Whatever the question is, the answer seems to be: “It’s the equinox…innit?”
Tired, sluggish, grumpy? It’s the equinox. Kids turning a simple domestic scenario into a parental IQ test? It’s the equinox.
Complete inability to ride a bike up a hill without gasping and turning grey?
Yep. You guessed it.
Because it is, of course, the equinox.
It happens every March and September. That’s a scientific fact. The effect of it on your health, ability to parent, and cycling form, is a little more dubious.
“It’s the equinox…innit?” is what people tell me, but as usual with these things, I think we’re probably engaged in a nationwide chain of Chinese whispers.
Up in the outer-Hebrides, back in early September, someone caught a cold. They then read about the equinox in the local newspaper. Next, they combined those two facts in an otherwise innocent sentence, and the rest is history.
By the time this information was passed, mouth to mouth, the 400-odd miles down here to Lancashire, it had obtained, in the telling, the sheen of scientific fact; you have problem x, y, or z, and this is a direct result of the equinox.
And so, I find myself mid-way around a standard 30 mile loop on my bike – back in August this was barely a ride, and more of a gentle spin of the legs – and wondering why I seem to be in possession of someone else’s body, and my teeth are aching with the effort.
Currently, in September, I’m embarrassed to call myself a cyclist.
“It’s the equinox…innit?” provides me with a straw to grasp.
Which I greedily do.
But, being the rigorous and fact-hungry type, I felt compelled look in to the science of this. I knew I was risking the only flimsy excuse for my current pathetic performance on the bike, but I Bing-ed* it all the same.
And here’s the problem.
If you quiz your search engine of choice about this, you are presented with a barrage of information from a variety of websites. Most of these websites seemed to be about nutrition.
Many of them refer to ‘spirituality’.
I found myself reading about naturopathic nutrition, detoxification, the natural ‘cleanse’ of the autumn equinox, and lots of other stuff that was largely just words put together in sentences.
This wasn’t the hard scientific evidence I was after.
Some of it was barely even readable.
I did stumble across one science-y website which debated the whole “it’s the equinox…innit?” question, and I found myself learning a surprising amount the testicles of Siberian hamsters.
But, even they concluded with the line that humans aren’t really affected too much by the equinox. I wasn’t clear on how they got from hamster testicles to there; but pretty seamlessly, it’s fair to say.
So, while I haven’t exactly confirmed my suspicion that the equinox-ical effect on humans is dubious, it’s fair to say the evidence is flaky.
As a result, I’m currently on the lookout for a decent excuse scientific basis for why my ability to ride a bike with grace and style has deserted me.
Early contenders are that I’m past it (suddenly…in the space of a few short weeks), that I eat too much curry and too many donuts, or that I’ve quite simply gone soft.
Much as I value this input from family and friends, for now, I’m sticking with: “it’s the equinox…innit?”
*My little rebellion against the algorithm-based rulers of the known universe. That’ll tell ‘em.
(Image: via pixabay.com)