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Old 10-06-11, 09:44 AM   #1
kevmk81 
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Oh my gosh - this is going to be so cool!!

The couple found on the website below will be staying with us next week.

http://www.reise-zum-horizont.com

I don't know where to start when talking with these two! So many questions to be asked, but it'll be a work night, and only 1 night I'm guessing.

Want me to ask any questions from the bikeforum gang?

Color me anxious! This will be my second time hosting someone. I hope I can understand them well (language, broken english?)
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Old 10-06-11, 10:11 AM   #2
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You are indeed in for a treat in exotica. Look to be very widely traveled. Having been on both ends of hosting, my only advice would be to, if convenient and it feels right, offer them a second night. Maybe let us hear about your experience with them.
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Old 10-06-11, 11:20 AM   #3
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I've only had a couple of tourists that stayed where the interaction felt natural. My first one was a good experience and I joined him for the first 20 miles of his day.

My last few were very stand-offish, and didn't even take me up on a meal or shower (despite finding me through Warmshowers).

That being said, I think they all appreciate getting out of a tent for a night.
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Old 10-06-11, 03:10 PM   #4
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I've only had a couple of tourists that stayed where the interaction felt natural. My first one was a good experience and I joined him for the first 20 miles of his day.

My last few were very stand-offish, and didn't even take me up on a meal or shower (despite finding me through Warmshowers).

That being said, I think they all appreciate getting out of a tent for a night.
Are you saying you were disspointed they didn't take a shower with you?
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Old 10-06-11, 04:23 PM   #5
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yeah not a thing to get into ,these guys will more than likely eat you out of house and home, you will indeed be lucky if there on the same planet as you ,but then again i could be wrong .
if they pretend not to understand you and want to get to bed early after eating everything you had then show them the road.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:10 AM   #6
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I wouldn't worry about a language barrier. I'd be shocked if they didn't speak English rather fluently. Most younger (born in the 80s) Germans speak English, and it's even more likely since they're college graduates. I've found that most Germans are very modest when it comes to their language skills--when asked, most Germans will say they speak a "little bit" of English, but they're usually quite proficient.
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Old 10-07-11, 03:55 AM   #7
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yeah not a thing to get into ,these guys will more than likely eat you out of house and home, you will indeed be lucky if there on the same planet as you ,but then again i could be wrong .
if they pretend not to understand you and want to get to bed early after eating everything you had then show them the road.

Is this a joke? Or just xenophobia?

OP, like ollyisk I think you'll find their English is surprisingly good. And they should have plenty of interesting tales if they've been on the road that long.
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Old 10-07-11, 04:07 AM   #8
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Is this a joke? Or just xenophobia?

OP, like ollyisk I think you'll find their English is surprisingly good. And they should have plenty of interesting tales if they've been on the road that long.
yip a bit of a wind up im sure the op will have a good time lol.
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Old 10-07-11, 05:43 AM   #9
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Are you saying you were disspointed they didn't take a shower with you?
Maybe one or two of the female tourists that stayed with me..
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Old 10-07-11, 10:11 AM   #10
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Wow, they even have sponsors. Das ist so cool!
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Old 10-07-11, 11:40 PM   #11
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If you look at the video "Arriving in Quito" on their web site you will see that they speak English fine. You will be able to converse easily. Their visit should prove very rewarding. They seem to be very nice folks that are very much into the environment and treating the earth well. I would not be too surprised if they are not into spending a great deal of time conversing when they first arrive, as they may really just want to clean up, relax, and get some rest. Hopefully they will stay for an extra night if they have the time so that you can have time to hear about some of their personal experiences. Spend some time going through their web site before they arrive. Please report back here after their visit.

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Old 10-08-11, 03:43 PM   #12
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Hopefully you will enjoy the visit and everything will be fine. But just because they've traveled a lot on their bikes does not mean that they are nice folks. I've met some incredible people, as well as some I couldn't get away from fast enough, who all toured extensively.
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Old 10-08-11, 04:25 PM   #13
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I wouldn't worry about a language barrier. I'd be shocked if they didn't speak English rather fluently. Most younger (born in the 80s) Germans speak English, and it's even more likely since they're college graduates. I've found that most Germans are very modest when it comes to their language skills--when asked, most Germans will say they speak a "little bit" of English, but they're usually quite proficient.
I have spent a few weeks in Heidelberg Germany, and I found that not so true I was ordering a quick meal at a diner and they had to get the a young lady form the kitchen to take my order. So in my opinion not everyone speaks english. But being that they are so well traveled, they probably can speak a reasonable amount of english.
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Old 10-10-11, 09:58 AM   #14
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heck, I've lived in the US all my life and don't hardly speak good english
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Old 10-26-11, 08:38 PM   #15
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So how did it go hosting the couple? Their web site is really great. Was hoping you would report back about your experience hosting them at your place.
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Old 10-31-11, 12:01 PM   #16
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So how did it go hosting the couple? Their web site is really great. Was hoping you would report back about your experience hosting them at your place.
They decided to go through Chicago, and not go south down in central IL. I guess they took some 'trail' that goes near Chicago, running from east & west or something. Oh well. I'm sure another tourer will come by one of these days.
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Old 10-31-11, 04:04 PM   #17
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Interesting. I wonder if touring cyclists like this have an inkling of the impact they have on others, or are they (arrogantly) oblivious to that. To have one's hope built up with the anticipation of hosting them, only for them to change their minds on a whim. I don't think, having put arrangements in place, would Machka and I think of not following through.
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Old 10-31-11, 04:16 PM   #18
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some people are like that, I too would not, not follow through, and if things had to change, I would certainly give a proper heads up. Common politeness.

