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Changes of Perception - Bicycle Culture in China
 

Changes of Perception - Bicycle Culture in China

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World famous fixed gear cyclist Ines Brunn has been living in Beijing since 2004 and gives a description of the bicycle culture in China. The current trend of hobby road and mountain biking as well as ...

World famous fixed gear cyclist Ines Brunn has been living in Beijing since 2004 and gives a description of the bicycle culture in China. The current trend of hobby road and mountain biking as well as the fashion of fixed gear riding are changing the perception of bicycles. Ines is involved in re-viving the bicycle culture in the kingdom of bicycles. She performs and gives talks to inspire people to ride bikes.

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  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2009, in an indoor bicycle parking lot in Beijing downtown
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2009, in Beijing in front of the Natooke bicycle shop. This bicycle is an old Flying Pigeon (maybe from around 1970), that was completely refurbished and with new wheels.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2001, the first time I came to Beijing. In the background on the left side you can see the red Xiali taxis that were a common site in Beijing in those days.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in February 2009, in Beijing. This is Changan Jie going West close to the Tiananmen with a car jam but no bicycles on the beautifully wide bike lane
  • Graph prepared by David Vance Wagner Up till 2007 this is the official government statistics, from 2008 onwards are estimations.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in June 2009, in Beijing. East 2 nd Ring Road
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn and Simon Lim This photograph was taken in August 2009, in Beijing, by the photographer Simon Lim.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn and Simon Lim This photograph was taken in August 2009, in Beijing, by the photographer Simon Lim.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in October 2009, in Beijing. This bicycle is not 130 years old, but looks like it without the brakes.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2008, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in April 2009, in Beijing. North 2 nd Ring Road.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in June 2008, in Beijing. This was Chinese cyclists that cycled with me from Qinghuangdao to Beijing to promote cycling in the period of “green” Olympics sponsored by Meng Nui and Radio Beijing
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in October 2009, near Miyun.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in June 2008, in Beijing. This was Chinese cyclists that cycled with me from Qinghuangdao to Beijing to promote cycling in the period of “green” Olympics sponsored by Meng Nui and Radio Beijing
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in October 2009, near Miyun.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in June 2009, in Beijing at the Worker's Gymnasium.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in May 2009, in Beijing at the Olympic Green.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in October 2009, in Beijing
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in March 2009, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in March 2009, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 1997, in Nuernberg Germany.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2000, in Roth Germany.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken by the photographer Simon Lim in April 2007, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2000, in Hamburg Germany.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken by the photographer Simon Lim in April 2007, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken by the photographer Simon Lim in April 2007, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2007, inBadaling at the Great Wall Bike Race in China.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2000, in Hamburg Germany.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken by the photographer Simon Lim in April 2007, in Beijing.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in October 2009, in Qingdao China.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in March 2009, in Beijing China.
  • Photograph copyright: Ines Brunn This photograph was taken in 2009, in an indoor bicycle parking lot in Beijing downtown

Changes of Perception - Bicycle Culture in China Changes of Perception - Bicycle Culture in China Presentation Transcript

