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  1. #1
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    We hosted our FIRST bicycle tourist!

    Hello all.

    Yesterday, my wife and I got to have the pleasure of hosting a cyclist on a 9 month tour of the US, Canada, and Alaska. It was a real great time.

    Here is our story and at the bottom his a link to his blog.

    If you would like Dave's contact info, let me know. He would love to meet anyone and everyone in the cycling community. And he is very very nice and respectful!

    Take care all!
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  2. #2
    recumbent bike advocate Tractortom's Avatar
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    We had two young fellows from Toronto stop last Friday night for the night. They have been on the road since 15 September, and for some strange reason, rode through Boston, New York, Philly and Washington on the way south. We are in South Florida and they were near the end of their adventure with a flight out of Key West planned for a few days from now. They are the first two cyclists we have hosted in nearly seven months, as Okeechobee is kind of 'away' from the established routes. I ordered in some pizzas for supper and then made them some apple pancakes in the morning to get them on their way. Always nice to sit and talk to the cycle tourists about their trip and wish I could go along with them...

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

  3. #3
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    We had several cycle tourists stay with us this past summer. We met a couple of young women from California riding through town and after talking to them a while we invited them to stay with us. They stayed two nights. We took them on an exciting canyon hike that we had planned one of those days.

    Then we had a few older folks, a couple, and then a single guy arrange through warmshowers to stay with us. We went out of our way to help each of them out and in both cases we thought we ended up being treated rudely by them. Hrmph.

    Then we met Zach through warmshowers. 18 years old, he just graduated high school in Minnesota and got on his bike to explore the west. He stayed with us 3 nights. He spent an entire day calling every farm and orchard in town looking for summer work. He wanted to earn more money for his trip. He stayed in town for a month or so, camping out and working picking peaches. He visited us each weekend and has become a good friend. We had fun going yard saling on bikes on Saturday mornings, all being thrifty shoppers. His relatives drove here to visit him and we enjoyed meeting them very much. He has since moved on west and is now staying with relatives in WA, his bike trip done. He still calls us every weekend to see how we are doing and update on his trip. He was planning on taking the train home to MN. We told him that if he routes his train ride through here that we would like him to stay a few days with us again. A great guy.

    We met up with Asa from FL when Zach was staying with us. He rode his bike to western CO to work on an organic farm for a while. He was getting ready to get on a train to head back to the east coast. He was going to sleep in the train station. We insisted that he stay with us and then took him to the train station in the morning. Later, he was on his bike to ride from VA to FL and he got hit by a truck a few days out of DC. He was not seriously injured but ended up driving back to FL.
    Last edited by eofelis; 11-13-12 at 01:40 PM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    Then we had a few older folks, a couple, and then a single guy arrange through warmshowers to stay with us. We went out of our way to help each of them out and in both cases we thought we ended up being treated rudely by them. Hrmph.
    I would urge you to post feedback (both good & bad) on the warmshowers site, if you haven't already, for your guests. That information will be available to other potential hosts, and will be instructive for your rude guests. I've had 4 people from the warmshowers list stay with me during the past 2 years or so. All 4 were very nice folks that I recommend to other hosts. Many years ago before there was a feedback mechanism for warmshowers guests and hosts, I had a couple of guests stay with me who I would not recommend. I ended up taking my name off the list for a few years as a result. When I learned that a feedback mechanism now exists, I decided to put my name back on the list. I think there's much less risk now.

  5. #5
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
    I would urge you to post feedback (both good & bad) on the warmshowers site, if you haven't already, for your guests. That information will be available to other potential hosts, and will be instructive for your rude guests. I've had 4 people from the warmshowers list stay with me during the past 2 years or so. All 4 were very nice folks that I recommend to other hosts. Many years ago before there was a feedback mechanism for warmshowers guests and hosts, I had a couple of guests stay with me who I would not recommend. I ended up taking my name off the list for a few years as a result. When I learned that a feedback mechanism now exists, I decided to put my name back on the list. I think there's much less risk now.
    We did post appropriate feedback on WS. The guy who runs WS, Randy, lives in this area and we see him around sometimes and have discussed all this with him. We did put ourselves on "unavailable" for a while until we become more comfortable again. Randy told me that he did rework the WS feedback system in the site very recently but I haven't looked it over yet.
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  6. #6
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    Just how do you determine rude, or not suitable to host?

