November 07, 2016

The Tale of a Dog and Their Man

Here at Beeline, we like to fancy ourselves as adventurers, untethered by convention or route planners when it comes to navigation. Every day is a chance to take a new path, to see with fresh eyes the hidden treasures around us, and breath life back into journeys that can easily become robotic. 

But our grand notions were put in perspective after we heard about a man from Austin, Texas, who’s been on the road for three years. With his dog. On a bike. By accident.

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Mike Minnick is someone we can all relate to. A smoker who would often drive the two blocks it took to get his cigarettes, his was a life lived without much direction. Then, as his dog Bixby tells it on her blog, a chance offer of tickets to  Burning Man festival was the catalyst for an epic journey around America— and a chance for Mike to change his life.

Image courtesy Where’s Bixby @ Instagram

The trigger wasn’t some noble leap of faith, but necessity.

After their truck broke down in a New Mexico ghost town, Bixby and Mike met the brothers behind America Recycled; a pair of crowdfunded, bike-powered filmmakers on a journey to rediscover America.

Encouraged by their bold move, Mike decided to do what your average American would consider madness: Buy a cargo bike, MacGyver it to accommodate a dog bed (and the other 100+ pounds of supplies nomadic life with a dog necessitates), and take to life on the road.

As they travelled, Bixby drew crowds wherever they went. The pedal-powered pooch and her human friend realised that their journey could be more than an adventure. The fruit of their labour is  “ Where’s Bixby“, and it has two purposes: to inspire people to shift gear in life and get on a bike; and advocate local animal shelters over the cruelty of “ puppy mills“.

As Minnick put it in Bicycle Times,

“There are so many beautiful dogs desperately in need of a home and friendship. If you love animals, donate to your local shelter. Puppies should not be a for-profit commodity.”

Bixby has proved herself one eloquent dog, crafting all the social media output for their journey. You can follow along and support them on Facebook, Twitter, and of course, Instagram.

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Where would you go if you embarked on an extended journey? Have you done just that?  Come join us off the beaten track, and share your story!

If you’re game for a guest post, drop us a line at Send us a brief blurb about what you’re thinking of sharing, and we’ll let you know if it’s a go. If it’s got visual elements to help tell the story, so much the better.

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