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Warm Showers experience.

Old 05-26-18, 01:39 AM
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Warm Showers experience.

because we live in peoria illinois we dont get many chances to host tourists on warm showers. in fact our first opportunity came just a couple of days ago. it was a great experience and i would reccomend it to anyone. opening your home to a bike tourist is a really cool way to partake in a little slice of humanity.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:29 AM
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I hosted for about five years. Because I live close to an international airport I got lots of guests. Mostly good to very good experience with only a few who were either poor company or unappreciative. I used it only once myself as a guest.

I gave it up as I was too popular and needed space for my own touring and life in general.
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Old 05-26-18, 08:56 AM
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we definitly are not in a popular tourist area. i can imagine it getting old. but since i cant tour all the time it was fun to vicariously tour for a bit. also when you are in the middle of a tour its amazing how good your condition gets. this kid rode me into the ground when he was here.
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Old 05-26-18, 09:07 AM
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Been hosting and guesting for years. A great experience for all the things you say. Hope it can be maintained, meaning guests and hosts, continue to find it mutually gratifying.
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Old 05-26-18, 12:47 PM
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Until a guest steals a pair of sunglasses from you.
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Old 05-26-18, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Until a guest steals a pair of sunglasses from you.
Or the host steals from the guest!

I'm amazed warm showers works so well as it does. Gives you faith in humanity but you still need to be wary.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:38 PM
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I was concerned when there was a guy asking for lodging who had pled guilty to serious sexual assault charges as a fraternity officer in college. I contacted WarmShowers office and they said it was not their responsibility to vet users. I found their response highly cavalier given the serious problems share-sites have had with safety. 99.9% of the encounters may be perfectly fine, but it only takes one. What troubled me was this was a person with a verifiable, dangerous offense - and WarmShowers basically said, "So what?" I have chosen not to host since then.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Until a guest steals a pair of sunglasses from you.
Are you certain it was intentional? When I have guest I make sure nothing of mine is in their defined AO. Just so there is no mistake with them walking of with something of mine they think is theirs At my old place they had a corner of my living room that I designated as the place to stow their gear.

Now, at my new place, they pretty much have the run of the basement. They have access to all of my tools so I pretty much need to just trust they won't take them.

I try to adopt the philosophy of an Eskimo that I saw interviewed for a documentary. Everyone dries their fish outside their home. The interviewer asked the man if he was concerned about the fish being stolen. The man's response "if they need it that badly then they are welcome to it" . A wise man but his advice would be sometimes difficult to live up to.

Or you could adopt the philosophy of he who steals my purse steals trash. Pretty much true in my case. I don't have all that much in my house that is worth awful much.
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Old 05-26-18, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by raria
Or the host steals from the guest!

I'm amazed warm showers works so well as it does. Gives you faith in humanity but you still need to be wary.
I think it is because bicycle tourists by in large are good folks. Appearances can be deceiving. I had a guest a gentleman in his 70s. I rode out to meet him. It looked like he was hauling his whole house on a trailer. Complete with full sized lantern and 2 large bottles of orange soda pop. His first statement to me was "your hills sure are steep"! We smiled and he didn't have a tooth in this mouth. I thought great I am hosting a homeless guy!

That night be bought me dinner. Turns out he lost his teeth on his transam. He was just starting, it was a pouring rain, he was on a bike trail. His vision was very limited because of the rain. He slammed right into a sofa that someone had thrown out, crashed and lost all of his teeth yet decided to continue his trip anyway after being checked out by a doctor. He was a heck of a nice uy.

I did have one guy I suspected was homeless but using warmshowers as a place to stay. He came from a previous host not even 20 miles away. I ended up calling the host ans he suspected the same thing.

For the most part my experiences have been positive as both host and guest. I have had people stay with me from all over the world. Including one guest from China. Most of my guest seem to come from South Korea for some reason. I have had 3. One of them was a monk. Koreans must really love the US.

