Man and Dog On Journey to Break Bike Record, Highlight Shelters

Man and dog bicycle across country

HOLLAND, MICH. - A man and his dog are on a life-changing bicycle journey across the country. They've gone about 4,000 miles so far, trying to break a world record for distance on an electric bike.

They left from Palo Alto, California in April and then headed north to Portland, Oregon, got caught in nasty weather in South Dakota, before eventually arriving in Holland this week.

Along the way, the dog's owner is also highlighting the need for adoption at local shelters.

Some journeys in life can be lonely, but not this one.

"It's absolutely changed my entire life," says Mike Minnick, who is attempting to break a world record.

Minnick and his adventurous dog, Bixby, have shared views across the country. They've experienced everything from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to a major storm in South Dakota.

"This is the craziest storm we've ever gotten caught in," Minnick said in a video he shot along the way. "I"m sorry Bixby, I love you."

Bixby made it through the challenges in heroic fashion. One video shows the rescue dog dressed up as a superhero in front of Mount Rushmore.

Minnick is using Bixby to raise awareness about shelter dogs across the country.

"To use Bixby as an ambassador to shelter dogs to get people to support their local shelters," says Minnick.

He's also trying to break a serious record at the same time, after a sponsor challenged them.

"Since April 24, out of Palo Alto, we've now pedaled a little over 4,000 miles," says Minnick. "To break the Guinness Book World Record for distance on an electric bicycle and Bixby was more than happy to oblige."

On Wednesday, they made a stop at Reliable Sport in Holland for routine maintenance.

"Just to check over his bike, make sure he's ready for the next 4,000 miles," says Ken Vos, owner of Reliable Sport.

Minnick showed us several bags on his bicycle that carry everything from a tent and tarp to sleeping bags for Bixby and him.

When we talked to him on Wednesday, we asked what his main message is about local animal shelters.

"I don't understand why you would spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a puppy-milled dog when there's all these other dogs in shelters," says Minnick.

A man who years ago says he felt lost.

"I hadn't done much that I was proud of," says Minnick.

Now, he's teaming up with a dog that needed to be found.

"A wonderful example of what a shelter dog can be," says Minnick.

They're now sharing in the spotlight and chasing after a dream together.

"Dreams are like sticks, you just have to chase them, so that's what we've done ever since," says Minnick. "We've been chasing our sticks and our dreams have become bigger and bigger."

The dog's owner says the current world record is about 5,000 miles, but someone else claimed they've gone 10,000 miles. That's yet to be verified.

He hopes to go 20,000 miles.

His next stops are Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Detroit. Then to the East Coast and the south, before winter.

To follow along with their journey, click here.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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