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

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dayt thirty-eight - Appleton WI

The day started anxiously. It remained cool and less humid, which we welcomed of course, but the wind was in from the east and we were heading southeast. We braced ourselves for a tough ride and that is how it began, on a narrow, bumpy, horrible shoulder. But the wind turned more northerly most of the day. It blew up at us occasionally but, until the last 15 to 20 kms, not often and not enough to spoil a generally enjoyable ride. Very quickly the execrable shoulder disappeared, replaced by a broad and smooth surface. It makes all the difference.

A pleasant breakfast at the Pine Cafe in Weyauwega. We hope you found this blog, Louise. Our sincere thanks to Marge and the kitchen for the good food, and to you and your friends for the warm welcome and advice.

Highway 10 turned into a very busy highway as we approached Appleton and the shoulder degenerated into something worse than what we started the day on. Having fought the easterly for nearly an hour, things got a little tense until we could escape to the comfort of a McDonald's vanilla milkshake.

Then we endured a bit of a fiasco finding a motel. My odometer says we biked 124 kms, but I know we only covered a distance of only 115. The extra nine kms being the dreaded and detested unnecessary off-course cycling required to locate a Super 8. Which only shows to go that the advice of strangers consulted in McDonalds or auto dealerships is not necessarily helpful (twice) or accurate (once).

Terry Lehrke's story has appeared in the Morrison County Record. She misunderstood me in one respect; I did not say there are four million "misplaced" Burmese. But the story is otherwise great. See for yourself:

I was thinking today about my grand nieces, wondering whether they're back from their travels and how their summer is going. Meghan and Cierra are grand in more ways than one. A huge loving shout out to them, and to their mom, Wendy, and her man, Jason (whose parents in Nova Scotia have inquired about our progress), and to their aunt, Terrie, and her man, Gary. Hope you are all well and enjoying your "summer" (we get reports).

Today: 115 kms. To date: 3,624 kms. Total per km pledges "earned": $3,922.98.

1 comment:

  1. We're glad we get reports too. Keep on truckin' guys!