Archive for the ‘USA’ Category

BFF Bikes Rock

Mittwoch, Juni 16th, 2010

The New York City BFF opening party called “Bikes Rock” was on tonight.

BFF Bikes Rock Poster

Quite some people came by bike. I took some pictures of the bikes at the vallet parking.

BFF bikes at the vallet parking

NYC Trick Style Track Bikes

Some bikes had fat tires and BMX pedals and straps.

BMX pedals on Fixies

Others had BFF (Bicycle Film Festival) stickers

Bike with BFF (Bicycle Film Festival) stickers

I am so happy that Jacob is giving me his fixed gear bike to use. It is fun riding around Manhattan despite the traffic. Even at night there is still quite a lot of traffic but you just have to stay out of the way of the speeding taxis.

Cycling through Manhattan at Night

Riding a fixed gear bike in NYC

BFF NYC10 Press Preview

Dienstag, Juni 15th, 2010

BFF NYC10 Press Preview Party

Today was the press party with a sneak preview of some selected bicycle movies at the New York City bicycle film festival (BFF). It was at the Rogan design store.

Rogan Store BFF Party

Designer Rogan Gregory has made the former Bouwerie Lane Theatre that was built in 1874 into the new flagship store for his label. There were quite a lot of people in this small shop. Some were people that I know from the past years in NY and Tokyo.

BFF Friends and Press

Bicycle Film Festival NYC10

BFF Press Party At Rogan Design Store

This is the 10th year that Brendt Barbur is putting on this festival in New York. And of course he held a short speech.

BFF Brendt Speech

Cycling Through New York on Fixed Gear

Dienstag, Juni 15th, 2010

What a beautiful day! I took the subway up to West Harlem to meet my friend Jacob.

NYC West Harlem

He gave me his Mission Bicycle fixed gear bike to use during my entire stay.

Mission Bicycle Track Bike

We rode towards the Hudson river to have lunch together at the river shore.

Jacon riding towards the Hudson

We could see the George Washington Bridge and New Jersey on the other side of the Hudson.

George Washington Bridge and Hudson

Then I started cycling South along the nice Hudson bicycle greenway cycling path.

Hudson bicycle greenway cycling path

Cycling along the Hudson in the sunshine

Then I went to the new museum of arts and design (MAD) on the South West corner of Central Park.

museum of arts and design

They were currently curating a bicycle exhibition. They had hand built bicycles displayed.

Bicycle Exhibition

But as it is a museum of design I was expecting some very creative designs like at see at the bicycle trade shows that get design awards. But in the museum they had regular bicycles that were beautifully made.

MAD Bike Exhibition

After that I cycled through Manhattan to the BFF headquarter.

Cycling Through Manhattan

New York city has improved its cycling infrastructure. There are special bicycle lanes painted in green color on many avenues and streets. Like even on Broadway heading down to Times Square.

Bicycle Lane on Broadway

But Brendt and the others from BFF were quite busy with last minute preparations. So I went to a meet an artistic cycling friend at her design studio karlssonwilker. We probably had last seen and spoken over 12 years ago because that is when she had stopped cycling. I did not even know she was living in New York. That is the great thing about social media like facebook.

Flight to New Yok City

Montag, Juni 14th, 2010

I am heading out the bicycle film festival in New York. As I am taking my trick bike along to perform I knew I cannot take the subway in Beijing. So I decided to take a taxi. That was not a good idea. There was again so much traffic jam in Beijing due to the upcoming Dragon Boat Festival and most peopel being off work for 3 days.The signs said that the airport expressway was completely jammed until outside 5th ring road. So my driver decided to first drive South and then head East to the 2nd airport expressway. That was what m any other were also thinking of doing. So were again just standing in traffic. But my driver was quite good. he knew some illegal short cuts and I actually made it to teh airport just on time for check in. When I got to the gate I realized that the flight was 1.5 hours delayed. But when teh airline started handing out free lunch and drinks I was getting worried it could be a longer delay.  It was only 2 hours and we could board the plane. And I had great luck: I was upgraded to business class which si terrific for a 13 hour flight. I had great food and a long comfortable sleep. Just our plane did some artistic loops before landing in New York.

Airplane Path

I took the subway to downtown and was happy to see a poster for promoting cycling in NYC.

Bicycle Promotion in NYC

I am staying in lower Manhattan between Greenwich Village and West Village.

New York City Map

The first thing I saw coming out of teh subway with all my luggage was 3 cyclists of which the last one was Brendt Barbur (the director of the BFF) on his BMX pass by. I was too surprised to say anything, what a coincidence.

My friend has a nice old apartment with some antique furniture.

Antique School Chair

Antique Sewing Machine

Hard to Steal Fixed Gear Bikes

Dienstag, Mai 25th, 2010

A friend of mine sent me the link to this great cartoon called Yehuda Moon & the Kickstand Cyclery. It is all about urban cycling and life owning a bike shop. The strip of yesterday is about fixed gear bikes and that there is no need to worry when they are stolen as many people cannot ride them.

