Category: Strine Sports

The Rising Sun Just Stole My Heart Away

With only mildly sincere apologies to perhaps the ultimate bogan band, Cold Chisel, this morning’s rising sun just stole my heart away.

Although Jimmy Barnes and the Chisels had their girl stolen, I had mistakenly believed it was their heart.

But the title was too good to throw away, so I had to tie them into this in some way.

It’s been a somewhat lousy week, mainly because I have been flat out and it has stopped me from riding regularly.

Mrs. Kangaeroo was on night shift last night.

As always when alone, sleep didn’t come easily.

I got to crunch out a decent chunk of the work that needs to be done, though, so insomnia was a nice silver lining.

With drizzle on Monday and oversleeping through my alarm yesterday, today was the first time I had been able to head out in the morning with anything like resemblance to my normal pattern.

It’s a little chilly, but this week has become noticeably lighter.

I was still using a 2,000 lumens light to see my way for 3/4 of my morning ride just last week.

Now, I can basically turn off the light at about the halfway point of the ride.

It’s still murky, especially on days like today when the clouds are out, but it is nicer and much more accommodating for cycling to be able to do it in the light.

And it was those clouds that joined the rising sun to put on an absolutely magnificent light show this morning.

The beautiful sky came totally out of the blue as there had been no indications earlier that it would be so sensational.

But as my time cycling along the Tama River drew to a close, I was greeted with a huge yellow disc emerging over the horizon.

Many of the other cycling road users were gasping in awe at the sight.

It was a wonderful chance to actually greet some people as we shared the wonderful moment.

I felt really blessed.

And then, just as quickly as the sun had put on its show, it had risen to a height where the clouds obscured it once again.

And it was back to reality and normality.

Sunrise of the Year (So Far!)

Mother Nature turned on an absolute bloody ripper of a morning with the sunrise of the year so far, at least as far as I am concerned.

The skies were simply glorious as light broke through, blended with the clouds and created a mix of vibrant colors crossing the spectrum.

And the clouds played their part, too, creating swirls in the skies that shaped an otherworldly ambience.

It’s the second consecutive fantastic sunrise I’ve seen and was simply breathtaking.

I spent a lot of the ride voicing my thanks to Mother Nature for such a stunning start to the day.

The sunrise was uplifting, but not quite powerful enough to lift my spirits.

Last night I found out for sure that I had missed out on getting a job I was pretty keen on trying.

Another avenue also appears to have shut off.

Professionally, it feels like yet another low point with little way out.

Ah, well, that has often proved to be a learning opportunity in the past.

Poor little Dino remains compelled to mother, and she is doing brilliantly, laying and warming her eggs being punctuated only by ripping shreds into any paper she can find to use as a nest even though she rarely makes it back to the cage after stuffing strips under her wings. Her relentless efforts are admirable, though.

Otherwise, I’ve been experiencing a series of uncanny coincidences.

Last week, I had been wondering about the fate of a once-close but now distant former colleague who had suffered from grueling headaches. I received a message a couple of days later from another former colleague to tell me that she had collapsed with a brain hemorrhage and been hospitalized. I can only pray for her recovery. She had been a dear friend and an erstwhile ally on the job, so I am concerned.

Then, just moments after learning I’d missed out on the job the guy who found my current position for me got in touch to ask how I had gone.

I was hoping this might turn out to be serendipitous, but then realized there had been a whole series of events I interpreted as being fortuitous omens in the lead-up to applying for the position.

They didn’t turn out to be too accurate in the end!

Better to believe in realities, perhaps?

Still, there’s some good happening.

I got an email from a long-time mutual Strava follower and a few of us will finally meet in person later this month. Can’t wait!

Up There, Kazari!

Australian Sports Day was a fantastic event held at Komazawa Olympic Park yesterday, and I got to go and enjoy some of the proceedings that were a decorative display, (or should I say kazari?), of some of Down Under’s favorite pastimes.

The day itself was a ripper, starting with explanations, demonstrations and games of cricket, moving on to games of footy and then ending with a netball exhibition, with sales of Aussie foods, wear and fare such as meat pies and banana bread and cuppas from Club Australia‘s Tad Watanabe and the Australia Cafe van.

Needing to deal with duties in the garden and home and able to enjoy lunch with Mrs. Kangaeroo and our pet dinosaur, I was late starting out, but still got to see the last half of the final game of footy.

