I finally finished. Way back in 2004 I changed my old mountain bike into a single speed. But it was just a poor-man's single-speed - still having the original hub and a whole bunch of spacers.
For X-mas, Sam got me the fancy ENO hub, which allows you to convert a bike with vertical dropouts into a true single speed. And for my birthday, Mary got me a very nice rim and spokes. I built up the wheel a few weeks ago, and just today I put it all together. I just bought a vanilla BMX singlespeed freehub and 1/2" chain, and after a little cleaning, I assembled it with some help from Simone.
Here is the finished product in all it's glory. Note the lack of a derailer, it' just like the BMX bike you rode as a kid:
And here's a crummy picture of Simone helping me wash the bike:
Here's what Simone looks like if you zoom into the grainy photo:
I took it for a spin only to find out the rear brakes sounded like they were a flock of angry geese being slowly crushed. A quick brake tune-up and everything is good to go. I'll probably take my first full ride tomorrow.
Note: the new gearing is 32/18, as opposed to the 32/16 it was before.