Fixed Gear Bike Thieves need to be careful

Here are some more cartoon strips that I really like:

Well there are many other good ones. I love Yehuda Moon, Joe, Thistle and the Kickstand Cyclery!
Creating a Hang Out area in the Kickstand Bike Shop
Engineering Degree for Bike Shop

China Daily Article on Bike Culture Research of Anthony Siracusa

Mittwoch, März 17th, 2010

Today there were two articles in the China Daily newspaper. The first one was about our visiting friend Anthony Siracusa that is traveling the world. Here is the link to the original article on the online version of the paper.

Global cyclist records capital’s lost culture
By Todd Balazovic (China Daily)
Updated: 2010-03-17 07:56

Pedal power no longer a moving force in city

Beijing’s bicycling culture is on its way to extinction. This is the stark appraisal of cycling expert Anthony Siracusa, who has spent the last eight months studying different bicycling cultures around the world.

Anthony Siracusa on a Natooke Fixed Gear Bicycle in Beijing

„It’s not extinct here, but I would say the bicycle culture is an endangered species in the Chinese urban environment,“ Siracusa told METRO.

The 25-year-old American is one of 40 people to have been given a one-year fellowship in 2009 by the Thomas J Watson Foundation, a US organization started by the son and daughter of Thomas J. Watson who founded computer giant IBM.

The fellowship provided 196,000 yuan ($28,000) to help him pursue his one-year documentation of bicycle cultures on four continents. He has so far spent $23,000.

He has already visited Copenhagen – a place he describes as one of the most advanced in terms of bike culture – Amsterdam, Melbourne, London and Berlin.

„These are all places in various areas of development in their Bicycle culture,“ Siracusa said.

Beijing was once known as the „Bicycle kingdom“ of the world, but after he arrived in Beijing on March 1, Siracusa realized the situation was grim.

Global cyclist records capital’s lost culture

Anthony Siracusa wins a grant to cycle on a year-long trip around the world. Guan xin / China Daily

„As my taxi drove farther and farther into the city I kept on saying to myself, certainly there will be more bikes once we are in the city center, but they just weren’t there,“he said. He said seeing Beijing’s declining bicycle culture was difficult to take.

„I’ve come here to see this declining bicycle culture, but to see it first hand and to know it in your mind intellectually are two different things.“

Though Beijing may not have as high a percentage of cyclists as other developing biking communities, this city does have its strengths, he said.

Beijing’s bike infrastructure is quite easily one of the best compared to almost all of the cities he’s been to. The number of bike lanes, bike racks outside of businesses, and bicycle traffic lights are comparable to Copenhagen, Siracusa says.

Not surprisingly he attributes Beijing’s declining cycling culture to the city’s rapid adoption of the car as its favorite means of transport.

„Just riding here today, there were cars lined up almost as long as street, all stuck in traffic, meanwhile the bike lanes were almost empty,“ he said. „It’s interesting to see how the development of car culture can limit and inhibit, or in this case, stunt, the growth of bike culture,“ he said.

Most his research, he said, takes place simply by hopping on a bike and cruising around the city, even if that means braving the cold.

In Beijing he has spent more than three hours a day for the last eight days cruising the city on his current bike, a Giant XC770 lent to him by the Natooke bike shop in Beijing, observing traffic flows, infrastructure and other bikers.

Siracusa said everywhere he goes he able to quickly tap into the local biking community and either build his own bike from spare parts – he has built five on his journey so far – or find someone willing to lend him a bike.

„I will usually just walk into a shop and start chatting with the owners. Once they see that I’m keen, they will usually be more than happy to help out,“ he said.

In addition to first hand observation and examining policy documentation, Siracusa said he also talked with bike enthusiasts in each area to understand the local culture.

„I hope to inspire them with my dedication to learning about the way that bicycles can transform lives and transform cities in positive ways, because that’s really what I’m about,“ he said.

After Beijing, Siracusa’s next stop is Guatamala where he intends to work with a small Guatamalan company helping produce bicycle-powered farming machines.

China Daily (In the China Daily newspaper of 03/17/2010 printed on page 36)

Blog about me in SF in April

Freitag, Dezember 11th, 2009

I just found this blog entry about my day in San Francisco in April 2009. And I also do remember the balancing a track stand on the edge of the pier outside of the railing high above the water level on a fixed gear bicycle. It did cost me some concentration to stand still and not think about what would happen if I were to fall down accidentally. Here is the picture that Edsel Dilag took.

Ines Track Standing on the Edge of a Pier in Oakland

I still could not watch the movie clip by Justin Gallagher.

