Flying Pigeon LA is a specialty bike shop founded in 2008 by two brothers, Adam and Josef Bray-Ali, located in the Highland Park/Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The shop got its start importing the famous Flying Pigeon bicycle from the Tianjin Flying Pigeon factory in China. The idea was: bring a bike to America that was beautiful, comfortable, practical, and inexpensive.
Since that August evening in 2008, when two containers of Flying Pigeons arrived and we opened our doors, our selection has grown to include bicycles from: Gazelle, Pashley, Brompton, Torker, Christiania, Linus Bikes, Pilen Cyckler, Bobbin Bicycles, Beater Bikes as well as a few one-off bikes when the opportunity presents itself. Our accessories include the Bobike Mini/Maxi/Junior line, Yepp Maxi and Mini child seats; Basil bags & baskets; various rear wheel locks from AXA & Abus Locks; a select line of tires from Schwalbe; saddles and other goodies from Velo Orange and Brooks; helmets from Nutcase, Bern, and Sahn Helmets; and loads of other beautiful and functional things for cycling. Most of what we sell in our brick-and-mortar shop is NOT available for sale in our online shop.
To promote our shop, and the idea of bike riding as a great way to get around L.A., we host regular "Get Sum Dim Sum" rides. We also co-host the Spoke(n) Art ride gallery tour and all sorts of one-off bike rides and tours on a regular basis. To find out more about our rides, check out our "Shop Rides" page. We usually post ride announcements on our Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr feed, and on our our blog.
Our inventory is available for rent as props or set decoration in film shoots, commercials, and Hollywood blockbusters.
Since opening in 2008, we've been written up, profiled, blogged, and filmed for a variety of reasons and by a variety of media outlets. This list is by no means comprehensive.
"Kung Fu Pigeon", Daily Candy, August 26, 2008
"Legend tells of a legendary bicycle whose awesomeness is the stuff of legend. Its name: Flying Pigeon LA. So that the worthy riders of Los Angeles could battle rising gas prices and expanding waistlines, brothers Josef and Adam Bray-Ali honor and sell the iconic Chinese two-wheelers at their new Highland Park bike shop.
The single-gear, steel-frame city transpo-style bikes come with book racks in back, wire baskets in front, leather seats, handlebar bells, and dynamo front-wheel lights. Snag a ladies’ version in yellow, pink, red, green, or orange. Gentlemen prefer black. You’ll find a pot of tea brewing, karate flicks playing, and expert repair advice at the shop. Sunday mornings, bring your appetite for dim sum rides through Chinatown.
And keep fighting the good fight."
This article in Daily Candy happened because someone's boyfriend was filming a commercial next door. He noticed our cool little shop just a few days after we had officiallyt opened. Daily Candy sent this blurb out to thousands of people, and we saw an immediate flood of calls and customers.
"Reinvent your wheels" feature in Sunset Magazine, March 2009
"LA People 2009: Spokesmen — Bicycle Oven's Josef and Adam Bray-Ali" by Jonathan Gold, LA Weekly, April 22, 2009
“There has never been a city so jaded about personal transportation as Los Angeles, a place where Lamborghinis clot valet stands, customized Harleys are as common as Camrys, and the streets thrum with more ’64 Impalas — the cars that bounce in Dr. Dre videos — than they probably did when LBJ was president. Porsche Carreras, exotic supercars in the rest of the country, are sometimes referred to as Beverly Hills Fords.
But a Flying Pigeon, the iconic Mao-era bicycle famous from photographs of 1970s Beijing, can still turn heads. And there have been circus parades that attract less attention than the flock of 40 heavy, single-speed Flying Pigeons, which slowly makes its way from Highland Park to Alhambra on one of the monthly Sunday morning dim sum expeditions organized by Josef and Adam Bray-Ali, the brothers who own the Flying Pigeon bike shop on North Figueroa.”
"Flying Pigeon LA peddles bike culture north of downtown" by Nathan Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times, September 1, 2009
"On the third Sunday of each month, a dozen or so people pedal out of Highland Park atop steel-frame bikes straight out of the Chinese Cultural Revolution or on more luxurious Dutch cruisers -- all in search of dumplings."
