../people/Michael Andrew Ardelean

Sources: www.mikeardelean.com, www.ridebmx.com, www.lifelounge.com, BMX Plus!, Dig, Session, ...
If you want to add any info, please contact buissonrouge@23mag.com.
1978 DOB: march 25,1978.
Mike: I'm from Westland, Michigan.
early years Mike, Dig june 2005: What got me into riding was that I basically saw it in a magazine, when BMX Action and Freestylin' were still around. There was a drug store down my street, and I used to walk there all the time to run errands for my mom, and I would just hang out and read Freestylin' for 45 minutes at a time at the drug store. It never occurred to me to actually buy it or save my allowance, so I used to just do that, but it didn't seem accessible at all cause I didn't know anybody that rode. So for the first two or three years, I just rode around my neighborhood. I subscribed to Go Magazine and BMX Plus! and I used to just cruise around the neighborhood. My first bike was a Ross Piranha. $140 with red anodized parts, I got it at Wild Bill's Bike Shop down the street from my house.
There wasn't really anybody else riding except for these old burnout guys that I met a couple years later, when I could actually do some tricks and they were impressed that an 11-yearold kid on a 50 lb. Haro Master could do a few basic tricks. And they had an 8 ft. halfpipe in their backyard, within riding distance from my house. So I used to go there, and this guy named Cliff, he had this feathered mullet, super tight jeans and a hairbrush in his back pocket. He had a Mongoose Supergoose and he could do hang-5s down my whole street.
Those guys fizzled out of the whole riding scene and I only rode their halfpipe like ten times, and then I never saw them again. And then, over the next few months, I met four guys: Big Matt and Little Matt, this other guy named Jimmy and Jason Suchan. The five of us and my younger brother were the diehard riding crew, and we didn't know anyone else that rode. This was years after BMX fizzled out of popularity, when no one rode and no one knew anything about riding. Eventually, we met Mark Flippowicz and the people at Albe's, and we used to go there every weekend and we used to watch demos of whatever team came to town. In 1990, the GT team came to my town, Dave Mirra was 15-years-old, and he had a mushroom bowl haircut that was bleached blond on top, and Joe Johnson, Jess Dyrenforth and Jim Burgess. Back then, Jim was the cool dude out of those four guys. He had this mullet that was curly in the back, and he rode an Auburn. It was the first time I saw a freestyler with pegs riding a race bike. The town next to me was Wayne, and they had this thing called the Wayne Festival. It was this white trash carnival kinda thing with gross elephant ears and cotton candy, and the team came and set up their ramps there and did the demo, and there was a Ms. Wayne pageant, and Jim Burgess ended up making out with Ms. Wayne. So we all thought he was the cool guy. And Mirra was 15, and he was amazing, doing all these flatland tricks. And their ramp was a haflpipe, it was the biggest ramp we'd ever seen, but it was basically a 7 ft. mini ramp, and Joe Johnson was coming close to pulling double tailwhip airs on the thing. That was one of the first times we had actually witnessed BMX riding happening right in front of us, and you could see how possible it was and how tricks were executed, and within a few months, we had ramps in Jason Suchan's backyard; a mini ramp, a spine, a box jump, and we just progressed. We'd be learning 20 tricks a day. That was the point in time where it was literally an obsession. It was the only thing all of us would be focusing on, the fact that we know we'd be riding the next day.

Michael Ardelean letter in BMX Plus! october 1990.

Mike, Dig june 2005: Back then, I really looked up to Craig Campbell. I never met him or saw him ride in person. I never even saw him in a video until years later, but every photo I saw of him in a magazine, he was just like, cool. He had so much style. It was just a hunch I had from seeing him in the magazines, but years later, when I met all these people that used to know him, I found out that he was super cool and that he grew into bigger and better things like being a DJ in London. Eventually, I stopped seeing him in the magazine, and after that, it was obviously Joe Rich and Taj and those guys, and Luc E, When the Standard Fat Ones video came out, that whole time era, I couldn't really speak for anyone else. I hadn't traveled back then, but as far as the Midwest went, those were the guys that I really looked up to. And Mike Ocoboc when those S&M videos were coming out. Ocoboc was the same age as me...

