Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday Miscellaneous

The title of this post is "Monday Miscellaneous", but that is because "Monday Bitching about the Weather and the Time Change" seemed a bit too on the nose. Let me begin by reminding our gentle readers that it is March 9. March is a transitional month; one in which we see the last of winter fading away and the beginnings of spring. We should see some early flowers, hear the birds chirping in the mornings and begin to sense the deep primal satisfaction of the growing season returning. Instead, snow is falling, we have an artic blast on its way to our region and so far today the only deep primal feeling I had was to throw my alarm clock through the window.

A couple of weeks ago, Bill Bender, a Spokane cycling spiritual leader, told me that the "Morning Ride" (a ride group known for daily 5.45 am suffer-fests) had never failed to end its winter hiatus later than the first day of March. Having tagged along to this testament to testosterone at times, I usually hear about the rides and know that a few hearty souls show up with lights and tights to get through a few rides while the weather and the sunrise take their time getting together to make it more enjoyable. This year, however, every weekday of March has started with temperatures ranging from 15-25 degrees and almost all of them with snow or rain. The last two days we have been greeted by snow on the ground and the forecasted lows for the next two days are being discussed in the 5 - 15 degree range. Our average temperature this time of year is a low of 30 and a high of 50. This makes it not unreasonable that I am extremely frickin' fed up with the weather.

I am ready for at least one bike ride that doesn't involve seven layers of clothing and the possibility of frostbite. The last few weekends, at the same time I am making plans for bike rides I have simultaneously been thinking that it is too cold to take my kids cross-country skiing. Is this a sane position? Doesn't this make cycling an obsession, or an illness, rather than a recreational activity? The answer is NO! It makes the damn weather the problem, NOT ME! It's time for the weather to shape up and get over with this endless, absurd cold and misery to make way for Spring.

And, today, to add insult to potential frostbite injury, we are feeling the full effects of setting the clocks back an hour. Is this really a rational thing for a civilized society? I try to never feel the full brunt of self-awareness, but I recognize that I am not a morning person and that the thickness that I feel behind my eyeballs is causing me to be slightly grumpy. Today, however, that thickness is not being felt as a direct result of imprudent personal decisions (like deciding that tomorrow is recycling day so I might as well go ahead and empty the tequila bottle). Instead, it is being felt from the impact of staying up to my normal "body" time and still being forced to get up to the "clock" time.

Seriously, can anyone explain to me how moving the clock is improving the quality of my life or my energy consumption? I understand the idea that in the days when we used leftover pig fat for making candles and it was our only source of light that maybe it made sense for us to collectively move our schedule to accommodate the hours the sun was in the sky. But is there any indication that we are collectively using less electricity, gas or pig fat today as result of daylight savings time? I'm thinking that farmers in the fields are more impacted by when the sun is up than by the time on the clock and I'm thinking that I am not sleeping through too many daytime hours no matter what. If there was a personal or societal positive impact by this change on our clocks, then fine. But right now all I am getting from it is a feeling of not enough sleep and being fed up with the frickn', stupid, everlasting, cold weather and lack of sun which is keeping me from riding my bike.
Rider 3

1 comment:

  1. Rider 3:

    How I do indeed echo your sentiments. Here on the east coast, we have had cold, windy days which were followed by a foot of snow. Two days after the snow we had a 70 degree day in which thankfully, all the snow melted, and my hopes of an early spring rose. Of course, I was out on my bike , happily pedaling away. However, this week promises to be back to grey, cold windy days. I vote we petition the weather to be dark at 9 PM and then be sunny and 80 degrees at 6 AM until 9 PM again. This should resolve the obvious coast-to-coast issue.