Fixed Gear Maniacs Interview

Freitag, Juni 5th, 2009

I had been interviewed by the fixed gear maniac. And he posted the interview on his site. Check it out here. Also he has a great online book about fixed gear. The link is on teh right column of his we

Friday, June 5, 2009
Interview with Ines Brunn
Well I thought I‘ try something different. How about an Interview with the Queen of Fixed Gear Ines Brunn. I’m sure you all have seen her in action! Shes the one who did all those incredible tricks on You Tube while the rest of us were trying to figure out track stands!

1)First Ines where were you born and raised? Is that where you got your bicycle training?
I was born in Germany, moved to the US (New Jersey) at the age of 3. I started gymnastics at the age of 6. We moved back to Germany when I was 9 years old and I continued competitive gymnastics till the age of 13. At that point I by chance found the sport called artistic cycling which is gymnastics on a bike and started it right away. My gymnastics background helped me a lot for the balance, the flexibility as well as the strength.

2) I see you speak English fluently how many other languages do you speak fluently?
Hard to say. Definitely one other language fluently: German. My Chinese is pretty good and my French used to be very good (but seems to be hidden behind all the Chinese words right now)

3) Most everyone’s seen your videos on trick riding, where did you learn to ride like that? you obviously were professionally trained?
I started at the age of 13. The coach in the local club could not show me anything new after a few months. But I got accepted to the regional team right away and after 3 years I was on the German National team. There we had professional training.

4) Where have you worked as a performer?
I have performed in many different countries such as: South Africa, Russia, Sri Lanka, USA, China, Malaysia, Hong kong, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria…
Some places I did 62 performances in 31 days. I perform for company events, corporate anniversaries, evening galas, TV shows, bike competitions, cycling events, parties, festivals…

5) How long have you been riding?
20 years (oh know, now you know my age)

6) Have you raced or been involved in any other type of riding?
I did the artistic cycling competitively for 16 years until I moved to China. I have competed in the Cyclo Cross races last winter and really enjoyed that. Just 2 weeks ago I did my first road race. That was interesting too. There is another race next week.

7) Now I see your in China, what are you doing over there?
I came to China for an American company in the telecommunication industry. Now I am planning on opening a fixed gear bike shop.

8)What type of gearing set up and bike do you use for your trick bike?
I have my original trick bike with a 1 to 1 gear ratio. It is easy to do tricks on that but you cannot rode it around town. I have a small track bike that I use for riding and tricks. I have a 45 tooth chain ring and a 18 tooth cog. I put a smaller front wheel so that I can bar spin.

9) With the type of riding your doing I’m sure you’ve had some crashes, anything serious?
Yes, sure I had a quite a few. The worst is falling into the bike. You should always make sure to fall off (and best roll off) away from the bike. I had some head first crashes into the bike while practicing the handstand. It even happened during the German Championship. The worst
fall off my bike while not doing any tricks was a few weeks ago. I was ghost riding my trick bike and it suddenly started jumping and got tangled with my fixed gear bike to I did a face first dive over the handlebars. My wrists are still in pain so I have not done any tricks lately.

10) Do you have a favorite bike and what is it?
I like different bikes for different purposes. For example for riding longer distances or to work I love my blue Corima fixed gear bike with front brake. For playing around I love my small pink Cinelli fixed gear bike but when it rains or I just go to a nearby restaurant or bar I love
my 1970s old Flying Pigeon converted to fixed gear.

11) Is there anything you’d like to say to all the fixed gear riders out there?
For all cyclists: Get on your bikes and enjoy life!
For all fixed gear riders doing tricks: Keep being innovative and playing around! Your children and grandchildren will be proud of you being the pioneers in fixed gear trick riding
For all fixed gear riders: Mash those urban streets!

On The Way Back Home

Freitag, April 10th, 2009

This week has passed much faster than expected. I did not even get to meet all the friends I wanted to. Or even the friends I did meet I hardly had much time. Like Ian that I could only meet for a short breakfast before going to the airport. But at least I did a fair amount of cycling which makes me happy. On the flight back home to China we flew over Alaska. This picture does not really show how beautiful the white mountain peaks looked like from above.

Alaskan Mountains

It is great to be back in China. I went right away to my neighborhood restaurant to have Xinjian food.

Edsel Dilag Fixed Gear Pictures

Mittwoch, April 8th, 2009

For the filming of the fixed gear movie „Human Traffic“ we had Edsel Dilag come along with a nice Canon 5D and do some great shots. I made a small webalbum with some of his pictures. Here are a few:

Skateboard Handstand Trick

Twin Peak Fixed Gear Trick

Golden Gate Fixed Gear Surfing Trick

Ines Brunn Interview with San Francisco Downtown Background

And it is amazing how much the mind can influence our abilities: I can track stand forever. But trying to track stand on a wooden beam with the ocean water below didn’t work till I moved further back to see enough of the beam in front of me. And still then I could only track stand for a short while. Just because I knew that there was a possibility of me falling into the water with Clancy’s bike.

Ines Track Stand on Beam in San Francisco Bay