When it comes to Daylight Savings Time, better known as the “time change” here in the United States, it really sucks for those of us who run and ride when the sun sets at 4:30 in the afternoon. It’s pretty hard to get out of work at 5:00 and find the skies dark and the roads, even darker.
The theory behind all this daylight stuff is thin on science and depends more on perception for its existence. Here’s how DST is described on Wikipedia:
Daylight saving time (DST), also daylight savings time (United States), also summer time (United Kingdom and others), is the practice of advancing clocks during summer months so that evening daylight lasts longer, while sacrificing normal sunrise times. Typically, regions that use daylight saving time adjust clocks forward one hour close to the start of spring and adjust them backward in the autumn to standard time. In effect, DST causes a lost hour of sleep in the spring and an extra hour of sleep in the fall.
Not everyone believes in this DST stuff. It all emerged from the mind of a guy named George Hudson back in 1895. Some nations bought into it right away and continue the tradition.
Others, not so much. Such as Brazil…Asia and Africa…
DST is generally not observed near the equator, where sunrise times do not vary enough to justify it. Some countries observe it only in some regions; for example, southern Brazil observes it while equatorial Brazil does not. Only a minority of the world’s population uses DST, because Asia and Africa generally do not observe it.
But it can be said that DST pretty much screws up everyone’s schedule. Dogs and cats used to being fed at a given time of day know they’re hungry, but their stupid owners tell them, “No, it’s not dinner time yet.”
Here’s what a pet advisory site says about all that;
When we suddenly shift feeding times and potty break schedules by an hour, it can be rough on our four-legged friends. Many cats and dogs can adjust with little or no signs of stress, but for some, it could lead to accidents in the house or even an upset stomach.
To prevent a sudden change, take a few days to gradually change your pet’s feeding and walking schedule by 15 minutes a day rather than 1 hour all at once. During this transition, add several extra minutes to your dog’s daily walks to allow extra time for them to fully empty their bladder and bowels as they get used to a shift in their potty break schedule.
We all try to fool ourselves into thinking this whole “time shift” thing is a good idea.
DST clock shifts sometimes complicate timekeeping and can disrupt travel, billing, record keeping, medical devices, heavy equipment, and sleep patterns. Computer software often adjusts clocks automatically, but policy changes by various jurisdictions of DST dates and timings may be confusing.
It is helpful to have it get light a little earlier in the morning now that the sun has surreptitiously slipped south toward its winter equinox. By my count that’s just over thirty days away on December 21.
So there do seem to be some benefits in terms of safety on morning runs. Some cyclists go out no matter what the conditions. They just gear up with reflective wear and lights and choose roads where they think the least number of stupid people drive.
When darkness falls, we all have to make do the best way we can. I guess fooling ourselves with Daylight Savings Time changes is about as good and foolhardy as it gets.