Mike, Dig june 2005: My friends and I went to every Rampage contest. Rick Moliterno, if you ever meet him, you know, he's like, the nicest guy in the whole world. He reaches out to you, and he instantly latched onto me and some of my friends and was giving us bikes at a discount. Standard was the universe for us, growing up in the Midwest. And everyone on the tean was my favourite rider. So we used to go to Rampage, and it was what we looked forward to all year. We knew that at least twice a year, we'd be able to go to Rampage and at least hang out with all these guys that we looked up to, and they were gonna talk to us and ride with us. Rick was even gonna make a custom length STA for me and sell it to me for half price. So it got to the point where I was hanging out with those guys a little bit, and riding and learning, and I never asked for anything, but the DK deal eventually fell into my lap. After the DK deal happened, then Rick asked me to ride for Standard. And I almost quit DK to ride for Standard cause I had looked up to those guys for so long, but l'm really glad I stayed with DK, cause right after that, Joe, Ron and everyone else ended up quitting, and Dave Freimuth ended up on DK, so he was a part of my team.
bmxplus letter

Mike rides for DK.
Albes shop helped me get to my first contest which resulted in my first bike sponsor, DK.
Mike, Dig june 2005: I went to the NBL Christmas Classic. It was back when dirt comps were just one big jump and I wasn't even a dirt jumper. I couldn't make it through a rhythm section at that point in time. I had probably ridden trails like twice. But it was one big jump, and at that time, it was one of the biggest dirt comps to enter. I thhink there were like 60 or 70 people entered in it. And I just rode and did every trick I could do. I think we had six runs at it. I did what I knew, and I did a new trick, which was for me a big deal. It was a no-footer to barspin to no-footer. Albe's paid for my entry fee and I wore the Albe's jersey with the flames on it, and Steve Buddendeck came up to me afterwards and he was the nicest guy. He didn't even bring up DK or a sponsorship until later in the conversation. And we hit it off, and then towards the end of the conversation, he said that if I never needed a bike, to just give him a call.
I took everything so seriously back then, I remember right after that trip, Nathan Wessel and I took a roadtrip from Chenga World out to Bethlehem, which for me, was a dream come true. It was crazy, one day I was riding this contest, then I was back home, then I was with Nate in the truck going to Bethlehem, and one night I woke up in the middle of the night and I was freezing, and Luc-E had come and put a blanket on me. This was all during the period over whether or not I should go with DK, and I asked Joe Rich tor his advice and what I should do, and he said, "Don't ever take something just because it's free." And at the time, I wasn't exactly sure what he meant, cause at the time, DK was race frames. And I'm sure they were great for racing, but they had 16" back ends on them. Anyway, in the end, it all panned out. They were in the process of starting a freestyle program, Colin Winkelmann was designing the bikes, I took them up on the offer, which was basically just a free bike and free parts from System. And to me, it was a dream come true.

There was one point, I think it was around that Disney contest, where I had the opportunity to ride for Gary Fisher, and I mentioned it to Steve in passing. Back then, the offer was for more money than I had ever had at that point. But after that, Steve said that if I stuck with DK, that they could pay me $200 a month. So l rode for DK for $200 month. At the time, I was working at Taco Bell, probably making the equivalent of that. I remember getting home from that trip, calling Taco Bell and quitting. To me, I thought that was as good as it got.
I was on DK for two years.

1997 Mike Ardelean bio in Props 19, may june 1997.

12th place pro park and 19th pro dirt @ 1997 X-Games.
mike ardelean props bmx 19
Props issue 19.
1998 Mike Ardelean bio in Ride BMX US june july 1998.

27th place pro dirt @ 1998 X-Games.

DK Damn Kids video.

