Author Topic: Hosting - WarmShowers  (Read 1689 times)

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Offline BillSNM

Hosting - WarmShowers
« on: November 06, 2013, 04:00:39 pm »
I am considering signing up on a site called Warm Showers and hosting traveling cyclists that may want or need a place to stay while traveling thru my area.  Has anyone had experience with Warm Showers?  I am a little worried about welcoming strangers but I feel that a traveling cyclist can't be too risky.  Please let me know of your experiences.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2013, 05:10:24 pm »
We have hosted a few folks via WS and it has always been a positive experience.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 05:38:16 pm »
Most hosts I've ever stayed with have told me that they've never had a bad experience with a guest. Some have hosted many hundreds. Of the very few bad experiences I've heard of, they've all been very mild, usually consisting of either the guest being inconsiderate of the host or of having an entitlement attitude.

Offline cheesehawk

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 07:45:40 pm »
We've hosted 4 cyclists through Warm Showers and stayed in two homes through Warm Showers. We've had other contacts that found other places to stay (closer to downtown, where the fun is). One of the parameters we asked for was 48 hours notice. No one has ever complied with that request, so maybe it is unrealistic.  :'( I really enjoyed both visits though. There is nothing that is much fun as chatting with people who share an interest. And really, cyclists are pretty easy to host - at the end of a long day most of us are just hungry and tired. A little conversation, a passable meal and beer or a glass of wine, and we are all pretty happy. :D

Offline mbattisti

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 07:50:07 pm »
Other than one visitor who we didn't think would ever leave, my wife and I have had excellent luck with Warmshowers.  We've met some very generous people on the road who made us feel right at home, but even more rewarding is hosting a weary traveler!  Another perk is all the wonderful evenings swapping tales of bicycle touring.  The hosting participant also has the say on just how much to offer;  from a campsite in the yard to a feather bed and full-course dinner.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2013, 07:59:35 pm »
One of the parameters we asked for was 48 hours notice. No one has ever complied with that request, so maybe it is unrealistic.
When I'm on tour, I often don't know where I'll be in 48 hours. Furthermore, I sometimes need a place to stay at the last minute when other plans fall apart (e.g., the campground I was planning on using is closed or disgusting or full, or when a tornado is in the forecast). So I sometimes call or email with less notice than requested. I've given as little as 5 minutes notice. Although I would be perfectly fine if they turned me down because of the short notice, nobody ever has yet. Warm Showers hosts are just that great, and I really appreciate it!

Offline geegee

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2013, 08:11:58 pm »
I've been hosting on Warm Showers for over 12 years now and I have had absolutely no problems with guests so far. I've also been a guest at other people's homes and they have been equally good experiences. I actually enjoy hosting more than being a guest.

When I look back at my travels, I have always felt so lucky whenever I've serendipitously met people who have provided me with hospitality and valuable local perspective. Hosting through Warm Showers gives me a gratifying feeling that I am passing on that good fortune to somebody else.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2013, 04:33:23 am »
One of the parameters we asked for was 48 hours notice. No one has ever complied with that request, so maybe it is unrealistic.
When I'm on tour, I often don't know where I'll be in 48 hours. Furthermore, I sometimes need a place to stay at the last minute when other plans fall apart (e.g., the campground I was planning on using is closed or disgusting or full, or when a tornado is in the forecast). So I sometimes call or email with less notice than requested. I've given as little as 5 minutes notice. Although I would be perfectly fine if they turned me down because of the short notice, nobody ever has yet. Warm Showers hosts are just that great, and I really appreciate it!

John's points remind me of my experiences as a potential WS guest.  I too seldom know what town I will be in in 48 hours and often do not know where I am stopping until I am there.  People have a right to ask for whatever notice they want, but I find that the widespread requirement for notice makes the WS system seldom an option for me as a guest.  As a result I usually only use it when I do know ahead of time when and where I will be and that is usually only upon getting off of an airplane.

Offline JMilyko

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2013, 06:08:16 am »
Hi BillSNM,

I'll echo what others have already said, being a Warm Showers host has many rewards. Give it a shot and see how it goes for you, make adjustments as needed. In the last year I did a series on Bicycle Travel Etiquette on our blog that focused on hosting and being hosted in Warm Showers situations. You might want to give the posts a read for more ideas on how to know if this will work for you and what you can/should expect.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/blog/category/how-to-information/bicycle-travel-etiquette/

I think you'll love it!

Best,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline jamawani

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2013, 09:27:07 am »
I need to present a different viewpoint.  I stopped hosting WarmShowers after I had a difficult interaction with its founder/director.  I had been hosting for a number of years - usually I check the person's background.  There was a person who had recently pled to reduced charges after a fraternity hazing that was nothing less than sexual assault.  The person bike touring was not just a member of the fraternity, but the supervisor of the pledge class.  The news was published by the university involved and the charges and pleas were readily available in major news outlets.  When I contacted the WarmShowers director, he indicated, I believe, that he did not operate a vetting agency.