  • Changes of Perception
      • Bicycle Culture in China
    Presented by Ines Brunn at first TEDxBeijing, China November 13 th 2009 www.natooke.com www.trick-bike.com
    • Flying Pigeon: Built stable, almost un-destructable and made for the people in China. In 1950 as a status symbol every citizen had to have 3 things: a watch, a sewing machine and a bicycle
    Flying Pigeon
      • I restored this Flying Pigeon Light Roadster myself
    • In the 1970s Deng Xiaoping defined “prosperity” as "a Flying Pigeon in every household”. The whole country was moved by bicycles - China became the Kingdom of Bicycles.
    Kingdom of Bicycles
  • Less Cycling - More Cars
    • In the past 10 years the bicycle has lost significance in China. The bicycle is perceived as old. Less people ride a bicycle. 10 years ago the average distance that Beijingers cycled was 10 km. And now the number is not even 4km. In modern China there is a huge focus on cars. Everybody is striving to have their own car.
  • Beijing Motor Vehicle Increase
    • Within 10 years this number has grown 4-fold. And it will continue to increase. There are said to be currently 1800 new cars registered in Beijing every day.
    Today: 4 Million Cars in 1999: 1 Million
  • Status Symbol Car
    • In Beijing we have more and more traffic jams every day. It is hard to find parking spaces. More cars park in the empty bicycle lanes. More cars drive in the bicycle lanes. More cars in the city so less space for the people in the city.
  • Passion for Cycling
    • I relocated to Beijing for a telecommunication company. I was the only foreigner in the Chinese organization. The main personal question my Chinese colleagues had was about cars. They kept asking me “What kind of car will you buy?”.
    • I kept telling them that I will not buy a car. I love cycling. And even without a passion for bicycles there are many good reasons to ride a bike in Beijing.
    • First of all Beijing is a completely flat city, you can ride on bikes with just one single gear and you do not need much effort to ride. Beijing has wide bicycle lanes in almost every street of the city. With the traffic jams the bicycle is the fastest way to get around. Cycling is also good for health. And bicycles have zero carbon emission which is good for the future of our Planet Earth.
    • And cycling is so much fun!
  • Passion for Cycling
    • My colleagues still kept on asking me what car I would buy. No matter what I said they could not understand that I did not want to buy a car even though I had money. They could not understand why I chose to cycle rather than taking a taxi.
  • Modern Buildings: NO BIKES
    • Our office was in a modern building, I was riding a modern flashy bike. But the modern building does not allow bikes anywhere on its premises. So I had to park my bike at an old residential building. Bicycles are being rejected all over Beijing.
    • Just recently I had a meeting at an office complex. Bikes are not allowed into their premises because they say “bikes are dangerous”. But cars are allowed to drive in and drive around. It seems cars are perceived to be more dangerous then cars.
  • Old Bikes
    • In the course of the modernization in China the perception of the bicycle has changed. The bicycle is considered old and dirty and is perceived to be only for the low working class. And for the old ladies and men.
    • I have met many young Chinese people that are very proud not to be able to cycle. They are stuck with the current perception of bicycles being something old. Many countries have gone through this phase. But in those countries the bicycle never had the significance like it did in China. Now China's bicycle culture is getting lost. The bicycle is being pushed out of society.
  • Beijing Traffic Jams
    • We all benefit from modern technology. Here at TED we strongly believe in innovation. That things have to become better and faster. The bicycle used to be the main form of transportation in cities, now it is the car. We see the growing penetration of cars in Beijing every day on the streets. In the past 10 years the average speed has actually reduced significantly. In search for higher mobility we are now stuck in traffic jams with brand new cars instead of riding in an harmonious flowing stream of old flying pigeons.
  • Changes of Perception
    • The perception of the bicycle in China has to change. I am optimistic!!!
    • I see signs that the perception of the bicycle is now changing. In Beijing you can now see some people wearing colorful cycling jerseys, with professional bike helmets and cool cycling glasses riding mountain bikes or fancy road bikes.
  • Hobby Cyclists
    • Outside Beijing in the beautiful mountains I meet groups of Chinese hobby cyclists. These Chinese are discovering their passion in cycling as an outdoor activity. Most just of them just recently started. It is a way for them to spend their leisure time - people of all generations on road bikes, mountain bikes, or even the small wheeled fold-able bikes. It is great! They stand out of the crowd.
  • Chinese Social Cycling Groups
    • The foreign trend of hobby cycling is being adapted it to the Chinese way. Many Chinese cycling groups focus more on the social aspect. They chose their route to have a famous good restaurant at half of the way to stop and have a huge long lunch with bai jiu. And during the ride in the fresh clean air they stop every 30 minutes for taking pictures and for a healthy smoking break.
  • Cycling Lifestyle Pioneers
    • These lifestyle pioneers are defining the bicycle again as part of modern life. They have changed their perception of the bicycle. They found a passion. They now inspire others to start cycling too. You see more cycling lifestyle pioneers in Beijing.
  • Urban Cycling in Beijing
    • There is also a transition happening in the city. The foreign trend of urban cycling has come to Beijing. People are getting interested in fixed gear bicycles and cycling wearing normal street clothes within the city.
  • Beijing Fixed Gear Group
