Bikes to Like: Steve H.’s Rivendell, A. Homer Hilsen

It’s been a while, but today’s post features to another great Bikes to Like with Steve H.!

I met Steve on last year’s D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K, and was quite taken with his bike, as well as its setup. I asked him if he would be part of Bikes to Like and, lucky for me, he agreed. Thanks, Steve! Please read on to get an inside look at Steve’s beautiful Rivendell.

1. What kind of bike do you have?

I have a Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen.

2. Why a Rivendell?

I have been a fan of Grant Petersen’s ideas about bike design for a long time – since his days with Bridgestone USA. I missed out on purchasing the Bridgestone of my dreams and swore that if a similar chance ever came my way again, I wouldn’t let it slip through my fingers.

When I saw the Homer Hilsen, I knew the time had come. Riding it has confirmed my admiration of Rivendell’s bikes.

Steve and the Rivendell on the D.C. Randonneurs Flatbread 200K

3. Where do you ride it?

Mostly around southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern Maryland. This summer I hope to take it to Washington state to participate in RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day) a ride I last did in 1990.

4. What do you like about your bike?

I like the way it rides and the way it looks. My Hilsen has 650B wheels, which have vastly exceeded my expectations. Rivendell says the bike is designed for up to 40mm tires – I am running 42 mm in it now, with fenders, with no problems.

I love the comfort of the big tires and of the frame geometry overall. I am riding greater distances with less fatigue than on other bikes I’ve ridden. Also, I like that it was made here in the USA (by Waterford).

5. If you had to describe your bike in one word, what would it be?


Steve’s Rivendell

6. Fenders or no fenders?

Fenders. I prefer not to spray myself or the riders around me with road spittle, especially in Lancaster County, where it tends to be flavored with horse manure.

Having fenders on the bike helps to encourage the attitude that it’s never a bad time to ride.

7. What is one of your favorite memories with this bicycle?

I can’t think of a specific event that stands out, just a lot of time enjoying being outside. Once I saw a small bird land on the back of a hawk in flight. Maybe that counts?

8. Does your bike have a name? If so, what is it?

I just call it Homer or “the orange bike.”

A last look at Steve’s Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen

9. What is your favorite accessory on your bike and why?

I don’t know whether it counts as an accessory, but I guess I’d say the generator hub and headlight.

I really like having a light on my bike, ready to go at all times, that I don’t have to think about and I like riding at night.

10. If your bike could talk, what is one thing it would say to you?

Allons-y! (My bike is studying French.)

11. What did I forget to ask that you want to tell me about your bike?

When I’m not riding this bike it hangs from the ceiling where I walk past it on my way in and out of my workshop.

Just looking at the lugwork on the head tube gives me a good feeling, many times a day, even on days I don’t get to ride.


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