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Old 10-31-11, 06:36 PM   #19
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They decided to go through Chicago, and not go south down in central IL. I guess they took some 'trail' that goes near Chicago, running from east & west or something. Oh well. I'm sure another tourer will come by one of these days.
Sorry they passed you by but they did end up staying with me. I ended up getting a last minute call. I usually like 2-3 days notice so I can get the place in order. But they called me Friday night for a Saturday arrival. The weather was so lousy I did not have the heart to say no.

As I said, the weather was lousy Saturday so I had nothing better to do, so I spent the day cleaning. I got the place in decent shape for their arrival.

I ended up leading them the 30 miles from my house to the start of the Great Allegheny Passage. It was cold and damp. No rain just damp. Lots of fog with some patches of snow still on the ground. Ordinarily, I would have stayed home and not ridden but I thought the escort would be fun and also a way of being a good host.

It turned out to be a great day despite the weather. I was lucky to have a friend join us in the city and he gave me a lift home for the last 10 miles. It was a welcome ride after being in such ugly weather for most of the day. Fifty miles is enough in bad weather when you don't really have to ride.




I would not fault them for changing plans on you last minute nor making last minute plans with me. It has got to be difficult planning long term for a trip like that. The problem is compounded by the fact they did not have a phone or a laptop and had to rely on the kindness of strangers. I never did get a chance to ask them why they did not have a cheap pay as you go Trac Phone.
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Old 11-01-11, 03:25 AM   #20
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I never did get a chance to ask them why they did not have a cheap pay as you go Trac Phone.
You answered the question with this:

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The problem is compounded by the fact they did not have a phone or a laptop and had to rely on the kindness of strangers.
Sorry, I stand by my original question... would they have cared about the impact they have on people with their "last-minute" plan changes?

Once it gets a habit to rely on the kindness of strangers, perhaps the care factor declines.
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Old 11-01-11, 04:49 AM   #21
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I know that I seldom know where I will be staying even a day ahead. I don't know how firmly they committed, but I can understand how it is easy for plans to change. I personally try to manage expectations as follows. I generally email potential hosts well ahead and let them know that there is a possibility that I might stay with them, but that I seldom know when or if I will stay in a certain place more than a day ahead if even that. I ask if they are OK with short notice and if not how much notice they require. Then I put them on the list and while on tour play it by ear either giving the required notice or skipping them as a stop. If they require more than a days notice the latter is more likely. At the end of the trip I email everyone thanking them regardless of whether I stayed with them or not.
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Old 11-01-11, 05:55 AM   #22
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Sorry, I stand by my original question... would they have cared about the impact they have on people with their "last-minute" plan changes?
Isn't lack of planning what cycle touring is all about?
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Old 11-01-11, 11:38 AM   #23
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Oh I'm not upset at all about them taking a different route! Just wanted to update everyone since I didn't report back any cool stories or anything. No hurt feelings :-) I completely understand about the whole idea of not knowing what next day will bring while touring (even though I've never done it myself, yet).
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Old 11-02-11, 05:00 AM   #24
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Isn't lack of planning what cycle touring is all about?
It can be. But when it comes to whims and fancies affecting other people's plans...

Put it into the context of that habit of relying on the kindness of strangers and the decline in the care factor. To me, if you intend to put out other people by initiating and making arrangements with them, it should take a fairly substantial "force majeur" to cancel those arrangements. Commercial accommodation places where you've booked ahead will keep your credit card deposit if you are a no-show, irrespective of your excuse.

tmac100 and a friend stayed with us several months ago. tmac had the courtesy to stay in contact by cell phone on the day to let us know where he was and how things were going. The arrangements were perfect.

When Machka and a friend toured Australia in 2004, they made arrangements via email and phone, and I was ready for them with a key left in a safe place, and food and drink, and beds made up.

There is a matter of courtesy involved, and sometimes, through the comments made on this forum, there is a certain laissez-faire attitude portrayed by cycling tourists that doesn't resonate well with what might be considered common courtesy.
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Old 11-02-11, 05:57 AM   #25
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It can be. But when it comes to whims and fancies affecting other people's plans...
<snip>
There is a matter of courtesy involved, and sometimes, through the comments made on this forum, there is a certain laissez-faire attitude portrayed by cycling tourists that doesn't resonate well with what might be considered common courtesy.
I've seen a wide range of courtesy and behavior when hosting people. My first experience was perfect. He arranged the day about a week in advance, called several times on the day of his arrival, and was a great guy.

I've had people ask for a place to stay and then email the day before saying they weren't on track with were they though they would be and wanted to stay the next day. Some have informed me they'll just be riding through my area and not stopping.

I had a couple on a honeymoon stay with us. All they wanted was a place to sleep. No food, laundry, or shower. They stayed outside to themselves most of the time.

Yes, sometimes it is an inconvenience to me and my family, but I feel good about helping other people when I can. Although if I had to pick between someone saying "I won't be stopping" or "Can we stay the next night?", I'd pick the "I won't be stopping". More often that not, the next night isn't as convenient for me, but I feel bad saying no after I already offered accommodations.

After my last couple of not so pleasant experiences, I wondered why I did it anymore. Then I decided I still wanted to help people out in whatever way I could, and hopefully meet some more interesting people along the way. Probably the most interesting couple I met was touring the country looking at sustainable communities to be a part of.
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