Yesterday, the Art Institute had a family program tied into its new exhibit, Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity. The Art Institute’s family programs are inevitably excellent, so we decided to bike down, look at the exhibit, and then let the kids make the related art. The museum’s about 6.5 miles from us on the Lakefront Trail and, even though there and back would be the longest ride my oldest had ever taken, we figured she could make it.
So we loaded up, the oldest on her bike, the next on a tagalong behind me and the youngest on a bike seat on my wife’s bike. 6.5 miles turns out, though, to be a lot for a young child and, since I had to be back home to take our car to be serviced in the early afternoon, we decided on the Children’s Museum at Navy Pier instead. At 5.5 miles, it cut off two miles round-trip.
We spent a couple hours playing at the Children’s Museum and, at 1:00, headed back to our bikes. As I was unlocking them, my second pointed to my rear tire, which was completely flat. I pumped it up quickly and we started to rush home, but a quarter mile later, it was clearly not going to hold enough air. So we stopped in some grass, let the girls play, I held my wife’s bike, and my wife started to remove my back tire.
I had a pump and a patch kit (and, of course, a diaper bag and four bottles of water) in my backpack, but hadn’t brought an extra inner-tube. After maybe ten minutes, while my wife and older man with a snowy white beard stopped. He set his bike down and asked if we had a spare inner-tube. (We did, at home.) He had two, he said, and pulled one out. He then proceeded to show and instruct us, step-by-step, on how we should be replace the tire.
After it was on, he felt all of our tires. None of them had the air pressure they needed; we pumped most of them up, but he pulled out his pump and did one. We offered to pay for the inner-tube. He said no. He then rode away, as we packed the kids up and got back on the path.