A Letter to Honey Stinger: When Smart Packaging & Thinking on Your Toes Saves the Day

To the Crew at Honey Stinger,

Thank you!  Recently I was on a training ride on a road that I have ridden nearly 50 times.  A rough and rutted stretch of two-lane tarmac that drivers would probably characterize as one of the worst roads in the county.  But for me, a cyclist, it is a uniquely challenging route that has become my warm-up, due to its proximity to my house.  Shortly into the trip I found myself in a precarious position in a groove in the asphalt only slightly wider than my tires and was forced to ride it out.  I was relieved to come out the other side without any obvious signs of wear.

wrapper-as-tire-boot1

Can you spot the foil?

Quickly I was in the clear and on to smoother roads, the next of which turned upward for a 3-4 mile climb.  Everything was perfect.   Traffic was low and the sun was high.  As my pedals turned over and the rear wheel spun, I started to feel a very subtle (and unnatural) puff of air on my leg.  Soon my saddle started to bounce and I knew that feeling was air slowly seeping from the tire.  I found a wide section of road to turn out and check the damage.  Confirmed – the rut I was in only a few miles before had successfully eaten into my side wall, leaving it worn enough for the tube to blow out with 10 miles to go in my ride. 

Let’s get one thing clear.  I am a cyclist.  Sadly, I am not much of a bicycle mechanic.  I can change a tube no problem and, for the most part, keep my bike quiet and moving forward.  When I saw the size of the hole in the tire, even I knew this was not just a tube switch.  Unfortunately, I had only ever read or heard about using a tire boot and had certainly never attempted it.  On top of that, my knowledge of booting a tire involved a dollar bill – something I did not have.  What I did have was a Honey Stinger Organic Salted Caramel Waffle.  I ripped it open and enjoyed it on the roadside while pondering my next move.  Then it dawned on me, “Energy bar wrappers can also be used to patch a tire!”  So I gave it a shot.  I folded it a couple times and stuffed it between the tire and my replacement tube, screwed on a CO2 cartridge and pulled the trigger.  Perfect!  The wrapper from my waffle held, and I could see the shine of the foil filling the hole that had left me stranded. 

Nervously I headed home, wondering how far I would get.  But slowly I started to gain confidence GF-SaltedCaramel_WithWafflewith every mile.  When it became apparent that I was going to make it, my ride gave me a rather peculiar sense of accomplishment and gratitude.  Thank you Honey Stinger for your support.  Not only was the waffle a delicious treat, but also a timely piece of gear that held for the rest of my ride and into the next morning.  Your “smart packaging” on an already exceptional product saved my ride and added to the list of reasons why I will continue to ride with Honey Stinger.

Never stop pedaling,

Josh
Oceanside, CA       

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