I have to say I am very over the popular and media obsession with The Handmaid’s Tale. It’s a good book. In my opinion, it’s not Atwood’s best; for me, that honor goes to The Blind Assassin. Whether it’s her second best is probably more debatable, but for me, that honor is also ambiguous (Cat’s Eye wins). Handmaid’s Tale is original, horrifying and thought-provoking. I thought it lacked a little in execution and the ending is unsatisfying. I haven’t seen the TV show because it’s not on Amazon Prime or Netflix. I expect I’ll watch it eventually. Or maybe I won’t. I had my own vision of the protagonist in Handmaid’s Tale, and she has already been replaced in my mind by the actress I’ve seen in trailers. If I watch the show, the rest of the world I imagined will evaporate, never to be seen again. Kudos to whoever decided to pick an Atwood for television production, but at the same time, I’m not sure I want to watch it. (My all-time favorite book is possibly Cloud Atlas – though Blind Assassin is definitely in the running – and now I can’t think of the former without seeing Halle Berry. Argh!)
I’m continuing to enjoy cycling. When I don’t have anything else going on, I’ve been going for a long cycle (30+ miles) every weekend. I’ve moved on from the Cas.cade Preparing for Spr.ing series to CH.EW – climbing hi.lls every winter. The idea is exactly what you might guess, to get better at climbing hills. I have a love-hate relationship with hills. Getting to the top gives me great satisfaction, but wow, it makes things so much harder.
This ride was fairly hilly overall, 2200 ft of elevation gain over 30 miles, but the hardest part by far was one particular hill, 250 feet of elevation gain at average 9% elevation gain with peaks above 10%. Brutal, in other words. I’ve found I can handle hills at 5 or 6% without much trouble; I just go slow and pace myself. But it is really hard to pace yourself on a 10% incline. I did this route for the second time this weekend (first time last weekend), and I really focused on going slowly and pulling up (rather than just pushing down) on my pedals, and that one hill went much better. It was still hard, but I knew I wasn’t going to have to get off my bike and walk.
Lovely scenery in any event. Below is the Cedar River. The color is odd in part because we have been having crazy smoke and haze for days now due to forest fires in BC with no end in sight.