Monday, October 31, 2005


by Tom Bozzo

I have to agree 110% with Phantom Scribbler: it was too damn dark too damn early for the start of Standard Time yesterday. Since it was dreary here to start with, it felt like darkness had fallen by 4:30. With various critical clocks not yet reset, I was very confused.

One thing I noticed this morning, as it was getting bright and cheery around 6:30, is that the early onset of darkness will make biking to work an increased challenge. I expect to be arriving much earlier than usual most such Standard Time days. Either that, or I'll need to find a bi-xenon headlight for my bike. So some avoided fuel burn in my car on some of these bikeable fall days may be a small fuel savings benefit from the extension of Daylight Savings Time.
I rode home from work last Friday at 7:30, and biking by the light of my bike light was decidedly spooky. Very halloweenish.
That's what I've heard. I should note that compared to you and your cycling exploits, I'm a very wimpy bike commuter, as the amount of time I have to spend off paths is such that I pretty much only need enough light to avoid crashing into critters on the SW Path.
Ultimately it's not the darkness but the cold that makes me more and more of a reluctant bicyclist. When you go fast, that wind is something else.

At least on motorcycles you can have a windguard. :)
You need a balaclava for the wind and some Vitamin D for the depression. Right now, I am also beating the cold by wearing lab goggles, but I need to upgrade to ski goggles or something like that to keep warm. As a bonus, the balaclava/goggles combo kind of makes one look like a superhero, and not like a dork at all.
Balaclava's are the best. I have several. I might have to look at ski goggles to get the whole "insane biker" thing down.
This was my coldest bike commute yet, and it was only on the Owen Dr. hill (25 MPH wind chill) that I'd have been in the market for a balaclava. My fingers were another matter; a trip for some heat-retaining gloves is on the calendar (some SUV-scaring gauntlets like Sara's would be cool). But at the pace I ride, I think I could make it just with a long-sleeve T-shirt and long pants down to about freezing.

Below that, I'm unlikely to give up my seat heaters, sorry to say.
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