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

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Day twenty - Moose Jaw

Lone Eagle footnote - It turns out there was a screened window. I had blogged before checking the greasy plastic curtain across from the greasy plastic shower curtain. Apology duly tendered.

Speaking of screens, today was another conserve-the-sunscreen day. No rain most of the day but no sun. We knew we had 125 or so kms to cover so we didn't take a good rest until after 10:00 am. In a little over 3 hours, we'd done about 70 kms and we were feeling fine. Stopped at the side of the road near Parkbeg to have breakfast, consisting of granola bars. They were the best provisions we could find in Herbert to sustain us through another stretch of restaurant-free Trans Canada Highway.

The view from a former roadside attraction at Parkbeg SK, home of Gainer the Gopher. I kid you not.

A few minutes after getting back on the road, the skies opened up and we were drenched in a matter of seconds. Nowhere to hide; on we pedaled. When it finally petered out about 15 minutes later, the wind had turned on us. Not terribly strong but brisk and directly against us. Between drying out and the headwind, the last 45 or 50 kms today were a very tough slog. Now I know what Dennis was talking about.

A prairie vista.

We arrived in Moose Jaw completely exhausted and about a couple of hours later than we would have if the elements had not conspired. But not too late to take advantage of Tina's latest bulletin on message therapy services. Thanks Tina!

A big thanks to Hanne for upping the pledge rate, and for the philosophical words of encouragement.

Today: 126 kms. To date: 1,758 kms. Total "earned" pledges @ $1.0825 per km: $1,903.04.


  1. cup of coffee in old Moose Jaw
    used to be the hideout of a bad outlaw
    name of Al Capone
    his fedora on
    walking in the snow....
    ("Winnipeg" by Tom Russell)

  2. I think moving to Moose Jaw might improve my golf score. From what I see from your picturesque landscape photos my propensity to slice would give rise to virtually no negative consequence. On top the ball roll must be amazing - akin to the long drive contest in the Tin Cup.
    The blog is great, can't stop keeping up with your progress - and a remarkable progress that has been - three provinces worth! Keep on keeping on.

  3. Wow--Moose Jaw already! Congrats, boys. (And thanks, by the way--the extra recognition back in B.C. wasn't necessary. I just didn't want ol' Hewitt stealing my thunder!) BTW Rod, my pal Thamm has returned from Thailand with our copies of the T.S. biography I ordered from Amazon ages ago. (Perfect timing, eh? During a Canada Post strike and with you literally on the road and in transit for another six weeks!)