The Flying Pigeon specialty bike shop has established Highland Park as a central locale for education and advocacy for two-wheeled sophistication in the greater Los Angeles bicycle community. Following the success of their repair collective, the Bike Oven, Josef Bray-Ali and his brother Adam opened the Flying Pigeon. Inspired by the Chinese-made Flying Pigeon bicycles' performance in the 2008 Olympics, the brothers shipped a batch to their Highland Park location, adopted the model name for their retail shop, and have since expanded their inventory with accessories to reflect the look of the bicycles. The old world European styling comes at a surprisingly affordable cost, thus opening possibilities for alternative transportation to large numbers of people in the area.
Due to lack of foot traffic on the busy Figueroa Street corridor, the shop relies heavily on social media and hosts community bikes rides to maintain visibility. Josef, an active bicycling spokesperson, devotes a significant amount of his time to researching, writing and advocating on behalf of bicycles and the benefits of a transportation plan for bicycles. His efforts have included support for narrowing streets in Highland Park's business district in order to evoke an era when residents walked to nearby shops rather than flying past them in cars.
Above, co-owner of the Flying Pigeon bicycle retail shop (and neighboring repair collective the Bike Oven) Josef Bray-Ali discusses bicycle culture and advocacy in Los Angeles and the need for foot traffic in Highland Park's business district.