I get great satisfaction from the realization that Franklin would have been burned at the stake if he had tried to perpetrate this nonsense 300 years earlier.
Above: Ben Franklin, US patriot and general pain in the ass when it came to clever sayings. He thought Daylight Savings Time was a great idea. Portrait from Wikipedia.
Yet on the second Sunday of March, most of the states in the US deprived me of an hour’s rest, or an hour’s drinking, or an hour’s reading, or an hour of doing anything, by advancing the clock 60 minutes ahead. According to Franklin, and legions of behavioral experts, most people would rather do stuff later in the day, utilizing natural light, as opposed to gradually easing into the day as we head toward summer. I have since heard other claims that Dickensian factories banged away a few extra hours in the day, for which immigrant labor went largely unpaid, making the best of natural light filtering in through dirty skylights. And farmers could easily rake hay, muck horse shit, or sing to the pigs, also making the best out of existing light.
And this doesn’t even touch Franklin’s claim that advancing the clock conserves whale oil, which is now the primary lubricant for most Ducati’s.
But I have found damn little to benefit me in the daylight savings scheme. Some claim you get the “hour” back in the fall, but that’s just bullshit. Suppose I’m doing something important at 1am, on the second Saturday of March — like knocking off a piece? Am I going to get that particular hour back in the fall? Does the gentle Twisted Roads reader know how many times I have scheduled an hour of creative sexual gymnastics for that Saturday night, only to be cheated out of it by an “atomic” alarm clock that immediately jumps ahead one hour? And what about getting the hour back in the fall? I’m usually cleaning the garage, working in the garden, or trying to get the damn harvest in when I discover I’ve been awarded my free hour. Who the hell wants a free hour of that stuff?
I first began to combat daylight savings time 23 years ago. I would dutifully turn the clock ahead one hour every spring as required... But opted not to turn it back in the fall. Year after year, I would willing lose an hour, without expecting, nor getting, a damn thing in return... Until this year. This year, I opted to take all of the 24 hours I had coming to me in one lump sum, giving me a whole day frozen in time. The plan did not work as well as I thought it would. Though working with a 24-year payoff in mind, each year would bring me an hour closer to another time zone. By this March, I was on Beijing time, an entire day ahead of my clients in the US. Then, in one fell swoop, I was on Riepe time... A full day behind the world, in a dimension of my own.
I thought I could spend day the doing exactly what I would have used all those hours for — getting my horn honked. That was my first misconception. Fat chance. My next shot was for being out on my bike, but it rained that day and I since I was the only person using this unique approach, I couldn’t switch days.
And then the solution hit me — just as lightening must have hit Franklin in the ass at one time or another. I would create: MRDST, Motorcycle Riding Daylight Savings Time.
This is an amazing process. Utilizing MRDST, there is no need to get up early in the morning to get in a full day’s ride. The new system will give you all the riding time you need. For example, sleep until 10am and wake up gently, at your special pace, to enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee. When mounting the bike, set the clock back 3 hours to 7 am. This will be the new MRDST factor. When do you advance the clock forward an equal amount of time? When confronted with something really unpleasant — like the Monday morning office meeting with the boss. Just go in at the usual (unadjusted time), and turn the clock ahead the missing three hours, sparing yourself three hours of scalding hot air from someone least qualified to tell you how to do your job.
Now the concept of MRDST is neither entirely new, nor entirely mine. It has been thoroughly tested by millions of unknown and unnamed riding pioneers, who have responded to sensitive domestic inquires, such as “when do you intend to come home,” with, “When I’m done riding.” That is the essence of the MRDST program.
Now there are some drawbacks to this approach. For example, it works best when limited to a single 3- to 6-hour extension per week. Some riders find the MRDST approach so comforting and personally satisfying, that they attempt to turn the clock back a week or so at a time. Things get confusing at that point, and the difference between a week and a month becomes blurred. One Harley rider of my acquaintance, Jesse Kissmyass (not his real name) starting turning the clock back a season at a time. His intent was to eliminate the winter of his life on an annual basis. A BMW rider, Clyde Douchely (his real name) attempted to keep himself young by extending his riding months, and eliminating those months in which his in-laws visited.
But the truth is that a motorcycle is a time machine in itself... No other mechanical contrivance is so effective in making you feel like a kid. Twisting the throttle turns a middle-aged rider into a predatory cat (not like a leopard but more like a saber-toothed tiger). And have you ever noticed that you’re ready to mate like a mink on steroids after a sizzling ride? Fooling around with the clock might buy you some time or cost you an hour every now and again... But a motorcycle renews your soul, and that’s the best way to get the most out of the hours you have on earth.
Spring officially arrived yesterday, in West Chester, Pa, but it was here a week ago when the peepers came out in all the streams and damp meadows. (It went down to 36º two nights later, and I’m afraid thousands of those wonderful little frogs might have frozen their little brown asses off.) The daffodils are blooming out front, and two crocus blossoms are in the garden. My de facto grandson dropped a couple of gummy worms out in the yard, and I watched a fat-assed robin walking around with a red and green one sticking out of his beak.
Above: Thousands of "Spring Peepers" sound off with a soothing note of annual renewal, as we get a few days with temperatures in the 50's (F). And then we get a frost again, and they're sorry they said anything. Photo from Wikipedia.
My local BMW riding club, the Mac-Pac, had their first breakfast of spring on Sunday morning (yesterday, March 20, 2011), and I humiliated myself by arriving in the Subaru. We get our own private room at the diner because watching the Siegfried boys eat en masse is not a pretty thing. My appearance was unexpected and the only sound you could hear when I stepped in was coming from my hips and knees. I could barely walk. But I am stretching my joints a couple of times a day, and doing what I can to improve the range of motion. Saturday, April 2nd, is gassing day and we are converging on the Qurentin Haus Restaurant,in Quentin, Pa, at 1pm.
I have no idea when I’m going to get there, as I’ll be on Motorcycle Riding Daylight Savings Time.
I am coming out of the far end of the asthmatic bronchial thing, and it looks like I may have dodged the really annoying bullet. The wheeze deprived me of sleep for nearly two weeks, and I have been off my oats for a long time. Today’s post will see a resumption of the Monday/Thursday publication dates for Twisted Roads.
I have accrued a ton of letters from readers, next Thursday’s post will be “Dispatches From The Front.”
All Points Bulletin:
Do you have a BMW K75 with the "rare " Sprint Fairing (generally around 1986)? If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org(.) I want to do a special story on these bikes for my monthly column in the BMW MOA magazine — Owner's News. I am very interested in a copper-colored one up in Oregon or Washington State (US).
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011
All rights reserved
©Copyright Jack Riepe 2011
All rights reserved