The Best Day Of The Year…



Is the first workday after Daylight Savings Time kicks in.

In 1883, Canadian and American railroads imposed their will on a continent by implementing standard time (you can never be too careful when “Big Railroad” is concerned).  Before then, time was a very local matter and the “official time” was usually kept by a good clock, often the one on the church steeple in the center of town.  You can see how the Brits took this concept to a whole other level with Big Ben.  Officially declaring standard time wasn’t accomplished in U.S. law until 1918 and with it came the concept of Daylight Saving Time.

Not everyone liked the idea.  It was repealed the next year, leaving it to the locals to decide what they wanted.  It was reinstituted nationally during WWII.  As recently as 1966, lawmakers were still horsing around with the concept when they wrote The Uniform Time Act, which permitted states to determine if they would use the concept, but mandated the date on which it would occur.  In 2007, Congress moved the implementation date for DST four or five weeks earlier in the year.

All of this was an attempt to save electricity (which is why the two world wars are not a coincidence in this story).  To cyclists who have day jobs, it’s all about the weeknight ride.  I happen to be one of those cyclists, so I very happily hopped on my bike Monday night and went for a spin.  The above picture was taken at 6:00 PM, and as you can see there was still plenty of sun to light my way.  A good time was had by all.

Sadly, today was an absolutely exquisite day, the best of the year by far.  I say that this is a sad thing because I found myself in the basement of the Pentagon for the entire day and forced to endure a two-hour commute home (metro-auto combo).  By the time I arrived, BOB (Bright Orange Ball, as we used to call the sun in my Army days) was setting on the horizon.

But still, I have Monday’s ride and many more sunny weeknight rides to look forward to.


Just a few notes on completely unrelated items…

1.  Night Rides Are Nearing An End.  There are 25 more nights before Daylight Savings Time returns.  That’s 17 more weeknights where a ride after work will occur in darkness – not that I’m counting or anything.  Soon enough, evening romps will be fully illuminated by BOB (“Bright Orange Ball,” as the sun is sometimes referred to in the Army) and the hybrid will be set aside until late October.  In honor of another winter of faithful nighttime service, I provide the below picture of Old Ironsides standing before the intersection of Minnieville and Spriggs Roads, taken during last night’s ride in very mild conditions.

2. White Tape Update.  Imagine my surprise when I happened upon an article discussing the history of white tape!  It turns out that the use of white tape was once an honor exclusively reserved for team leaders.  It was sort of a badge of honor in a day when that sort of embellishment was a bit expensive.  While I like the historical angle to my new tape job, I am at the same time perturbed to learn that (as I suspected) the tape will make me look like a poseur.  Oh well – it’s not coming off!

3.  Calendar Contest Update.  My bid to make it into Revolution Cycles 2012-2013 calendar has fallen short.  My beach photo jumped to a strong 4th place after the first day of voting and lost ground each subsequent day until finishing in a tie for 14th place.  I must now reassess my plan to become a major force in the cycling world.  Thank you very much to those who voted!