Tag: Tama River

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.

Riding Along the River

Sunrise over the Tama River

Summer is not always the most pleasant season in Tokyo as it’s stinking hot, humid and frequently raining.

Sometimes, though, nature turns on the charm and you get some delightful goodies.

This week’s sunrises have been precisely that.

Blessed (?) by a series of bicycle mechanical failures, Kangaeroo.com got a day to take it nice and slowly along the banks of the Tama River forming the boundary between Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, resulting in these delightful pictures.

Cranking Out the Clicks

For Kangaeroo, 2019 was a year in which cycling played an influential role.

This was the first year for Kangaeroo to commute daily by bike.

Apart from a week overseas and a couple of weeks recovering from an injury incurred while slipping off the bike, the yearlong commuting mission was accomplished.

It was only fitting, then, that the year ended with a concentration of cycling.

And that’s exactly how it panned out, averaging more than 100 km/day for the nine days from the end of work on December 27 to the end of the year four days later.

These are photos from the Shiraishi Pass in Saitama Prefecture, the Tama River in Tokyo, which is still showing some of the effects of the October typhoon, and trendy Odaiba, an artificial island in central Tokyo.

Shiraishi Ride

Tama River Ride

Odaiba