Almost exactly six months ago, I was still freewheeling it on the Bianchi. I bought into the hype and was consequently terrified of going fixed; hence I was stuck in that gray area of the freewheel where I almost got scene points until I started coasting. The resulting inferiority complex really killed me.
Ironically, I flipped my wheel over last October not because I wanted to belong to a "scene," but because I stopped convincing myself that I wasn't good/cool/skilled enough to go fixed. Fuck the "scene," fuck the trendiness, fuck my scarred up knees - it couldn't be that hard. And, honestly, it was stupidly easy. I even stopped crashing every month.
Six months later, I'm back on the freewheel...and I'm quickly developing a new appreciation for it. Having officially gone clipless, I figured I'll minimize the chances of crashing [I don't really miss it] by getting used to the whole clipping in and out thing on cranks that don't always have to move with your rear wheel. I struggled with it both on a trainer and in the parking lot behind IBC but managed to clip in, not crash into an SUV, and get out on the street.
In the middle of traffic, I belatedly realized that I wasn't fixed anymore. I tried to slow down by stopping my feet and nothing happened. I was still moving. And I was headed straight into the back of a stopped car.
My sluggish brain finally pooped out a memory of Erich, a mere 10 minutes ago, saying, "oh yeah, you have brakes. Use them." Brakes! Shit! Use them now! I managed to slide up next to the stopped car, slowing down, then accelerating again as I jerked my knees up and down like a wind-up toy soldier until I figured out that I needed to clip out to stop because my feet were attached to my pedals.
It took about a good half hour but I finally got the feel of a freewheel again. There's more planning involved, now that I don't have my feet to slow down with, and going really slowly is actually really hard. On my evening ride last night, I felt faster though; and while hills are sort of a bitch, coasting through turns is so much fun.
This might be cheating, but I'm almost tempted to keep that freewheel on for that century...