June 28, 2021

Saying Yes

We are joined today by Sara Dykman. Sara, aka the Butter Biker, is a biologist, outdoor educator, and adventurer.

Sara has been a cycling enthusiast since childhood. She took her first long bike tour in high school, going on a 1000-mile group bike trip that changed her life. She continued her love of bike advocacy in college, and after graduation, Sara and her friends decided to bike to every state in the US. They set off on their year-long trip and became inspired to do more than just bike. To share their love of exploring, they started doing classroom presentations along the way about science, conservation, and adventure.

In 2017, Sara rode her bike solo 10,201 miles from Mexico to Canada and back to follow the migrating Monarch Butterflies. Her route took her to Texas first, and then she followed the energy of the Monarchs taking her up to Canada. Along the way, she made many classroom presentations about the Monarchs. She made her way to the east coast in the fall and followed the migrating Monarchs back to Mexico.

Sara’s goal is to get kids excited about adventure, not material things. She started BeyondABook.org to help shine a spotlight on the Monarch migration and encourage people to plant native gardens in their yards, roadside ditches, and public spaces. Monarchs need these stopover sites to rest and eat. Isn’t it amazing how a migrating Monarch and a cyclist can have similar needs and experiences as they travel?

Sara believes that adventure can be found anywhere if you allow yourself to say yes. When preparing for a trip, her main concern is that her gear is in good working order. Then she sets off, taking it slow and only going as far as she wants to each day. In her five years of touring, she has always managed to find a place to sleep. It might not have been the best place, but Sara says that when you are in the thick of it and things are going wrong, remember that these are the stories that will stick with you the most. You will get over the hardships, but the story will be with you forever.

Sara’s adventure with the Monarchs continues, and this month, her book, Bicycling with Butterflies, will be available. It is part science, part adventure, and part love letter to nature. She is dreaming about her next big adventure. Will it be riding a horse across Mexico? Or taking a half land/half water trip to study amphibians? Who knows? But whatever she does, it will be an adventure!

You can learn more about Sara and her work on her website BeyondABook.org or Facebook. Her book, Bicycling with Butterflies, is available for purchase on Amazon.

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