Thursday, November 03, 2005

Chaos ensues as we all Fall Back

Falling back from daylight savings time to standard time is always interesting, and this year has been no exception.

I've never before seen so many people doing so much yardwork after dark. Mowing lawns, sawing felled tree branches, raking leaves - it's all going on after dark nowadays.

During daylight savings time, it would still be light outside when I get home from work, even if I stop by the library or grocery store on the way. But not so Monday night. Walking home from the library, I almost got hit by an SUV making a right-hand turn while I was crossing in the crosswalk. Which is weird, since while I was waiting to get the "WALK" signal, he was right alongside and a little behind me waiting for the green light.

He should have seen me. And I'm sure he would had, if it weren't for the time change. Normally it's not dark at 6pm. The fact that he was talking on the cell phone didn't help, and thru gestures I let him know he should get off the F'in phone.

So yes, I think things get a little weird when the time changes - people's internal clocks are thrown off a bit, and a mild sort of chaos ensues. Kind of like the whole world suffering from very mild jetlag. That's my theory, at least.

I haven't felt much affect on my personal clock, however, it has made me subtly adjust my commuting schedule. I'm riding the fixie to work 2-3x per week (taking the bus the rest of the time) and now that we're no longer on daylight savings time, I've adjusted my schedule to ride both to and from work in the daylight. This means I leave home a little earlier than before, around 7am (arriving at work at 7:30) and leave work no later than 4:45 or 5pm.

Adjusting my schedule means I'm mixing it up with a different crop of vehicles on my commute. Take this morning for instance. I'm about a mile from work, flying south on York Avenue in Edina. Out of nowhere I get buzzed by a giant Edina yellow school bus - and by buzzed I mean close enough that my heart leap into my throat and I damn near had a heart attack.

Takes a lot to freak me out, but I was scared absolutely shitless. Flipped him the bird, but wasn't very satisfying since I was wearing mittens - even if he saw it, the message probably didn't get through.

About a block ahead of me, I saw the bus turn right, then into a parking lot. I was running on adrenaline, and sprinted off after him to see if I could have a word.

As the driver slid open his window, and I explained that he was really too close for comfort when he passed me, that he damn near gave me a coronary, and could he *please* give bikers a little more space?

He seemed genuinely apologetic as I rode off. He passed me again a few blocks up, and this time he gave me ample space (he took the left lane, despite the fact that he turned right another few blocks up.) A few blocks from work, he passed me going in the other direction. I never saw him before, and now 3x in one commute.

I'm sure I'll encounter this behemoth many more times in the future - but I suspect it'll be better, at least for a while. (crossing fingers)