Monday, March 10, 2008

Spring is springing... in the dark

Daylight Savings Time. Man, what a bummer! Folks who are excited about the extra hour in the evening clearly don’t get up before 8 AM, or they’d be singing a different tune.

DST’s timing is bitter. My morning rides have been unbelievably exquisite lately. Last Thursday – pre-DST - was one of the best rides I’ve had yet. Heading out of town, for the first time this spring I heard a familiar and magical sound: of hundreds of thumbs tweaking the tines of hundreds of plastic combs. Chorus frogs! The perennial sound of spring, of hope peeping out of warm and marshy puddles.

That afternoon my ride home took a long time. Every time I worked up a good speed, I’d spy yet another field of daffodils and have to stop and pick them. Our kitchen table is covered with jam jars of flowers now. It’s beautiful, but hard to eat breakfast.

Today, though, was another story. When my alarm went off at 6:30, it was pitch black outside. Black as night – because it WAS night! Time to start keeping track of the sunrise again. Tomorrow, 7:35. Sigh.

Greensboro has wisely chosen my morale slump as the perfect time to announce the Triad Commute Challenge. I’m not sure if this is a cause or an effect of our inclusion in Popular Science’s list of >50 Greenest Cities, but it’s definitely a good idea. The dare is modest – participants are challenged to try an alternative commute just once by the end of May. Biking, walking, carpooling, riding the bus, even telecommuting – there are lots of options. It’s not much, but it’s nice at least to see the city recognizing that reducing car traffic is a good idea. And, sadly, that idea probably is a stretch for a lot of people. But hey, biking was once an impossibility for me, and look at me now!

by Sadie Kneidel

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