Monthly Archives: October 2016

Supple Tire Care, tip 47c: How to treat sunburn on your supple tires

Yes, folks while the steady rains and dark days have taken over the Pacific Northwest where supple tires are mined, marketed and live captured, the rest of the nation basks in endless sunny days since global warming has accelerated to our bike riding benefit.

While enjoying these endless sunny days on pristine single track and fire roads often featured on Instagram, it is easy to forget just how delicate our supple tire sidewalls can be. Those same supple high thread count sidewalls that create the only joy we experience in riding bikes are as delicate as the skin on a new born babe, and just as precious.

If your supple tire gets a sunburn and your tire is less than 12 months old, call the supple tire sommelier, even if the sunburn appears mild. Sunburn in a supple tire under age 1 can be more serious than it appears. The supple tire sommelier will ask about your supple tire’s symptoms and possibly ask you to bring your supple tire in for an examination, to make sure your supple tire doesn’t need emergency treatment.

If your supple tire is age 1 or older and the sidewall is just a little pink and tender, you probably don’t need to call the supple tire sommelier. (See more details under “When to call the supple tire sommelier,” below.) Just try to keep your precious tire as comfortable as possible until the burn heals, and follow these tips.

oh! you poor baby. lemme get the aloe vera gel and fix you up

oh! you poor baby. lemme get the aloe vera gel and fix you up

Do’s and don’ts for treating and soothing sunburn on your supple tires


Offer plenty of fluids: breast milk or formula if your supple tire is a brand new, water and other liquids if your tire is two weeks old or older. This helps the supple high thread count side wall heal and replaces fluids lost by being out in the sun.

Soak a clean, soft washcloth in cool water, wring it out, and gently place it on the sunburned area for ten to 15 minutes a few times a day, making sure your supple tire doesn’t get chilled.

Try a cool bath. To make it more soothing, add baking soda or an oatmeal-based bath treatment (found in drugstores). Pat your supple tire’s supple high thread count side wall dry – don’t rub! Rubbing too hard can remove the tire label.

Apply a water-based (alcohol-free) moisturizing lotion or an aloe vera gel to relieve your poor tire’s itching. Itching can get worse if the burn starts to peel, and your tire won’t feel perky.

If your supple tire’s hurting, you can probably give it the correct dose of supple tire’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen through the air hole to ease the pain. If you have a supple tire younger than 12 months, ask the supple tire sommelier when you call whether it’s okay to offer a pain reliever. (Ibuprofen is recommended for supple tires 6 months and up.)  Never give your supple tire aspirin. It can put him at risk for a sometimes fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome and burn out your tire’s brains which will make story time less fun.

Dress your supple tire in loose clothing that won’t irritate burned supple high thread count side wall. I love to play dress up with my supple tires, don’t you?

Keep your supple tire out of the sun until the burn has completely healed. It’s very easy for a supple tire who’s already sunburned to get a second burn.


Don’t put petroleum-based products like petroleum jelly on your supple tire’s supple high thread count side walls. These prevent heat and sweat from escaping and can make a burn worse. The same goes for butter and oils. Needless to say, these products also limit the incredible cornering grip we use and enjoy on every ride we take on our precious supple tires.

Don’t use first-aid sprays or ointments that contain benzocaine. Benzocaine can irritate supple high thread count side wall or cause an allergic reactions which can cause scarring and blemishing of the sidewalls and accelerate tread wear.

Don’t pop any blisters! (I know, I have trouble leaving them alone myself. I love that ‘pop’ sound they make.) Blisters form to protect your supple tire’s underlying supple high thread count side wall, and breaking them open can lead to dissatisfaction with roll-down characteristics. If they do break, apply a castor oil ointment and a nonstick tire boot. Don’t trim off the loose sidewall, you will need it for later. Use castor oil ointment sparingly or you will ruin the incredible cornering grip that comes with each supple tire.

When to call the supple tire sommelier

Call the supple tire sommelier right away if your supple tire has a sunburn that turns the tread pink.

If a supple tire age 1 or older has a mild sunburn and his supple high thread count side wall is just a little pink and tender, you don’t need to call the supple tire sommelier.

