In this month’s Bicycling, Mike Wolfe, star of HISTORY’s American Pickers explains why vintage bicycles “turn his crank” (sorry) and how a business setback put him, literally, on the road to one of cable’s most-watched program.
The incident that led him to collecting:
“When one of my stores [bike shops] burned down, I couldn’t recover financially. So in 2000, I bought a van and hit the road, knocking on doors and buying and selling stuff…I was traveling all over the country, coming back with all this great stuff.”
How American Pickers started:
“…I had these amazing stories from people I met, so I started making movies, showing them to friends and putting them online. People loved them. I pitched the idea to every network on cable for four years before the History Channel picked it up. Our first show was on January 18, 2010.”
Why he loves pre-WWII bikes … and his dream bike:
“I just fell in love with the early stuff. It was so archaic and primitive and mysterious. Just seeing a bike with wood rims and cork grips that is over 100 years old is so freaking powerful. I’m all about discovery, unearthing cool things and finding the story behind them. That’s what keeps me going. For me [his dream bike] it’s a bike made by Victor, a hard-tired bike with a huge C-shaped leaf-spring fork that articulated when you rode. It’s so freaking cool. I’d love to have one of those.”
For the full interview, go to Bicycling.com/michaelwolfe
More on American Pickers
- American Pickers: Is the public ready to watch how the antiques business really works?
- American Pickers: Saving Antiques One at a Time
- Mike Wolfe speaks on industrial antiques
- Antique Trader readers discuss American Pickers