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, August 7, 2011

Day sixty-three - DONE!

A low grey sky hung over the last ride this morning. Contrary to my expectation, however, it did not rain. I had the old #1 highway pretty much to myself over the hump from Windsor to Sackville. I arrived much too early for my rendezvous with classmates at the law school so I took a long breakfast in Bedford.


Then a leisurely ride along the Bedford Highway, from which I took this shot of the working end of the Bedford Basin. The A. Murray MacKay toll bridge from Dartmouth to the Halifax north end is in the background, but you'll need to expand the photo to discern it.

Despite the dawdling, I arrived at the law school about an hour too soon. I had to go straight to the school to ensure I had an accurate measure of the distance of this final ride.


So I took this photo to confirm I'd reached my destination, and cycled around some old haunts for a while.


Sunday afternoon activities and responsibilities did not prevent these considerate and lovable classmates from greeting me on my return: Don Clark, Bob Wright and 'Black' Bob Covert. Bob (Wright's) Marjorie was there to take photos. Perhaps I will be able include one or two in a wrap-up blog in the next day or two.

A wrap-up or two is required. The total kms is about 200 more than my original estimate. Perhaps in a couple of days I will decide whether to apologize or, alternatively, assert the margin of error is not bad. I also need to revisit the matter of the total kms I put on my bike versus the total distance from the Seabus Terminal in North Vancouver to the Dalhousie Law School. And maybe the formal 'arrival event' on Tuesday will warrant some report. Meantime, the bottom line:

Today; 68 kms. Total distance of the trek: 6,049 kms. Total per km pledges now earned: $6,548.04.

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