Warm Showers: Why I Host (and You Should, Too)

June 8, 2011

We're only a couple of months into prime touring season — and the weather's been less than hospitable for bicycle touring, at least here in the Northwest.

Yet, still they come — journeying across the country, stopping in at Adventure Cycling world headquarters to visit with staff and eat ice cream (although we've been offering fresh-baked cookies instead, due to the chilly and wet weather).

For the past five years, I've offered my guest room or porch to traveling cyclists through WarmShowers.org. It's been a great opportunity to get to know adventurers from all over the world. We've hosted retired pro football players from Maine, a world traveler from Switzerland, an organic farmer from California, and a husband and wife from Kangaroo Island, Australia, just to name a few. My family and I love hearing their stories — not just about their trips, but the experiences that have brought them from their regular lives to our front door.

You can host traveling cyclists, too. Just go to www.warmshowers.org and create an account. You can set the parameters for whatever works best for your situation — indoor guest room, yard camping, dinners or not, a day's notice or a month's — but remember, the constant is that you offer the traveler a warm shower!

This week, I will host Mike from The KICKS Project (The Key to Implementing Change begins by Kicking a Soccerball). He's riding the TransAmerica Trail from Oregon to Virginia. And I'm really looking forward to learning about his journey.

Photo by Allee der Kosmonauten on flickr.

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CONNECTIONS is posted by Ginny Sullivan, Adventure Cycling's special projects director and features the cultural, historical, geographical, and human connections created through bike travel. Find out about our award-winning Underground Railroad Bicycle Route.

 

Comments

Marilyn Stewart November 11, 2016, 6:55 PM

I am in Ashland , Oregon and just met a young guy from the UK at the grocery store. He is traveling and we spoke briefly about the PCT...Pacific Crest Trail, very near where I live. He mentioned your site so I thought I would look it up! I may be purchasing a property near the trail that I would like to host travelers....Is a small fee ok? For showers, a meal, bunk and Washer/dryer???

Jennifer H Milyko November 14, 2016, 8:35 AM

Hi Marilyn,

Very neat that you want to host guests who are traveling. See item #6 in these Warmshowers FAQs regarding payment: https://www.warmshowers.org/faq#t27n4029

Also, the Pacific Crest Trail is a hiking trail not a bicycling route. At Adventure Cycling we are all about bicycle travel though we do have one route, the Sierra Cascades, that roughly parallels the Pacific Crest Trail.

We list folks who have Cyclists Only type accommodations (indoor lodging or camping) that may also be available to hikers. There is no requirement from us that this be no charge. Let us know if you get this going and we'll see if you are near enough to our route to be added to the map.

Best,

Jennifer

Winona, Media Director June 9, 2011, 1:42 PM

Randy Fay - Sure! I'll add the link to comments in FB -- can't update the post there. Thanks so much for the correction.

Sue June 9, 2011, 2:20 AM

I have hosted for three years. It has been almost an universally positive experience. I am single and people say, "How can you have strangers in you house" I reply, they are on bicycles, what are they going to steal?" Besides, my neighbors see all. Bicyclists are some of the best and most interesting people. I have enjoyed all but one group, and they were not dangerous or rude, just boring and not clean (they needed to stay two nights too). I have had three international guests, Germany, Korea, Bulgaria, loved them all. Everyone has a different story. Warmshowers guests have generally been a delight, and I would recommend hosting.

jimchoff June 9, 2011, 1:29 AM

I didn't know this existed. I have offered cyclo tourists a warm shower, washing machine and use of the car a few times, much to my wife's surprise! Best experience was a young Brit and his dad, riding to raise money for a cause. Still communicate with them and have an open invitation to visit their vacation cottage in the foothills of the Pyrenees. I will sign up.

Randy Fay June 8, 2011, 10:14 PM

Hi - Thanks for the nice note, and thanks for hosting!

Could you please update a couple of things about the article?

It would be better if you could refer to "Warmshowers.org" instead of "Warm Showers" and the site URL is warmshowers.org, not warmshowers.com. (We support and redirect warmshowers.com, but warmshowers.org is the official URL).

Thanks,

-Randy

Webmaster of Warmshowers.org

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