The Best Laid Plans…

I doubt anyone is interested in my opinions regarding societal and governmental reactions to the Corona Virus situation. And since I only write for the entertainment of my readers (all 10 of them, if you count our dog Luke) you won’t find any rants here.

I do think people might be interested in what Stoker and I are doing. We are under house arrest, with a few exceptions. We are following all the rules. We are practicing social distancing. I read San Joaquin County’s stay at home order and discovered that conjugal visits are not expressly forbidden, but we try to keep them to a minimum in both duration and frequency.

Stoker has not left Casa Brumby at all in over 5 weeks. The one exception is on the back of our CoMotion tandem. Which does not count as a conjugal visit. At least we hope not.

I do all the marketing. I have been to Raley’s (a local grocery store for all my out of state fans) 6 times. Also to Costco (a warehouse store) three times, where I scored some toilet paper before we got down to our last roll. Lately all of the staff and most of the customers are wearing masks. Me too, and mine is a genuine N95 respirator, courtesy of my farm lessee. I’d sell you one on the black market, but I’m pretty sure that violates some rule.

And when I’m not riding with Stoker I ride on my own from home. Sometimes I meet a friend and we ride together, or together/apart. No drafting of course.

If you live in San Joaquin county you are not supposed to leave the county for non essential purposes. And several neighboring counties, that normally welcome people seeking diversions such as lakes and hiking trails and campgrounds and Indian Casinos, are telling people to keep out.

So I ride from home. Flat, straight, boring roads. I know for a fact that some riders, including some of my friends, are putting their bikes in their cars and heading for the hills. Scofflaws! I will not judge and I certainly wouldn’t tattle on them. In fact, I admire their act of civil disobedience.

On Both Sides of the Atlantic

Flat solo rides aren’t doing much for my fitness level, but that really doesn’t matter since our planned trip to France isn’t going to happen. The flights are cancelled and the hotels and restaurants on both sides of the Atlantic are closed. No May in Malaucene this year, and no week long tour in the Cevennes (my 4th time, and Stoker’s 2nd) either. And this year’s Cevennes tour was going to be special. It was sold out, and even had a waiting list. My friend Steve was going to join us, after years of persuasion. Jack, who I have toured with many times, was going to come back for the 3rd time. And John, a guy I rode with in the Dolomites back in 2011, was also going to come. I have been sending John e mails with all my plans for cycling trips for years, hoping he would join me on a tour, because he is a really nice fellow and a fine and enthusiastic rider. Also he enjoys a nice glass of wine.

I got everything organized for Steve and Diane and me. Airport transfers, flights, a TVG for Steve to Avignon, B&B for Steve close to our lovely rental house, bike rental for Steve and a return engagement with Modestine for Stoker and me. Day trips with 44 5, some non cycling, including a visit to Pont du Gard and a private guided tour of Nimes, a city dating back to the Romans. All organized. And paid for…

44 5, the touring company, would have given me my money back. Instead I felt so sorry for them that I transferred more money as a retainer for future travel. My next several trips are paid for. 44 5 is losing so much business it is tragic. They tell me that they probably will not be able to do a ride with clients until August.

France Bike Rentals is going to apply the full amount we paid to rent Modestine to any future trip. I didn’t ask for a refund from our Malaucene landlady, and she is nice enough to apply our entire payment to rent the house to in May 2021. Air France gave us a voucher for future travel for the full amount of our fares. Since they cancelled the flight, after one year the voucher can be redeemed for cash. Which we will not do…

Because we are going back to France! As soon as it is possible. Which doesn’t look too soon.

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