It will be a long ride.

Rod Germaine
On the steps of his law school in Halifax (Nick Pearce photo, courtesy of Dalhousie University)

The Codger has done it. His crazy journey ended on August 7.

This is the blog of Rod Germaine’s bicycle ride across the continent in 2011. Accompanied by his good friend, Soe Naing, Rodger the Codger left North Vancouver on June 2nd. He did not stop until he got to Halifax where he attended his class reunion. It was the 40th anniversary reunion of the Dalhousie Law School class of ‘71.

Among other things, the ride was a fundraiser for the Just Aid Foundation: The total raised was close to $35,000. Germaine is genuinely grateful to all who donated so generously.

It is worth mentioning that none of the donated funds were used to pay expenses. Germaine paid for the ride with his own money. And the long succession of cheap motels and mostly mediocre meals cost some real money. He did not keep track but a member of his family did; the cumulative total was well over $8,000. Soe Naing was more frugal but he also spent a few thousand dollars of his own money by the time they got to Toronto. Covering the costs out of their pockets was consistent with the policy and practice of the Just Aid Foundation. It is maintained by volunteers; expenses are limited to accounting fees, a modest honourarium for the bookkeeper and the charges imposed by online service providers and credit card companies. Subject to these unavoidable costs, all funds raised by the Foundation are used to support the Mae Tao Clinic ( and the Back Pack Health Worker Team (

Germaine extends his thanks for all the support he received from friends and family, from new friends he made along the way, and from Burma activists in many towns he visited. Four individuals deserve very special thanks:

  -Soe Naing, without whose company and assistance he may not have made it to Toronto;
  -Bob Blair who cheered the team, carried the gear and guided the ride through Southern Alberta;
  -Murray Clemens, whose company and assistance through the Province of Quebec must have cost him a small fortune but was immensely appreciated because it was especially timely and great fun; and
  -last but most certainly not least, his angel Adeline, who transported his gear up the first big hills on the Hope Princeton so he could cycle on a light bike, and who worried constantly but patiently tolerated and even supported a project she considered completely crazy.

The daily blogs follow in reverse chronological order. The blog on the top was posted only recently and it is the last. Earlier blogs are accessible by clicking on “Older Posts” at the bottom of this page. You can contact Germaine at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Day eleven - Creston

We really have no complaint.

First, we enjoyed a splendid evening with Tina, Dave, Josh and Megan. In addition to a free meal, Tina offered to speak to her BCNU colleagues to line up some massage therapy for us along our route. Even though she is one of the busiest people I know, I was unable to resist the offer.

Second, we did not have to climb the Salmo-Creston "Skyway".

Third, it did not rain. It threatened. We could see the rain across the Lake, and we worried. But it did not rain.

And it started very promisingly, in bright clear sunshine as we boarded the ferry. The light Sunday morning traffic made for a pleasant ride down the east shore of Kootenay Lake until the wind came up. I know there will be days (hopefully soon) when we wish it were cooler, but it was a cold wind today and it was in our faces. And the twisty road was fine except for the frequent little hills. Little but steep. Put it this way, we used all our gears today. Many times. Ooops, this could be construed as a complaint.

Since the Creston Visitors' Information Centre was closed (it's Sunday!), we had to rely on the alternative to ascertain whether we could expect to find a motel a few kms closer to Cranbrook. The alternative is called Jimmy's Pub & Grill. Relying on the information so obtained, we're parked at the Bavarian Orchard Motel just east of Creston, hoping any wind tomorrow blows in the so-called "prevailing" direction.

Looking up Kootenay Lake, from Boswell

Today: 84 kms. To Date: 785 kms. Total "earned" pledges: $457.26.


  1. These updates are great. Good to hear you didn't have to climb the 'skyway'. It sounds ominous. Keep on biking, guys, you're getting closer.


  2. Love your blog Rod..reading daily! You are an inspiration! love to get a contingent together to join you for a long flat ride through the prairies..well off the beaten track!..Burma night and beer good!
    cheers Rod