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.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day forty-nine - Napanee ON

The ride that might have been: the air was clean and fresh from rain overnight when I set out this morning. The sun was going to shine, and it did, but it was not terribly hot. The humidity was way down. And no more searching for the next section of the trail; I was committed to Hwy 2 East. The Sunday morning traffic was light and the shoulder pretty good most of the way. Only one snag: the wind. What a glorious ride it would have been if the wind had been with me.

Instead, it blew from the east with enough force to slow me down more than a little. No sustained, wind-assisted stretches of 30 km/hr or more today (Gawd, I love 'em). I had a few spurts of 30 km/hr going downhill, but mostly I was working to keep my speed at or near 20 km/hr. I struggled against it all morning. It laid down quite a bit in the afternoon; only coming up occasionally to remind me there was work to be done.

But the conditions were otherwise so good that it was a pretty good day. The highlight was to bump into the Lusk family when I stopped for lunch in Trenton. They were having a Sunday lunch and invited me to join them. We quickly established we had a common friend: John Brewin. They wouldn't hear of me contributing to the bill.


The Lusks beside my bike: Brian in the middle, with Joyce and their son, Wayne. Thanks so much for the enjoyable lunch my friends.

I noticed the Canadian Forces Base Trenton when I cycled by. I believe it was the commander of CFB Trenton who recently descended into inconceivable infamy.

Today: 108 kms. To date: 4,672 kms. Total per km pledges "earned": $5,016.54.

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