I still feel that varable gears are only for people over forty-five.
Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer?
We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!
--Henri Desgrange, L'Équipe article of 1902
I don't know what it is, but I am obsessing over fixies. I rode one for the first time the other day, a Villin, and I liked it. I like the idea of being so in tune with the road. Now, I've been overly in tune with the road three times in vivid memory. This has resulted in one knee surgery, 4 root canals and three porcelain crowns, 6 stitches in my chin and a very cool ride in an ambulance. Oh, and flying through the air just before the stitches were necessary was pretty cool, too. I know only too well that it's not so much speed that kills, but just falling. So, why should I even look twice at a bike with no gears or freewheel and only a front brake?
Well, there's form and function. Fixed gear bikes are great exercise. One of the most beautiful bikes I've ever seen is the fixed Atala in the photo above. Click on it to see some other shots I took that day.
And, so it goes...