Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Key to the Best Sunday

One of the keys to the best Sunday

For me, the best Sunday is when my younger daughter comes up next to me and asks, "Daddy, would you like to make a picnic lunch and ride our bicycles to the park together?" Is that not the perfect question? After assembling our lunches, tuna salad sandwiches, with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions on fancy ciabatta buns, raw veggies, some beverages, we packed it into my trunk bag and went to get her bicycle. "Awwwwwww!" she cried. Her back tire was flat. Again. Which I had patched last weekend. Figuring that my patch job had been patchy, I took the tube back out, expecting to see the patch flapping in the breeze, but no, my patch job was most powerful. It was airtight as the Red October. Time to rotate the tube through a bowl of water to find the actual leak. What's this? A bubbly stem on the Schrader valve? All I need is a valve core remover tool, wait....I haven't used one in a quite a while since all my tubes are the other, skinnier type...I know I've got one around here....hey those tubes have a valve core remover on top of the caps, I'll get one of those. Dang it, this core is jammed in, the feeble plastic tool is not going to get it. I need that über core tool my dad gave me a long time ago, where did I put that thing? I dug around trying to remember, had another cup of strong coffee to roust the lazy neurons, oh yeah, in the steel tool box. Yes, here it is, with the spark plug gapper and door lock parts. Pull that core out, clean it up, put a tiny bit of light oil on the o-ring, back in, try again: no more bubbly Schrader valve. Come my dear: to the park, and lunch! We're off!

We rode to the park at a leisurely pace, and dined on our tuna sandwiches like king and princess in the bright sunshine. Daughter pedaled her bike around, and talked with some friends she ran into, pet their golden dog, ran water into the sand and made sloppy, while I sat on a bench in the shade and contemplated the world slowly turning beneath me. Thought about a lowly, stout little valve tool my dad gave me long ago. Thanks dad. And thank you, younger daughter, for taking me for a bicycle picnic. It was the best Sunday. Get up . Go ride.



  1. Slime in the tube also plugs up Schrader valve leaks.

  2. Sounds like a perfect Sunday indeed, aside from the flat tire. I was unaware of the removing the valve core thing. I would've just replaced the tube, I guess.

  3. Steve that reminds me of the story of the day I tried to force slime into a presta tube...perhaps another time?

    Apertome, and I say this with all due respect to August Schrader, I think I prefer Presta valves for bicycle tires. Except for their lack of slime fillability.


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