Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Global Times Social Mobility

Mittwoch, November 28th, 2012

Here is an article published by Global Times in the Beijing section of the newspaper about social mobility. I also copied the full article into my blog:

Social mobility

By Hannah Leung


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Indoor stationary bike races help pass the time until spring comes. Photos: Courtesy of Shannon Bufton



Indoor stationary bike races help pass the time until spring comes. Photos: Courtesy of Shannon Bufton

Bikers are cool, but actually riding a bicycle takes more energy or motivation than some of us have.  But luckily, winter is a prime time to infiltrate the biking community and meet those fit, fun and athletic people without having to mount a saddle.

Winter biking activities are a gateway into fun events, socializing and progressive ideas, so take advantage of the sub-zero temperature to warm up to the biking niche without breaking a sweat. Whether it’s visiting multifunctional bike venues like Serk or Natooke or participating in indoor events, get the social wheels rolling without chilly pedals testing your mettle.

All year cheer

Biking while drinking is a bad idea. But taken separately, what better place to have a drink then a venue where fit people tend to congregate? Serk, discretely located in Beixinqiao, houses coffee, drinks and bikes in a streamlined, open space with high ceilings.

„Biking in the winter is a big concern which is why we decided to have something other than bikes,“ said owner Shannon Bufton, who runs the space with his wife, a Beijing native. The husband and wife duo are also co-founders of Smarter than Car, an aptly named platform that favors greener alternatives.

At the front is the bar and cabin-esque café; look high for the assortment of bicycles hanging above. The gear and supplies are packed efficiently in the back. Novices can peruse through biking and outdoor adventure magazines on the side shelves, while serious bikers phase in and out.

„Serk is a very flexible space. We have a workshops for bikes in the back,“ Bufton said.  „People may put their bikes away in the winter, but they can still learn how to keep their bikes up in the summer.“

Active activities 

For those hoping to do more than sit around and take in the scene, winter biking options are surprisingly expansive. Serk is holding a thrice-occurring indoor bike competition in December, January, and March, called JISU PK. The event has two competitors race on stationary bikes for 30-seconds, an event fueled by alcohol.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Beijing Bunch Ride is a group that rides all the way through winter. Organized by TriBeijing and Serk, the group meets early Sunday mornings at Serk, before heading out.

Natooke, which customizes fixed gear bikes, has already become, well, a fixture in Wudaoying Hutong, holding many events at all times of the year.

Owner Ines Brunn, originally from Germany, first visited Beijing in 2001 and witnessed first hand the progression of a city cycling culture upturned by a car society. This has fortunately shifted in the past two years, with the emergence of a younger generation of bikers.

On Saturday, Natooke held a Mini Fixed Gear Revolution, a winter indoor event at Long Art Space in the 798 District that featured indoor racing and relay races. All levels of bikers were welcomed.

„I thought it would be good to have a counter event to summer activities, [one] less competitive and more focused on having fun in the winter,“ said Brunn.

Despite being winter, there seemed no shortage of bikers, evident from the dozen enthused, well-dressed and mostly young Chinese locals that showed up around 11 am outside the shop prior to the event to ride up together.

Other events just require basic bike riding skills and a lot of zeal, including the Big Dirty ride on St. Nicholas Day, December 6, better known as the day foreigners dress like Santa and attract attention from locals.

„We’ll have a costume ride, like we had for Halloween. We’ll meet here at 8 pm and find Santa costumes for people who do not have them, then we’ll ride,“ said Brunn.

Mind the elements

One obvious way to get involved is to treat the bicycle as it was intended, as a mode of green transportation. Don’t be deterred from starting now.

„I’m always confused when people say, ‚I don’t cycle anymore in the winter because it’s cold,‘ and then they take the subway and walk forever. I find it much colder when you’re [waiting] for a bus or taxi for 20 minutes,“ said Brunn.

Novices and experts agree on dressing well.

„You can put bags over your socks, [which] stops the wind from going in,“ said Bufton, recommending sticking hot pouches (available at any convenience store) inside gloves and on top of the toes. „Always cover your ears,“ Bufton added, knowing the value of keeping warm, after his feet started to go numb a few years ago from winter riding.

And unless you want to counterweigh the benefits of biking, wear a face mask to shield against pollution.

Of course, not all run-of-the-mill bikers are convinced, though aesthetics play a convincing factor.

„All the international kids in the area, especially Koreans, have cool looking fixed gear bikes…I’m sure that pretty bikes are a great conversation starter,“ said Theresa Tong, a 26-year-old Australian studying in Wudaokou.

„But harsh wind is not my friend,“ Tong said, with no plans of using the bike as a social tool to sneak into the cool – no make that freezing cold – biking subculture.


