I know very little about Mel Pinto, except that:
- He was typical heroic wholesaler of specialist cycling products of the times - much in the mold of Ron Kitching in the UK. A messianic figure bringing the rich European culture of cycling to a barren and philistine land.
- He established his business in 1958 in Falls Church, Virginia, USA, part of the Washington DC conurbation - and actually ‘inside The Beltway’ - as they say in The West Wing.
- For some years he organised criteriums (criteria?) in Washington DC around The Ellipse outside the White House.
- He liked to decorate his catalogues with a range of logos, including bizarre heraldic symbols and a cyclist made up of the characters ‘M’ and ‘PINTO’ (how many hundreds of variations can there be on the theme of bicycle-like graphics made up of gruesomely contorted combinations of letters?).