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.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day fifty-one - Cornwall ON

Toronto revisited - here are two taken after the function last Friday evening:


Once again, thank you one and all.

And here are two photos intended to depict the fabled 1,000 Island Parkway and bike path. They don't do a good job of it, but they are all I have. I stood in the same place to take both, facing west. The first shows the parkway and, poorly, the bike path to the right. The second shows the parkway and, presumably, some of the 1,000 islands.


Note to Apple: the pixels are ample, but how about one wide angle and one telephoto option next time?

The bike path is impressively long, that much must be said. About 40 kms. But it is bumpy. You can avoid the serious bumps but not the general lumpiness. Lumpy is still uncomfortable and it makes it difficult to maintain speed. The trail is also on the wrong side of the road, often on a lower level so the road obscures the view. Not that you can afford to take you eye off the trail anyway. The relatively short portions which are newer and smoother were a good ride.

I had a new tube installed in my back wheel while I was enjoying breakfast in Brockville. I've been dealing with a slow leak since Little Falls MN, which has lately necessitated bumping the tire up once or twice a day. Turns out a staple had penetrated the almost indestructible Schwalbe tire and poked a little hole in the tube. The hole was obviously getting bigger. Incredibly, that was the only tire repair on the entire trip (he said, touching wood).

I happened to be resting near the strip mall in Iroquois when the sky turned ugly and the wind kicked up. I just made it to Mother Clucker's in the mall before a vicious downpour. When I'd finished my beer, the storm was gone. Meantime, I'd enjoyed my visit with some of the regulars:

Tammy, who was tending the bar at Mother Clucker's, and her customers: James, Stephanie and Bunny. Thanks for the warm Iroquois welcome friends.

Today: 147 kms. To date: 4,891 kms. Total per km pledges "earned": $5,294.51 (in addition to the donations of $17,191.30 at this point).

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