Little Devil Seek and Destroy video.

Props Road Fools 2.

Mike left DK for Huffy in december 1998.
Mike, Dig june 2005: I rode for Huffy for 11 months, Yeah, it was just under a year. We were on DK, Freimuth was on DK, and DK's team was huge. That was the summer of '98 and we were all at Woodward, which was the best year for Woodward. I was there for nine weeks straight. Freimuth was on DK, Nate Hanson, Leigh Ramsdell; we had just finished filming our first video for DK (Damn Kids), so that summer was crazy and we filmed a video out of it. And DK told us that it was getting too big, and that they couldn't support everybody. So what happened was, coincidentally, Lou Caparelli, the team manager for DK, ended up switching over to Huffy, cause Huffy was distributed out of DK's building. That was when Jimmy Levan had been on Huffy for a brief period and they wanted to build a freestyle team. Lou switched over there to do that and pick up a team, Cory Nastazio was on, and Lou told me that I should ride for Huffy. I was gonna get $1000 a month, which was insane at the time. Se I told them that I would do it but only if I could custom design a frame, and also only if Freimuth could switch over too. We went back and forth a couple times. I think they were gonna pay Dave a little less which I thought was insane, and eventually, I didn't mean to be difficult to deal with, but it worked out that we both got to switch over to Huffy for $1000 a month and we stayed tight with the DK crew as well. And then they actually ended up making a version of their race bike that was perfect for me. Up until I got on Volume, it was the best bike I had ever had.
Ruben got on the team a few months later and ended up stepping onto the bike that I had customized and he loved it. We were real happy for that year. It was awesome getting to travel. The only bad part of it were the shows, cause the team co-sponsor was Pepsi One. And there was this huge communication gap between the riders and the people in charge of the program. People think big companies like Specialized don't understand BMX. Well, we were dealing with people at Pepsi One, and they couldn't understand why we didn't want to do a demo in a Wal-Mart parking lot with eight people watching. It wasn't that bad of an experience, and Rich Vitiello was really good to us, and it was the first time I had made enough money to pay rent oft of just riding my bike.
mike ardelean 1988
1999 Interview in Ride BMX UK february march 1999.

15th place pro street @ 1999 Gravity Games, Providence, RI. july 15-23, 1999.

14th place pro park @ 1999 X-Games.

Props Road Fools 3.

Mike Ardelean interview in BMXpress december 1999.
2000 Mike left Huffy for Mosh Bikes in january 2000.
Mike, www.lifelounge.com, 2000: Mosh is the ultimate sponsor because it's like riding for a small company that has the resources of a big company. We're all pretty tight friends too; we go to the office and have meetings and just hang out with the people there. Getting a paycheck from a company you believe in is the best thing in the world. Huffy was like, "go here, do shows, promote soda." Mosh is like "be yourself, ride hard, help us design this, have fun." I don't regret riding for Huffy though. It was a learning experience that made me appreciate my freedom at Mosh.

5th place @ 2000 UGP Roots jam.

11th place pro street @ 2000 Gravity Games, Providence, RI. july 2000.

18th place pro park @ 2000 X-Games.

Nowhere Fast video.

9th place pro street @ La Revolution round 4, Skate Street skatepark in Ventura, California, november 2000.
Mike Ardelean (Mosh) took over the spine with sprocket disasters-to-fakie transfers, 360-to-sprocket-to-180 in, and a barspin-to-double peg stall.
2001 Mosh Brass
The Brass series was aided in design by Mike Ardelean.
Mike, www.lifelounge.com, 2000: I just told them the geometry I wanted and they did the rest. I had them put the brakes under the seat stays because everyone I know runs 36-13 gearing. I also made sure the dropouts were small so they don't drag on ledges and rails. It's strong and light so I'm happy with it.

Interview in Ride BMX UK june july 2001.

7th place pro street @ Vans Triple Crown, Louisville, KY. july 27-29, 2001.

