At the risk of sounding like a broken record, May is, in Kangaeroo’s opinion, the nicest time of the year in Japan.
Having said that, 2021 has been a little out of the ordinary.
Where we are normally blessed with dry, warm, sunny weather at this time of year, but much of the month has been bleak and sodden.
Combined with preparation for a move of home, conditions have conspired to curtail Kangaeroo’s much-loved cycling at a time when it was expected to peak.
This effect was demoralizing, leading to excess eating, dearth of exercise and a downward spiral of mental and physical deterioration. It doesn’t take much!
But it doesn’t take much to bounce back, either, and Mother Nature blessed us with a week’s worth of weather typical of May, inspiring bucketloads of delight.
And little more delight came from the spectacular show that the natural world turned on early this morning. It was a delightful gift and appreciated with heartfelt gratitude.
May is Kangaeroo.com’s favorite time of the year.
Normally, dry, warm and sunny, flowers bloom and the month is a visual and sensual delight.
This year has been unseasonably sodden, but that’s good practice for the upcoming rainy season that will begin in early June.
Normally, May is a great time for relaxing and cycling, but this year has also been a bit different.
Kangaeroo is on the move and has spent most of the month getting ready for the shift.
In that regard, the lousy weather has been a bit of a godsend, limiting the temptation to get on a bike and get away from it all.
It might be a while before the next entry, too, but some of the visual highlights of the month so far, most of them from cycling, can be found here.
Early on in the month, concentration was on riding through the mountains, enjoying the warmer weather. Now, moving into the middle of the month, focus has shifted on work and moving to the new pouch.
Kangaeroo is easy to be critical and cynical, less so to be thankful.
Today, he is taking a moment to be thankful for life.
Kangaeroo loves life, even though he has largely made a mess of his own until recent years.
Life interrupted this week, preventing any significant entry here, but not stopping time on the bike.
Continuing on from yesterday, today was another day of climbing through the mountains on the beautiful Belladonna (a Cervelo R5 road bike).
Kangaeroo is too exhausted from the energy-sapping ride and a rush to get out to go into much detail.
But he is eternally grateful to cycling for giving these opportunities that have been unimaginable for most of his life, and to his wife for allowing him to pursue these dreams.
And, of course, to his bikes for carrying him there, and the cycling mates who help and encourage him.
Kangaeroo loves cycling.
He cycles a lot. And I mean a lot.
The line between a moderately good rider and a strong rider can largely be drawn at climbing; specifically, how fast a cyclist can make it up the hills.
The best cyclists are all good hill climbers.
The key to strong climbing is having a good power to weight ratio, which basically means weighing little but still having lots of power.
Look at most pro cyclists and they all look like skeletons with disproportionately huge legs.
Unfortunately, the only thing disproportionally huge about Kanageroo is his belly.
He has practised hard at becoming a better climber, but the results haven’t arisen.
Now, he is old and climbing is hard. It won’t be possible soon.
So he is doing it while he can.
And the courtesy of some time off work and glorious weather meant exploring the exquisite mountains on the outskirts of Tokyo and into its neighboring Kanagawa and Yamanashi prefectures.
Today is bleak.
Weather is debilitating.
It’s drizzling, bleak, wet and cold.
Perfect for work … if you have to work indoors. (Not too good for those who earn a living outside, though)
It’s too wet to ride, to do much outside to be honest, but not wet enough to fully rule out any activities under the skies.
This kind of weather does my head in.
Kangaeroo has also just switched employers, so there is a massive amount of stress and the fear of the unknown.
Transition is not moving altogether smoothly, either.
One bonus of not being able to ride was getting to take a walk.
And Kangaeroo is fortunate enough to be able to live in a neighborhood.
The area is remarkably beautiful and relatively untouched considering its proximity to central Tokyo and the suburban sprawl of the world’s largest city.
Add to that the new greenery and the rain, and it made for an outstanding stroll.
It won’t last much longer, but it is certainly enjoyable while it lasts.
Spring is such a delight in Japan. One reason for that is the blooming of cherry blossoms.
For a week or so, much of the company is given a glorious pink carpet as the national flower blooms, transforming often bleak landscapes into spectacular vistas.
Kangaeroo spent the weekend cycling Tokyo’s central districts and suburbs, taking as many photos of the blossoms as possible.