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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 07-01-17, 07:32 AM   #1
StarBiker
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Heat

Hopefully everybody will enjoy the next 10 weeks.

Some of you actually will.
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Old 07-01-17, 08:35 AM   #2
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Hopefully everybody will enjoy the next 10 weeks.

Some of you actually will.
I love the heat. It's wonderful to see the trees and plants flourish and listen to all the crickets and other cold-blooded animals singing with joy, as well as the birds and other warm-blooded animals that feed off them. Sweating is also good when you realize you're expelling so many toxins that have built up in your body and skin through the cold season.

Sweating is a liability, though, because it stinks. Especially if you like biking/hiking and camping, it puts a damper on things to stink and have limited options for showering, doing laundry, etc. If you carry supplies car-free, i.e. by bike or backpack, you want to carry as little extra clothing as possible to save weight, so it can be difficult to do laundry and get a shower at an opportune moment so you can sleep with a clean body in clean clothes.

For years I have been studying the possibilities for doing laundry en route instead of stopping at a laundromat. Hand-washing takes some time and garments come out slightly less clean than when they've been agitated for 20 minutes in a washing machine. There is a simple washing-bag technology, made in Australia I believe, that looks like it might be a way to wash clothing while pedaling by letting the motion of the bike agitate the clothes as they soak, but then there is the problem of hang-drying them while biking. Maybe someone will invent a drying rack that suspends wet laundry over you as you pedal. That would look strange, but it might be better than putting on wet laundry and immediately sweating into it.

I think the ideal solution for summer sweating would be to just have laundromats with showers available frequently along biking/hiking routes. Truckers have truck stops they can go to where they can get showers and maybe do laundry too (though I'm not sure about that). I haven't tried showering at such a truck stop, because I don't think I'm allowed to tent-camp there. If I was, I might pitch my tent and then buy and shower so I could go to sleep clean.

But LCF in summer without touring is no problem. You just plan your rides and walks before the sun gets too hot and after it starts going down a little in the afternoon. During the hottest part of the day, you do other things, cook/eat, etc. You may want to take a siesta if the heat lulls you into drowsiness after lunch
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Old 07-01-17, 11:27 AM   #3
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Unless you are located in nice summer climate location summer sux!

I hate this time of year!
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Old 07-01-17, 09:30 PM   #4
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Unless you are located in nice summer climate location summer sux!

I hate this time of year!
I feel you.

My least favorite kind of weather is hot and humid, followed by cool and rainy. The two summers I lived on Alabama's Gulf Coast were misery. I used to love summers in the dry and sunny western US, but Alabama ruined me.

It's not so bad where I am now, other than occasional heatwaves with a few days on par with Alabama summer heat. I've come to be okay with just riding around for fun when it's hot, but going places like work or the grocery store? Not so much.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:53 AM   #5
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I feel you.

My least favorite kind of weather is hot and humid, followed by cool and rainy. The two summers I lived on Alabama's Gulf Coast were misery. I used to love summers in the dry and sunny western US, but Alabama ruined me.

It's not so bad where I am now, other than occasional heatwaves with a few days on par with Alabama summer heat. I've come to be okay with just riding around for fun when it's hot, but going places like work or the grocery store? Not so much.
While we're talking about weather, I say God bless Lake Michigan! Lately several storms in Wisconsin, headed straight to us in Michigan, have broken up over the cool waters of Lake Michigan. By the time the front passes the lake, we get only a few rain showers or a couple hours of clouds. It almost makes up for the lake effect snows we get every winter.

And speaking of snow, do you humidity haters look forward to the cold and ice of winter?
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Old 07-02-17, 02:41 AM   #6
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And speaking of snow, do you humidity haters look forward to the cold and ice of winter?
I love winter and the snow. Something about walking in a forest with snow during deep winter. I can deal with the humidity, where I grew up im used to it but its not my favorite.
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Old 07-02-17, 05:24 AM   #7
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Anyone riding in Phoenix AZ?
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Old 07-02-17, 10:40 AM   #8
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And speaking of snow, do you humidity haters look forward to the cold and ice of winter?
The only problem with Winter is deep snow that takes a while to melt. And super cold which in the Mid Atlantic we get, but not that often.

