There was a short clip about the second audition for the Beijing TV 2011 Spring Festival Global Gala shown on TV 2 days ago. Here is a link to the TV video. The section about me and Yu Changqing starts at 3min 18sec. I hope we can be selected to perform our bike tricks for the big gala show during Chinese New Year.
Archive for the ‘Performers’ Category
STC participated in an event organized by the Trends group for their „Half Car“ green initiative. I did a performance in front of famous Chinese people. Here is a picture of that in the October issue of the Trends Car (时尚座驾) magazine.
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.
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.
Our early morning meet-ups are getting regular. And this location at Deshengmen is nice as there are not many people coming to stare at us. And it is big enough for safe practicing. Today another guy that used to do bike tricks showed up with his wife. He knows the other guys too. Suzan keeps filming documenting how Yu Changqing is getting back to his passion of bicycle tricks and how slowly the former Beijing bike trick gang is showing up. Somehow it reminds me of the Buena Vista Social Club in Cuba and how the former musicians got back together at old age to follow their passion. I am so happy to be part of this.
The photographers from last tame came back. This time they did not only hide in the bushes, they also stood in the center to take pictures.
We still trained our typical tricks and did not let us get annoyed by the comments like „you need to start doing your trick over there and then ride really close to this edge of the stone, then we can get a better picture“ as we do not risk our lives for a good photo.
Our „shuang pian“ trick is getting better.
Photographer Wang took some nice pictures yesterday of me and Yu Changqing training our bike tricks. Three pictures were posted on the China.org.cn website.I find it funny that they wrote this without mentioning my name: „Bike stunt team in Beijing – Yu Changqing, a man in his 70s, does bike stunts with his German friend at Deshengmen Square in Beijing on Sept 8, 2010. Yu has been doing bike stunts for more than 60 years, and the German woman manages a bike store in Beijing.“
Wang sent his pictures to me too. Here are some of the ones I like.
Here are pictures of the tricks that we are still working on, the headstand and the handstand:
Deshengmen is a great place to meet for doing bike tricks. I met this morning again with my 74 year old friend and we trained together. It is amazing to see how flexible he still is and how much strength and balance he has. As well as the joy you can see in his eyes.
Today Master Wen came who was teaching bike tricks to Yu Changqing. He is 80 years old and even though Master Yu claims Master Wen was better at bike tricks Master Wen says that Master Yu’s father was even better at bike tricks. It seems that both of them had learned from Yu Changqing’s father. Here they both are.
Today we kept on practicing the headstand and the handstand tricks. We did not care too much about the two professional photographers who had been on a bus and seen us doing tricks on a bicycle and then came over to take more pictures. And Master Wen was acting as our coach giving the both of us good advise. E.g. for me to keep my leg slightly bent so it looks like a curve and is more beautiful. Or giving advise how it is easier for me to mount into the handstand. It looked almost like he wanted to show me the complete handstand (he is 80 hears old) but he did not, he just jumped to show me how to get into the handstand more easily. And of course he was right, Coach Wen.
Have a look at this Zhejiang TV Idol Show complete TV video. I was part of this show on Chinese TV. Watch for my trick bike performance at a little bit before the middle of the video. And the winner of the show will be decided at the end of the video. Of course it is all in Chinese.
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
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.“
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.
In our shop we have a jar to collect donation for the Magic Hospital organization. That is called „Fen For Fun“ jar as the collected money helps the organization send clowns and performers to cheer up children with severe deseases that are stuck in hospitals in China.
Natooke has so far raised 183.15 RMB thanks to our customers. Keep dropping some change in the jar. It is right at the entrance of our shop 🙂