‘American Pickers’: The Heartwarming Story of Mike Wolfe’s Love for Bicycles

by Quentin Blount
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Mike Wolfe may be a co-host on the History Channel’s American Pickers, but deep down, he is just a guy who really likes bicycles.

If you watch American Pickers, then you probably love Mike Wolfe just as much as we do. Not only does he go around digging up crazy antiques and treasures out of old barns and sheds, but he also does so while keeping an eye out for vintage bicycles. As a matter of fact, that’s how he got started “picking” all the way back when he was just six years old.

“Bicycles have always been a huge part of my life,” he admitted in a 2018 interview at Reconnecting Roots. “I was always a small guy. In high school, I was 4’11” and 87 pounds. So, there was no being on the football team or anything.”

Sure, he may not have been an all-star football player, but he was able to find another hobby that made him happy. That was bicycles.

“But when I got on a bicycle I felt really good because of my strength-to-weight ratio,” he said. “I started collecting bicycles when I was young because my mother was a single mother. I grew up with a brother and sister, and my father left when I was two. And she couldn’t afford to buy us a bicycle.”

All of that would really hit home for the American Pickers star when he would see other kids in the neighborhood riding their own bicycles. But his fate would soon change for the better.

“I was walking to school one day and I saw some bicycles in the garbage,” he said. “I couldn’t believe that someone had thrown them out. So, I grabbed up all of the bicycles that I could that day and I didn’t go to school.”

‘American Pickers’ Star Had a Man Cave at Just Four Years Old

Mike Wolfe said that the school called his mom when he didn’t show up to class that day. She rushed home to work to find him sitting in the front yard surrounded by various parts and pieces of all his “new” bicycles. The cool part is that his mom wasn’t actually mad at him. As a matter of fact, her reaction was quite the opposite.

“She did something really cool then — she gave me the garage. She goes, ‘I’m going to let you have the garage.’ So, at like four years old I already had a man cave. That’s where it all started.”

He also explained why he feels it is important to stay connected to our history.

“To me, history isn’t just places or items. It’s really about people and relationships,” Wolfe said. “So, when I pitched my show for so many years, it was really more about the relationship someone had with something and why it was important to them.”

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