again something on TV. 2 friends had mentioned they saw us in a magazine called Ming 明日风尚. Today Echo brought the November 2010 edition of the magazine that Tom had found.

Ming Magazine November 2010

It is a very nice article about Federico and me and our shop. It is in the „Good Life“ section of the magazine and has the main title „Retail Star“.

Natooke in Ming Magazine

Another friend mentioned that there is also an article in the high speed train magazine. I remember being interviewed for that. I hope I can see the article soon.

Natooke Build Bikes

Sonntag, November 14th, 2010

The weather is getting cold in Beijing and most people still do not have heating but they still come to our shop to buy bikes or juggling equipment. Thanks guys! Today was busy and because I was out at the show I only took 1 picture of 1 of the fixed gear bikes that we built in Natooke.

Red and Black Flying Banana

Currently most customers chose our beautifully hand made steel frames – our Flying Banana frames. I like how the red rims and tires on this one go so well with the Oury grips. It is an elegant and cool choice.

The Customer and his new Bike

After that Julien and I went to our friends home for a typical French Raclette dinner. We brought the 5 kilogram pig leg – I mean the remaining 5 kilogram of the ham. Akiko told me that when she was back home in Japan she met a friend of a friend who loves cycling. She was amazed that he knows me for my trick bike abilities from my online videos. And of course he was amazed that she is a friend of mine. The world is so small 🙂

The Chi of Shaolin – The Tale of a Dragon

Sonntag, November 14th, 2010

My friend Elyse Ribbons who runs the Cheeky Monkey productions knows Zhao Yan Yan who was a gold medal Chinese acrobat. Her father was one of China’s bike acrobats. Yan Yan now runs a company producing shows with Chinese artists for the USA market. The newest show is called „The Chi of Shaolin – The Tale of a Dragon“ which she is producing together with Guy Caron who was the Director of Creation for Cirque Du Soleil’s productions of KA and Dralion.

The Chi of Shaolin - The Tale of a Dragon Poster

Elyse was invited to a special rehearsal performance for Guy Caron who had just flown in to see the progress of the rehearsals. As Elyse and I are foreigners we were picked up by a car with tainted windows and brought to the rehearsal theater. We were about 20 people there to watch and we had chairs on the stage just 1 meter away from all the action.

Shaolin Monks

The men were all trained in Shaolin temples with amazing kungfu abilities.

Shaolin Acrobats

The girls are from circus schools with the traditional acrobatic skills.

Foot Juggling

For example the juggling with the feet or the traditional synchronized diabolo routine. I liked the foot juggling and spinning of cloth with the costumes and colors.

Cloth spinning with feet and hands

The group of 8 Shaolin guys and 5 acrobat girls have 1 more week of rehearsals before they head out to Reno Nevada USA for shows. I wish them good luck! Here is a picture of them with Yan Yan and Guy.

The Shaolin Acrobats Group

Dupree’s Bike and STC at „mini“ Pecha Kucha

Dienstag, November 9th, 2010

Finally we are working on Dupree’s fixed gear bike. The wheels are finished now he started installing the bottom bracket on his matt black Flying Banana frame.

Wheels for Dupree’s Bike

The next step was the headset. As his frame is lugged he is installing a Italian threaded headset.

Dupree’s Headset

This year we are celebrating our 4th annual event series of „Greening the Beige“ GTB10: Plant Your Seed. Warming up to the full month of „green“ creative thinking and doing, there was a 1st-event „mini“ Pecha Kucha Night at The Bookworm, hosted by Beijing Green Drinks and Greening the Beige.

Presentations included the following:
1) GTB’10: Plant Your Seed (annual Greening the Beige event series)
2) Shannon Bufton, Smarter than Car STC
3) Philip McMaster, World Sustainability Project
4) Bertil Weil & Tulipos Fan,
5) He Bowen, Dynamic City Foundation, Sustainable City Project
6) Patrick Augenstein, Environmental Education Media Project China

Shannon spoke about hear an idea for re-inventing Beijing’s roadside bicycle repair stations which was really interesting.

Shannon at Beijing Pecha Kucha

After that Julien and I took his father for a goodbye dinner at a Beijing style hotpot restaurant.

Dinner at Hotpot

Vote for me to be on the 2011 Spring Festival Global Gala

Dienstag, November 9th, 2010

Beijing TV has arranged various auditions in search for performers for the 2011 Spring Festival Global Gala. Yu Changqing and I had applied and made it through the first 2 rounds of auditions with our bike tricks.

Ines Brunn and Yu Changqing for BTV Global Gala

Now we need your help to vote for us. So please vote for us (德国选手:伊泉 中国选手:郁长清 表演自行车特技):

I am in the 2nd row, the 2nd picture from the left. To vote click the small box below the picture of me on my bike. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and click before 匿名 (it is on the far right side) for
voting anonymously. Then you have to enter the 5 digit verification number and then just click on 提交.

If you get a window saying „投票成功!!!“ your vote has been successful. But it seems you need Internet Explorer (IE) for that, it does not work for me with firefox browser. 🙂 Thanks.

Ines Brunn and Yu Changqing for BTV Spring Festival Global Gala

Yu and Ines on BTV Website