Jason's post reflects why, even in my darkest days, I held on to my track bike. You just don't ride a road bike like a track bike. There is a connectedness to a fixed-gear bike that bonds you to it and makes it an extension to your body. It's probably similar to what happens to skiers when they strap on a snowboard. I used to commute on my track bike when it was the only bike I had left, and recall sprinting up some steep hills, because it was easier to go all out than to muscle up at a low RPM in a high gear. Sure, the same thing happens on a great road bike, but the track bike compels you to ride as if the bike isn't there.
Track bikes are not as comfy as road bikes, but I rode a couple of centuries on mine. I recall leaving work one night at 9 and riding over a hundred miles to visit home for the weekend. I was conscious of safety though, and strapped my French armband light on my knee, flipping it on whenever a car would come up from behind. Still, I would never advise anyone to ride without mounting a front brake. The bike, it its current livry, can be seen at http://www.biketoss.com/Barner/ProTrack.jpg. I keep a spare bar and stem with a Weinmann 500 sidepull attached to slap on when I want to hit the road. It's a 2-minute swap.
Steve Barner, Bolton, Vermont
> Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 13:46:30 EST
> From: Jnlnjack@aol.com
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [CR]Track Cycling and Stopping in Traffic
> Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> SNIP
> I even got up without a scratch. like pulling a tire or catching a flat.
> remember the front pedal at 2 o'clock must be pulled up on the straps hard
> and the transfer of body weight to the front wheel (like in a slide) but much
> harder means the transfer goes to the fork and then back on the rear rim. I
> guess the way I learned to do it is to let the rear wheel lift slightly and
> skip it over to the side. then do it again and skip to the other side.
> easiest thing in the world actually when properly mastered. best way to turn
> around traffic when popping over a lane between cars, busses and mack trucks
> on 10th ave. SNIP
> Jason Carpenter in 49/15 NYC. What's up John? Where's that 9 cog?