Mittwoch, März 7th, 2012


Natooke Logo

Our shop has been open for 3 years already. I cannot believe it. We started Natooke shop on March 7th 2009 in the center of Beijing. It has grown very big but we are still in the same traditional hutong building.

Natooke Shop Outside

We soon after started a Chinese twitter site. There are almost 5000 people following our daily updates in Chinese. Of course we organize many events and are happy to have so many people join.

Bikes in front of Natooke

We just started the Chinese Ebay (called Taobao) . There we are selling parts and bikes to people who do not want to come to the shop or live somewhere else. But still we have so much stuff in the shop.

Natooke inside

Video of Takao Bike Polo Cup Kaohsiung

Donnerstag, Januar 5th, 2012

Two Natooke bike polo teams as well as our own Natooke bike polo coach went to Taiwan last December. We had a Natooke men and a Natooke girls team. Today I saw the official video of the Takao Cup of Asian Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships 2011 in Kaohsiung Taiwan. Watch on youtube.

I also stumbled across another video of our Natooke team dancing away and trying to get others to join in. it is hilarious. It is always fun with the Natooke guys! Here’s the link

My pictures from the bike polo cup are all on the Natooke website in this gallery.

Natooke Bikes

Montag, Januar 2nd, 2012

Last year we have been busy all kinds of amazing custom bikes for so many people. As we are re-doing our Natooke website I am uploading pictures of the bikes we built for customers, as well as our happy customers and friends. Here are just some pictures of Flying Banana bicycles.

Classic Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

Aggressive Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

Custom Writing on Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

Watermelon Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

White Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

Green Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike by Natooke

Happy New Year

Sonntag, Januar 1st, 2012

First of all: Happy New Year!

It has been many months since I last regularly wrote blog entries. Because some friends and some fans complained about that I decided for the year 2012 I will try to update my blog.

Natooke shop has been very amazing last year and I hope we can continue the same way in 2012. I am happy to have met so many interesting people that just walked in either by coincidence or because they had read about us or seen us on TV. Let us have lots of fixed gear riding fun together in this year.

Beijing Fixed Gear Ride on New Year’s Eve 2011

New Year’s Eve we had a Natooke fixed gear bicycle ride to end off the year 2011 and greet the New Year while cycling along Beijing’s streets. We waited for the countdown on a huge clock near Xidan.

Natooke Riding on Beijing Streets

Recently we have some really enthusiastic girls come to rides and events. Keep up the hard riding!

Doudou Riding her Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike

Suan Suan Riding her Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike

Beijing is getting colder and there are not many people on the streets at night. That made for a huge space for us cycling especially on the extremely wide bicycle lane of Chang’An Boulevard that goes right through the center of Beijing.

Riding Fixed Gear on the wide bicycle lane of Chang’An Boulevard

The remaining group did a very brief stop on Tiananmen Square before the guard came to tell us to keep moving on.

Natooke Fixed gear on Tiananmen Square

Then we went to get some early morning food at a small Chinese restaurant. We just stacked our bikes outside of the restaurant. Unfortunately a drunk driver in a SUV drove past and drove too close to our bikes so his car must have touched the most outside bike and the drove over that bikes‘ back wheel.

Bike Pile in Beijing

But we figured a bent wheel in the first hours of the year brings good luck. More pictures are all in this gallery.

Natooke and Ines Brunn in „China Today“ Magazine

Samstag, November 26th, 2011

There is a nice German article on „China Heute“ about Natooke shop, fixed gear events that we organized in Beijing, bike tricks and me in the German edition of the online magazine called „China Today“. Read it here.

I also saw the printed article in the Spanish version of the magazine called „China Hoy“.

Ines Brunn in China Hoy Magazine

BJ Bikeboy Alleycat Videos

Montag, April 18th, 2011

Here are some amazing videos from the April 16th Beijing Lining Bikeboy event.

The first video is done by Shannon who had his camera mounted on the fork of his bicycle and got some amazing shots.

The second video is done by „Niurenku“. There team had come to film during the event. I like that they went to 4 of the 5 stations and filmed there too as well as of course the beginning of the race. But I need to improve my Chinese.

Natooke and Bikeboy

Natooke Beijing Bikeboy Alleycat

Samstag, April 16th, 2011

It was hard work organizing the Bikeboy alleycat with such short notice but it was fun and a huge success! All of the Natooke team worked very hard. I uploaded various pictures of the day. Here are some of the preparation and before the start of the race. Big thank you to all our volunteers and cycling friends also for setting up a small booth with Natooke products such as bike frames, rims, wheels…

Natooke Booth at Bikeboy 2

Preparing the Race

The start of the Beijing Bike Boy Alleycat fixie bicycle race was like this: We started running from inside the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art out to our bikes that were laid in front of the entrance. There were 85 registered racer and it was amazing that no one stepped on anybody’s bike. Alleycat Race Start pictures

Bikes ready for the BJ Alleycat Race

Running to our Bikes

Jumping on our Bikes

As Natooke team was requested to race and later asked to organize the Bikeboy alleycat we had to do it the way that the checkpoint locations are communicated in advance. There was a start and end location plus 5 locations scattered across the city to make more than 1 possible route. At each checkpoint there were Alleycat Checkpoint Games.