In the UP you will freeze your ass off in the Winter as you well know.

And I don't mind intermittent drizzly weather. I thought this past spring was great.

If I can wear shoes, socks, shorts, a t-shirt, and jacket the weather is perfect to me.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:54 AM   #9
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There used to be this migratory pattern where people would go north for the summer and south for the winter. This pattern clogged highways and stimulated excessive development, causing environmental harm. For a while, I have been hoping to develop sustainable methods of north-south migration involving trains, eco-friendly housing, etc. but obviously the public and the economy fail to achieve this, instead preferring to promote wasteful air-travel to deforested destinations to those who can afford it.

For those who dislike the heat/cold where you are, would you be willing to migrate to another climate for one or more seasons if you could continue to work and make money, but doing so would require taking a train, living car-free, and living in eco-friendly housing? Or would that be worse than just surviving the seasons you find unpleasant wherever you are?
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Old 07-02-17, 11:21 AM   #10
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. . . but then there is the problem of hang-drying them while biking. Maybe someone will invent a drying rack that suspends wet laundry over you as you pedal. That would look strange, but it might be better than putting on wet laundry and immediately sweating into it.
Something I have done is to put the wet clothing on my trailer and place the cargo net over them. that places them in the sun and they dry quickly. I have also used the rear rack for the same purpose. It doesn't work with a lot of clothing; but if you hand washed one days wear it will work.
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Old 07-02-17, 12:05 PM   #11
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Something I have done is to put the wet clothing on my trailer and place the cargo net over them. that places them in the sun and they dry quickly. I have also used the rear rack for the same purpose. It doesn't work with a lot of clothing; but if you hand washed one days wear it will work.
I do that too. I end up stopping to flip the clothes so the wetter side will dry for a while before flipping them again . . . and again. I'm not as satisfied with the results as when I hang dry clothes from a line. As such, I've thought of suspending cloths overhead while biking, but that would require somehow extending poles up from my handlebars and up from the rear rack, and then having them not fall down due to wind, etc. It would also add weight, not to mention looking weird. Still, maybe I should just bite the bullet and do it.

A better option, though, I think would be to stop every couple days to do laundry and recoup from multiple full-days of cycling. The problem is if you want to take a long bike tour, the cost of paid camping with laundry facilities would add up quickly, so unfortunately I'm finding that long-distance bike touring isn't the low-cost option for traveling frugally that I thought it would be.

If there were more primitive campgrounds in the $5-$10/night range with showers and running water, you could tour for $150 to $300 per month, shower before going to sleep, get up and hand-wash laundry, hang it up to dry while you take a rest day, and maybe even get back on the road in the afternoon. It's a lot more fun sweating when you know there's a shower and clean clothing waiting for you when you stop.
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Old 07-02-17, 05:28 PM   #12
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And speaking of snow, do you humidity haters look forward to the cold and ice of winter?
Yes! There is something lovely about the calm and still of a freezing cold morning with fresh snow. (I also enjoy putting on crazy layers and getting looks when I show up places looking like I'm in a spacesuit.)

During the three years I lived in non-winter environments (including southern California) I honestly missed my cold and snow. I continued reading the Icebike listserv with a mild sense of jealousy.
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Old 07-02-17, 07:16 PM   #13
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Unless you are located in nice summer climate location summer sux!

I hate this time of year!
I love summer. .. it's my favourite time of year. 😊
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Old 07-02-17, 07:39 PM   #14
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Fire, Ice...if I'm living it's at least okay. If I wasn't...well, metaphor.
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Old 07-02-17, 10:24 PM   #15
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If there were more primitive campgrounds in the $5-$10/night range with showers and running water,
You have an odd definition of primitive.

Wash the day's outfit in the shower, and hang it to dry overnight. Hit a laundromat every few days to wash everything you can legally do without for an hour.
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Old 07-03-17, 05:38 AM   #16
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You have an odd definition of primitive.
'Primitive' is the term that seems to be popular for describing tent sites without electricity in a market where RV 'camping' is what is commonly referred to as a 'campground.' To me, 'camping' means tent camping and what you do with an RV is more like 'parking.' Anyway, definitions aside, when I say 'primitive camping,' I am just referring to using relatively unmanaged land to pitch a tent. I don't need a driveway to park a motor-vehicle, for example. As long as there are trees to lean my bike against, provide shade, and something to tie a ridgeline for a tarp I will be happy. I'll concede that it might be necessary to mow once in a while to clear out growth that would make it hard to pitch a tent, but it's also not that hard to clear a tent spot by hand if the ground cover isn't too thick. Fallen pine needles make a nice tent pad. They are soft enough that you wouldn't want for a sleeping pad.

