If you would have told me twenty-five years ago that I'd be picking for a living, I wouldn't have believed you.
That said I've been looking for treasures in the trash forever. When I was five, I had my first big score when I found a pile of old bicycles in my neighborhood on trash day. And I was always bringing home old bottles and other random stuff. I never thought of it as junk: to me, it was beautiful.
I’ve always loved bikes. I raced competitively in my twenties, which led me to open a bicycle store and repair shop in Bettendorf, Iowa, my hometown. But I never stopped picking.
Because of the store, people were always telling me about cool vintage bikes for sale, which I'd buy and flip for extra cash. When I added Italian scooters and motorcycles to the mix, picking became more than just a hobby. So I closed the shop, bought a van and hit the road. Antique Archeology was born.
I have the best job in the world. I get to travel the country, constantly meet new people, and, almost every day, I get to experience the magic feeling that comes when I pick something truly amazing. Now through the TV show American Pickers, I can share the experience with millions of people.
It doesn’t get better than that.
Your picker, Mike Wolfe
A few years back I was reading a motorcycle magazine. There was a classified ad that read BUY-SELL-TRADE INDIAN MOTORCYLES. I called the number. The older man who answered the phone said there were still a few rusty bikes out in the barn. I drove 800 miles arriving in Pennsylvania the very next morning. When the old farmer opened the barn door I knew I had hit the mother lode: 10 vintage Indian bikes and two more barns full of spare parts. A mega pick of a lifetime.