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

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day nineteen - Herbert SK

True to form, Dorothy brewed us an early coffee in the bar and scrounged 2 bananas from her sister. The ritual was therefore unbroken, despite the fact the grocery store in Tompkins is closed on Sundays and Mondays (and doesn't look like it carries bananas anyway). We've started every day with one or, more often, two bananas. The potassium prevents cramps, don't you know.

Clear skies! An early breakfast in Gull Lake because, of course, there is nothing between there and Swift Current.

Then to McDonald's in Swift Current to catch up with the blog. We'd been thinking about a little rest in Fast Creek but, again, the paucity of facilities down the road prevented it. Moose Jaw is 174 kms away, too much for one day. The only place with a motel and a restaurant between Swift Current and Moose Jaw is Herbert, another 45 kms down the road from Swift Current. Off we went, with no expectation of a wifi tonight.

Wrong again. After a pleasant cycle in the sunshine, we learn that the Lone Eagle Motel in Herbert does indeed have a wifi. The room has a great shower. And the proprietors are interesting. They found time to register us and give us a key while shearing their alpacas. I kid you not. But none of the above justifies the hefty increase in tariff over last night's charmer in Tompkins. What the room here at the Lone Eagle does not have is a door or a window with a screen. No fresh air without squadrons of mosquitoes and other flying creatures. Most unsatisfactory. Worse, the town doesn't have a drink; it's dry. Poor Herbert.

Today: 125 kms. To date: 1632 kms. Total "earned" pledges to date: $1,685.04.

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