|I have these old stem shifters|
I have these forty year old stem shifters which I stripped off the Interex Rebel ten speed as part of the Flatland Commuter project. The parts of that old bike fall into several distinct categories: A) non-working, B) working but not going to be used ever by me, C) working and generally please me while using them, D) not quite sure. Category A included such things as the old cracked brake pads and tires. Category C includes the frame, fork, handlebars, brake calipers, and crankset. Category D includes the saddle, which is a stout Japanese-made steel affair, the Shimano Titlist derailleurs, the stout steel Japanse-made pedals that are more like bear traps, and the kickstand. Firmly in category B are these stem shifters.
Since these stem shifters still work, but I know I'm never going to use them, I have to ask myself, what the heck am I doing holding onto them? I hold onto parts which have value to me as potential replacements, fun projects, or future use, none of which apply to the category B items (or A for that matter, although I still have the salmon colored useless brake pads labelled "Weinmann Brev." attached to the currently non-used rear brake calipers, for old time's sake).
I could swap them. That will probably be their ultimate fate. Perhaps someone will want them, even if I express my serious, grave concerns about stem shifters. Some ten speed resurrectionist may desperately need them. Heck, sold along with the quite acceptable Titlist derailleurs, they may even make someone happy.
On the other hand, I can't seem to bring myself to just throw them away. They've made it this far, still working. I may change my mind some day, and move them to the C or D category. And when I pick up and hold them, clean them up a little, turn them over in the light, contemplate their finer aesthetic points as well as their clunky mechanical faults and advantages, I think about their fabrication 40 years ago, and wonder about the hands that held and made them. What mind and person was that? What did they think about? What was their life like? What did they feel? Questions for a long ride in the sunshine, on a hot summer day. On a fixie.