    • 2 years ago a friend and I started the Beijing Fixed Gear Bike group. In just 1 year it grew from 7 to 70 cyclists. Most of our bicycle group are young Chinese. Some like riding fast on Beijings streets others like skidding and doing wheelies.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • Fixed gear bikes are very simple: They just have 1 single speed and often no brakes.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • They are very beautiful. Every bicycle is unique.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • The bikes are cool, colorful and sometimes expensive.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • With these bikes the young Chinese stand out of the crowd.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • The simplicity of fixed gear bikes makes them attractive.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • Many people also like the retro and vintage style of fixed gear bikes.
  • Beijing Unique Fixed Gear Bikes
    • Or the original track bike style of fixed gear bike.
  • Beijing Fixed Gear Rides
    • Beijing Fixed Gear Bike group: We ride around Beijing city on our bikes. We use our bikes for commuting in daily life. We meet and race around Beijing at night.
  • Beijing Fixed Gear Hangout
    • We meet to hang out and play around on our bikes on open spaces like in front of Hooters. The fixed gear riders show off on their bikes and inspire others to start riding. These fashionable Chinese youngsters are starting an urban sub-culture.
  • Changes of Perception of Bikes
    • To me I love both the outdoor leisure cycling as well as the urban cycling. Both of these emerging bike cultures are giving the bicycle a chance to rise again in China. These Chinese cyclists are young lifestyle pioneers. Their perception of bicycles has changed. Bikes are cool and trendy. They have discovered a new passion.
  • My Passion: Artistic Cyling
    • I discovered my passion for bikes when I was 13. I had been doing competitive gymnastics and in the search for a different sport. I found artistic cycling. To me this looked like gymnastics on a bike. But it is a traditional German sport.
  • Artistic Cyling
    • I used to ride bicycle to school. This artistic cycling completely changed my perception of bicycles. Doing tricks on bikes is so much fun!
  • Passion is the Fire Inside
    • I discovered that it is not just about pedaling - but that there was a whole new dimension of possibilities giving me huge joy and fulfillment. Like doing a headstand on the saddle of my bicycle. What a great feeling!
    • I had discovered my passion. I felt the fire inside.
  • View From Outside the Box
    • There had not been a person with a gymnastics background starting this sport. So I did not follow all the advice I was given. I did not follow the sequence of which trick to learn first. I was looking at this sport from outside the box. My passion guided me to do it my way.
    • I had been told that I could not learn the handstand because I started this sport too late. But as a gymnast I was able to do a handstand on various elements like balance beam and bars, so why not on a bicycle? When I started to learn the handstand on the bike I was told I would need to have my body in a banana shape. The resean was the other person that did handstand did it this way. But that made no sense to me as the most stable way to do a handstand is being perfectly straight. So I did the handstand my way and learned it very fast. I was the first female junior on the world to do it.
  • Competitive Cyclist
    • I have been a competitive cyclist for 20 years. I was on the German National Team for 12 years. I competed in many competitions. I trained a lot but always enjoyed it.
    • Sometimes for fun I did a gymnastics move on my bike. The sport officials were amazed and said “You invented a new trick!”. But I was just looking at this sport from a different angle. On the next slide you can see the first trick to be named after a person. It is called “Ines-Straddle”.
  • The “Ines-Straddle” Move
    • The first artistic cycling trick to be named after a person in the official UCI rule book.
    • It is called “Ines-Straddle”
    • Just recently they have removed it from the rule book as hardly anyone can do this trick: Most women are not strong enough and the men are not flexible enough.
    • Actually I think the officials did not like the fact that there was a trick named after me as I was often trying to change the rules in this dry and boring traditional German sport.
    • It just makes me smile.
  • Changes of Perception
    • Due to me coming from outside of the box I initiated change in this sport. But I also strive to change people's perspective of bicycles in all countries of the world.
  • Following my Passion
    • I had been working in a big corporation for over 7 years. Last year I quit my job to follow my passion. I felt a fire to open a bicycle shop in Beijing. I also wanted to have more time to do bicycle performances around the world.
    • When I told my friends about that the most memorable remark I received was: “Who wants to see an old lady do tricks on a bike?!?”
    • {At the TEDxBeijing conference I then got my bike and did a 5min performance to music from Jess Meider called “Fire”. Similar videos of my performances can be found on www.youtube.com , www.vimeo.com
    • or on www.youku.com
    • Just search for Ines Brunn until the actual video will be available on http://www.tedxbeijing.com
  • Inspiring People to Ride
    • I will keep performing and inspiring people to re-consider riding bikes. It is not just about pedaling - it is about having fun and joy and fulfillment. And that is on whatever kind of bike you ride.
  • Ingenious Simplicity
    • We tend to focus on modern technologies and forget about the former solutions which often prevailed for centuries. And this was not because of the lack of innovation. It often was due to the ingenious simplicity of the solution.
    • Like the bicycle.
  • Change by Lifestyle Pioneers
    • Change usually starts with lifestyle pioneers in search of simplifying their life. They re-look at former solutions to current challenges in life. These pioneers then inspire broader society to change their perception of these better solutions.
  • Changes of Perception
    • Let us re-vive the bicycle culture in
    • the Kingdom of bicycles!
    Ines Brunn http://www.natooke.com http://www.trick-bike.com