Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.


Messages - mucknort

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: April 13, 2019, 08:24:38 pm »
I understand your frustration Neil, but I respectfully disagree with starting over with a “core list”. I feel the WS system has a great checks and balances with the reputation system. That’s why I always read what has been reported about potential hosts and guests (and write honestly about hosts and guests I’ve encountered). I sincerely hope that you wrote in the comment section that one guest showed up on foot (and reminded them there is another appropriate online community called “Couch Surfing” that is for folks walking, driving, and any travel mode besides bike touring) and that another changed their mind 2 hours before arrival. This is the kind of info I look for when someone sends a request to stay at my house. If a previous host or guest of someone writes something adverse on someone’s profile I’ll certainly take that into account in my decision whether to host or be a guest. I’ll just throw in that with dozens of hosting and guesting experiences I’ve never had a bad one, and in asking other hosts I’ve only heard of 1 bad experience. I’ll add that I do a final assessment on a guest’s suitability by attempting to talk to them on the phone as they get close, if possible (one benefit to the prevalence of cell phones).

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: April 13, 2019, 06:44:31 pm »
Dearest Neil,
I’m sorry if you interpreted my suggestion to contact 3-4 hosts in each town you’d be passing through as a form of playing beauty pageant judge. The main reason I do it (and the reason I’d suggested this practice to the original poster) has more to do with finding a successful connection rather than choosing the fairest in the land. After much experience with making WS queries, I’ve found more often than not that timing plays a great deal in finding an available host. Hosts might be on vacation, already be hosting someone else, having too much stress to host, not be checking their WS account, etc., etc.. By no means was I suggesting one books multiple hosts and then make a last minute choice on the “bestest” host. My suggestion was to contact several hosts, as far as advance as possible, and then if you were fortunate enough to get more than one “YES” to pick one and then let the other(s) know you found alternate accommodations ASAP. I’ve found that if you are really hoping/depending on accommodations that it’s too risky (and time consuming while on the road) to send out just one query at a time to a particular location. Because of all the reasons (and more) that I shared above, you may not hear back from your one request that they can’t host you (or hear nothing at all) until you’ve reached the place you need lodging, and then you are putting other hosts at a disadvantage by asking at the last minute, or scrambling to find a campground/coyote camp.

General Discussion / Re: Warm Showers Reliability
« on: April 10, 2019, 11:48:53 pm »
I’ve hosted many and been a guest at many. Here’s my WS strategy that works very well. I will contact 2-4 hosts in a town where I’m hoping to be hosted 3-7 days in advance. I’ll email/text saying, “I’m touring through your area and think I’ll be near you on this or that day. I’m wondering if you might be able to host?” If I get 3 positive replies in the same town, then I’ll pick one and then tell the other 2 thanks, but I’m covered. Then, when you are a day or 2 away you can confirm your exact arrival day. More often I’d only hear back from 1 or 2. By writing further in advance it gives folks longer to reply to you. I’ve found a number of folks only list an email address as a contact that they rarely check. It also gives you more time to find alternatives. And it gives hosts more time to check YOU out.
As a host, I always look up WS guests and read reviews given about them. Besides not giving enough notice (48 hours is less than what I’ve seen a lot of hosts prefer) the original poster may not have heard back from some hosts because he had not built up much reputation on his account. Especially if he was a man riding alone. One of the things that makes WS possible is that hosts and guests can look up the accounts of others and see what has been shared. If I get a request from a rider that has few or no write-ups, I’m likely not to reply back. The whole WS system is based on trust and a host has to trust that some stranger isn’t going to come into your house and cause mayhem, just as a guest wants to feel safe in someone’s home.
This is partly why I believe anyone that wants to go enjoy the (free) hospitality of others darn well oughta sign up as a host as well. Not only is it great payback for when you are a guest, but it also helps build your account reputation.
My last suggestion is to be a gracious guest and pick up a jar of jam, or bottle of wine, or basket of berries from a roadside stand on your way to your host. Sure it’s a couple of bucks, but the food, drinks, hospitality I’ve received at 95% of the hosts I’ve been to have far exceeded the small gift.
For me, the aspect that I most enjoy about WS is entering the house of strangers and then leaving the home of friends. Yes, it’s fun to meet and enjoy the company of fellow tourists in a campground, but you often learn so much more about a town/city/region through the eyes of someone that lives there and that you break bread with.

General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« on: July 24, 2015, 03:15:52 pm »
For me, the choice is largely psychological. Though I live in the East now, I grew up in the West, so I chose to ride toward my original "home". I also wanted to finish the trip with the grandeur of the Western Mtns, not polish them off at the beginning. To each, their own.

