I have been wearing the Underwork's Double Front Compression Shirt (Model 997) as my primary summer binder. It's comfortable and it binds well enough without restricting my breathing too terribly. And I can wear it with my lightest, transparent white shirts.
But, because it covers my stomach and my chest, the skin underneath doesn't get a lot of air - which is particularly important for bicycling. On occasion I'll wear the zip-up T-Kingdom 801, which is a very loose binder. But because it doesn't bind as well, I have to wear a loose button-up or t-shirt over it. As the day progresses the T-Kingdom 801 gets looser and binds less and less effectively, so I generally end up switching between the two. The 801 to bicycle in and then the 997 when I get to my destination.
The other ones I own are just, too miserable in the heat.
The other night I attempted my old winter binding method that I blogged about back in the day, with the T-Kingdom M801 zipped OVER my comfortable cotton Underworks Style 974 binder. As a summer binding method? It's not happening. After only an hour I was coated in sweat.
The second I got home I ripped them off and threw on the T-Kingdom M801 combined with a very loose button-up.
Exerting myself when it's this hot just, hurts. My forms of transportation are my feet and/or bicycling, so exposure to extreme heat is a necessity for me. And the exercise is good for me, but just... Seriously.
I did stumble across a solution of sorts, possibly. A week ago I bicycled to a diner to meet my family for brunch. This was a peddling excursion I'd done numerous times last summer before I started binding, no problem. This time? Even 30 minutes after being in the air-conditioned diner, I was still sweating, red, and not cooling down. I tried putting ice on my neck, to no avail. Eventually I cooled down, somewhat - but after witnessing this pathetic endeavor an idea of pure genius occurred to my parents.
See, my dad has been cycling in a spandex bicycle jersey for years. Even after my ten years of cycling it never dawned on me that a cycling jersey would be worth much benefit. I also assumed that all cycling jerseys were obscenely tight, which, for a binding trans guy, does NOT sound appealing.
So when my parents couldn't take the sight of me all red and sweating anymore, they took me to REI to get my first ever cycling jersey. I'm so spoiled. I tried some on and picked one out. The Cannondale Caffeine jersey:
- Soft, stretchy fabric blend moves moisture to the outside of the garment for fast evaporation
- 6.5 in. front zipper allows on-the-go ventilation
- Casual style is appropriate for both the beater and the ''good bike"
- Single rear zippered pocket secures a few essentials
- Traditional collar with classic stand-up neck band
- Relaxed athletic fit for freedom of movement
Speaking of heat, just a couple of weeks ago Steph, my parents and I witnessed two poor dogs trapped in a truck in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store in 90+ heat. The windows were completely rolled down, so at least their guardian was trying... but, in no time at all, both of the little dogs jumped out of the car. One darted around the parking lot while the other ran IN to the store.
I followed the pup in and asked the employees to announce that dogs were loose in the parking lot. Fortunately the guardian came out and was able to capture them both successfully.
His solution? To put them back in to his truck, roll the windows up with a few inches to spare, and to return inside to resume shopping. WHAT? I stopped him and asked why he hadn't left them at home where it's air conditioned, or if he at least had leashes to tie them up outside where they won't cook to death. I tried to explain that leaving dogs in a hot car in this type of weather is literally a death trap. To which he replied, "I'm only going to be a few minutes.", ignored me, and continued on his way.
This is exactly why hundreds of dogs die in cars every summer. They're like a greenhouse, trapping the sun's heat. Even after just a "few minutes" his truck would become a death trap even if it was a mild sunny day--where the car's temperature would incrementally rise to well above 120 degrees. And 90 degrees is terrible.
Fortunately, doing this is illegal here in Salt Lake City, so we called the police. To my relief, they took it seriously. The guy wasn't just a "few minutes", as he claimed. We know. We waited. And in less than 10 minutes two police cruisers pulled up to his truck, found him in the store, and escorted him back out to his truck. I overheard the officer say, "Sir, on a day like this in less than ten minutes the temperature in your vehicle can rise to 130 degrees.". It wasn't a joke or a slap on the wrist. They were pissed, responded, and treated it like the serious issue that it was.