17th place pro park @ 2001 X-Games, Philadelphia, PA. august 17-23, 2001.

Mosh Easy Style video.

Ride BMX US Turbulence video.
2002 Mike Ardelean poster and interview in Ride BMX US january 2002.

Perspectives and cover of Transit #7 video.

12th place pro street @ Vans Triple Crown, Oceanside, CA. october 3-6, 2002.
mike ardelean transit 7
2003 30th place pro street @ 2003 Metro jam, Toronto, march 2003.

411 video issue 4.
Mike Ardelean dissects the flat ground 360 in this installment of Fine Tuning.

Fresh off his Fine Tuning article in issue 04, Mike Ardelean is back for his Profile in 411 issue 5. Mike rides for Mosh and comes from Michigan. Check out his tech style and see why he's one of today's best pros.
2004 Mike got on Volume.
Mike Ardelean: I rode for Mosh Bikes from 2000-2003. Then they stopped doing bikes and became a parts company, so I got on Volume Bikes but stayed with Mosh Parts. I met Brian Castillo when I moved to California in 1998. While we shared an apartment down in the O.C., I was riding for Huffy and he was contemplating starting a company.

Smith on the cover of the april 2004 issue of Transworld BMX.

Mike Ardelean's Volume frame is out.
It's got a Euro bottom bracket and a internal headset steer tube, the mounts are on the chainstays (except for those with no mounts), front end is 20 and 7/8 (right between 20.75 and 21), back end is 14. Includes headset. Weight = 5 lbs. 3 oz
mike ardelean transworld bmx 04 2004
2005 Mike launched a clothing line called Lavar in january.

Mike Ardelean is now helping out in Mosh's marketing department.
Mike, www.ridebmx.com, february 2005: It's kind of as a go-between to help Sam Arellano, Kevin Dana, Heath Pinter and Rich Hirsch get everything done. Sam has always told me that he eventually wanted to see the riders get involved and take over the company. Lately he's been spending most of his time with Giant, so I started volunteering to help out about a year ago, and finally it fell into place. For now, I'm acting as a middleman between Sam Arellano, Kevin Dana, Heath Pinter, our graphic guys Mike and Thomas, Rich Hirsch, and the team. To be honest, all of the guys I just mentioned have full-time jobs away from Mosh, so you could say that Mosh is literally a labor of love. Those guys sacrifice a lot of their own time to make Mosh happen. I'm here to make things easier on them-staying in contact with the media and our dealers, sending samples, coordinating photo shoots with the team, and giving my input into the design process. Not the most glamorous job, but I get to work with my friends and learn a lot.

Interview in Dig june 2005.
2006 Mike Ardelean footjam nosepick during United Bikes' inaugural trip through the UK on the cover of Dig august september 2006. Photo by Ricky Adam.
mike ardelean dig 54
2007 Mike Ardelean, thecomeupbmx.net, december 2007: I am moving on from my 9-5 Product Manager position at Giant. Tomorrow is my last day. I’m taking a job at Quiksilver; just working on clothing—nothing to do with BMX or anything. Quiksilver are not starting a BMX program. The split here has been totally amicable, Kevin Dana has been more than great, and everyone at Giant has wished me the best. It’s really tough to leave this office. I’m going to remain involved with Giant and MOSH as a rider and, to a certain extent, handling the MOSH program. It remains to be seen exactly what my involvement with MOSH will be, but for now, I’ll continue to manage the team and develop ads and softgoods. So, in many ways, not much will change. Giant product and team management will now be handled by Heath Pinter.
2008 Mike Ardelean hitting up his favorite hip at the Santa Monica skatepark on the cover of Session march 2008. Pic by Maicol Chavez. mike ardelean session bmx 03 2008
2009 bmx.transworld.net, may 2009: Long-time skate shoe company IPATH has started a BMX program and made Mike Ardelean the team manager. Mike hand selected the team including Andrew Jackson, Jim Bauer, Brian Yeagle, and Dave Thompson.