It was an entertaining match and the skill level was fantastic!

The fast-paced game was good to watch despite the swirling wind making judgment in the air a difficult proposition that challenged even the most skillful players.

A memorial to the Komazawa Golf Club, which had originally been planned as the main stadium for the cancelled 1940 Tokyo Olympics (Aussie plant <bush rosemary> planted beside it, too!)

I stayed for some of the netball, but it was getting cold and dark and I needed to get home as I was riding the Death Machine, on which my average speed tends to drop by about 5kmh compared to a roadbike.

Being close by, however, I took advantage to drop by Punk Doily and say g’day to Kif for the first time in a while.

Along the way, I found the marker commemorating the old Komazawa Gol Club, where the park is now located, but which is notable for having been slated as the main stadium for the 1940 Tokyo Olympic Games, which ended up being cancelled.

Kif has Punk Doily looking fantastic, having added a rooftop terrace and plenty of Aussie plants decorating the diner. His food was tremendous! I partook of a scrumptious lamb sausage roll and salted caramel brioche donut. It was top notch stuff, and wonderful to see how Kif’s business is doing so well. He has worked like a dog to get it this far and I look forward to seeing Punk Doily become even bigger.

Coming home was a really pleasant ride despite being into a fierce headwind. I was glad to have ridden a recumbent as they are less susceptible to headwinds than upright bikes, but it was still a hard slog.

At times I felt like I was going to get blown off the bike, so put safety first and was delighted to make it home unscathed.

Riding along through the streets I was enjoying the fact that I would be getting some decent footage, which was also giving me good vibes.

Less pleasing, however, was making it home to discover that I hadn’t set my video camera to upside-down mode and that the battery had run out almost immediately after leaving Punk Doily.

ベロ👅にヴェロ🚴 (A Taste for Cycling)

Cycling is one of Kangaeroo’s great loves.

And so is chocolate.

It’s rare when the two meet, though it’s not unfair to claim that the prospect of guilt-free gluttony of chocolate is a motivating factor for Kangaeroo’s cycling.

But in this week when chocolate assumes center stage in Japan, it was a delight to come across cycling chocolate sets.

It was this great delight that Kangaeroo managed to come across the sets, which are selling for a measly 184 yen apiece (for a boxed package of five decent-sized chockies!)

The sets contain chocolates in the shape of a bicycle, a bike bell, a helmet, bottle and pump.

Kangaeroo found the bike chockies at World Import Foods in both Tama Center and in Seisekisakuragaoka.

The World Import Stores are a mostly suburban Tokyo series of stores that have great bargains on imported foods.

They are made in Germany and pleasantly packaged with multilingual instructions, suggesting they are prepared with the expectation of a significant ratio of exports.

They often offer great deals on foods running close to use-by dates, so it’s possible to score yummies at a mere fraction of the price.

Definitely one of Kangaeroo’s favorite haunts in the area, but expanding the bottom line for World Import Stores is dangerous for the Kangaeroo waistline.

Wonder Undies!

Kanageroo hasn’t really won a great deal in lotteries or the like over the years (despite hitting the jackpot in so many other ways), so it was a pleasant surprise last week to win a great prize!

That prize was a gift coupon for undies!

Kangaeroo won the undies through a website called Miles.

Miles is a downloaded phone app (at least that’s how I use it) that keeps a record of all my travel.

A bit ominous perhaps, but I have nothing to fear and my phone is tracking my every move and sending all the data anywhere, anyway.

Mrs. Kangaeroo encouraged the download, considering how much cycling I do.

So, I downloaded the app and kept fairly consistent tabs on it.

The premise, or so I believe, is to accumulate points and then use those points for purchases or discounts on buys.

The trouble with the app was, no matter how many points I built up, I could only earn discounts. I wasn’t too keen on paying, so I just kept storing points for miles moved.

Then, I discovered that the app held raffles and I could take part in these by using the points I had built up.

I promptly joined in whatever was available, and took part in each raffle while using the maximum number of points possible to increase my chances of winning.

Didn’t win much.

Didn’t win anything, in fact, except for the marvelous 2Under undies.

Claiming the prize required registration.

Unfortunately, this was automated from an old address.

I promptly notified the people at 2Under and they responded.

Within a few days of winning the raffle, I found myself with an awesome pair of luxury undies.

It was a delight to have such super skids.

They were delivered in an extremely fancy box.