I have also stayed at a few warmshowers ./ couch surfing hosts in Italy. That is a lot of fun. You get to see how people live and you find out not much different than you except they speak a different language.
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Old 05-26-18, 03:17 PM
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I was escorting my monk guest to Steubenville, OH via the panhandle trail. He was half my age but wow was he slow! I was ahead when I noticed two figures with white hoods and wearing combat boots steep out onto the trail. We were passing through West Virginia so of course my first thought was Klu Klux Klan members! I thought ok great. Now they are going to beat the hell out of both of us.

I waited for my guest and tried to explain these people could be dangerous. It was important he stick close, ride as fast as he can and not to look at them. Maybe we could get by without incident. Of course he was still slow. I was getting worried. We were getting closer I I could see that looked to be parachute pants. A little closer. Wait a second their frames look awfully slight to be men. If they are men I could probably take at least one if there is trouble.

A little closer. Wait! They are women and they are wearing habits! When we caught up to them, I stopped and explained who I thought they were. They got a big kick out of that. Turns out they were from a local monastery associated with the Franciscan university in town.

Amazing how your imagination can run away when you let it.

We got to Steubenville in one piece. We were meet by the press. It was a big deal in that town. They learned of our trip because I contacted Fort Steuben to see if we can camp at the fort. The manager told us that was not possible but arranged for us to stay at a local church. One of the parishioners is Korean. She came to the church and prepared a traditional Korean meal for us. It was very good.
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Old 05-26-18, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
I was concerned when there was a guy asking for lodging who had pled guilty to serious sexual assault charges as a fraternity officer in college. I contacted WarmShowers office and they said it was not their responsibility to vet users. I found their response highly cavalier given the serious problems share-sites have had with safety. 99.9% of the encounters may be perfectly fine, but it only takes one. What troubled me was this was a person with a verifiable, dangerous offense - and WarmShowers basically said, "So what?" I have chosen not to host since then.
Warmshowers is a non-profit organization which is run almost entirely by volunteers. It is not airbnb or another for-profit enterprise. I don't think the response you received was cavalier at all. Warmshowers is based on mutual hospitality and is a world-wide organization with over 100,000 members (the last time I saw a figure). Therefore, I don't think it's reasonable to expect that each person who joins warmshowers be vetted. Obviously you don't agree, and therefore it made sense for you to cease hosting.

I had a couple of dodgy guests many years ago when there was no feedback tool on the warmshowers site. I cancelled my membership as a result. When I learned a few years later that a means of writing and viewing feedback had been added, I rejoined. I have had 100% positive experiences since then. I don't agree to host anyone until I check their feedback. I also refuse to host anyone who is not touring by bike. (I've had several hosting requests from non-cyclists.)
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Old 05-26-18, 04:05 PM
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I wish warmshowers would adopt some of the controls of couch surfing where costs and guests are interviewed by local certified members.
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Old 05-27-18, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Are you certain it was intentional? When I have guest I make sure nothing of mine is in their defined AO. Just so there is no mistake with them walking of with something of mine they think is theirs At my old place they had a corner of my living room that I designated as the place to stow their gear.
Guest arrived without sunglasses and asked to borrow a pair. Before the guest left two days later the host asked for the glasses back. Guest was evasive then said he forgot where in the house he put them. Guest leaves. Host never finds the glasses. Guest is later seen in a video wearing the glasses. Sounds intentional to me. The host certainly thought it was. BTW...That's not the only thing the guest stole during that trip. And that's all I've got to say about that.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Guest arrived without sunglasses and asked to borrow a pair. Before the guest left two days later the host asked for the glasses back. Guest was evasive then said he forgot where in the house he put them. Guest leaves. Host never finds the glasses. Guest is later seen in a video wearing the glasses. Sounds intentional to me. The host certainly thought it was. BTW...That's not the only thing the guest stole during that trip. And that's all I've got to say about that.
Weird. Must have really liked those glasses.
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Old 05-27-18, 02:02 PM
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Well to all you who have had a bad experience, sorry. As a touring cyclist, I used to "couch surf" before that site was ever created. Then that site among others came along. About 10 yrs ago I started noticing that responses were becoming less frequent. It went from one response for every 1 or 2 requests sent to one for every 10. I no longer use couchsurfing. I've never tried Warm Showers, but have always heard good things about it. And as a person who lives on their bike (a nice euphemism for the H word), I do not steal. We are not all like that. I could care less about the crap made by exploited labor in peoples' homes. Keep your Mercedes. Keep your garbage. Keep your screwed up way of living. Oh, and I have my fair share of strange host stories too!

