Quiscalus quiscula is a fairly common bird found in large numbers throughout North America, and although the Blackbird can be found in suburban areas over the rest of the world, the common grackle, as it is otherwise known, is a more colourful character.
Eric Estlund of Oregon’s Winter Bicycles named his latest creation after the grackle not because it is common — far from it — but rather for its colour and propensity for daily adventures.
The grackle can be recognised by its bright yellow eyes, a detail Eric specified to Keith Anderson, one of America’s most famous frame painters (and a fine frame builder in his own right), which he administered faithfully, along with the rest of the blue-black coat.
Eric fabricated the stem specifically for this build, accentuated by the ‘French Point’, reminiscent of the constructeur bikes of René Herse and Alex Singer — appropriate for this modern-day adventurer.
From the front, the Racer brake calipers by Paul Price’s Paul Components almost look like the hungry eyes of a bird, looking down the road, hungry for its next meal. Eric offers custom rack building as an option to his Custom Series Bicycles.
Winter Bicycles is a staunch advocate of specifying American-made parts for his frames, so we’re also looking a White Industries cranks and VBC (Variable Bolt Circle) chainrings. Anyone who has ridden with them knows of their reliability.
A true randonneur only requires a handlebar bag to carry a map and the odd banana but for a longer trek, the front has been complemented with rear panniers by the same maker: San Francisco’s Ruthworks. They sure look the business and only add more similarity to the Quiscale’s plumage.
Eric is heading to Bespoked Bristol, the UK Handmade Bicycle Show, as he has for the last couple of years as an ambassador for the American custom scene. If you’re in the UK at that time, be sure to plan to visit the show and say hi to him there. Special thanks to Anthony Bareno for the photos — see more on the Winter Bicycles website.