Sara Dykman divides her time between seasonal amphibian and reptile jobs, outdoor education, and adventures. She created Beyond A Book to connect students to adventure in order to foster lifelong learners, boundary pushers, explorers, and stewards. She is the coordinator and the ButterBiker of ButterBike.
Every year, the monarch butterflies complete a multigeneration, multinational migration. In 2017, for the first time, cyclist, biologist, outdoor educator and adventurer Sara Dykman (then 32) accompanied the millions of monarchs to celebrate their journey and be their voice. During her 10,201 mile, 3 country tour, Dykman presented to more than 10,000 students and community members across the monarch’s range. “The monarchs need us,” Dykman explained, “they can’t call politicians to demand healthy prairies or rally for native gardens. But we can. We might not be able to fly like butterflies, but we can bike alongside them, and be their voice.” This is the history-making trek Dykman daringly embarked upon, becoming the first person to ever bicycle alongside monarch butterflies on their storied annual migration. Deftly combining travel memoir and popular science, BICYCLING WITH BUTTERFLIES: My 10,201-Mile Journey Following the Monarch Migration(Timber Press; April 13, 2021) recounts Dykman’s inspirational ride alongside the monarchs as she follows unmapped roads in Michoacán, México, through the United States, into Ontario, Canada, and back, again, to Mexico. Sara’s entire trip was made on a beat-up bicycle weighed down with everything from camping to video equipment. She covered about 60 miles per day, with rest stops to give presentations at schools and nature centers. At night she camped or stayed with all sorts of people. “From Mexico to Canada people were so willing to invite me into their house and let me experience a generosity found along the entire migration.” “Bicycling with Butterflies is part science, part adventure, part love letter to nature,” Dykman explained. “I hope readers will come away with a deeper sense of connection to the land and be inspired to join the network of people already fighting for the survival of the migration.”