Archive for the ‘Cycling’ Category

Article about STC JisuPK Event

Montag, Januar 31st, 2011

The Global Times newspaper reporter Ming Yue had come to our Smarter than Car (STC) indoor roller racing event (JisuPK) on Jan 22nd at Decathlon store. Here is the link to the article. And here is a copy of the article and the pictures taken by our fixed gear and road cyclist friend Ricky Wong:

Stationary speedsters

  • Source: Global Times, [10:08 January 31 2011]

Race to the start. Photos: Ricky Wong

By Ming Yue

Bicycles used to be the most popular mode of transportation in Beijing, but in recent decades they’ve largely been replaced by the car, taxi, bus, subway and pedicab. But Smarter Than Car (STC), a Beijingbased bike culture advocacy group, is trying to make bicycles cool again with a series of indoor races on stationary bikes, and so far 61 people have risen to the challenge.

The race, called Jisu PK, is divided into 20-second rounds where three riders face off on special refitted bicycles. The front wheels are nonexistent, and the back wheels have been fixed to the spot and fitted with sensors that can track the rider’s speed. Participants race for 300 meters, and whoever is the fastest is the winner.

„Today we did the 300 meters for the first races, and for the fi nal races we do 500 meters,“ said Ines Brunn, one of the STC’s founders and also a bicycle lover.

The race on January 22 at Yizhuang was actually the second stop in STC’s Jisu PK series. The first stop was held January 15 at School Bar in Wudaoying Hutong.

„In China people think the bicycle is uncool and the car is cool. This event is to put bicycles on the stage and make riding bicycles cool and fun. We do this with a DJ and cool bicycles,“ Shannon Bufton, one of the founders in STC said of the idea of Jisu PK series.

In the January 15 race, most of the participants were expats, but the champion in the men’s division was Sun Zhe, a 22-year-old Chinese student. „I’ve been doing road races for fun in my spare time for three years. But last time was my first time to experience Jisu PK,“ he said at the Yizhuang race. For Sun, his championship was totally a surprise. „It is a really short race, and not quite tiring. I think it’s a test for the burst of strength.“ But, since the fi rst bite, Sun obviously fell into Jisu PK and registered for the second stop in Yizhuang.

According to Bufton’s introduction, about 99 percent of participants preregistered for the Jisu PK Yizhuang race were Chinese, which was opposite to the situation at School Bar. However, Brunn says they still have a lot more to do. „Each time we do it is getting better and more Chinese people hear about it and get interested,“ she said.

At January 22’s event, STC prepared 100 preregistration places, and people passing by in the market could also come in and have a try. „Hopefully members from the public will come in today and participate in the race. We have small bikes and big bikes. Even the kids can have rides,“ Bufton said. „Though the average age of participants was probably about 23 or 24, there are also quite a lot of people over 40 or some are over 50,“ he said.

The first name on the signing board was Shen Jingchao, a 54-year-old man living nearby. Having been a member of a bicycle club for three years, Shen has abundant experiences in biking. In summer, he rides his bike to his work place at Xiaoyun Lu from Yizhuang, a distance of about 28 kilometers. However, he said he came to this event just for fun. „If the races are based on di. erent age groups, I may have a chance to win,“ he said. „But I came just for fun.“

Wang Xiucun, a 56-year-old woman, was quite easy to find among the group in front of the stage because of her bright red bicycle gear. She has been racing bicycles outdoors for 10 years as a hobby, but after trying out the stationary bike, she said it was totally different from riding outdoors, and she hadn’t yet grasped the best technique to achieve speed on it. In addition to Shen and Wang, there were quite a few participants over 40 in attendance. The final winners on January 22 were two young participants, but that was not the most important thing on that day.

The third Jisu PK race will be held on February 26, and the schedule is available on STC’s webstite, www. In addition to the Jisu PK series, there are also some regular riding events, such as Friday Light Rides held by STC and the cooperation riding project, Bike for A Better Beijing, between STC and Low-Carbon Transportation Project of Friends of Nature.

For more information see: or http://greentransport.

