Spotlight on sustainability

Duo to discuss and document country's future on cross-Canada cycling odyssey

Tsawwassen's Maria Markov and her friend Anya Barkan will be embarking on a cross-Canada cycling trip this weekend.

Markov and Barkan are part of Tour de Sustainability, a project to gather a nationwide perspective on a sustainable future for Canada.

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"My career doesn't have to do with sustainability but I think it's an important thing for everybody to think about," said Markov, a software developer. "I was also really excited about the cycling aspect. That's going to be a super adventure, basically."

Barkan, who has a master's degree in sustainability, said it's something she's trying to pursue as a part of work.

"So when the opportunity came up to do this kind of project, I got really excited about it," she said.

Markov and Barkan are set to leave Tsawwassen on Sunday.

They're aiming to finish the trek by the end of August in St. John's, Newfoundland.

They plan on cycling 100 kilometres a day on average throughout the trip.

"In the beginning, since we'll be less fit and we'll be going over hillier terrain, we'll be doing more like 80. In the Prairies, we'll go 120 a day, at least," said Markov.

They've completed a 300-kilometre training trip to test out their new bikes, tents and equipment.

The pair will be filming their journey across Canada and hope to turn it into a documentary.

They'll be talking to people they meet about sustainability along the way.

"Not necessarily like, 'Hello, what do you think about sustainability?' More like a conversation, less formal. Anybody we meet is a potential person that we might have either in our movie, or we also have a blog," said Markov.

"We're focusing more on solutions, on what things people are actually doing," said Barkan.

For more on the Tour de Sustainability, visit

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