after weeks of reading and obsessively researching, i went with an 09 Bianchi Pista. i looked at a lot of bikes, but this is the one i've always wanted.
i haven't made any changes, other than adding a front OH-***** brake, chrome toe clips, and white leather straps.
LBS recommendation was to stick with the 48/16 until i get the feel of it, then go to 48/17.
the wheel stickers need to go.
all decals, INCLUDING THE "NO BRAKE" sticker, are under the clear coat.
this is my first time on a fixed; i rode for HOURS today.
i'm going around practicing modulating my speed by putting backpressure on the pedals, but right can't get the feel for how anyone could possibly skid or skip. in time, i guess.
the drops are lower than i've ever been; it's freaky.
and i'm seeing how i have to learn to balance better out of the saddle.
all in all, awesome first day. thanks for all the help, d00ds.
props to the NYCVelo store, too.