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

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day fourteen - Sparwood

Rivers: I was glad to hear an item on the radio to the effect that most flood warnings in BC have been rescinded. But I wonder. The Elk, like every river we've cycled beside or near since Hope, is swollen and looking more than a little menacing.

HST: We've seen many a blue "Vote YES to extinguish the HST" signs but not a single sign of any colour advocating the contrary.

Today: We had a good day of cycling despite the weather. We were lightly dusted by a shower just past Elko and it started to come down pretty hard as we arrived at Sparwood. But we dodged an icy downpour by a timely visit at the Powder Mountain Lodge on the main drag through Fernie. We borrowed the hotel's wifi to file yesterday's blog (a wifi was the only thing missing at the Loon Bay B&B, which was not a bad thing at all). And the hotel staff kindly permitted us to stay on, shooting 8-ball free of charge, while the storm blew itself out. Then, with the wind behind us for a change, we sailed up to Sparwood in no time at all.

What's going on in Sparwood? Not a room in either the Motel or the Hotel. Curiously, the hotel formerly known as the Black Nugget - the venue of many a LRB and arbitration hearing in this so-called career - is now the Causeway Bay Hotel. The contrast between it and the Causeway Bay with which I'm familiar in Hong Kong could not be greater. Fortunately, we located the last room at the Blue Collar B&B not far from the hotel where we'll doubtless watch some of Game 7.

We've seen Barry Coulter's story in today's Cranbrook Townsman. Soe Naing wishes he'd got the name Kwantlen Polytechnic University right but, on a quick glance, we like it. I'll try to get a website address.

Thanks a bunch to Mike & Tereena for the boost to the per km pledge rate.

Today: 78 kms. To date: 1,015 kms. Total pledges "earned" at $0.6125 per km: $621.89.

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