Tag: cycling

Simply Spectacular Cycling Sunrise

I’ve got nothing to write about, other than being extraordinarily lucky to get consecutive days of glorious sunrises over the Tama River.

I’d take a decent camera to get better photos except it’s still hot and the sweat would destroy the DSLR’s parts as happened with my other cameras.

So I have to be satisfied with just the mobile phone, which doesn’t take good shots, so what’s visible here is not a patch on what I get to see with my own eyes.

Glimpses of Gloriousness

For a few seconds this morning, I got to have a couple of glimpses of gloriousness.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed Tokyo’s outer suburbs have had some amazing sunrises and sunsets.

The old sayings about red skies in the morning and night seem to have been put to bed as we’ve had many days with both and rain either turning up or not falling in contrast to the conventional wisdom.

Due to timing, I’m lucky enough to be out on my bike on most days now as the sun appears in the sky.

This morning I was rewarded big time.

I noticed that we were getting something pretty special as I reached a point in the Tamagawa Cycling Road where the track disappears for a while and needs to be rejoined following passage through a tree-lined neighborhood.

I rejoined the track to be greeted by a flaming sky full of yellow, pink, orange red and purple, the clouds doing their best to complement the colors.

I stopped and took some photos, got a couple more a few hundred meters down the track, and by the time I had reached the halfway mark of the ride and headed toward the sun, it had already climbed into the sky and was beating down on my furiously rather than beautifully.

It made for better luck than the weekend. Twice I had headed out on the Death Machine as sunset approached, but was unable to get decent photos or footage on either day.

Hopefully, the little luck to start this Monday will bode well for what’s shaping to be a challenging week.

Life Gets In The Way

I’ve never been good at dealing with life on life’s terms, and being a selfish and spoiled type, easily get down when I don’t get what I want.

I got to experience that side of me again this week.

My boss finally pushed through the severe pay cut she has been aiming at for the past couple of years. I’m now down to about 60% of the wage I was hired at a decade ago, with less than half the paid vacation, a much-reduced medical plan, no allowances and footing the bill for the company to produce the work it sells at a huge markup.

I’m sure this situation is aimed at pushing me out of the company rather than have it face sanction for driving people away.

I ain’t leaving anytime soon, though. I got old and useless and decrepit. Combined with a scandal that any employer doing due diligence will immediately discount me from their possible candidates, I don’t have anywhere to go.

I feel hurt, ashamed and disheartened. I worked hard, and doubly so to be a constructive presence for our team and my boss. I am angry, resentful and disgusted at the company for allowing her to push through with the cut. Of course, this should spur me to seek greener pastures. Fear, mostly of rejection, is playing havoc with my mind. And it’s not an unrealistic fear, either.

Anyway, I should have been feeling better. The mornings this week were simply glorious. I got to set magnificent sunrises as I rode down to the river, then plenty of wonderful views as the sun rose into the late summer clouds.

On Friday, the setting full moon was simply glorious as it accompanied me as I cycled upriver. Even the notoriously shy Mount Fuji of the summer was showing herself in full.

If I had to be humiliated, there were worse times that it could have happened, and the opportunity to cycle and be rewarded with such beauty did much to soothe my soul.

Now, I am trying to turn my mind to being grateful to have a job. Of course, I also have to torture myself or I wouldn’t be on brand, so I am gonna get stuck into the garden, too.

Summer decimated our once lush lawn. It has broken my heart and I have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at it to try and work out a fix. Nothing has worked so far. It has cooled noticeably in the early mornings and evenings. I am hoping this will give the lawn the break it needs.

In the meantime, I’m sure the kangaroo paw and tree fern will give me more than enough to worry about, and if they don’t do it, then there will be something else for sure.

Lady of the Lake and More Lucky Rides

Not much has happened, certainly nothing to really write about, but I have been very fortunate to get some amazing skies that make tremendous backdrops for bicycle photos, including these shots of La Cangura beside a little pond near the Tama River, which evoked an image of the Lady of the Lake from the Arthurian legend (at least for me).

Futile attempts to revive the fertilizer-burned lawn have caused greater frustration.

And so has taking care of the bird, which is going through a hormonal stage.

Of course, my boss at work is somewhat similar, so I never know which person I am going to have to deal with on any given day.

Of course, that puts me in my own shitty mood, too. Luckily, we’re busy, so I can throw myself at work instead of hurling anger and abuse at others.

Lunchtime Ride Along the Tama River

Morning Ride Along the Tama River

Sunflowers in the Rain

Fortune smiled favorably on me this morning, too, as I got to ride out to a nearby sunflower field and get some awesome photos.

There’s not much I can elaborate on, other than to say the field was a spectacular sight.

There were lots of people around, even though the dawn had only just broken, so I rushed in and out before I became too much of a nuisance with my bike around, too.

Also got blessed with some wonderful spurts of rain that I hope will rehabilitate the lawn at Kangaeroo Corner, but was distressed to discover the first of the kangaroo paw plants to be wilted by the humidity.

Gonna be a long couple of days.

Bested by Busyness

Little things in life have kept me scrambling and stumbling in such a way it’s hard to get much else done.

Work is always much busier in the warmer months.

This year has been particularly demanding as our tyrant boss drove more staff out of the door and their tasks were often imposed on me.

Early morning starts have been the norm and I’m often exhausted by the time the sun sets.

Health hasn’t been great and the teeth I neglected for decades have come back to haunt me with a vengeance, which will result in two more of them being pulled out later this week.

My garden is a tale of two parts: trees and bushes are generally thriving, even the grevillea and jacaranda feared dead over the winter, though the large tree fern is showing some slightly alarming signs now that we have had weeks of unbroken 30-degree-plus days and next to no rain.

That same dryness tells the other part of the garden story.

The lawn that had been a source of great pride last year has been obliterated and largely turned to dust.

I over-fertilized, which burned the lawn, and this was exacerbated by the lack of water and excessively low cutting.

Worries over the lawn are keeping me awake at night (among myriad other mindless worries), but I hope I will be able to work through it.

The kangaroo paw and hardenbergia grown from seed are thriving. Even the only dwarf wattle that survived is doing well.

All in all, though, I’m feeling a little out of sorts (as usual). Not sure what it is. But I was blessed this morning with Biblical skies, and being able to get some shots I didn’t want wasted led to a blog entry.