The Flying Pigeon has landed in Los Angeles, according to LA Times. Millions of Chinese bicyclists ride the ubiquitous two-wheeler, a cultural icon in China since the 1950s. But the bicycle was virtually unknown in the US until Alhambra resident Adam Bray-Ali and his brother Josef, owners of Flying Pigeon LA bike shop in Cypress Park, imported it four years ago. Now there are more than 250 Flying Pigeons on LA streets.
Chinese residents often recognize the bike when Adam rides around Alhambra, where he sells residential real estate. "Elderly Chinese will say, 'We certainly haven't seen one of these in a while,'" Adam told the Times. "They look at it as a blast from the past."
The Flying Pigeon is not for those who desire speed or height. The bike weighs in at 50 pounds, has just one gear and old-fashioned rod-operated brakes, and reaches a maximum speed of 12 mph. But the bike is an iconic image of wealth to many Chinese residents. In the 1970s, the Chinese government even defined prosperity as "a Flying Pigeon in every household."
Josef, a Lincoln Heights resident who runs the shop on a day-to-day basis, sells the Flying Pigeon for $399 fully assembled and online for $199 unassembled.
You can catch Adam and Josef riding their Flying Pigeons on their monthly dim sum run to a local Chinese restaurant. The brothers lead a group of bikers from their shop in Cypress Park to Chinatown or the San Gabriel Valley every third Sunday of the month. For more information about their future rides, check out their website, Flying Pigeon LA.