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!

  3. Steve wright says:

    I have known George for about 20 years from his shop on bay shore Blvd in Frisco.I have had my shovelhead for around 16 years and any way he could help me he would.I have a lot of respect for that man ,a true Frisco legend.Please help support his shop in Redwood city any way you can….. Thanks @wrightous217

  4. Danny says:

    Me and a few pals were lucky enough to meet Spade a few years ago on the road. We were headed from So-Cal to Flagstaff Arizona for the very first “Smoke Out West” show by The Horse magazine. We loaded up a back pack with tools, and no sleeping gear, and hit the road. Due to our chopped-to-shit Softails having unmodified Sporty tanks mounted Frisco style, gas stops were a little too frequent for my likings, but necessary. Every stop we made, Either George was pulling up as we were leaving, or he was leaving as we pulled up. Eventually we shot the shit for a minute, and decided to roll together, considering our destination was the same as his.Conversations were minimal at each stop, but the content was genuine, all though the roads were scenic all the way up and riding with him was a blast, we didn’t get to pull in with George due to getting split up a few miles before the show. I got to see him MANY years later at the Born Free show, and got to mention the ride almost 10 years prior, the dude being sharp as a blade remembered rolling with us and even complimented our bikes & style. I’m glad there are a few O.G.s are still out there living this shit 1,000% Thanks for being a pioneer and living legend Spade George, guys like you make guys like me have something to strive for! Ride hard Brother! MotorCycleMotherFucker!!!

  5. marvin "the martian" woods says:

    Another Independent black Harley rider outnumbered and outgunned behind enemy lines. George iz a tru icon!!!! Keep livin the truth bra!!!!! STAY UP!!!!!

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