Note: You may not notice a sunburn right after you bring your supple tire indoors. The redness and pain of a mild first-degree burn can take several hours to appear.

Call the supple tire sommelier if your supple tire:

starts to blister in the first 24 hours

has swelling on the sidewall or tread

has signs of infection (pus or red streaks)

is running a fever or has chills and cannot hold air

has a headache

seems to be in extreme pain or just doesn’t feel well (doesn’t want to go for a ride)

vomits, feels lightheaded, loses air suddenly, or faints

Why is a sunburn so serious?

A sunburn is literally burned supple high thread count side wall. Your supple tire’s supple high thread count side wall is very thin and very sensitive, so it can burn quickly.

A sunburn might be a first-degree burn, which causes redness, mild swelling, and pain. A second-degree burn is more serious. It’s more painful, with more swelling, redness, and blisters.

A first-degree burn usually heals in two to five days. A second-degree burn can last for a couple of weeks.

If your supple tire has spent too much time in the sun, it may also be at risk for heat stroke. This can be heart breaking.

What if my supple tire’s supple high thread count side wall starts peeling?

Don’t be alarmed if the sunburned supple high thread count side wall starts to peel. Peeling is a natural part of the healing process. It usually begins a few days after the sunburn happens.

Is supple high thread count side wall damage from the sun worth worrying about?

Yes. A sunburn means that the supple high thread count side wall has been damaged by ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and exposure to UV radiation from the sun is the number one cause of all types of supple high thread count side wall cancers. Some studies suggest that severe sunburns during supple tire breaking in phases cause melanoma – the deadliest form of supple high thread count side wall cancer – later in life. So be careful out there folks.

Because a new supple tire’s supple high thread count side wall is more sensitive than a year old supple high thread count side wall, young (or new) supple tires are more prone to sunburn and supple high thread count side wall damage. Tires that are Fair-haired with pale-supple high thread count side walls, or freckles, and green- or blue-colored tire labels are most at risk for supple high thread count side wall damage and cancer from sun exposure, but ultraviolet radiation is dangerous for everyone, not just your tires.

How can I keep my supple tire from getting a sunburn?

It’s not hard, but you have to be diligent. A supple tire can get burned after only ten to 15 minutes of exposure, even on a cloudy or cool day.

Dress your supple tire for outdoor activities in long sleeves, pants, and a hat, and apply sunscreen. Keep the tire in the shade as much as possible, although shade provides only partial protection against sunburn.

The sun is most dangerous between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., but the supple high thread count side wall is exposed to UV rays during all daylight hours, year round, even when it’s cloudy.

Put sunscreen on any exposed areas of supple high thread count side wall. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 15 and apply it liberally about 15 to 30 minutes before you head outdoors, to give it a chance to be absorbed. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more often if your supple tire is sweating a lot or has been in the water.

Remember, owning supple tires also comes with a lot of responsibility and in some states supple tire abuse is a felony. Be careful out there folks, especially when cyclotouring in the boonies.


The Interview with Tarik Saleh

I dreamed I had an interview with Tarik Saleh.



“Come in,” Tarik Saleh said. “So, you would like to interview Me?”

“If you have the time,” I said.

Tarik Saleh smiled and said:  “My time is eternity and is enough to do everything; What questions do you have in mind to ask me?”

“What surprises you most about people who ride bikes?”

Tarik Saleh answered:

“First and foremost I am continually surprised how hard it is for people to not be an ass. It really should not be that hard to be civil.

That they get bored of being utility cyclists, are in a rush to be a competitive commuter or randonneur, get themselves a ‘light and fast bike with discs’, and then long to be a simple carefree utility cyclists again…

That they rarely give themselves a chance to own and ride a sweet Schwinn heavy duty cruiser…

Tarik Saleh’s hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked… “As president of the Tarik Saleh Bike Club, what are some of life’s lessons you want your club members to learn?”

Tarik Saleh replied with a smile:

“To learn that they cannot make anyone love them if they behave like an ass. What they can do is to let themselves be loved by not behaving like an ass…

To learn that what is most valuable is not what bicycles they have, but having a bicycle they like to ride…

To not hoard their TSBC pins and to pass them out – share the love!

To wash their TSBC cap once in a while so it does not smell bad.