The undies feel good, fit perfectly and have gone some way to changing the way I view undergarments (in a way that only Heat Tech has ever done before).

Perhaps most importantly, though, the undies come equipped with a Joey Pouch, the name that 2Under give to the added space they provide in the front of the jocks to give room “to support your equipment in comfort and style.” (Company’s words!)

Hard for a Kangaeroo to disagree about the special merits of a joey!

Calamity Free Ride!

After several days featuring a series of stumbles, fumbles, bumps and bruises, it was fantastic to finally have an early morning ride that went without a calamity.

Sort of.

Riding La Cangura much slower and more cautiously than usual, the morning ride went without a hitch.

There were many fears that the guy I crashed into on Friday would hit me up for damages caused in the crash.

I think our paths crossed, but no words were exchanged (and no trouble occurred).

Of course, it’s still early in the day, so there’s plenty of time left over for it to be a shocker.

Having had a tough time late on Friday night, the pit in my stomach is being widened with the impending sense of doom.

Wahoo for Wahoo, and Thanks Y’s Road Lads

Further to the weekend’s bike device calamities, Saturday’s mess turned into a much better Sunday.

Saturday was supposed to be a day for getting the Wahoo Elemnt Bolt repaired.

But an untimely drop in front of a couple of passing cars resulted in the device being utterly destroyed.

Already worrying too much about too many things, Kangaeroo knew that pondering was not an option and a planned tough ride on Sunday would need guidance.

Moreover, Mrs. Kangaeroo had gone to work and forgotten her mobile phone, so rather than asking for permission, actions would have to be apologized for, which is always the better option both in Japan and in marriage.

So, Kangaeroo bought a new Wahoo Elemnt Bolt. In color!

Everything was perfect. Had to go to Ueno to collect some glasses being repaired, and Y’S Road Ueno Asazo was selling the devices just a couple of hundred meters away.

The price was steep at over 48,000 yen, but not as steep as the enormity of not knowing where to go.

So, out came the plastic, the eyes closed, the bill could wait and the afternoon was spent in a Maccas charging up the new Wahoo and reading the manual.

Everything was perfect. Until Sunday morning came and it was time to write a blog entry about the previous day’s events.

Writing the entry required looking up Y’s Road and Elemnt Bolt. And in doing so, I discovered that the same bloody device I had spent 48,000 yen on the previous day was now part of a time sale and selling for just 35,500 yen. A full day’s pay cheaper.

Bloody hell. I wanted to cry.

I had arranged a visit to Y’s Road Fuchu Tamagawa anyway to collect bar mitts that I had forgotten while La Cangura was being repaired on Friday, so I packed up the Elemnt Bolt and took it with me.

I got to the store and asked if I could make a return, explaining that I wanted to buy the device, but at the price is was being sold online, not the price that I had paid for it.

The lads were sympathetic, but pointed out that I couldn’t do it as I had made the purchase by card at another store, which was on a different system to theirs.

I’d kinda figured this would be what happened, so turned my attention to booking an appointment for repairs to the Death Machine.

Well, as I was doing so, Sato-san at the store contacted Takatsuka-san at Y’s Road Ueno Asoza, where I had bought the device, and explained my situation.

The Y’s Road lads agreed that I would be able to get the device at the cheaper online price, provided I hurried to the store where I had bought it and went through the refund process before all available devices were sold.

Well, I needed no further prompting. I finished all the errands that needed being done, raced home for lunch, sent the wife off to work and put the bird to bed.

Then, it was onto the Brommie and off to Ueno. I eventually made it to Y’s Road Ueno Asoza, and Takatsukua-san was there waiting for me.

We went through the rigmarole of canceling yesterday’s purchase, refunding me, then rebuying the Wahoo. I could not express my gratitude enough to the guys from Y’s Road and the effort they had made on my behalf, and the kindness with which they treated the case.

Everything worked perfectly!

It was then back on the Brommie and home again.

All went smoothly, with a delightful dinner and great pleasure at having saved so much money. A warm glow filled my heart, together with the sense that my wretched luck of the past couple of years was finally looking to be taking a turn.

Planning to gloat about the situation on this website, I prepared a cup of cocoa to partake while writing. I filled my favorite cup featuring a picture of Hokusai’s The Great Wave of Kanagawa and looked forward to writing.

And then I dropped the bloody cup and broke it, spilling cocoa all over the kitchen walls and floors.