Michael Fitterling was born in 1957 in northern Indiana and grew up just across the state line in Niles, Michigan, graduating from Brandywine High School in 1975. Mike did a two year stint at Anderson College, in Indiana, before dropping out in 1978. In 1989, he returned to school at the University of South Florida, where he graduated in 1992 with a Bachelor in Fine Arts.
Throughout Mike's youth, family trips hinted at the world awaiting him if he just got on the road. Starting at an early age his family made camping trips to over twenty states.
After his first stab at college, Mike tagged along with his brother on a biology and archeology excursion Anderson College had organized to Central America. Those five weeks of camping in the remotest areas of Mexico and Guatemala added the twist of adventure to his love of travelling.
As time went on, Mike was drawn to the sea, bought a small sailboat, and took off along the southeast US coast and through the Bahamas and Caribbean. He captained an excursion sailboat in the Cayman Islands for three summers and earned his US captain's license in 1993.
Returning to the States from the Caribbean, Mike settled in central Florida, where he worked as a graphic designer. He married his wife, Andrea, in 1997 and started a family in 2000. He became interested in woodworking during this time and worked semi-professionally at that craft.
Motorcycles had been a distant dream for Mike since his childhood, but bike ownership escaped him until he was in his fifties, when he discovered a 1968 Honda tucked away in a dusty corner of a relative' shop. He extracted the motorcycle and applied himself to learning about fixing and riding them, starting a new episode in his life, which provided him a new means of adventuring. By this writing, that first bike has carried him over 30,000 miles. A modern Triumph was added to his garage in 2012, which has now accumulated similar mileage.
When he married, Mike was working as cover designer and illustrator for Lost Classics Book Company, and later became Managing Editor. He acquired the company in 2010. Finding himself owner of a publishing company, his natural inclination was to turn to publishing books on motorcycling and so, in 2011, the Road Dog Publications imprint was started.
In 2013, Mike became Editor of Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Magazine, the official publication of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, where he also currently serves on the board of directors.