Race Bikes and Media

Donnerstag, Januar 13th, 2011

Today the Flying Banana bike frames for the Jisu PK races arrived. They look so beautiful. We ordered them in the Olympic colors (except black). We are going to build them up for the first race that will be held on Saturday Jan 15th organized by STC. Natooke is sponsoring the bikes 🙂

Olympic colors bike frames

Beautiful Flying Banana Frames for JisuPK

Shannon put together this cool JisuPK promo video from some of teh events where we set up this kind of race last year. But last year we used cheaper bikes. I am so looking forward to JisuPk with these new frames.

Also a few weeks back Beijing TV came to film about „Smarter than Car“. I was not there, but you can watch the STC BTV special footage here.

Today was also one of these typical days at Natooke. A lady walks in and says „I write for the magazine „Business Times“. Please do some tricks on your bike now“. It is nice to get this attention from the media, but I do have to smile when I get asked to do bicycle tricks like that. Of course I was wearing my high heel boots and not really the clothes for tricks. But it is enough to do stunts to impress the photograpgers and editors or cameramen. I never would have thought that my 21 years of practice would be so useful one day  🙂 If I would have said 5 years ago when I did one of my last bicycle competitions that „One day I will be doing bike tricks on the streets of Beijing for business magazines“ nobody would have believed me. Life is fun!

First Beijing FG Ride 2011

Montag, Januar 10th, 2011

Thanks to Mitchell we organized a fixed gear bike ride on a freezing cold Monday night. I mean it was below zero in teh daytime and of course even more below zero at night. It is the first ride of the year 2011 of the Beijing fixed gear crew. I was thinking that maybe only 5 people would show up. But no! We were in the end 12 people that cycled with us and most of them on nice Natooke bikes.

Tom asked me to point out that Garth only sand papered half of his handlebar and came on our ride with a half black half silver bullhorn. That is barely recognizable due to the dim light on this picture:

Garth with 2 colored handlebar

Brad and Renfei also came along on the ride.

Beijing Fixed Gear Riders

We followed Mitchell’s suggestion to ride to the Beijing 798 art district. As always I chose the path all the way along the canal as it is off the main roads and has less cars.It would be cool if it would be for bikes only though…

Cycling along a canal in Beijing City

It was great to have 12 rider come out on their fixed gear bikes. In Dashanzi 798 we went to a statue of a fat man and took a picture for those who did not ride with us.

Beijing FG Night Ride Crew

Garth then led us on a tour around the closed art galleries till we got surrounded by wolves. I could just move my foot fast enough away.

Wolf biting a fixed gear bike pedal

I uploaded all my pictures onto a web album. Go here to check out more pictures with the wolves.

Also Garth’s saddle seemed to be tasty. But we could get it back without too much damage.

Wolf biting in a fixed gear bike saddle

Dupree helped us get the wolves away from us. Amazing how he knows how to ride such wild and vicious animals.

Dupree riding a wolf

But he did decide to switch back to his bike and go for dinner with us. Good that post bike Steve came to the ride as he knows the area really well and showed a small but tasty restaurant that had Shanxi style noodles served from a gigantic huge pot. Sorry I did not take a picture of it. But I did take a picture of our colorful unique bikes.

Fixed Gear Bikes in Beijing

Natooke Flying Banana Bikes resting after a Ride

After the dinner we took a group photo of the 8 guys and 4 girls that were tough enough to ride on such a cold night.

Fixed Gear Night Bike Ride Crew

Natooke Bikes and Scam

Donnerstag, Januar 6th, 2011

I am happy to be back in my bike shop in Beijing. Dupree had a hard time taking care of the shop alone, especially because he caught a cold. He is still not feeling totally well yet. He had to do 2 TV interviews and talk about our shop and fixed gear bikes in China. One was the Hebei TV station, the otehr was the Liaoning TV station that brought a lot of famous people to the shop and filmed him while he was building up the a bike for a customer. I am looking forward to seeing those TV shows.

He took some pictures of the bikes he built up during my vacation. I like this Flying Banana with the purple Oury grips matching the platform pedals and the light green KMC chain matching the fixed gear hubs and the cool Taiwanese Duro tires:

Cool Flying Banana Fixed Gear Bike

Cool green and purple color combinations

And this is a more classic dark colored aluminum fixed gear bike that a customer built up together with Dupree.