"LA Foodies And Bikers Unite! Flying Pigeon LA's Dim Sum Bike Ride" by Jennifer Grayson, Huffington Post, December 18, 2009.
Jennifer also filed this very nice short video along with her report:
"Bikes for the cycling citizen from Flying Pigeon" by Crysti Wang, Jonathan Hagar, and Matthew Shintaku, Off-Ramp on KPCC, February 29th, 2012
"In L.A., slow and steady is the pace for Flying Pigeon bicycle" by Bob Pool, Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2012
"They're heavy and slow. They're also touted as the most popular mechanized vehicle on earth.
'You're not going to go racing on a Flying Pigeon,' explained Josef Bray-Ali. 'You're going to go shopping.'
Bray-Ali and his brother, Adam, own the Flying Pigeon LA bicycle shop in Cypress Park, where their specialty is the Flying Pigeon brand bike."
The video segment above was captured by an alert Olympics fan (cycling was broadcast super late at night) and sent our way. In this segment, Lester Holt, of NBC, got Team USA cyclist Mike “Meatball” Friedman to test ride a Flying Pigeon on the Olympic Velodrome in Beijing in August of 2008.
This report on cycling was filed by reporter Lauren Lee of the Annenberg School at USC in December of 2008.
Lee interviews Clifford Johnson, a bicycle commuting professor at USC, as well Adam and Josef Bray-Ali, owners of the Flying Pigeon LA bike shop.
Lee also captures footage of the 64th Annual North East Los Angeles Holiday Parade in Highland Park. Members of the East Side Bicycle Club can be spotted towards the end of the film riding a wide variety of bicycles.
This video is one in a series produced by the Environmental Defense Fund Green Jobs initiative. It was filmed by Erica Fick and her partner and published online in 2010. The rest of the videos in this series are available on the EDF Green Jobs collection for Flying Pigeon LA.
This video is the first in a four part series from an interview with Josef Bray-Ali by KCET Departures while they were focusing on the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The series was published online throughout 2011.
- Where are you located? - The Flying Pigeon LA shop is located at 3404 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90065. We're in the Cypress Park/Highland Park area of Los Angeles (between Pasadena and Downtown LA).
- Dim Sum rides, that's genius. How do I get in on it? - Well we took Josef's love of bicycles, Adam's love of food and mixed them into a monthly ride. Every 3rd Sunday at 10 a.m. we meet at the shop for a leisurely ride for brunch at any number of local dim sum restaurants. We've actually found a way to make this ride about 90% downhill. Following brunch we head back to the shop on bikes or the Gold Line which stops just behind the shop. If you don't have a bicycle we have a limited number rental bikes you can ride. Costs are usually about 10-15 dollars (please bring cash) and we are trying to explore as many good brunch places as possible
- We want to rent some bikes as props or set decoration for a photoshoot, commercial, or huge Hollywood blockbuster. What can you do for us? - We are happy to help your production in any way we can. Our inventory of unique and classic bicycles is at your disposal. We can provide you with 1-50 bicycles with short notice. If you have an idea please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have our agent call yours (just kidding about the agents of course).
- Do you paint bikes? - We don't have a paint shop, but we do disassemble bikes, deliver them to a local paint shop, pick them up once the paint work is done, and reassemble them. It can take between two to five weeks and costs start at $240 and can go up from there.
- Do you buy old bikes? - No.
- Where do these Flying Pigeon bikes come from? - The answer first is that they come from Tianjin, China which is a small town of 11.5 MILLION people first settled in 340 B.C. (I'm not making this up - look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianjin) Among other things Tianjin is known for being the sister city of Clarence, New York, heavy involvement in the opium wars, and making great bicycles.
- No seriously, where did you get these? - In 2008, we met a great friend (ironically enough she shares the name 'Fei' with the Fei Gei bicycles) from Shanghai who helped us arrange for the purchase and importing of a shipment of bicycles. With almost no prior international shipping experience (we've sent postcards home from trips abroad) we managed to take delivery of two container trucks full of Flying Pigeon bicycles.