So it ends up that I did have a reason to go to IBC this weekend. I needed to purchase and get new pedals installed because - gasp! - I'm flipping that wheel over and going fixed.
Not that I haven't been riding fixed on the track bike. But the Bianchi and the Dolan are such different rides that switching ponies was never a problem. I could rock the freewheel for a longer ride in the morning, then skitter around town later fixed. True, I almost tore my leg off once or twice, but the Dolan's stiff, twitchiness was a constant reminder to keep the cranks turning [or else momentum would].
The Bianchi's relaxed geometry and natural propensity to roll over everything in its path pairs perfectly with a freewheel. Which is why I almost expected to have both legs lurching around yesterday, propelled forward by my rear wheel when I attempted to coast.
It wasn't so bad. In fact, my legs stayed attached to my body. Mostly because my drivetrain sounds like...a train.
Dan M. took a look and jumped on my bike to make sure it was just the shark-finned cog. And as his 6ft+ frame weaved around the store on a 44cm bike, he jokingly squeezed the squealing front brake like a train whistle. It screamed, as usual, like a puppy being run over. It also sounded exactly like a train.
Assured that it wouldn't do anything except sound like I don't actually take care of my bike, I left debating changing my gearing or just purchasing another cog. For now, it's actually a nice reminder that I'm not on that wondrous freewheel anymore. I miss it already; especially being able to clip in and climb hills without that built in assist that fixed gears give you. And coasting. Oh, coasting.
Pedaling [the whole entire way] home, my feet naturally pushed back on the pedals, slowing down, creeping between cars, and allowing for a much greater amount of control - the kind that requires a level of skill that I haven't yet achieved on a freewheel. I remembered how fun it was to maneuver around piles of snow on a fixed gear, even if my knees weren't so happy later on in the day. This might be temporary, but it's definitely still fun.
Grinding to a slightly screechy halt in front of my apartment, I winced a little at the noise. And then remembered Dan's goodbye to me a few hours ago:
"See ya, K Train."
At least I'm still faster than the Green Line.