The story of my bicycle trailer sauna starts in Ann Arbor, MI, about 10 years ago. I was introduced to the wonders of the sauna on the banks of the mighty Huron River, running back and forth between a rustic shack and a makeshift hole my friends cut through the ice over the river. Over the course of that winter, the smells of cedar, the hiss of steam off of the glowing stove, and the many nights of friends laughing and singing together solidified into one of those memories that sit in the back of my skull, reminding me of what’s good in life.
Today, years and miles away, I don’t have a space like that. Renting a sauna, going to the gym, nothing quite gets at the full experience of those winter nights. Some things, like jumping in a frozen river, are probably never going to happen in the PNW’s more moderate climate. But I know there is a way to get a lot closer than where I’m at now!
Last year, a post filtered up from the depths of the internet – H3T’s sauna trailer, based out of Prague. I was struck immediately with thoughts of the sauna by the river, and the knowledge that something like this contraption could bring those experiences back into my life. No more sterile heat, rental charges, or long drives across town. Just hook it up to my bike, get a couple of friends, and head to the river just a couple blocks away! However, I felt caught by another project at the time, and filed this idea away for the future.
Just a couple of months ago, that other project was not much further along, and I was feeling stuck. I love designing and creating things as an outlet from my normal cubicle grind, and the lack of progress in that area was dragging me down. I decided to take a break and find a project with a smaller scope, to get my creative/maker juices flowing again. I knew that I had to build a cycle-sauna! After a quick google search, I found that I wasn’t the only one who thought H3T’s sauna was too cool to leave alone. Simon Lyle had obviously seen it as well, and made his own cycle-sauna. By peering at both these designs in any photo I could find online, I was able to come up with my own design fairly quickly.
Since then I’ve been refining the design (including a meetup with Simon in Portland to see his finished product up close), and getting dirty in the shop. I’m hoping in the next couple of months to have my own take on the cycle-sauna up and running! It’s been a blast so far, and I’m excited to get back to getting sweaty by the river, pedal-power style!
Editors Note: Follow updates on Alex's mobile bike-sauna on his Instagram @spelaeus.designs Look for a video feature from us on it later this spring. Or summer. Hopefully spring. Definitely not fall.