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Wash the day's outfit in the shower, and hang it to dry overnight. Hit a laundromat every few days to wash everything you can legally do without for an hour.
Do you wash your outfit in the shower with soap just like you're washing your body? Do you turn it inside out and wash it again? When I hand wash clothes, I put them in a bucket or other basin and agitate them like a washing machine does. I have to do this for some time to get comparable results to a washing machine and if I get impatient, the finished product will have a slightly sub-clean smell that is just enough to be very distracting.

Hanging wet laundry overnight will cause them to mildew and 'spoil' unless you are in an arid climate. I prefer hanging laundry in the sun so it dries in a matter of hours and smells clean. This is a problem if you want to shower in the evening and bike during the day. Ideally, you could shower and put on fresh clothes before going to sleep and then wash the dirty clothes from the day before in the morning, and then hang them up to dry until afternoon when you would embark.

This would only be good, however, if you wanted to rest in the morning. If you want to take advantage of the morning to bike, you'd want to figure out a way to stop around 10-11, wash clothes then and hang them up to dry in the hot sun until about 2pm when the sun gets a bit more tolerable.

Anyway, it seems perfectly logical to me to have a primitive campground with a simple shower and water, maybe just a hand pump. The shower doesn't need to be heated or even pressurized. You could have a hand-pump shower. The important thing is to have a platform raised above the dirt of the ground so you can dry your feet and put on socks and shoes before stepping back onto the ground. Of course you can also just walk around with dirty feet until they dry and brush them off before putting socks and shoes back on, but it's nice to be able to shower on a raised concrete surface that's clean.
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Old 07-03-17, 07:10 AM   #17
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There were , and I hope there still are, unimproved campgrounds in the West on Forest Service and BLM land. but no showers. I used to back pack into the back country, and there were no showers there either. In fact, for most of human history people didn't have showers.
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Old 07-03-17, 12:28 PM   #18
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If there were more primitive campgrounds in the $5-$10/night range
http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...letourist.html

And just about every town has a laundromat.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:15 PM   #19
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I don't want to camp, I just don't want my ass to sweat. Low humidity the last two days, but 92 Degrees is hot. Than add suburban sprawl, mixed with cars everywhere adding more heat, and that makes it worse.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:17 PM   #20
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I don't want to camp, I just don't want my ass to sweat. Low humidity the last two days, but 92 Degrees is hot. Than add suburban sprawl, mixed with cars everywhere adding more heat, and that makes it worse.

Move to Tasmania ... you'll be lucky to get 3 days of summer each year.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:23 PM   #21
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Move to Tasmania ... you'll be lucky to get 3 days of summer each year.



Now I could drive to the Mountains in Western Maryland. Of course you have to have a car to do that.
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Old 07-03-17, 02:43 PM   #22
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Now I could drive to the Mountains in Western Maryland. Of course you have to have a car to do that.
Not sure what Western Maryland has to do with Tasmania ... but ... OK. Basically, if you really don't like where you currently live ... move.
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Old 07-03-17, 05:00 PM   #23
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I don't want to camp, I just don't want my ass to sweat. Low humidity the last two days, but 92 Degrees is hot. Than add suburban sprawl, mixed with cars everywhere adding more heat, and that makes it worse.
I love heat. 95 degrees and 95 percent humidity is wonderful to me.

However, riding in suburbia when it's hot is much, much less pleasant.
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Old 07-03-17, 07:16 PM   #24
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Yes, I miss the hot humid summers of Winnipeg. I have a whole collection of sleeveless jerseys which only get worn as base layers now.
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Old 07-03-17, 09:04 PM   #25
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Not sure what Western Maryland has to do with Tasmania ... but ... OK. Basically, if you really don't like where you currently live ... move.
I am trying to figure out what Tasmania has to do with anything.

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