The Flying Pigeon
The Flying Pigeon is the bike that has pushed forward not only billions of people, but also history itself. It is at the forefront of the whole bicycle phenomenon in the People’s Republic of China.
In 1950 revolutionary China was a tightly controlled and regimented society. Political beliefs, education, where people lived, what jobs they held and the amounts of goods produced by factories and farms were all centrally planned. The two-wheeled vehicle was the approved form of transport, and the nation became zixingche da guo, the Kingdom of Bicycles.
A bicycle was one of the three "must-haves“ of every citizen, alongside a sewing machine and watch - essential items in life that also offered a hint of wealth in those dour times.
In Maoist China, the famed Flying Pigeon bicycle was a symbol of an egalitarian social system that promised little comfort but a reliable ride through life. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the logo became synonymous with almost all bicycles in the country.
The classic Flying Pigeon bicycles are the PA-06 (gentlemen) and PB-13 (ladies). These are one of the most iconic symbols of old China (the sturdy, gearless black bicycle ridden by the masses).
Both are a work of art in its simplicity, conceived as working machines that were meant to last a lifetime. They are indestructible, all-steel single speed colossus with 28-inch wheels, fenders, a fully covered chain, sprung real leather saddle, a rear rack and push-rod brakes (a handlebar lever connects directly to the brake pads), double stand (PA06) or side stand (PB13).