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Man bikes across country with adopted dog to raise awareness for shelter animals

(KEVN)
Published: Jul. 19, 2016 at 9:47 PM MDT
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Mike Minnick says, "You can only get a dog this cool by rescuing one out of a local shelter, and in turn as I said, they will rescue you and change your entire life."

Mike Minnick has been traveling across the country for the past three years with his adopted best friend Bixby.

Mike, who comes from a background in the bar industry, says he'd never believe this was possible years ago, but 15,000 miles, and many paw prints later, he's striding through life, working to make a difference.

Minnick says, "I met two brothers on a cross-country ride about a year and a half into a cross-country bicycle ride, and we all camped together that night and their story inspired me so much. At the time I was considerably heavier, I was a chain-smoker, like I'm not the one who does this, but I eventually quit smoking, sold my truck, bought a bicycle and hit the road."

And after hitting the road on May 15th in 2013, he has not looked back, and has garnered quite the fan base through social media.

Minnick says, "Along the way, everything started to change. My mind started to work in a creative way, like my life is a cartoon. Once we got down to Miami, Florida, the news came out and they made us the final story of the year. With that I realized that if we keep going, perhaps we can use our adventure to do something really positive."

Part of his journey includes going to animal shelters and featuring a pet on his social media campaign to help spread the word about adoptable four-legged friends.

Kaitlyn Janak says, "Shelter animals and any animals, they can't speak for themselves, so having that advocate that goes out and really brings attention to them is a huge help not only to our animal staff but for the animals we have here as well."

Minnick says, "The number one way to save animals' lives is you have to spay and neuter your own. That's hands down the most important thing."

It's an epic adventure that Mike hopes will inspire other people to chase their dreams.

He says, "We're in the process of writing our first kids book. It's going to be called 'Dreams Are Like Sticks', this is Bixby saying dreams are like sticks, you just have to chase them."

And as for the future for this pedaling pair.

Minnick says, "I would really like to tour across Europe. Bixby was just telling me the other day that she speaks French and German, so I figure she can help me get by."

Mike says Yuba Cargo Bikes, the company that makes his bike, challenged him to break the Guinness World Record for distance traveled on an electronic bike.

He says he's 3,000 miles in, with many, many more to go.

If you want to follow Mike's journey, you can go to WheresBixby.com.