In April of 1981, Scot Nicol was thumbing through an Audubon bird encyclopedia looking for names to call his newly hatched bike company. He liked the fact that birds are light and they fly, both good traits to associate with a bicycle. There were plenty of bike companies in the prior 100 years that had bird names: Avocet, Falcon, Condor, Swift, come to mind, as did Merlin (it’s a magician and a falcon). Merlin was ruled out by the way, as one of the road bikes that Scot had was a Merlin, an English-made Merlin steel road frame that had already been around since the thirties (or maybe earlier). Bob Jackson, the venerable custom builder actually purchased the classic Merlin marque in 1955 and built under the Merlin name into the 70’s. So the Merlin name was ruled out.