Sometimes, we forget how lucky we are to have amazingly talented friends and be surrounded by legendary and interesting people. LUCKY. And we mean that.

And we were reminded of that last weekend while we were gorging ourselves on red-dyed eggs, lamb on a spit in the front yard and ouzo out of a glass Corinthian column at a Greek Easter party: our buddy, who just moved here from New York City, was talking about how he’d like to have a bike again, now that he’s in Northern California. Get out and ride a little. Get back on a bike, y’know?

So, we casually mentioned Spade George.

Now, Spade George is a San Francisco legend. Known for his Harley-Davidson expertise and his willingness to work on Sportsters when nobody else would, George has been a goddam institution in bike culture since before he moved here, himself, from New York City back in ’69. At that time, it was downright dangerous for a black man to put a couple Harleys in the back of a van and drive across the country with a white girlfriend. But George did it and never looked back. And his shop, The Hole In The Wall, had been the go-to place on San Bruno Avenue in San Francisco for damn-near forty years before he moved to a bigger, better place down the peninsula in Redwood City.

So, there we were in RC last Sunday, in the front yard by the lamb on the spit, drinking ouzo out of a glass Greek column, blowing minds with Spade George stories. And that led our host to take the day off from work on Monday and go see the legend, hisself. Life-changer. He’s now buying a bike to work on and he’s doing it the right way: searching out a legend like Spade George, going to see him, experiencing the world George has built over a lifetime dedicated to custom Harleys, getting truly inspired and acting on that inspiration.


We need more of this shit in the world. Go see Spade George and The Hole In The Wall (here). He has no blog. He has no website or ironic t-shirts for sale. He won’t be hanging out at a hipster bar-slash-barber-shop in Williamsburg. You won’t find him at a tattoo shop biker night. You WILL find him at his shop working on bikes, however, and he’d love to meet you.


  1. JLHarry says:

    I was just thinking about that article you guys did about George in Garage Magazine. It’s like you guys knew I was too lazy to dig out the old article. Thanks!!!

  2. Hawkeye Joe Scott says:

    Right ON!! Nice to see George getting some recognition! The man is not only an important part of SF Bay Area motorbiking, he’s one of the best “Old School” mechanics who is a master craftsman when it comes to that old H-D “Pig Iron”. Not only that, he’s a very low key, genuinely good man who was and is an inspiration to us lil snots who came up after the 60s/70s bikers like him cleared a path for us. I’ll never forget the night I was splitting lanes in a hurry on Cesar Chavez/Army about 20 years ago, only to have some cat on a FAST Shovel (I think) zoom past me, with some patch I’d never seen before. I passed him, he came past me one more time, and I forget who went ahead…but the best part was meeting him at the SFMC Old Timers’ later on that night!

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