Found my first proper mountain this morning. Teineyama (or 手稲山 if you get Japanese characters on your computer) was the site of the slalom, bobsled and luge events at the 1972 Sapporo winter Olympics. Excellent fun but tough work climbing it on the pista. It was just under 10km of steady climbing first past a golf course and then some ski fields.

A lovely jaunt in the hills

A lovely jaunt in the hills

Although the pista is a good-looking bike, it’s sadly lacking in its ability to have a bottle cage. Luckily, just when I needed a rest, about half-way up, I came across a Coke machine.

If it's good enough for Cam in Thailand, it's good enough for me.

If it's good enough for Cam in Thailand, it's good enough for me.

There must be a few cyclists using this hill because the sports drink was the only one sold out. I then stopped to quickly blog my experiences for the world to see (maybe I should have Facebooked instead? Or Twittered? It’s a funny old world) and take in the view.

Of course you would have a ferris wheel on a mountain. Where else would you put one?

Of course you would have a ferris wheel on a mountain. Where else would you put one?

The whole way up, I assumed the road was taking me to the weather station at the top, which was looming large and looking very steep.

Looks like it's going to kick up a bit to get there.

Looks like it's going to kick up a bit to get there.

So I was both pleased and disappointed to find the road stopped and turned into gravel well before this peak.

What a shame, I'll have to turn around.

What a shame, I'll have to turn around.

The drop bars have increased the pista’s handling immeasurably and I found I could lean into the corners very nicely on the downhill. Now I’m at home enjoying some refreshing ion-replenishing sweat:

I don't know who Pocari is and hope never to meet him or her.

I don't know who Pocari is and hope never to meet him or her.

And tuck into some onigiri (rice balls wrapped in seaweed):

The one on the left is tuna and mayonnaise, whereas the one on the right will be a surprise for me.

The one on the left is tuna and mayonnaise, whereas the one on the right will be a surprise for me.

These ones are beautifully wrapped so that when opened, the seaweed (wakame) is still dry and not soggy.

And after this feast, I suppose I had better get back to looking for a job.

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