Mike Minnick and his dog Bixby in Encinitas back in August. The bike, which has served as the mode of transportation for the pair on a cross-country journey, was stolen earlier this week during their stay in Mission Beach, just blocks from the Giant Dipper roller coaster. File photo
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Bixby bike stolen, stranding pair of travelers

REGION — It’s a big cargo bike; it’s heavy, it’s orange and has giant Where’s Bixby stickers on the sides — and it’s been stolen.

The bike, which has served as the mode of transportation for Mike Minnick and his dog Bixby on a cross-country journey, was discovered to be missing early Friday morning during their stay in Mission Beach, just blocks from the Giant Dipper roller coaster.

It was while Minnick was taking Bixby out for a walk that he noticed an old beach cruiser bike with a sizeable pair of bolt cutters in the bike’s basket in front of the garage where his bike was parked.

“I immediately looked to my right and I saw that my bicycle was gone and freaked out,” Minnick said.

He called police, filing a report and then began searching on his own, he explained, walking up Later that day, a friend he met recently in San Diego came to help drive him around to canvass more of the area.

But at this point no bike was found.

“Maybe somebody somewhere will see my bike and get it returned to me,” said Minnick. “That bike means so much to me. It’s more than just a utility — that thing represents me setting off and changing my life and I want that bicycle back really bad.”

Minnick began riding the Yuba Mundo cargo bike with Bixby more than two years ago advocating for the adoption of shelter animals.

Over the more than 9,300 miles that his journey has taken them, this is the first time his bike has ever been stolen, Minnick said.

And not only was the bike taken, but Minnick said Chicken Charlie was stolen, too.

“I can’t find another one,” Minnick said of the rubber chicken that has served as the bike’s mascot of sorts and “lookout” during their trip. “I want my rubber chicken back.”

Minnick said he’s frustrated by the situation right now, but added that he’s received lots of support not only locally, but also worldwide through his Facebook page.

“It really, in a way, it takes something like this to reinforce in me that what we’ve done is special,” Minnick said.

“I’m not going to let it damper all of my spirit, that being said, it’s extremely frustrating right now, because right now, I can’t even go anywhere. I’m on feet,” he added.

He’s essentially stranded until his bike is returned and doesn’t know what his plans are just yet, though he said he has places to stay for the next week and he’ll just wait it out.

If there are sightings of the bike, Minnick asks to contact him at wheresbixby@gmail.com.

There’s a gofundme page set up too if people want to try to help get them back on the road. More information is at wheresbixby.com.

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