Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

Lao Zhou on Pro-China Documentary by Chinese Government

Mittwoch, Januar 26th, 2011

There is a short documentary about China and its people and guess who is inside? Our cyclist friend Lao Zhou that also rides unicycle, is a crazy juggler and performs with us. For our 2010 Sunday entertainment program for the Sanlitun Village Mall he dressed up as a clown and juggled. He looks like this (Lao Zhou is on the left side, Lao Sun (72 years old) is on the right side, I am the tall girl in the center):

Lao Zhou perfoming with us

I found some information of how important this documentary is on the following website: It says:

Last week we saw New York’s Time Square taken over with that 60 second pro-China advertisement courtesy of the Chinese Government. Even now it is still playing at various times every hour on the big screens in the heart of NYC.

A week later, the next stage of the Chinese Government’s campaign to revamp the image of China in the West has rolled out with a 15 minute (well technically 18min) documentary promoting the wonders of China and its people from various “perspectives”. The documentary will be sent out to embassies and consulates around the world. It will also be played at various events promoting Chinese tourism. The documentary is titled “角度篇” (Jiǎodù piān) or in English “Perspectives” and you can watch it on

Watch out for the guy in the yellow clown costume juggling at about 9:40. That is our good friend Lao Zhou! Great to have him in such an important movie, even though it is only 2 sec long.  老周在各个视频里:九分钟四十秒钟!

Bikes in NYC and Advocacy

Dienstag, Juni 22nd, 2010

My last few hours in NYC. I had to use this time to upload videos to facebook and youtube. Just outside the cafe that had horrible non-coffee drinks but free wireless internet were two single speed bikes. One of them was very colorful.

Colorful NYC Single Speed Bicycle

Tall NYC Bicycle

Then I went to a very nice and friendly bicycle shop that I visited a few days ago. It is called Metro Bicycles and is quite big and nicely sorted with very friendly staff. I needed to get some last few things before leaving the apple. Goodbye and hope to be back here soon!

I also tried to get in contact with the Transportation Alternatives group of NYC. They have worked a lot with the local government on setting up bike lanes and ensuring more safety for cyclists. Their work really shows. I see such a difference than 3 years ago. I wish that we in Beijing with our Smarter than Car initiative can also receive positive changes for Beijing so that the number of cyclists will increase as much as it did in NYC.

Bike Shops and NY Friends

Montag, Juni 21st, 2010

I wanted to check out what some of teh bike shops had. I first went to „Dah Shop“ in Manhattan near the Williamsburg bridge. The guys there sell skate boards, BMX bikes as well as fixed gear bikes. They are really cool and might come out for a trip to China. They have cool brands like animal.

Then I stopped by a close by but completely different kind of bike shop called „Frank’s Bike Shop„. It was quite full and messy. I saw that I can pack a lot more stuff into my store in Beijing after seeing this efficient tight packing. But when I when asked for a quill stem Frank went behind the counter into the hidden rooms and after a while came back saying “ I think I have one but I cannot find it now, can you come back in 2 days or so?. If I would live here I think it would be a cool place to find some unique things.

Frank’s Bike Shop

Then again I cycled over the Williamsburg bridge which has great bike lanes and a cool view.

Cycling to Brooklyn on Williamsburg Bridge

Then I met my friend Andrew (he does stand up comedy and acting) who surprisingly now lives in NY for some organic tasty ice cream on the Brooklyn river shore.

Eating Ice Cream on the River Shore

Andrew and Ines

He then had to rush to an improv theater workshop and I had to go to the flying trapeze workshop. It was fun again, even though I found my swing to be off rhythm. We first did again some back end splits but then they also showed me how to do some backward flips. When the catcher came and it was my turn I forgot that I was supposed to to the back end split so the only thing I did was hit my toe on my own trapeze. They then did not let me fly anymore which pissed me off. Then I did pull ups and push up and practiced my 1 arm hand stands till I felt better again.

I went to go to see Anna in her house. They live there with 6 people but it is quite huge and is standing alone.

Anna and her House

Anna is producing the theater play called Peking Roulette: A Beijing Love Story. The Midtown International Theatre Festival and AG Theatrical Productions proudly present: Peking Roulette by Ben Thompson original score by Michelangelo Sosnowitz. A quirky look at life (and love) for an aging expat in Beijing playing July 15-31. She is doing a lot of the rehearsals in her living room which is bigger than the actual stage.

