29 May 2012

This post is not about retro shifters

This post is not about retro shifters because I don't actually know that much about retro shifters. They're some kind of shifter-break hybrid thing for bicycles. Apparently they're super-awesome and taking the biking world by storm. And possibly they haven't actually been released yet.

I know about this because my young man is really into bicycles, and while I was spending last weekend surprise-visiting my family and young man, he kept me awake until 1 AM one night telling me about how awesome these retro shifters are, and asking me if I thought it would be a good use of money to buy them when they come out. I was, of course, loopy with exhaustion, and I probably said something incoherent about prioritizing budget savings and that it would be a good investment if they were basically going to last forever. But really? I just wanted to leave so I could go to bed and sleep.

The surprise visit turned out well, despite my insecure fears. Nobody had a heart attack. I rang the doorbell, and Dad answered. He mimed surprise through the door, opened it and waved me in, pointing toward the kitchen and holding a finger to his lips in the "shhh!" signal. In the kitchen, Mom was also surprised. "Callie! What are you doing here?" My sister Cara, who knew I was coming and had made sure everybody was there, high-fived me. SUCCESS. Popped into my brother's room. He looked up, and grinned. We were all excited for Jonathan to arrive. He was still on his way down from Chicago. Cara told me to hide and surprise him. After he'd been there for about ten minutes and had been chatting with my family, I jumped out and shouted "Surprise!" He was sitting on a stool at the counter facing away from me, and I hugged him before he could react. He kept whispering "oh my god" and shaking. I finally convinced him I was really there and not some kind of vivid hallucination, which is probably a possibility when you miss someone and aren't expecting them to suddenly jump out and hug you, shouting SURPRISE!

It was a great time. We went to the Farmers' Market. Cara and Jonathan and I went to a park and walked through the creek.
It was SO HOT.
We played Apples to Apples. We went to the driving range and hit golf balls. There was lots of delicious food. Sunday night was my favorite: Grilled pineapple with mascarpone cheese. Mashed potatoes with cheddar. Fall-off-the-bone ribs with a barbecue sauce Cara made which she said included "everything but the kitchen sink." Blackberry-and-blueberry pie using blackberries Mom, Dad, and I picked in Michigan about 5 years before and blueberries that Cara and Mom picked in Michigan two years ago. Homemade peach ice cream. It was cool enough to eat on the patio. Hanging out on the patio with the family: basically heaven.

It was insane hot and humid all weekend. Nevertheless, Jonathan wanted to go out and do things. Beer-brewing was intended to be an evening activity, but after spending part of the hot and sticky afternoon biking on the Monon Trail with Jonathan, I was pretty much too wiped out to be a helpful participant.

It felt like about 100*F outside. I'm talking about the kind of weather where you step outside and a sheen of sticky sweat instantly covers your skin. And somehow we ended up loading my dad and brother's bikes into the back of Jonathan's Subaru and driving to a bike shop by the Monon Trail to get a new inner tube or something for my dad's bike.

Anyway, Jonathan is super-into bikes.He pretty much has been the entire time I've known him, which is over three years now. He was pretty excited about motorcycles for a year, but I think that's pretty much over, although he still can talk excitedly about them. I'm happier with the bicycle obsession, even if I don't know what he's talking about half the time. He thinks I should become a blogger in the cycling world so that bike companies will send him free stuff to try out, and then I can write about it. I think that, personally lacking his passion for bicycles, my writing about it would probably fall somewhat flat. But hey, stranger things have happened!

So if you are a bicycle company that makes "retro shifters" or "retroshifters" (I am unsure if this is one word or two words) feel perfectly free to offer me a set of Gen 2 retro shifters and I will make sure they get to someone who is ridiculously enthusiastic about them. I know because he won't stop talking about them, and quite frankly I would like two seconds of conversation that doesn't revolve around bicycles.

This week, I won a glass spider charm from Michael Offutt's blog tour for his new scifi book Slipstream. So apparently I am a winner! The spider is now blinging out my bulletin board in my office. (Thanks, Michael!)

Apologies for the fuzziness of the picture, but you get the idea.
The point is that clearly the universe is conspiring to aid me, so it should extend that aid to Jonathan's bicycle obsession. Jonathan is starting his new internship Wednesday, and he plans on biking to and from work basically all summer. Bicycle companies, he will be using his gears and brakes a LOT.

If you're not a bicycle company....
Now You!
Have you ever heard of retro shifters? Do you bicycle? How do you handle the quirky obsessions of loved ones?