Here Comes the Sun by
(100 Stories)

Prompted By Changing Times

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I find it a bit amusing that, although the time shifts of DST have been regular occurrences my entire life, only since 2012 have they become somewhat important to me.

...although the time shifts of DST have been regular occurrences my entire life, only since 2012 have they become somewhat important to me.

Before then, the only real effect that the DST clock adjustments had on me was to cause a night or two of insomnia. This makes more sense for the Spring (now late Winter) change, since moving the clock ahead means that your body is set an hour earlier than your usual bed time. For some reason, I have the same problem with the Fall change, although I have no idea why. For me, insomnia comes easy and often.

In 2012, I first started commuting by bike. Suddenly, the time of sunset became of more than psychological interest. My commute then took about an hour, so I was not home until maybe 6:00 PM, sometimes later. That’s full dark here by Thanksgiving. My route is mostly through an unlit park, which is still safer than dodging cars on lit streets. I ride festooned with blinkers and neon colors, so I am never hard to spot, but the end of DST effectively meant the end of my bike commute until we sprang forward and I had enough light to steer around people and potholes.

Until December of 2022, that is, when I decided to suck it up and invest in some extremely bright (and expensive) bicycle lights. With those mounted, only ice and snow, or extreme cold, drove me into my car this winter.

Of course, the problem of not freezing my face solid has proven a bit harder to solve!



Profile photo of Dave Ventre Dave Ventre
A hyper-annuated wannabee scientist with a lovely wife and a mountain biking problem.

Tags: Bicycling, night, lights, insomnia
Characterizations: well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Riding a bike to and from work is noble for many reasons, but also challenging. I can see how having more daylight on your commute home would be SO helpful, as are those expensive lights. Have you ever tried some ski gear to save your freezing face?

    • Dave Ventre says:

      I can’t remember this being a problem back in my skiing days, but for some reason, whenever I cover my face from the nose down, whatever I am wearing over my eyes fogs up in cold weather. Another complication is that it all needs to work under a helmet. I just this week seem to have hit upon a solution; I took a simple dust mask and cut a small hole near the bottom. This directs all the moist air down and away from my eyes. So far it has worked like a charm, and it does keep my nose and face sufficiently warm.

      • I’m with BEtsy. I use a neoprene ski mask for winter biking. Or I did in the past. I have been averse to riding outdoors in under 50 the last few years–I stick with the indoor trainer till it gets nicer.
        I identify with your point about the darkness though. I taught college classes till as late as 9 pm and even with the more expensive and powerful headlight, I knew I was taking a risk.
        For my last birthday (this winter) I got the “bike radar” that will alert me if a car is behind me, and also flash bright lights at the car. I haven’t tried it yet; waiting for that spring weather.

  2. Jim Willis says:

    You’re right about the importance of DST for urban commuters, and I appreciate the angle you took to this story. Reminded me of my daily L.A. commute: it always seemed a more dangerous exercise in the evening, so I appreciated the help of a little extra sunshine. Thanks for posting. Nicely done!

  3. Dave, thanx for another fun bike story.

    I had no doubt that you would find a way to ride your passion through the dark a little longer!

  4. Khati Hendry says:

    As soon as we lose DST in the northern climes, dark comes REALLY early. Then we know it is winter, and appreciate the holiday lights that hearken back to the bonfire festivals of the north. Cold and dark is not good bicycle weather. Shouldn’t we all be hibernating anyway?

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    I admire your dedication to biking, Dave. It’s so important for bikers to have good lighting in the dark. Around here, we have lots of bike lanes but after dark, it becomes dangerous to bike amidst the cars and trucks, especially when so many delivery vehicles park in those bike lanes.

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