Powered by leg muscles and fire, the SaunaVelo is the manifestation of many passions for southeast Portland resident Simon Lyle. At its core, the cedar wood structure that sits atop a bicycle trailer is simply a place to warm up. But it’s also a mobile community builder. After all, it’d be difficult to enjoy its warmth — usually done wearing only your skivvies — without getting to know the people huddled next to you.
For Lyle, the 37-year old builder who grew up near the Buckman neighborhood of inner southeast Portland where I met him yesterday, the SaunaVelo is a fun side-project. But it’s also much more than that.