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.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Day sixty-two - Windsor NS

Hold your collective breath faithful readers. The everyday riding will end tomorrow. The route is depicted on the last fold of my last map.

And I sincerely hope it is a ride like today's. Clear and sunny but not hot, barely warm enough for a tee shirt. Wind not a factor. Perfect weather in other words. Light traffic until after breakfast and then not a big deal either. A little hump or two from Wolfville to Windsor, but nothing serious. All in all, a good ride. With a superb interlude.


The cause of the interlude: Mike Forse, one of my favourite classmates. Mike practices in Kentville at which I arrived shortly after 9:00 am. I haven't talked to him since 1978, the last time I was in Halifax. Mike met me on short notice and bought me a great breakfast. I'm not referring to the food; it could have been good too but the opportunity to catch up was exceptional and excellent. We covered a lot of ground in less than two hours. I hope I persuaded him to attend the opening event of the reunion.


In Wolfville, I had a brief rest at the entrance to Acadia University where Jessie and Becky go to school.


Like the Acadia photo, the distant detail is lost. This shot was taken from a bridge just east of Wolfville, and it was supposed to portray a lovely farm on the hill as well as the muddy tidal banks of the stream below, feature of rivers and streams draining into the Bay of Fundy. Could be the shortcomings of the iPhone camera, and it could be the photographer.

Today: 84 kms. To date: 5,981 kms. Total per km pledges now almost entirely "earned": $6,474.43.

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