Turning around a Bike Fork

Rim Roller Racing

All racers of the Beijing Bike Boy Alleycat had to come to the Natooke shop checkpoint where there was a ping pong game. Some came running without shirt.

Mitchell Arriving at Natooke

Team from America Arriving at Natooke

Lining Bike Boy Alleycat fixed gear race through Beijing ended at the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art in the 798 art district on the North East side of Beijing. The racers came back sweaty, dusty and tired but happy. Alleycat Race Finish

Race Finish Table

By the way, we have all the manifests at Natooke now. So if you want your manifest back as a souvenir, just drop by the shop.

Pile of Race Manifests

Natooke as the organizer of this bike race held the prize ceremony for the Beijing Bikeboy Alleycat race. The categories were women living in Beijing – Ines Brunn (Team Natooke) won, men living in Beijing – Ben Wareham (Team Natooke) won and men not living in Beijing – Jacob Klink (Team Natooke) won. The prizes for the winners were all sponsored by Lining. Alleycat Prize Winners

Ben Wareham - Winner of men (BJ)

Jacob Klink - Winner of men (non BJ)

Here is a picture of all the April 2011 Beijing Bikeboy Aleycat winners. Congratulations!

All the BJ Alleycat Winners

Natooke – LiNing Bike Boy Alleycat Fixed Gear Bike Race and Party with JisuPK

Montag, April 11th, 2011

Soon will be the Beijing Li-Ning Bike Boy Alleycat Bike Race ( It will be held on Saturday April 16th starting a 2:30pm in the Beijing 798 art district at the Iberia Center for Contemporary Art. It will be a fun race through the city to 5 different check points and then back to the starting point. There will be prizes for male and female racers from Beijing as well as separate prizes for male and female racers from other cities. So if you have a fixed gear bike then quickly register ( and come on out and have fun with us.

Natooke - LiNing Bike Boy Alleycat Fixed Gear Bike Race

After the alleycat bike race there will be a Li-Ning fixed gear party at the 798 Iberia Center for Contemporary Art. The party includes guests like Sam Lee, 24 Herbs from HongKong, Taiwan MC HotDog, Japan T19 Fixed Gear Team, American FTC Fixed Gear Team ( and also the STC JisuPK race system

In preparation for the alleycat race let us do a bike ride on Wednesday April 13th starting at 8pm at Natooke shop ( Natooke shop is one of the race check points. Let us ride to all the other check points so that we know where they are. If you do not have a fixed gear bike then let us know as we have a few for rent. But please book one in advance to make sure we are not booked out.

Alleycat race registration ends on Wednesday April 13th 11:00pm so please be quick to register:

Looking forward to seeing you on your bikes! Let us blast around the city.

Ines and the Natooke team.

Beijing Alleycat Fixed Gear Race Spokecard

Natooke&李宁Bike Boy野猫赛与极速PK和派对

北京李宁Bike Boy野猫赛就要开始了(。本次比赛将在416日星期六下午230分正式开始,起点是798艺术园区的伊比利亚当代艺术中心。这将是一次有趣的比赛,你要寻找市区内的五个检查点然后回到起点。本次比赛还设有本地组男子和女子奖项奖品及外地组男子合女子奖项奖品。所以如果你有死飞车的话,赶紧来http://bikeboy.natooke.com注册报名然后和我们一起玩吧。

野猫赛结束后,还会有李宁死飞派对,也在伊比利亚当代艺术中心。派对邀请了李灿森SamLee和他的朋友香港24HERBS,以及台湾MC HotDog热狗,日本T19车队,美国FTC车队(。当然还有比车牛的极速PK


注册野猫赛的截止日期为41323点,所以请尽快注册哦: 很期待在你的自行车上见到你!让我们在北京城里风驰电掣一下吧!


An Inspiring Ride with Ines Brunn

Montag, März 28th, 2011

My friend Berta had worked for a while on getting enough footage with her Canon 5D Mark II digotal SLR for this video project. She accompanied me to different performances and had to cope with bad lighting and strange strange backdrops. But I think it came out really nice.

Here is the beautiful video on vimeo and on youtube.

The best thing about it is the music to it that was all played by Zac Courtney with his drum sticks hitting my trick bike and nothing else.

Zac Playing on Trickbike

Zac and Berta during the Filming

And here some websites and blogs that featured it:
Locked Cog
Fixed Gear Hungary
Takeover LA
Pedal Consumption
Froots Fukuoka
Mad Motion Track