LA Sheriffs Selling Flying Pigeon Bikes to Pay the Bills?

LA County Sheriffs auction a Flying Pigeon they acquired.

LA County Sheriffs auctioning off a Flying Pigeon they "acquired".

Two weeks back we locked up a Flying Pigeon at the South Pasadena Mission train station (in the same spot we’ve been using for months) for a midnight bike ride home after a night out in Little Tokyo. We “[Went] Metro to save!” and all that. The Gold Line works great if you’re out for a night on the town (except that the trains don’t run that late) because you can take the train sober or a bit tipsy and it’s all good.

You can imagine how sad it was to get off the train and see that our Flying Pigeon was (apparently?) stolen. Suddenly things didn’t seem so good.

It took less than a week for our “stolen” asian comfort bike to end up online on a police auction site – which left us wondering if the bike was “stolen” at all. We’re guessing that the Sheriffs cut the lock and made off with our bike because we’ve been leaving it in the same spot when we use the train for several months. There are no signs out in the parking area but this is making us rethink our fledgling bike-share program where I’ve left Flying Pigeons locked up at random Metro stations in case I (or any of you) need to expand the range of the Gold and Red line trains.

Maybe the fare gates that the MTA is installing (and the Sheriffs’ man-hours the MTA will be reducing) are getting them a little scared about revenue streams. They could do a lot worse than reselling our “stolen” bikes, I suppose. The winning bidder walked away with our stolen bike for $116. That’s a steep discount my friends, and an expensive night out on the town (for us).

What is it about booze and the Gold Line? A week ago we were happily using the train to cart a keg to our opening party, and this week it helped me get home from watching the Clippers round out a season that’s shown them reverting to their normal, lovable losing selves.

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  1. Posted April 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink


  2. Posted April 15, 2009 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you need to theft-proof your bikes? Maybe come up with a hard-to-remove registration sticker that you put on the bike when you put it into service, and record the serial number and the owner’s name. Put something like, “If found, contack Flying Pigeon LA at 213-909-8986 to find out who owns me”

  3. synthe
    Posted April 17, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m kind of surprised that you don’t have a registry of flying pigeons and their owners on file. The po lice sure didn’t seem to make much of an effort to track down the owner of the recovered bike. They must have felt overwhelmed by the sheer number of pigeon owners in NELA.

  4. Posted April 21, 2009 at 12:38 am | Permalink


    We do have a “registry” of sorts for the bikes we’ve sold to our customers! We haven’t taken down the serial numbers of bikes we’ve used ourselves (I suppose that is a move that is now in order).

    If your Flying Pigeon is stolen (and you got it from Flying Pigeon LA) – please contact us! We’ve got a receipt with your contact info and a serial number for your bike written on it.

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