I'm in NH, as well. My family and I rode from Boston to Seattle. I highly recommend starting in Troy, NY and riding the first several hundred miles on the Erie Canal Path.

General Discussion / Re: Loaded Tour Bike Handling
« on: June 12, 2015, 02:11:52 pm »
Interesting how the title specifies "loaded tour bike handling", yet all the comments seem to be about gearing and shifters.
I'll chime in by saying that after many thousands of miles touring with racks and panniers I finally tried using a trailer.
After many more thousands of miles touring with a trailer, I find that my bike handles far better with a trailer than with front and rear panniers.

General Discussion / Re: Pac Coast Ride
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:12:51 am »
This is from an itinerary I saw someone else do:

Crescent City to Arcata = 74 miles
Arcata to Garberville = 80 miles
Garberville to Westport = 53 miles
Westport to Point Arena = 65 miles
Point Arena to Bodega Bay = 63 miles
Bodega Bay to Inverness = 37 miles
Inverness to San Francisco = 43 miles

Here's the CA Park listing of hike or bike sites:
(You have to click on the "by feature" button and then check mark the hike/bike box)

General Discussion / Re: Hello newb here looking for advice
« on: April 17, 2015, 10:02:31 am »
I find 40-80 mile days are a lot more fun as far as being able to check stuff out along the way, especially doing an incredibly scenic route like the Pacific coast.

Reasons for doing coast N to S:
-yes, winds are very consistent N to S
-wider/better shoulder on Southbound side
-you get the BEST views of the ocean and cliffs and shore and wildlife!
-90% of bike tourists go N to S, it is fun to meet up with folks and keep bumping into them/camp with them as you tour.

Many hiker/biker campgrounds at State Parks along the coast that charge only $5-12 night.

General Discussion / Re: Shipping bicycle back home question
« on: April 17, 2015, 09:49:56 am »
Another option is a company called Their rates are unbeatable and they use FedEx. I've used them when I've bought and sold used bikes.

....or do what I did after a cross country ride. We needed a new used car, so at the end of our trip I found a great deal on a car in SoCal on Craigslist and then drove back to New Hampshire, taking a completely different route than our bike trip.

No matter how much fit adjustment you do, you are still supporting a fair percentage of your body's weight with your hands/wrists/elbows. On a recumbent, you are simply resting your hands on the bars (same as your hands on the steering wheel of a car). One's neck and rear end are also positioned as comfortably as in a car, as well, on a recumbent.

General Discussion / Link to this forum is buried, why???
« on: January 22, 2014, 04:37:05 pm »
I don't understand why a direct button link to this forum does not exist at the top of the newly designed main page, as there was previously. Seems ACA would want to make it prominent to internet users there is a discussion forum, instead of "hiding" the link down at the bottom of the page.

General Discussion / Re: shipping bikes
« on: January 21, 2014, 08:28:29 pm »
Another vote for! They use fedex ground, but their rates are better. They also do international.

General Discussion / Re: Hosting - WarmShowers
« on: January 21, 2014, 12:41:17 pm »
Been a host and a guest many times. Been great every time.

Regarding advance notice: every single no-show (6) has been someone that has contacted me a couple of days to several weeks in advance. Invariably, their plans have changed by the time they get to me. I put on my profile that 24 hour notice is nice, but last minute may be accepted. If I can't host, I say I can't host.

Regarding background checks: the beauty of war showers hosting is you are never required to accept anyone. If it will be an inconvenience or something smells fishy, you say "Sorry, not available that night". Every time I get a request, I look that person up on warm showers and read ratings. (WS allows you to rate guests and hosts. Please use it for the benefit of others.) if I ever saw any questionable rating, I'd say no. I also usually google the person's name. If some Fraternity party scandal or other shady things came up, I'd say no. Most of the time, the person' strip blog comes up, which helps as well. (I don't see why it would take 48 hours to do those 2 simple background checks)
I find what others have written about guests and hosts to be the most beneficial info regarding who you end up hosting or guesting.

General Discussion / Re: recumbent steering tiller versus linkage
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:32:39 pm »
I can't help you with your question (I've seen photos of Lightfoots linkage steering and it looks cool), but I can say that I ride and tour on a Stratus XP, which is very similar to the Lightfoot. Much has to do with experience. At first, slow speed steering (especially when climbing) may be twitchy, but after many miles you learn how to overcome that. At least, I have.

General Discussion / Re: Touring Question
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:28:23 pm »
We were very much in the minority regarding bike tourist statistics. We were Mom and Dad in late 40's with 11 year old son. Seems most bike tourists are either college grads/early 20s or retired folks. We could do it because I'm a stay-at-home/homeschooling Dad and wife is a professor that went during her sabbatical. Choose the life style that works for you!

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19