To learn that a rich person is not the one who has the most bikes, but is one who needs the least bikes…

To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in supple tires, and that it takes many years of practice to properly boot them…

To learn to not be an asshole by practicing not being an asshole (I know this sounds obvious but)…

To learn that there are club members that really are not trying to be an ass, but simply do not know how to positively express or show their feelings…

To learn that money can buy everything but an Competitive Randonneuring and Commuting Patch (I know I have looked extensively on ebay, but you can get a TSBC patch here)…

To learn that two people can look at the same fork rake and see it in a totally different way…

To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others for being an ass, but that they have to forgive themselves for being an ass.”

I sat there for a while enjoying the moment. I thanked Tarik for his time and for all that He has done for me and my family, and He replied, “Anytime. I’m here 24 hours a day. All you have to do is email or text for me, and I’ll answer as soon as I can.”

Author Unknown

How Do I Become A Randonnee volunteer?

Randonnee volunteering is a very rewarding and valuable way to serve your randonneuring club. It takes dedication and many hours of training to become a volunteer. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, there is a RBA ready for you to serve. Below you’ll find resources and frequently asked questions about becoming a volunteer, as well as the first basic steps you might take toward volunteering.

A group of feral randonneurs being attracted by a volunteer holding a potato chip

A group of feral randonneurs being attracted by a volunteer holding a potato chip

The basic steps to becoming a randonnee volunteer:

  1. Make sure you’re ready to commit. Making the decision to become a randonnee volunteer should not be taken lightly. It requires hundreds of hours of training and a strong commitment to service. Research volunteering by reading articles and expert columns at‘s Volunteer page.
  2. Contact your local RUSA club. Not all RBAs have volunteers, and depending upon your area, its population and local government, volunteer opportunities may not be available. If your local RBA doesn’t have volunteers, one nearby may. has a directory of contact information and RBA statistics.
  3. Call your local randonneuring club’s non-emergency number and ask to speak with the RBA. Tell him or her that you’re interested in becoming a volunteer and ask what your next step should be. He or she should be able to direct you to the best resources and people to help you. Often, RBAs will allow you to tag along next to them while administering a randonnee to let you make a more informed decision about whether volunteering is right for you.
  4. Once you’ve identified a RBA suitable for you, you will need to complete their application and background check process. Screening process and required qualifications vary by RBA.
  5. After you commit to being a volunteer, the RBA will usually enter you in a training program. The length of these programs varies, but all volunteers are required to take a minimum 110-hour RUSA volunteer certified course.
randonneurs always appreciate the smiling face of a volunteer in the wee hours

randonneurs always appreciate the smiling face of a volunteer in the wee hours – this could be you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications do I need to become a randonnee volunteer?

This varies greatly from RBA to RBA. All RBAs have a minimum age requirement, though some allow younger members to enroll as ‘explorers’ or junior randonnee volunteers. Most RBAs also have a physical testing requirement. Testing procedures vary. A typical test is carrying a case of chocolate milk while simultaneously conducting a reflective gear test and informing the rider how much climbing is in the ride.

What is the first step to volunteering?

Contact your local fire RBA and express your interest in joining. Search the internet for your local RBA’s name — they may have a website with useful information.

Do randonnee volunteers get paid?

Randonnee volunteers do not get paid, but they can get reimbursed. Reimbursement is usually a small amount of tax-free money for time spent on snacks, and responding to questions about rules and training. The amount of reimbursement is usually at the discretion of the RBA and will require a receipt.

Should I start physical training before applying to volunteer?

Yes, a training program will likely help you achieve the physical standards required by your RBA. Contact your local RBA for a recommended list of exercises.

Can a volunteer position lead to a career as an RBA?

Yes. Volunteering is one of the best ways to get the necessary training and experience to be an attractive candidate for a career RBA position.

Can I become a volunteer EMT at my local RUSA club?

Maybe — some RBAs have volunteer EMS programs to supplement their public services. Contact your local RBA to find out more.

How many hours do randonnee volunteers work?

Many RBAs require a minimum number of volunteer hours per month. Ask whether your local RBA has minimum participation requirements.

Contact your local RBA and start your new adventure in volunteering today!