The idea of building my own fixie came to me after seeing Michele Lorenz's "red rocket". Michele was a ready source of valuable guidance throughout the project.

When I balked at the price of a fixed gear wheel, or even a fixed gear hub and a set of spokes, Andy Muzi at Yellow Jersey, Ltd showed me the ingenious trick he used on his 1972 Bianchi Aquiletta. See the saga of that bike and scroll all the way down to the last 2 photos on the page. He was also kind enough to grind the notches into my own hub. It took him a minute or two and I left a tip in the shop's tip can. Andy has been in the business for just about 40 years; when it comes to bikes and their guts he's seen it all.

The Cherry Cola can is an old-timers' trick.

Anyone contemplating their first fixie conversion should spend time at Sheldon Brown's fixed gear pages. In fact his whole website is a cornucopia of details on bicycle components of every ilk and vintage plus advice on tackling just about any mechanical problem. For example, I had built wheels before, but never in a "4-cross" pattern; it proved as simple as following his lucid wheelbuilding cookbook. His passing in 2008 was an enormous loss for the bicycling community.