Intersting story, I'll check the link for sure. That Sheldon Brown site is a bible for cyclist isn't it. Personally I've been riding a fixed gearfor a few years as I mainly ride around the city and park in crowded bike racks where I've had my derailers bent a few time. Fixies are so much more reliable and give so much feedback when riden with cleats.
I've built a commuter bike based on a single speed mountainbike frame that addresses that by using an 8-speed internally geared hub. The first photo shows the hub when the bike was new (april 2004). At that time the bike looked like a proper mountainbike with nobby tires and without fenders. The photo was taken with my first digital camera - a Canon PowerShot A20.
The second photo shows the current state of affairs after 10 yrs, the bike has evolved into even more of a city bike with fenders, narrow slick tires and such. Still with the same hub though which now has more than 15000 km on the clock. This photo was taken with a Canon Powershot S90 that I now use for such 'practical' pictures.
I've spent several months in NL in 2011 and it is flat indeed, although the wind can be quite strong along the Ijsselmeer. Needless to say that my Canadian home town now feels so unfriendly to bikers since I've been in NL though.
Yes sometimes I say the wind is our hills. Sometimes the wind feels like a mountain too NL is a very bicycle minded country, but for mountain biking and the spectacular nature I think I'd prefer to be in Canada