I had mentioned in passing that I brought a vintage frame with me from my last stay in Austria to build up as a fixed gear road bike... Well, here is the result:
fixed gear conversion on Marianne. As a mechanic he is meticulous, and this is reflected in the quality of the results. The bicycle is tight and smooth and noiseless and just the way I wanted it.
unnecessary on a fixed gear bike. And second, our tire choice made the rear clearance too tight to allow one. It looks in the picture as if the bridge is actually touching the tire, but I assure you it is not. There is enough clearance so that it is perfectly fine to ride, just won't fit a brake.
that trackbike in Vienna and discovering that riding a fixed gear bike helps me build up my road cycling skills. It does that by addressing my biggest frustrations, which are balance and coordination. I have plenty of endurance to cycle fast for relatively long periods of time, but I suck at pretty much every other aspect of cycling (for instance, making turns and cycling closely to others at high speeds). The aspect of fixed gear cycling that most people find difficult (the constant pedaling) I am fine with, which makes it the perfect tool to help me with the other stuff.
I have gone on two long rides on Francesco so far: a 26 mile ride with only very mild hills, and another 26 mile ride with steeper hills. Though the hilly ride was challenging, I have not experienced any pain or discomfort, despite this bicycle's aggressive geometry. Francesco seems like he will be a great cycling coach, and I look forward to getting to know him better.