    One of the reasons we tend to camp or stay in hotels is because we don't want to be branded as rude or unsuitable for hosting because we may not live up to the expectations of the hosts, or they don't like our stories or demeanour or we accidentally break something, or we didn't bundle up the bedding, or we are too demanding in storing our bikes...

    From the hosting point of view, I've put up a few cyclists. In fact, I married one of them. So there are some upsides to it.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    We had several cycle tourists stay with us this past summer. We met a couple of young women from California riding through town and after talking to them a while we invited them to stay with us. They stayed two nights. We took them on an exciting canyon hike that we had planned one of those days.

    Then we had a few older folks, a couple, and then a single guy arrange through warmshowers to stay with us. We went out of our way to help each of them out and in both cases we thought we ended up being treated rudely by them. Hrmph.

    Then we met Zach through warmshowers. 18 years old, he just graduated high school in Minnesota and got on his bike to explore the west. He stayed with us 3 nights. He spent an entire day calling every farm and orchard in town looking for summer work. He wanted to earn more money for his trip. He stayed in town for a month or so, camping out and working picking peaches. He visited us each weekend and has become a good friend. We had fun going yard saling on bikes on Saturday mornings, all being thrifty shoppers. His relatives drove here to visit him and we enjoyed meeting them very much. He has since moved on west and is now staying with relatives in WA, his bike trip done. He still calls us every weekend to see how we are doing and update on his trip. He was planning on taking the train home to MN. We told him that if he routes his train ride through here that we would like him to stay a few days with us again. A great guy.

    We met up with Asa from FL when Zach was staying with us. He rode his bike to western CO to work on an organic farm for a while. He was getting ready to get on a train to head back to the east coast. He was going to sleep in the train station. We insisted that he stay with us and then took him to the train station in the morning. Later, he was on his bike to ride from VA to FL and he got hit by a truck a few days out of DC. He was not seriously injured but ended up driving back to FL.
    I just signed up for Warmshowers and Dave and I swapped comments and such.

    This is our first time doing this. Can you elaborate on the rudeness part a little?
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  8. #8
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Since a couple people asked about our rude tourists we had stay with us this year:

    The couple, who were on a tandem, I guess weren't too bad. They were middle aged, established in their careers. I sort of thought they acted condesending towards us since we don't appear to be very prosperous. We live in an old apartment. The young folks don't seem to care about that sort of stuff at all.

    They guy, middle aged, from the midwest, we accomodated on very short notice. He was on a beat up LHT. We have a personal bike shop in the basement and my bf likes to do tune ups on folks bikes. The LHTs chain was totally run out. They guy had picked up a new chain, but it was an 8sp. We have some 8sp bikes in our fleet, so we swapped him a 9sp chain for his 8sp chain. His bar end shifters were toast, held together with wires. We had a set of DA 9sp dt shifters we said we'd sell to him. He said he didn't have cash on him, could he pay us later? Ok, send us money when you get home. (In the past we'd lent some items to a NZ tourist who carefully mailed them back to us before he left the US.) So the time went by til when he said he would be home. Sent him some emails reminding him that that he owed us money. He finally replied with a snarky sarcastic email that had no indication that he'd pay. We sent some more emails after that and never heard from him again. It was only $40, and we don't mind giving stuff to folks sometimes, but not someone like him. That all sort of left a bitter taste. I guess other folks we met, who were really great, make up for jerks like that.
    Last edited by eofelis; 11-15-12 at 08:27 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    Since a couple people asked about our rude tourists we had stay with us this year:

    The couple, who were on a tandem, I guess weren't too bad. They were middle aged, established in their careers. I sort of thought they acted condesending towards us since we don't appear to be very prosperous. We live in an old apartment. The young folks don't seem to care about that sort of stuff at all.

