We all have visions of a better version of ourselves. Some dream of being healthier, others of doing work that gives them meaning. Our dreams vary but they all have one thing in common — our belief that it will make us happier human beings.
It takes courage to take that vision of yourself and turn it into reality. Doing so means sacrificing your comfort zone. For those who have done so, the reward is priceless, as Mike Minnick will tell you.
Minnick also had a vision of a better version of himself. The man worked as a bartender in Austin and he was a self-proclaimed chainsmoker. But Minnick wanted more out of life. He wanted to “approach [it] as an adventure instead of a chore.”
Minnick explains that he was inspired to do the bike ride when he was broken down for over a year or so in Terlingua, Texas. There, he watched cross-country cyclists pass him by and the guy was inspired to do the same. And so, he got Bixby on board and started riding.
Five years later, Minnick and Bixby are still going strong. You can spot the duo on an electric-assist cargo bike. Bixby rides on the back and Minnick ensures she gets plenty of rest with all that exercise.
More than a lifestyle change for Minnick, this adventure turned into a mission. It happened when the former bartender and his dog became minor celebrities during a “feel-good TV spot.” “The next week or so everywhere we would go all these people were saying, ‘Oh, my God, that’s the dog!’ and ‘Can I take a picture?'” Minnick explained.
It was then that Minnick realized his adventure could turn into a mission to raise awareness for what he loved most. “I realized we could do something positive with shelters,” Minnick explained. Ever since then, this man and his dog have been promoting animal shelters everywhere they go.
“That’s part of what we do. We try to use our story to promote local shelters and dogs in local shelters,” Minnick explained. “They all have the ability to be a Bixby and take their humans on a big adventure.”
For Minnick, this is “the ultimate car window for [Bixby] to hang her head out of.” Looking at Bixby sitting there on the back of the electric bike, it looks like this dog is having the time of her life. What dog wouldn’t want to spend much of their time outside?
Minnick and Bixby have attracted the attention of animal lovers all over the country. They’re even being picked for sponsorships from several brands. These include Merrell, EcoXGear, CycleDog and Yuba.