Summer is here! Almost over, too, and I see I missed my sort-of-traditional summer planning blog post. I didn’t give up or go away: two Calamares releases happened at the beginning of august, some KDE Frameworks MRs of mine landed, and then my family did get on a bicycle and see some of the countryside.

Bicycle tourism is a pretty safe kind of vacation activity: all day outside, no crowds, if there’s rain you hardly meet anyone at all, and campgrounds are places where keeping 1.5m distances and avoiding gatherings are easily done.

OpenStreetMap: Bicycle map of my vacation
OpenStreetMap: Bicycle map of my vacation

Just because it’s pretty safe doesn’t mean that it is unaffected by COVID-19. We took off on the first day, taking the train from Elst to Tiel to skip about 30km of straight-into-the-wind travel. Vacations should be a little-bit-fun. From Tiel we followed the river to Leerdam. The next morning we were in partial-family-quarantine because one of us had had a potential exposure a few days previous, and the notification came in just as we were having morning coffee. A campground is still a fairly good spot to be in cautionary quarantine – fresh air, plenty of space – but it becomes a real problem if real issues develop. So we turned around as soon as practical and went back home. You don’t meet many people while doing a steady 20km with the wind at your back. (This attempt at vacationing is shown in the map in two colors of green lines)

Cue three days sitting at home waiting for timeouts and tests. All clear, all testing proved negative.

We got back in the saddle and followed the other side of the river to Megen (which has nuns), Heusden (which has a fort), Oisterwijk (umm..) and Someren (which has church bells). None of these are particularly long stretches to do, so we had plenty of time to watch the countryside roll on by. Then one of the bikes had a total derailleur failure. That’s why the last line ends abruptly. We walked to the nearest train station (7km) and went home that way. (This attempt at vacationing is shown in the map in two colors of blue lines)

So pretty safe but certainly not immune to bad luck, either. After about 400km of seeing lots of rivers (generally on one hand at a time, but there’s a spot where you can see the Maas and Waal at the same time, too) we’re off the bike again and ready to get back to doing things. It’s time for new school years and new seasons in Calamares development.