    They guy, middle aged, from the midwest, we accomodated on very short notice. He was on a beat up LHT. We have a personal bike shop in the basement and my bf likes to do tune ups on folks bikes. The LHTs chain was totally run out. They guy had picked up a new chain, but it was an 8sp. We have some 8sp bikes in our fleet, so we swapped him a 9sp chain for his 8sp chain. His bar end shifters were toast, held together with wires. We had a set of DA 9sp dt shifters we said we'd sell to him. He said he didn't have cash on him, could he pay us later? Ok, send us money when you get home. (In the past we'd lent some items to a NZ tourist who carefully mailed them back to us before he left the US.) So the time went by til when he said he would be home. Sent him some emails reminding him that that he owed us money. He finally replied with a snarky sarcastic email that had no indication that he'd pay. We sent some more emails after that and never heard from him again. It was only $40, and we don't mind giving stuff to folks sometimes, but not someone like him. That all sort of left a bitter taste. I guess other folks we met, who were really great, make up for jerks like that.
    Thank you for sharing your experience. After reading through the Warmshowers site, a lot of stuff and scenarios have gone through my mind. We were lucky with David perhaps.

    I put myself in their shoes and if someone opened up their homes and lives with me, I would be so grateful to them for life. My grandfather and grandmother used to tell us stories about picking up hitch hikers back in the day. Some they were still friends with for the longest time. Most were nice,, some rude as heck and now, they would not considerate picking up any due to increase crime rate in that area.

    I look forward to hosting more. You feel better taking them out to dinner, letting them shower, and such but not staying with us, not at this time at least.
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    They Flow down the Coast every summer like Water..

    Guess you were above the SANDY storm Surge.. off the beach..

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Just how do you determine rude, or not suitable to host?

    One of the reasons we tend to camp or stay in hotels is because we don't want to be branded as rude or unsuitable for hosting because we may not live up to the expectations of the hosts, or they don't like our stories or demeanour or we accidentally break something, or we didn't bundle up the bedding, or we are too demanding in storing our bikes...

    From the hosting point of view, I've put up a few cyclists. In fact, I married one of them. So there are some upsides to it.
    Your over thinking things.

    In all of my warmshowers experience as both host and guest, I had only one bad experience and that is because my guest never showed, never called to cancel and didn't call to apologize.

    You'll never connect with everyone you meet but then again you are only staying one night. Most people are at least cordial and many are very pleased that you were a guest in their home.

    I did have one incident where my buddy broke the hinge on a friends window (long story). We paid for the repairs. Later I contacted him to thank him and apologize for the window. His response was he was happy to host us and what broken window?
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
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    I stayed with several trail angels while hiking the PCT so I signed up at warmshowers (as a host initially) while I gear up for a tour next summer. thanks for the thread.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    From the hosting point of view, I've put up a few cyclists. In fact, I married one of them. So there are some upsides to it.
    I'm sensing an interesting story to tell.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    Then we met Zach through warmshowers. 18 years old, he just graduated high school in Minnesota and got on his bike to explore the west. He stayed with us 3 nights. He spent an entire day calling every farm and orchard in town looking for summer work. He wanted to earn more money for his trip. He stayed in town for a month or so, camping out and working picking peaches. He visited us each weekend and has become a good friend. We had fun going yard saling on bikes on Saturday mornings, all being thrifty shoppers. His relatives drove here to visit him and we enjoyed meeting them very much. He has since moved on west and is now staying with relatives in WA, his bike trip done. He still calls us every weekend to see how we are doing and update on his trip. He was planning on taking the train home to MN. We told him that if he routes his train ride through here that we would like him to stay a few days with us again. A great guy.
    This just absolutely blew my mind. I MET ZACH on my last trip down the pacific coast route mid October. He had just climbed up over Leggett (going south to north) and dropped into our campsite after dark while we were making dinner. We just started chatting and he setup camp with us. Great kid. Loved hearing his stories about the people he met along the way and working in the orchids over summer. Quite an adventure for an 18 y/o. I dug his gear choice and mentality too. He had a cool vintage road bike with some older hand mended panniers and well worn Brooks saddle. Absolutely awesome.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheSergeant View Post
    This just absolutely blew my mind. I MET ZACH on my last trip down the pacific coast route mid October. He had just climbed up over Leggett (going south to north) and dropped into our campsite after dark while we were making dinner. We just started chatting and he setup camp with us. Great kid. Loved hearing his stories about the people he met along the way and working in the orchids over summer. Quite an adventure for an 18 y/o. I dug his gear choice and mentality too. He had a cool vintage road bike with some older hand mended panniers and well worn Brooks saddle. Absolutely awesome.
    Do you know if he was keeping an online journey or something like this?
    Feel free to visit my blog www.chefonabicycle.com

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    I didn't ask but I don't think he is. Maybe eofelis can chime in? I'd be interested in following his trip.