Peking Roulette Rehearsal Room

Then we had some Chinese covered rice (gai fan) to remind me of what I am missing.

Flying Trapeze and Films and Girls Alleycat

Sonntag, Juni 20th, 2010

Today morning after a long interview for the COG magazine on my trick cycling background and fixe gear bikes I went to my first class of flying trapeze. It was at the Espana Streb institute in Brooklyn.

Girl on the Flying Trapeze in NY

They also had space for other aerial disciplines and people were practicing.

Aerial Circus Disciplines

The flying trapeze was fun but less exciting than expected. It was not too difficult for me with my long gymnastics background and anyway the uneven bars and flying between had always been my favorite element. The class was first doing swings and then some figures and preparing for the fly. Then a catcher went on the other trapeze and actually caught me. Of course for this easy one there is no real feeling of flying because I just take my hands off my trapeze and he catches my arms. Here is the video of my fourth flying trapeze back end split with catch.

I will go again tomorrow and hopefully learn something more. Too bad that there is no school in Beijing.

Then I rode fast to get back to Manhattan to be part of the first screening of bike films. The bicycle film about me called „Riding in the Circle“ was screened in this session.

Bicycle Film “Riding in the Circle”

My friends had come to watch this movie. After the screening we went to a nearby cafe to have some lunch together.

Friends from Beijing in NY

When I went back to the movie theater the was a gathering of girls that were about to start the „girls only“ alleycat bike race. This was a picture before the handout of the manifest with the addresses of the checkpoints.

All Girls Alleycat

Then the girls checked the maps on where the alleycat checkpoints are.

Alleycat Preparation

Thinking of the Best Route to Cycling

Studying the NYC Map

All Set for the Race

Then the girls had to place their bikes on the opposite side wall.

Setting the Bike for the Alleycat

Then there was a picture with all alleycat girls before the bike race started. These are the cool and fastest bike girls of NYC. Keep the rubber side down all the time.

Cool Bike Girls of NYC

The guys on the other hand were hanging out in the movie theater. I watched a lot of movies today of which some were quite disappointing.

Cyclists featured in Movie

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Trick Bike Show

Samstag, Juni 19th, 2010

Today the different movie programs of the BFF were well attended. Especially the „Urban Bike Film“. There was a huge line in front of the movie theater.

BFF Movie Waiting Line

And when we got in all the seats were filled up.

BFF Movie Theater for Urban Shorts

There was an alleycat race today and the prize ceremony was held before the Urban Bike Short films started.

Alleycat Race Award Ceremony

And then there was a bikes rock cheering for the 10th year anniversary before Brendt was sent on some movie theater crowd surfing.

BFF Cheering

It was funny to see this bike outside with this huge spoke card.

Bike with Huge Spokecard

I liked this card for a pregnant woman. I think if I am pregnant I will hang one on each of my bikes too.

Bicycle Card for a Pregnant Women

The bicycle film festival girls had arranged the great after party on this Saturday.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Party

I  did a late night performance in the hope that the people watching the second screening of the urban bike shorts could also come in time to watch. But I think only a small fraction of those came in time. And the one DJ lady forced me to perform exactly at 1am.

Ines Brunn Performing at the BFF Afterparty

Here is the video of my bicycle performance that Nora took capturing the feeling of the event. I love the song Fire by Jess Meider.

Let’s Hear it for the Girls Trick Bike Show

BFF Street Party in NYC 2010

Samstag, Juni 19th, 2010

The bicycle film festival street party in New York was really great this year. Mainly because it was not raining so there were many people hanging out. Also there were quite some booths of local vendors. Like local frame builders that make bikes like this one.

New York Frame Builder

Also Taliah Lempert (who does bicycle paintings and who’s exhibition I had gone 2 days ago) had a booth at the street party.

Taliah Lempert at BFF Street Party

The fixed gear competitions were MC’d by John Prolly that has a famous blog called

John Prolly famous blog

They had ramps built up and there were quite some fixie kids jumping around. One of course was Ed Wonka Laforte that was in Tokyo with me last November.

Ed Wonka Laforte

Jumping around on the ramps was also Kareem Shehab who filmed the Death Pedal movies 1 and 2.

