Tag: Tama River

Enough Of The Cold, Already!

May weather is generally the best of the year in Tokyo, by Kangaeroo’s reckoning, and though it looks like it’s gonna shape that way, it would be nice to say “bye” to the cold until at least the late autumn.

The first weekday of May greeted early risers with a delightful sunrise over the Tama River.

Rain started falling around midday the previous day, rendering riding as a bit too tough.,

The rain persisted overnight and into the early hours of the morning.

The forecast was for the weather to clear and become sunny by the end of the day.

Roads were still wet and slippery, though, so care was required.

This is a strange day, being a one-off work day in the middle of a period of potentially close to two weeks’ off for some.

Unfortunately, Kangaeroo has to work, which meant waking in a downbeat mood.

Nature had a nice way of making the early rise worthwhile, though.

And Belladonna appreciated the morning, too.

She certainly got the chance to look resplendent.

And put on a fine show.

The outlook for the rest of the time off is pretty promising.

Bloomin’ Marvelous!

For all sorts of reasons, Kangaeroo hasn’t had much of chance to get out and about and cop a look at the cherry blossoms in bloom in Tokyo in 2022.

Nonetheless, that hasn’t meant being completely deprived of a sight that possibly makes the Japanese capital the most beautiful city in the world for a week or so every spring.

Various restrictions have limited viewing to the area of the Tama river and its tributaries, but even then it has made for some wonderful sights, as this gallery shows.

Beautifully Breaks the Tama River Morning

Mornings can be hard to get up for, particularly in the cold and dark of winter.

Yet, some things make it worth waking early for.

Waking, then moving, can be a great way to start the day.

It can get the body working and warmed up before the mind takes over, or even put the mind in a decent space.

In Kangaeroo’s case, it’s handy. The mind is rarely friendly.

Winter 2021-2 has not been particularly constructive.

Moved to a home last year, renovations kept it dark….for three months.

Work is not going well. Laid off three times in 2021. Not feasible to retire.

Bike breakdowns, and no replacement parts owing to supply problems.

Camera stops working and repairs cost as much as a new one.

Working extra jobs to try to recover lost income.

Can’t ride, can’t shoot, can’t avoid work. Darkness.

But the glorious mornings are worth waking for.

The gorgeous light as it breaks through the dark. The solitude. The serenity.

Make it all worthwhile.

Rustic Relaxation

A weeklong festival of cycling drew to a close with series of unexpected bonuses: forecast rain failed to eventuate; an area usually only viewed while frenetically racing along on the jalopy turned out to be filled with delights; and Kangaeroo came to the realization that 100 kilometers is not an impossible distance to cover every day provided time and speed are not needed to be accounted for.

The day was spent with a group of mates, riding through the hills of outer suburban Tokyo, stopping frequently to eat, drink or soak in the scenery.

We each went our separate ways to return home and the idyllic day came to an end, Kangaeroo completing a journey exceeding 100 kilometers for the fifth day in succession, albeit all of them at a snail’s pace.

Reality beckons again tomorrow. Let’s burn that bridge when we get to it…

Tiptoeing through the Tulips

Today was something of a landmark occasion: Kangaeroo made his first century ride on a recumbent bike.

Owning and riding a recumbent has been a long-held dream for this blogger.

And the dream finally became a reality earlier this year.

But the dream turned into a bit of a nightmare as Kangaeroo discovered how difficult it is to ride these bikes.

It took over a month of steady practice to learn how to ride.

Even then, a sense of unease persists.

Early plans to name the bike Lay Down Sally gave way to Death Machine.

If nothing else, the recumbent brings back the thrill of being close to death on wheels.

But finally, having enough confidence to tackle flatlands at least, Kangaeroo headed upstream along the Tama River.

Blessed with a handful of days off and glorious spring weather, he hopped on the Death Machine.

The objective was the Hamura Tulip Festival, about 40 km from home.

Kangaeroo arrived safely and without trouble at the festival only to find that there were almost no flowers there.

Chatting to his wife while eating lunch, he realized once again that she has exquisite taste in everything except her choice of men, Kangaeroo was advised to head to Showa Kinen Koen Park, where there would be a plethora of spring flowers.

Fortunately, the trip was on flat land, too, and the advice was spot-on.

The flowers were absolutely delightful and the cycling path around the park proved to be a wonderful spot for the Death Machine to strut its stuff.

All in all, it was a wonderful day and Kangaeroo can now point to a record of traveling more than 100 km in a single journey on a recumbent.

Tumultuous Times

So much for reverting to daily updates after years of mostly recessed Kangaeroo.com.

It has been a week of topsy-turvy turmoil, though, so it’s a little understandable that a long-neglected blog once more fell by the wayside. Or was put aside at least.

Monday kicked off the week with a huge change: a house purchase! Once assumed to be unthinkable, it was actually doable. Kangaeroo was granted a loan that will probably not be completed while remaining on this mortal coil.

Tuesday saw the timely commission of a large job bringing in enough cash to cover the cost of moving house.

Wednesday was the final day of Kangaeroo’s time at the company that had been Kangaeroo’s employer since 2014. Kangaeroo had no idea. We had been told on March 1 that our section was being transferred to another company.

Little did we know that we were actually all being laid off and rehired on significantly reduced terms despite having been told that conditions would remain the same.

Payment amounts and working hours were the same, but benefits essentially vanished.

Wednesday was thus spent initially considering litigation and pondering over how to refuse signing the new contract that had been sent to Kangaeroo with the request that it immediately be signed and a photo of the signature sent in to the old company.

The late afternoon on Wednesday was spent enjoying good company and American junk food on a U.S. military base in suburban Tokyo.

Thursday was a day of resignation. To fate, rather than to employer. In this day and age, it’s lucky to be employed.

Kangaeroo signed the contract, sent it off and adopted an attitude of gratitude toward the new employer.

Making acceptance easier was the continued magnificence of Japan’s cherry blossoms, and the generally fine weather that has accompanied their bloom.

Friday has brought exhaustion.

On top of a regular 40-hour work week, huge amounts of time have been spent doing the outsourcing job, often starting before 3 a.m.

And cycling has not been neglected, logging up almost 450 kms over the week.

But mental and physical drain are the most prevalent feelings at the moment.

The cherry blossom season in Tokyo is nearing its end.

Possibly, there may be one last look tonight at the lit up flowers near home.

We might have to wait and see on that one.

But, if it does happen, it will more than likely take place with the involvement of Sally, the Death Machine.

Glorious Greeting

Waking early is never easy, especially as the nights get longer and the temperature cools.

But nature sometimes does its best to reward those who drag themselves out from under the covers as the birds begin to sing.

The photos here come from one of those times.