  17. #17
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Yep, that sounds like Zach! He's only updating on his FB page sometimes, he doesn't have any other blogs. (PM if you need his last name if you want to friend him on FB.)

    He still calls us every weekend (when he has free minutes on his phone). He spent over an hour talking to my bf last night. My bf was urging him to think about college and strategizing of how to do it without debt. He's going to be taking the train home from WA to MN in a couple weeks. We were hoping he'd be able to take the train through western CO, but he said it cost too much for that type of diversion. We would have liked to have him stay with us for a few days. I hope he doesn't forget his friends in Colorado!
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  18. #18
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    My first hosting was a success a couple of weeks ago. A nice guy that really did not want to intrude at all. We chatted a little and he made his plans to fly out to Hong Kong on his trip back to France. Yep. France to Taiwan to France.

  19. #19
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    What I have learned from being a Warm Showers Host, is when to say "no" and how to set the rules of the house. We are an "elderly" couple and both work out of the house. We are happy to host, but only if it doesn't impact our schedules. If we are going out of town, or going to visit the grandkids and someone wants to stay, the answer is "Sorry, no." If we are planning to be home, I welcome the travelers. We enjoy talking to the travelers, and learning about their trips, we make it clear that they will NOT be left alone in our home, we make it clear that they can stay ONE night. We usually provide a couple meals (supper and breakfast), use of the shower and the washer/drier and a warm clean bed. It ends there. I don't loan money, tools or bike parts to travelers. I do ride out with them if it's a weekend and take them along the Lake Okeechobee Scenic Trail for a ways on their way out of town. We have really enjoyed the ones who have stopped the past few years.

    Tractor Tom in Okeechobee, FL

  20. #20
    What, me worry? Telly's Avatar
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    Hey Isaac, when are you planning to drop by my neck of the woods? I'd be more than happy to accommodate you at my humble home!? Of course this invitation is also open to everyone here at B/F that's passing by Athens, Greece!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    Since a couple people asked about our rude tourists we had stay with us this year:

    The couple, who were on a tandem, I guess weren't too bad. They were middle aged, established in their careers. I sort of thought they acted condesending towards us since we don't appear to be very prosperous. We live in an old apartment. The young folks don't seem to care about that sort of stuff at all.

    They guy, middle aged, from the midwest, we accomodated on very short notice. He was on a beat up LHT. We have a personal bike shop in the basement and my bf likes to do tune ups on folks bikes. The LHTs chain was totally run out. They guy had picked up a new chain, but it was an 8sp. We have some 8sp bikes in our fleet, so we swapped him a 9sp chain for his 8sp chain. His bar end shifters were toast, held together with wires. We had a set of DA 9sp dt shifters we said we'd sell to him. He said he didn't have cash on him, could he pay us later? Ok, send us money when you get home. (In the past we'd lent some items to a NZ tourist who carefully mailed them back to us before he left the US.) So the time went by til when he said he would be home. Sent him some emails reminding him that that he owed us money. He finally replied with a snarky sarcastic email that had no indication that he'd pay. We sent some more emails after that and never heard from him again. It was only $40, and we don't mind giving stuff to folks sometimes, but not someone like him. That all sort of left a bitter taste. I guess other folks we met, who were really great, make up for jerks like that.
    I hope that this one experience (with the guy) will not stop you from being so helpful to other future folks! I guess he never heard of ATMs and if he did not have $40 in a bank he might as well be a truly homeless person. Can't imagine such thoughtless misuse of another person's generosity. The guy must be so used to charity that he must feel entitled to take advantage of you.

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