Slight diversion before I get into it. I snapped this pic...
Somewhere in MI and then had a memory meltdown as to where it was. Cadillac? Ionia? Dunno...
Neat-o rack though.
On to the shop!
This is Dan's Bike and Key, located in picturesque downtown Ionia Michigan. East of Grand Rapids and West of Lansing, just a stones throw from I-96. I'm giving you the details because you should go there.
350 West Main Street, Ionia, MI
(616) 527-0471 ·
Dan's has all kinds of cool stuff. Lots of ambiance, cool architecture, downtown location, a funky employee with a nifty bushy beard and John Lennon glasses. The works.
Outside the box thinkers too. Here's a bike on the rack that gets attention, at least from the astute of eye. Yes that is a Shimano Alfine generator front hub on a 29er full suspension mountain bike. A cool idea.
And the staffer's own Surly Pugsley with a full bar Jones handlebar in aluminum. This pig is dirty and even proudly sports a flat tire. Why? Because at Dan's the staffers ride.
They also strut some nifty historic rigs around for ambiance. Here, a vintage fender mounted light.
The calling card on a beautiful brick wall.
And on the other side of the shop, two interesting round windows peak out at the trees and give a hint to the weather outside.
The front is pretty nondescript. To a fault actually. Designed by McClain Cycles in Cadillac?
But around the side, next to the round windows, a simple sign. It all comes together. Love the spanner as apostrophe.
See this is what makes this shop kick ass. With a straight face and possibly full acceptance of the responsibility of the pig headed arrogance that it implies, they intentionally placed some tattered copy of Longfellow on some sad shlock of Astroturf next to a Chinese overpriced slave-labor produced Mountain hardwear crap sleeping bag and an empty coffee cup in the front window of the shop; as a display for...biking?. Irony? Maybe. Intentional? I'm not so sure. So dry and unassuming that it could just be small town thinking lost in a modern world and misinterpreted as folly? Certainly possible. The place has a Late Night 'Top Ten List" feel about it. Fun but with quirks and seriousness peeking around the edges. Does it matter? Not at all. Rock that Longfellow crap. Make money off it.
To the griddle.