Exercising outside is one of my favourite things to do – I wrote an article for Wisdom Pills about the benefits of Green Exercise which you might like to check out – and so we took advantage of a lovely day at the end of March, Easter Monday to be precise, to ride to Steveston in Richmond, about 20km from Vancouver. Steveston is a pretty destination, a historic fishing and cannery village looking out over the Fraser River with plentiful waterfront restaurants and cafes. Lots of sun on the ride albeit with a chill breeze.
Part of the route passes by historic Finn Slough, accessible by foot or by water. Originally inhabited by Finnish settlers in the 1800’s who made their living fishing, it remains a working village to this day. Residents live in wooden homes both floating and on stilts, many without a sewage system and relying on wooden stoves for heat. The village developed unplanned and unregulated, an eclectic collection of houses, boats, boardwalks and sheds surrounded by wetlands.
Just by being outside you encourage your ‘ecological literacy’, learning more about your surroundings and becoming more invested in looking after the natural environment you enjoy. Getting out of your home and outside also affects your view of urban settings, neighbours and neighbourhoods in general. And part of the reason I’ve come to love cycling so much is that it increases your access and exposure to different ways of living, like the inhabitants of Finn Slough, in a low key, low impact way – you almost don’t notice you’re getting exercise at the same time.