Kareem Shehab

I randomly recorded the fixed gear ramp jumping on a video and will uploaded soon.

Fat Tire Fixie

Then there was the bunny hop contest. It is amazing how high they can jump with the fixed gear bikes.

Fixie Bunny Hop

Ed Wonka Bunny Hopping

Tim or Ted

I did a performance at this street party. It was a good crowd that watched me do my bike tricks.

Headstand on the Bicycle

I did headstand and handstand and all my other tricks like the 180 spin while standing on the handlebar. I uploaded some more pictures on a webalbum.

Handstand on Fixed Gear Bicycle by Ines Brunn

Bike Tricks and Cheering Crowd in NYC

Also it was great to finally meet Tom Mosher that started up the first forum on track tricks. Unfortunately he had an accident and needs to recover before he can re-start hard with tricks.

Tom Mosher and Ines

BFF Art and Goldsprints

Freitag, Juni 18th, 2010

My friend Brad from Boston, that I had met in Beijing, came down for the festival. We met in the bar where another friend of mine from Beijing now works. Then we went back to the art exhibition as I wanted to actually see some of the bike art.

Bicycle Art Installation

Bicycle Painting at Joyride

Here is the art work done by Jessica Findley called “Aura’s of People Who Love Their Bike”. It was watercolor on 10 x 7″.

Jessica Findley “Aura’s of People Who Love Their Bike”

It has film maker Benny Zenga loves making tall bikes even on a race through Africa.

Benny Zenga’s Bike Aura by Jessica Findley

Film maker and fast urban cyclist Lucas Brunelle

Lucas Brunelle’s Bike Aura by Jessica Findley

Wild and crazy director of the BFF Brendt Barbur

Brendt Barbur’s Bike Aura by Jessica Findley

As well as me 🙂 What a nice surprise! This is my bike aura inspired by my bike tricks.

Ines Brunn’s Bike Aura by Jessica Findley

Then I wanted to watch the first movie screening but that was reserved for people that buy a movie ticket and not the people that bought the complete weekend pass. So some of my friends could not go to this screening, we had to wait for the second one with the same movies.

After the movies we took a picture as we were all people that knew each other from Beijing.

The Friends from Beijing at BFF

Of course there were nice colorful urban bikes parked everywhere.

Single Speed and Fixed Gear Bikes

Colorful Bikes of NYC

The afterparty was with goldsprint races. I was eager to take part and also to see what kind of system they use. There was a good crowd there when we arrived.

Goldsprints Event Crowd

They were actually using exactly the same software system we use in Beijing. The rollers are metal but somehow the fixed gear bikes had to be held by people. That was a bit strange but they took it for granted. Also one bike was losing and when you released pressure from the back tire – like getting out of the saddle – the roller at the sensor did not turn anymore.

Holding the Bikes of the Goldsprints

Brad had taken his wallet and phone out of his pocket for the race. Afterwards they were both gone. Jen made an announcement that whoever found a wallet and phone shoudl bring it to Brad and the guy that found it claimed „he was only holding it“. Unfortunately all teh cash was gone, but at least the rest was still there.

Jacob during the Goldsprints

I was astonished to notice that the goldsprints software allows you to start the race before 0 seconds. So after a few seconds your time appears to be just zero which gives you an advantage of the amount of seconds before zero. That is what they did in the finals (last 4 girls) when Jen was racing a slow girl. Suddenly they both were 2 seconds faster than any of the NYC fit and tough messenger guys. I was amazed to find that nobody found it strange that the girls were suddenly faster. Maybe that is why Jen did not want to race against me like it was originally set up because we had been the 2 fastest of teeh girls, still being about 2 seconds behind the guys. Good lesson learned. Now if I would want to cheat during teh goldsprint races in Beijing I know that I can use the same goldsprints software to do like that and have whoever I want win the races.

BFF Meeting and Friends

Freitag, Juni 18th, 2010

Another nice day in NYC. Cycling around is fun on such a blue sky day.

Manhattan Cycling

Even though there was quite some traffic with the typical yellow cabs.

