Bixby has traveled to small towns and big cities all across the country, but it’s here in San Luis Obispo where she’s treated like a celebrity.
On Tuesday, Mayor Heidi Harmon presented the “bone” to the city to the 7-year-old rescue dog who has spent more than half her life on the back of a bike.
Bixby and her owner, Mike Minnick, have covered more than 15,000 miles since 2013, with a goal of promoting adoptions from animal shelters and rescue groups.
The duo, who stopped in San Luis Obispo in 2015, was here again a few weeks ago when Minnick felt two lumps on Bixby’s chest and side. Veterinarians discovered that the lumps were malignant and needed to be removed, so they’ve stayed in San Luis Obispo while waiting for Bixby’s stitches to come out, which happened Tuesday morning.
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The next stop, Minnick said, is the Palo Alto area, so they can collect a Guinness World Record for the longest distance on an electric bicycle.
“I’m pretty sure when we leave Palo Alto, we’re gonna head straight back here and start working on changing our driver’s licenses,” he said, laughing. “There is zero doubt in my mind that Bixby wants to call the San Luis Obispo area home.”
Born in Tulsa, Okla., but a longtime Texas resident, Minnick adopted Bixby from a shelter in Austin. A bar manager and bartender, Minnick was out of shape and living vicariously through some of the people for whom he was pouring drinks. A friend’s offer to attend the Burning Man festival in 2011 prompted Minnick to sell his belongings, buy an old pickup and travel around the country, Bixby in tow.
“Finally, I’m like, screw it, I’m going to have an adventure, “ Minnick told The Tribune in 2015.
After driving around the western U.S., the pair ended up in a little town near Big Bend National Park, where Minnick met two brothers who were cycling across the country. Their story prompted Minnick to plan his own ride, which officially started May 15, 2013.