The People on Bikes blog is a brand new project for me. Part of my plan is to interview interesting people I know. The other part is interviewing interesting people I don’t know. I love randomly spotting someone and chasing them down for a story and photos. It’s amazing who’s out there on bikes. Heading home over the Spokane Street Bridge to West Seattle a few days ago, I spotted this fully loaded cargo bike heading south and gave chase. He wasn’t very hard to catch up with.
Mike Minnick, Bixby, and Chicken Charlie (their rubbber safety chicken) are on an epic bicycle adventure. At the time of this interview they’ve been on the road for a year and 4 months, and have covered 7,300 miles.
“… from Lubec, Maine, down to Key West to New Orleans, Tulsa, Joplin MO, Denver, Laramie, Missoula. I made it up to Blaine about 3 weeks ago, and now we’re slowly heading south along the west coast. We want to spend New Year’s somewhere in southern California. I’ve been thinking a lot about riding Route 66.”
What’s your motivation for this epic journey?
“I was way overdue for a big adventure. I met some people while living in Big Bend National Park a couple years ago who were on a cross-country bicycle adventure and their stories kind of blew my mind. Not being able to do it without my best friend here, I found a Yuba Mundo Cargo Bike, and decided to hit the road. So far so good!”
Is there anything you want to tell the world about the moral of the story or what they’re missing out on?
“I’m like the last person in the world that most people would think would get on a bicycle and ride it across the country. Having been a chain smoker and completely out of shape. I decided this was the adventure I wanted to take. Being that Bixby is a rescue dog, it’s given us a pretty cool platform to try to help get other dogs adopted. We do a lot of work with humane societies and shelters as we tour through towns.”
“We tell people that a bicycle is very much a viable form of transportation. 7,300 miles and counting, I can’t imagine getting around any other way.”
What was the trigger that launched you on this epic journey?
“Burning Man! That kind of triggered wanting to walk away from my previous life and do something completely different. I went to Burning Man. This was in a car. I started doing some national parks. Along the way I became inspired to do something in a very physical way that seemed impossible. This is what I decided to do.”