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Old 05-27-18, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo
Well to all you who have had a bad experience, sorry. As a touring cyclist, I used to "couch surf" before that site was ever created. Then that site among others came along. About 10 yrs ago I started noticing that responses were becoming less frequent. It went from one response for every 1 or 2 requests sent to one for every 10. I no longer use couchsurfing. I've never tried Warm Showers, but have always heard good things about it. And as a person who lives on their bike (a nice euphemism for the H word), I do not steal. We are not all like that. I could care less about the crap made by exploited labor in peoples' homes. Keep your Mercedes. Keep your garbage. Keep your screwed up way of living. Oh, and I have my fair share of strange host stories too!
Couch Surfing is VERY social in the US. To members the couch is last on the list of importance. Many hosts embed keywords into their profile. If you don't mention the keyword then you don't get a response because it is sensed that you are just looking for a place to sleep.
.
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Old 05-27-18, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by travelinhobo
Well to all you who have had a bad experience, sorry. As a touring cyclist, I used to "couch surf" before that site was ever created. Then that site among others came along. About 10 yrs ago I started noticing that responses were becoming less frequent. It went from one response for every 1 or 2 requests sent to one for every 10. I no longer use couchsurfing. I've never tried Warm Showers, but have always heard good things about it. And as a person who lives on their bike (a nice euphemism for the H word), I do not steal. We are not all like that. I could care less about the crap made by exploited labor in peoples' homes. Keep your Mercedes. Keep your garbage. Keep your screwed up way of living. Oh, and I have my fair share of strange host stories too!
Do I detect a whiff of moral superiority?
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Old 05-29-18, 05:13 AM
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My observations...

As a host, I enjoyed most of our guest's visits. I liked giving back especially after all the hospitality I have experienced when touring. Since I moved to Tallahassee I am very close to the Southern Tier. There are far more tourists here, but there are also more people who I think are abusing the system. I got the impression that there were a number of guys who stayed in the area hopping from one host to another, staying several days or a week at each one. Personally I expect folks to typically stay one night and be on their way the next day, if they need to stay longer that is fine, but it should be negotiated up front. I guess I could put it in my profile that stays are limited to one night, but the guy who soured me on hosting via WS had other issues which I won't go in to as well. I will still invite tourists to stay if I see them in the area near the end of the day, but have stopped hosting via WS.

As a guest, I have stayed with a lot of hosts who I just met by chance or knew from a forum, but have used WS only a couple times. I seldom know where I will want to stop for the night until I get there. Most WS hosts want some warning about when you will be there. My habit of deciding the day's stopping point at the last minute means that I may decide to stop before I get to them or decide to ride on to the next town. That rules out staying with WS hosts. I do find it useful to have a place to stay the first night of a tour where I fly in late in the day. I'd also call a WS host if I needed assistance of some sort in their town. I have had a WS hold my bike case for me for a loop tour, but I usually don't do loop tours.
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Old 05-29-18, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by spinnaker
Weird.
I wasn't surprised when I was informed about the matter, but that's because I was already familiar with his criminal history.
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Old 05-29-18, 11:34 PM
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I've only hosted so far. I haven't had a bad experience yet. I have had some interesting people stay with me. I was going to try and stay as a guest recently on a short overnight tour but had to cancel when I got ill.
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Old 06-01-18, 10:19 PM
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I met so many great people through this site it's ridiculous. Way better response rate than Couchsurfing ever was, too. I was a guest a lot, but haven't been able to host yet because my roommates aren't comfortable with it. I gotta move out...
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