Manhattan Traffic Jams

I went to meet my friend from first grade. We said I would come to her office building on 5th Avenue and call her when I arrive. I thought I had her number on my phone, but when I arrived I realized I actually did not. So I asked one of the building officers if they could somehow call my friend. They asked in which company she was working. I did not know the name but I was sure it was a law firm. The officer laughed and said almost all companies in this building were law firms (wow, a lot of Americans seem to need lawers…). Then he said if I knew her name I could maybe find her in teh interactive directory. I tried but I could not find her. I was almost giving up when it suddenly occured to me that after her marriage in 2000 she had a nwe last name. So I found her. The officer just sent me straight up to her office of which there is a view of Central Park.

View of Central Park from the South

It was nice to see Laura again after 3 years. She looks almost the same even though she now has her third child.

Ines and Laura in NYC

Then I went to the BFF head office for a meeting.

BFF Meeting with Brendt Barbur

All the bicycle film festival producers from various US cities as well as other places around the world shared their thoughts, experiences and ideas.

BFF Producers from around the world

I have the joke that when I want chocolate and want to convince my boyfriend it is time to have chocolate I ask if he hears the rattling in the kitchen. That is the chocolate making a fuss. When we go shopping we are sometimes attacked by packets of chocolate donuts that we did not want to buy, but they are the ones attacking us. Well at the BFF meeting while I was sitting on the ground listening to the discussions I got attacked by the paper of a bar of Russian chocolate. And that even twice! And the worst was that I could not eat it as there was nothing inside. Here is a picture of the aggressive chocolate wrapping.

Naughty Chocolate Paper

Lucas Brunelle is often in the BFF head office. He has a helmet camera and films a lot the local cyclists whizzing through traffic, especially during alleycat races. He has produced quite a lot of movies and had a trailer for his new one „Line of Sight“ in the program of the NYC BFF. I did it the Chinese way after the meeting and asked Lucas if we could take a picture together. So here it is:

Lucas Brunelle and Ines Brunn

BFF Joyride Art and 10th Anniversary Dinner

Donnerstag, Juni 17th, 2010

BFF Joyride Flier

Today was also the opening of the Joyride art exhibition organized by the bicycle film festival (BFF). It was extremely crowded.

BFF Joyride

Art Exhibition

It was so full that I could not see the art work. But maybe it was not the art but actually the free beers that attracted so many people.

Empty Beer Bottles

It was great to see my friend Anna Grace Carter from Beijing.

Anna and Ines

Outside of the exhibition was some portable pole dancing going on.A guy had a tricycle with 2 hot girls dancing on the back.

Portable Pole Dancing

Tricycle with Pole Dancers

Then I went to the BFF 10th Anniversary Dinner.

BFF 10th Anniversary Dinner

Everybody came from the art exhibition and was already drunk with all the free beers. When we arrived at the dinner venue we were not allowed to go to the main area and sit down, we had to wait and have more free drinks like wine and beer. Then finally an hour later we could sit down. The starter was already standing on the tables and it was welk lettuce with some beans on top. There was also some viscose soup that we poured into the tea cups but it was not delicious.

Dinner Food

Then the BFF NYC organizers did a small speech and toast.

BFF NYC Organizers

Then they asked the organizers of all the other places in USA and around the world to come up on stage.

BFF World Organizers

The whole time the free drinks continued and even champagne (well sparkling wine) was added. But it took forever for the „main course“to arrive. This what we got at about 11:30pm.

Hardly Any Food

It was dried polenta with some peas. Maybe I should have told them that I can eat also non-vegan. The invite had said you should notify them if you need vegan food but this tiny amount of food was all vegan and not the right thing for hungry and drunk cyclists. I could not believe that there was no more food. When people started knocking over wine bottles, lifting up chairs and making ape like screams, jumping on the tables and then insulting each other I decided it was time to go and have some food somewhere else. From my Chinese perspective this was a very horrible dinner as there was hardly any food. But I think the Americans were all very happy to get completely wasted for free. In China there would have been an excellent dinner with all the food being on the tables latest by 9:45pm also with free beer and rice schnapps. People would stand up and go to the different tables and cheer with those friends and make each other finish the tiny glasses in one sip, but all happy together rather than against each other. I probably have lived too long in China making me be really shocked by this American way.

Cycling to Brooklyn and Bike Art

Donnerstag, Juni 17th, 2010

Again a beautiful day. I am so happy I have a bike and can cycle through Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Avenue in Manhattan

The bicycle paths are nicely marked.

