Saturday, June 20, 2009

Flying Pigeon LA: The Best Bike Rides I've Ever Had (So far)

Gazelle Toer Populair T3 at Flying Pigeon LA
This is the photo from the Flying Pigeon LA's Flickr.

I paid a visit to Flying Pigeon LA yesterday. It is a very nice little shop on the east side. I met Josef the owner and I got to take a few bikes for a spin. Josef is totally cool and didn't make me feel like an idiot because I don't know that much about bike stuff. He told me that he is totally into the Cycle Chic thing and seemed kind of excited that I had started a blog for LA. He even suggested doing some stylish rides together. I think that would be cool.

They carry beautiful city bikes. Of course they have Flying Pigeons, but they also have Batavus and a Gazelle. They had several colors and styles of Batavus, single speed Old Dutch, 3 speed Old Dutch, 1-2 Have, and I think they had a favoreit. They can order any Batavus that I was considering. They can also special order other bikes. For instance they can order a Pashley for me if I'd like one.

I had the best time I have had on a Bicycle in a very long time and the bike in the photo above is a big part of the reason why. It is a Gazelle Toer populair. It is the most beautiful and smoothest ride I have ever had. I even took it up a reasonable hill and didn't die. I totally want it. Bad. This is the bike that I thought was not really the most practical choice for my life and where I live. The thing is heavy, though none of the bikes I tested were as heavy as I had feared. I am just not sure of my bike handling skill to say that I could manage such a serious peice of machinery. I would hate to buy it and then not be able to ride it because I can't lift it onto the bus or get it onto the train. I am also nervous about managing the hills here with only 3 speeds. It also has a leather saddle which I would feel a bit guilty about. There is also the fact that I am not used to using hand brakes. I have only had bikes with coaster brakes until now. But I can't stop thinking about it. I keep wanting to call them and make sure that they haven't sold it yet. If it had 2 more gears I would have brought it home with me.

I also rode the Batavus Old Dutch in the single speed and the 3 speed. They are really nice and quite pretty. They just weren't as stunning or as smooth as the Gazelle. Though I am not sure if the smoothness was real or just my imagination. They did have an Old Dutch in Red and I was told there are not very many of those available in North America. It is a fabulous color and the navy bike is beautiful as well.

As you can see I rode in a skirt. It was my first time. It was so not a big deal.

Now go to Flying Pigeon (which is right near the Bike Oven) right now, but leave my Gazelle alone.

Flying Pigeon LA

3714 N. Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065


  1. Beautiful pictures! You look so chic in that white dress!! The Gazelle looks almost identical to my Azor Dutch bike.

  2. Thanks! I don't think any of my LBS's carry the Azors and I cannot convince the hubby to drive up to Oregon with me just to test ride a bike.

  3. Love that your promoting the local bike stores. Stores that carry practical urban bikes ought to be rewarded.

    It's unfortunate that 3-speeds aren't ideal for hilly parts of SoCal. So frustrating here in San Diego! Really want one of these Japanese electric bikes:

    The bike is gorgeous though, and I want one too.

  4. Flying Pigeon really is awesome. The Assistas are really adorable and they come in perfectly Japanese girly colors. I am thinking that I might be OK with a 5 speed which isn't impossible to find on a classic dutch bike frame.

  5. I went to Flying Pigeon with the intention of getting one for my 12+ mile commute to UCLA, but upon arrival, I made the "mistake" of test-riding one of the Batavus 3-speeds. Then I hopped on a hot pink Flying Pigeon (which Josef assured me was indeed, as masculine as I was imagining). The Batavus was smooth and sexy, the Flying Pigeon heavy and rattly. Both insanely fun, though. :-)

    Alas, though, I decided to convert my svelte silver road bike into a commuter. I love it...but you can be sure once I get eight-hundred-fitty to blow, I'm getting me a Batavus!

  6. 12+ miles is a commute for sure. I am glad that you had a good time at Flying Pigeon. The Batavus is really nice. I have to go back and test ride again because I am having an impossible time making my choice.

  7. nice bikes - I deceided to revamp my current bike instead of going dutch just because of my 3 speed folding bike.

    I'm another girlie cyclist in LA (if I can't wear a dress, I don't want to ride the bike :) )

    Drop me a line if you want some one to ride with :)

  8. Mal - I may just have to meet up with you sometime.


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