Molly Fin (the bike) 1

Before I get too deep in the weeds regarding component choices, a couple words about how the bike I’ll be hobo-ing on came to be…

I’ve been riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker for a bunch of years now and have it pretty much dialed in as a comfortable fast-enough touring/utility bike. It was what I was planning to ride until I did a test load-up this spring. Two big issues emerged. I’m taking a couple fly rods with me and even though they are both 4 piece, the rod tubes are long enough that they’re going to stick out inconveniently somewhere. And Lotte the teckel is coming with me – a crate for her, plus tent etc. on the rear rack is a pretty tall pile. I’d been daydreaming about a Salsa Blackborow ever since I saw this bike


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on The Radavist and in Maine Bike Works’ Instyfeed. After the test load, the daydreaming became scheming – not only would the Blackborow solve the cargo volume issue, it would allow me to ride much more challenging terrain (it was going to be Rte. 1 rather than Baja Divide on the Trucker, for example) and disc brakes would be good for my peace of mind on big descents out west. I pulled the trigger and asked Jason at Maine Bike Works to order a bare frame. Component selection is next post, but let me tell you, it was fun.

Not all my bikes have names, but some do, A name for this one was obvious (to me at least). My motto/mantra/theme for this venture is “M’allé couri dans deser” – Louisiana Creole meaning “I am going into the wilderness”. It’s the phrase that morphed into the opening call and response of Indian Red: “Madi cu defio, en dans dey, end dans day”.

Molly for a first name then. Reinforced much later when my son told me that the most bad ass rider classification in the Dakar rally is the Malle Moto – motorcyclists who ride the event unsupported. Proper. It was apparent early on that the bike was going to get a custom paint job; inspired by Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer’s Ode To Trout build, I decided to use ‘spawning brook trout’ as my color palette. There’s an old married wing wet fly I especially like – the Fontinalis Fin. It’s supposedly inspired by folks using clipped-off brookie pectoral fins to bait their hooks. A lovely fly.

from my copy of Ray Bergman’s Trout

And there you have it – Molly Fin. 

 

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