Natooke aluminum Fixie

Classic Style Dark Fixed Gear Bike

And here is a nice one of my friend Lao Zhou who can ride a unicycle and now wants to learn some tricks on a fixed gear bike.

Red Trick Fixie for Lao Zhou

Fixed Gear Bicycle for Playing Around

And Dupree told me about a scam around our Natooke bike shop!!! He said a guy came in with a cheap fixed gear bike and wanted him to change something on it. The guy said this is a Natooke bike. Dupree said he is 100% sure that we never had such a shitty frame and those cheap parts. The guy said he did not personally buy it in the shop but his friend recommended to contact some guy via the Chinese instant messaging system QQ. That guy supposedly can get the good Natooke bikes at 2000.-RMB. So the guy that walked into our shop actually thought he was buying a Natooke bike and saving a lot of money. The guy doing the scam had handed over the bike near the Lama Temple to the guy buying it claiming that he just got it from the Natooke shop! This is outrageous! There is a Chinese guy selling shitty fixed gear bikes and claiming they are from Natooke!!! If someone claims he is selling you a bike from Natooke feel free to contact us and ask us if t is actually a bike from us. Our shop number is 010-8402 6925. DO NOT BE TRICKED BY SUCH A SCAM!

On the positive side that means that people trust us for good quality. And we are getting famous. Let’s see what the next scam will be or how many other people will be fooled by this gangster.

Snow and Bikes

Samstag, Dezember 25th, 2010

After a late breakfast we started to exchange presents before lunch. Of course with a Erdinger wheat beer. And what present did a get? A bike seat cover from Erdinger Weissbier. Now I would just need to get a really wide saddle for my bike or I could just use it as a shower cap instead.

Erdinger Weissbier Seat Cap

Both my mother and my father gave each other a suitcase. So now they have an array of suitcases.

A suitcase for every occasion

Then we had to go out into the snow and start shovel the snow of last night off the driveway.

Child labor

Of course I tried to do some snow cycling but the snow was quite deep so it was very hard.

Ines cycling in deep snow

Ines bike riding in snow

Ines having fun on a bike in the deep snow

My mother then took us for a walk over the Franconian plains.

Snow on Muenchaurach

The people we met that were walking too almost all had dogs. My parents do not have a dog anymore. We could not decide who of us 3 is the dog.

Walk in the Snow

So much snow in Germany


Dienstag, Dezember 21st, 2010

China Radio International (CRI) came a week ago to film Shannon and me regarding our „Smarter than Car“ (STC).

Shannon interviewed by CRI

Here is the link to the video CRI made introducing what our mission in Beijing is. They wrote:

Beijing is a city made for cycling. There are designated bike lanes. You can lock up your two-wheeler almost anywhere. And, the city is as flat as a pancake. So why is Beijing jam-packed with vehicles? An organization called „Smarter Than Car“ is trying to change that. It is reviving pedal power in the city. Liu Bing reports.

CCTV Green Space Talkshow

Sonntag, Dezember 12th, 2010

I was invited to the CCTV10 Green Space (Green Life) talkshow to talk about cycling in Beijing as an environmentally friendly transportation method and a green lifestyle. It was a very nice show called „I love riding bike“. Have a look at this program, but it is all in Chinese and we only talk. Click on the following image to see the video:

绿色空间 2010年 第238期 我爱骑车

关  键  字:骑车出行  解读  绿色出行  看法  体会  环境资源

本期节目主要内容:本期节目请来自行车俱乐部发起人孙健和三联生活周刊的撰稿人袁越一起来对骑车出行做另类的解读,骑车作为一种被倡导的绿色出行方式,在 华居住多年的德国前室内自行车运动员伊泉和韩国健美教练赵守镇对于目前在中国骑车出行又有怎样的看法和体会,本期节目和主持人一起讨论骑车出行,倡导珍惜 环境资源。

There were 4 guests on this talk show. First Sun Jian and the author of Life Week Yuan Yue do travel together on bicycle. Cycling is started to become a way to do green traveling in China. Then a South Korean girl that does not cycle and me (Ines Brunn) were invited to speak about cycling in Beijing comparing it to other countries around the world.

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

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