Palo Alto has a new bike shop, Shinola on Hamilton 261, although new is a relative term since the whole concept is retro. Sky the bike guru (who came to the company four years ago, she says, after ten years at Bianchi) says the Muhammed Ali bike references the fact that young Cassius Clay before shocking the world with a Gold Medal in Heavyweight Boxing at the 1960 Rome Olympics, and picking up as management the 10 most powerful men in Louisville including the CEO of Brown-Forman the distiller, learned to fight after someone stole his Schwinn and he wanted to open up in revenge the proverbial can of whup ass (I’m paraphrasing, yo).
Meanwhile, my header alludes to a classic (meaning 1990s) punk skate band out of San Jo and the 408, Clay Wheels, started by RS2 and Kal Gettle. (Duh, clay wheels is itself a retro term, about skateboarding before Steve Cabellero and Tony Hawk and plastic alto wheels, which is where, here in a random parenthetical, random and rambling, digression from an obscure crossover non Hardaway variety, that Roxy Rapp the landlord and insert name of Darth Vader’s boss in first star wars movie of local politics, in his other new building, just around the corner, or sneaking thru the alley like Sally, past the old fern bar, is B8ta, who makes ordinary devices with gratuitous computers and actually tipped Plastic Alto to this whole farragut of a retail riff, in that the retail reporter of the Washington Post covered their, and not Shinola’s grand opening or soft as it were, and Brand Chron reprinted it, I got in analog tree-shredding format or media just yesterday, literally, and not 1990s like — it’s pronounced “beta” like the Greek letter “B” meaning slang Silicon Valley style “test” or “in progress’ — and their blog is called “I0ta” with a grautitous mix of numbers and type, they have a bike, too).
Shinola for a limited time has a Soda, which was the name of the post-Steve Cabellor band, that played Cubberley, in 1997 on tour with post-Grilled Cheese Records (i.e. before major label MCA) Blink 182 (and to complete the square, it was billed as Earthwise Rock ‘N’ Bike, for Earthday and we gave away ok the previous year a SoftRide), swag, you can drink one.
Sky from Shinola says she owns 29 bikes and also, once she figured out that I was not hip enough to be teaching her a new handshake, yes she has seen the giant Joe Louis fist in Detroit built by Robert Graham (the one married formerly to Angelica, not the cool shirt guy) — I have only seen it in Eminem Super Bowl Chryseler I think commercial and maquettte at Stanford Cantor. Somebody even more random should link the Shinola bikes (they also make watches) to the Bruce Beasley rings temp art at nearby City Hall (which sends me to Eaggleston I think it is photo of bike in Memphis, which is were Marc Cohn in previous posts ascends towards goy Heaven).