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: www.justaid.ca. 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 (www.maetaoclinic.com) and the Back Pack Health Worker Team (www.backpackteam.org).

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 info@justaid.ca.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Day twenty-three - Broadview SK

It did not rain last night. That part of the plan worked. We got by the flooded section of the TCH; only the westbound lanes remained under water. So that part of the plan also worked. Too bad we forgot to plan some decent weather.

Rain, of course. But, worse, that crosswind/headwind from the day before was blowing much stronger. As much as a tailwind enhances the joy of cycling, a headwind takes all the fun right out of it. You have two options. You can gear way down, try to relax and ignore the snail's pace at which you are 'progressing'. Or, you can gear down a few rings and dig deeper, pushing hard as long as you can and then take a rest. Either way, it is far too difficult to resemble anything called fun.

There was only another 25 kms or so to Whitewood when we stopped at Broadview. Whitewood has superior facilities according to the folks back in Grenfell where we had breakfast, and we had intended to get at least as far as Whitewood when we started. But we just didn't have it in us.


Just east of Sintaluta SK: the eastbound lanes - our road - are in the foreground. What you don't see beyond are the westbound lanes, still under a foot or two of water. I should have waited and snapped a truck heading west and throwing up a lot of water. But it was raining and I wanted to get a move on.

Today: 81 kms. To date: 1,988 kms. Total "earned" pledges: $2,152.01.

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