Bicycle lane in Manhattan

Bicycle Path painted green

It is great that they have installed bicycle paths on all the bridges to Brooklyn. I took the Manhattan bridge and this is the view towards northern Brooklyn and Queens.

Manhattan Bridge View

I am so amazed to see so many people on bikes. And I do not mean like professional cyclists. No it seems that a lot of people in New York use the bicycle in daily life. Also I was happy to see the amount of girls and woman cycling.

Girl on Bike

I was also happy to see a huge amount of people wear a helmet. It is not mandatory in New York (but it is in New Jersey where my friend got a ticket for cycling without a helmet).

Woman with Helmet Cycling

And many bikes have these huge baskets on the front. That makes it really practical for carryingstuff or groceries.

Bikes with Baskets

I met the actor and director Kris Chung who I know from Beijing in Brooklyn for lunch. It is nice how many of my Beijing friends now live in NYC. Also Elisa is now in New York. And funny enough she was taking care of a bicycle painting exhibition from Taliah Lempert called „The Right Bike for the Right Situation“

Taliah Lempert “The Right Bike for the Right Situation”

„Taliah Lempert paints bikes and transforms something so prevalent as to be almost totally unremarkable – there are an estimated 1.1 billion in the world –into sumptuous and forthright yet veiled portraits of these ubiquitous two-wheeled mechanisms. Of the object itself, the bike, and by extension, its owner. The bicycle is everywhere, the readymade that inspired the readymade. It is a tool, a work of art, a gratifying and enjoyable rolling machine depicted in two-dimensions, lushly, lovingly rendered and suffused with vibrant reds, oranges, greens, pinks, and blues. A beast of burden, an omnipresent contraption ridden in every country in the world by all walks of life, the bike equalizes. These paintings lure the viewer into looking at bicycles in a way they never have before while simultaneously bringing home the crucial importance and widespread influence of these widespread things in our lives. A machine, standardized, but with an infinite variety of delineations: big, small, tall, fast, slow, double, kid’s, fixed, gears, cruiser, and so on and so on. Brakes, tiers, spokes, headsets, seats. Lempert’s thoughts on her favored subject are both straightforward and worth quoting: “Bicycles are important, beautiful, and worth a close look. Most bikes I paint are, or have been, used daily for transportation, recreation, messenger work and/or for racing. I paint bikes that are part of someone’s life, or have been, or are intended to be. The bike they ride around, race, present themselves with. How they chose it, how they use it and how they care for it. How each bike looks, develops because of a person, says a lot.”

Drive-in Art Exhibition

„The world opens up. Moving through the neighborhoods, the sites and people on the way. Fast, often faster, than any other way around town and always more fun. Watching the city lights while rolling over the bridge. The right bike for the right situation. Worn when ridden, locked, or crashed. Grimy, sometimes cleaned, sometimes not. Finding the frame in a basement, fixing it, some brazing, a new tube, stripped and painted. Do it up with style and parts gathered. In Lempert’s paintings the vessel of motion is paradoxically shown at rest, the dormant features of a kinetic machine painted from observation caught at standstill. Blending saturated Bay Area-hued lyrical abstraction in her backgrounds with acute attention to detail in the foreground representation, Lempert channels Manet, Hopper, Hockney, and Warhol on the way to charting her own singular course. That is, intimations of Diebenkorn’s “Ocean Park” series in the abstract setting and George Stubbs sans steeds and Thiebuad without pies in the front with a dollop of pop while completely transcending those lodestars to achieve anatomically correct, poetical, and ravishing portraits of pedal-powered workhorses.“

Bicycle Paintings by Taliah Lempert

This exhibition was presented with the cooperation and support of the Tinneny family and Macro-Sea and it was held in the Elk Gallery in Brooklyn. I really loved the idea that it was a“ride-in“gallery, so youcould cycle up to each painting. It is the bicycle version of a drive-in.

Cycle right up to the Art

Then I continued to cycle through Brooklyn.


I stopped by to an institute for pop-action and aerial disciplines (that Kris showed me a flier of) to sign up for a class, but the next one was only on Sunday.

Williamsburg Bridge

View of upper Manhattan

Then i went back to Manhattan using the Williamsburg bridge.

Cycling Path on Williamsburg bridge