I stopped off at the Gold Line Highland Park station after work today to drop by Flying Pigeon Bicycles (5711 N. Figueroa St.) to drop off a flyer for Saturday's BARACKCYCLE 4! ride.
Right there I saw the owner, Josef Bray-Ali, whom I met earlier this year at the March EHNC meeting where we endorsed the Cyclist's Bill of Rights. We chatted about neighborhood councils and how communities and elected officials can gain important resources through existing data services and the work of grad students. He was totally cool about me promoting my ride there, and even offered to have our riders do a pit stop on Saturday.
The bike shop is unique in that it sells just one kind of bicycle - a (Mainland) Chinese-made utility bike - a rather large one at that - complete with front basket, rear-axle kickstand, rack and rear-wheel lock. They come in different colors, though from their size look rather heavy. Even if large Chinese bikes aren't your thing, the shop also does bike repair and sells needed bike parts and accessories, such as tires, tubes, lights and brakes.
The shop, which has a strong "overseas" scent to it (anyone who's traveled abroad knows what I'm talking about) and a flatscreen TV that plays DVDs of martial arts films, also hosts events. On October 29 at 7 p.m., the shop will host a debate on Measure R between transit advocate Hank Fung (Yes on R) and blogger Randall Flemming (No on R). They also host a Dim Sum ride
which starts at the shop on Sundays. In addition to bike, the owners are also passionate about guerrilla gardening, where they've planted strawberries and other small plants in a pavement cutout right on the sidewalk.
Flying Pigeon adds to the already unique flavor of Highland Park, so definitely check it out if you're around.