As a survivor of a violent assault, I do not wish to have someone like this in my home.  There may be numerous people who have had convictions for violent crimes out there - some may have even stayed at my place.  Many may have acknowledged their wrong and made amends.  But the core issue of safety seemed to have been brushed off by WarmShowers.  All the organization needed to have done was to have contacted the person in question and asked whether or not the charges and convictions were valid.  And, if so, to have asked him to remove his name.

Yes, the vast majority of bicycle tourers are great people - - but it only takes one.  The internet is a great tool, but as with Craigslist - it can attract sociopaths.  I consider myself a generous host - shower, dinner, laundry, and lots of local info if desired.  I have rescued dozens of stranded cyclists in the mountains - snow, wind, cold, breakdowns.  But this incident with WarmShowers underlined the need to use prudence.

And, ultimately, I do not feel that WarmShowers does.

Offline westrid_dad

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2013, 10:40:30 am »
My wife and I both have recently been interested in joining Warm Showers as well.  Many of our questions are addressed either in the FAQs on their website or on their forums.

https://www.warmshowers.org/

Offline cheesehawk

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2013, 12:19:24 pm »
I had been hosting for a number of years - usually I check the person's background.  There was a person who had recently pled to reduced charges after a fraternity hazing that was nothing less than sexual assault.

Having a wife and two teenaged daugthers at home, this is why I do ask for 48 hrs. notice. In the first instance, I had two Argentine guys. There would have been no effective background check that I could have performed. In the second, it was two Americans, which I could have effectively checked if I would have had more time. We also hosted a woman I met through CGOAB. She was very concerned about this issue too, since she was cycling cross-country solo.

I think we have to feel like we are able to set our own boundaries, and to have those boundaries respected. If your boundaries do not fit with WS, then you made the right choice for you.

For myself, when acting as a WS guest, I do plan out my routes pretty carefully and pretty far in advance. I have varied a bit, but I've also never had an expectation that I would go from WS host to WS host. I built a few days in between my two WS hosts on my last trip, and that seemed to work pretty well. We actually ended up shortening the route a bit in-between to accomodate my daughter's limitations, but we could have just as easily exapanded it by adding side trips.  Maybe when I get around to doing a solo trip that is longer than 10 days I will feel like this is not practical, but for now, planning is a necessity and it works well for me.

Offline BillSNM

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2013, 08:51:30 am »
Thank you for all of your input.  I have signed up and if you are ever traveling on the plains of Eastern New Mexico and need a warm shower, soft bed and a cold beer please give me a shout.  Thanks to all.

Offline pptouring

Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 05:18:15 am »
Thank you for all of your input.  I have signed up and if you are ever traveling on the plains of Eastern New Mexico and need a warm shower, soft bed and a cold beer please give me a shout.  Thanks to all.

Nice and welcome to WS! We have been on both sides of Warmshowers as a "host" and a "guest" and have met some great and interesting folks. I'm sure you will too.

We've hosted a young lady from Vienna cycling solo around the world, a guy from Canada that was backpacking around Florida that decided to buy a bicycle and give bike touring a try, as well as a couple on their last night of a cross country (San Fran to St. Petersburg) bike tour. This past March we took off on a RTW adventure and have been hosted several times in U.S. and once in England. Twice in the U.S. the hosts that we contacted were unable to host us; however, they found a family member and a friend that was more than happy to have us. In Spain, we received logistical help from some WS folks and in England we were hosted by a couple that had spent a year long bike tour, touring South and Middle America.

What does turn us off is when the host wants a 2-4 weeks notice, but that is their right. As some have already mentioned, it's hard enough to know where you'll be from one day to the next, much less 2 or 4 weeks out. Unless of course, you are flying in or out of place to either start/end your tour.

Anyway good luck and hope you meet some great folks.

Barbara from Vienna - http://pedalpowertouring.com/general/an-inspiration/
Dave & Kelly from the UK - http://pedalpowertouring.com/tours/europe/united-kingdom/hanging-out-with-great-people-meet-kelly-and-dave/

And BillSNM if we end up passing through the eastern part of New Mexico we'll take you up on that cold beer.  8)

WS ID = ronpetra

Offline dayjack119

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Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2014, 09:49:51 pm »
Warmshowers and Couchsurfers are the two hospitality organizations that make my bicycle tours more than I could have ever imagined.  The people make the 'ride' for me.  I have asked every host I stay with if they have ever had a problem with visitors.  None have.  In fact, most say that the experience continuously changes their lives for the better.  And most are acting as hosts because of the enjoyment and inspiration they receive from their guests.  I stayed with more than 100 hosts in 2013 alone.