people using Warm showers not touring...

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Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
people using Warm showers not touring...

This summer I've had several people contact me as they travel through my home town, Boulder, CO. On my profile I have written that I prefer 2 days notice. The majority of the people who contact me have contacted me the day OF their arrival. I know that sometimes this is inevitable, that plans change etc.....But I would be more receptive if people would abide by the preferences that we use.
AND, one more complaint!!! Sorry!!!! I have also been contacted several times this summer---probably half of the time, by people who are NOT touring, but driving with their cars (and of course they always mention they are avid cyclists etc!). However. to my understanding, the spirit of the Warm Showers site is for TOURING cyclists. I think that others need to go to Couch surfing, or hospitality club or....One time that you get a message of someone traveling by car is one thing, but this seems to be a current trend, and I am not likely to give hospitality to people who are not currently on tour. I think it is abuse of the intention of Warm Showers.
Sorry for being grumpy here! I love the Warm Showers List....It's brilliant and I've met many great people through it!!! I will continue to participate in the spirit of the idea!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
people using Warm showers not touring...

I hear you! I also live in a popular tourist area, and began receiving requests from vacationers arriving by cars. I changed my bio -- just added the line: "I can accommodate people arriving by bicycles only, please -- no cars!" to the end of it and since then I have not had any more requests from folks not on bike. In my case, I have no parking place for guests anyways, but even if you do, just add a line similar to what I have on your bio if car vacationers bother you.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
non touring requests

Hi Cheryl!
Thank you for your feedback! It's actually great to hear that others are having the same experience and also have the same sentiments. Thanks also for the suggestion and I think I'll edit my bio as well!
Happy cycling and Cheers!

Utente WS Ritratto di Tailwindnyc
I agree

I agree with you two: Warm Showers should be for touring cyclists. There are plenty of sites/communities available to those driving or trekking on foot!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
tourers not touring

thanks Elizabeth. It's nice to get confirmation and yes, there are a number of options for those that do not tour! The SPECIAL thing about WS list is that it IS just for those working hard each day on their pedals! It makes a special bond between us --that we understand what it's about!
thanks, cheers and good tailwinds!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
I second this opinion

No pedaling, no shower.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
People using Warmshowers not touring

As a host, Corinne, you are entitled to be a little grumpy when guests misbehave. ;-)

It seems we're seeing quite a few comments this summer regarding contacts for hosting from people who are not on bicycles. It is unfortunate that this happens but, when dealing with humans, this sort of borderline abuse is inevitable.

That said, Warmshowers is a VOLUNTEER organization, just as Couchsurfing and other such organizations are. Hosts are encouraged to be specific in their profiles regarding what they will and, more importantly, what they will NOT allow.

I encourage you to be explicit in your profile regarding what you will and what you will not allow.

If you need more than a few hours notice, please say so. When someone calls at the last minute, if you cannot host them due to the short notice, tell them you ask for at least and, as they called at the last minute, you just cannot accommodate them. Then excuse yourself and hang up.

If you will not host drivers, please say so. When contacted by drivers who ignore what you've written you may tell them your profile explicitly says, "No drivers, please," then excuse yourself and hang up.

I know it may make one feel as if they are being rude by standing one's ground and hanging up but we all have our limits. Stating those limits clearly goes a long way toward avoiding being put in a position one does not wish to be in.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Drivers not Cyclists

I think it is worth leaving negative feedback for folks that are using Warmshowers by car. It is inappropriate to be doing this.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Can a motorist be a cyclist?

Is it possible that a cyclist and/or touring cyclist can arrive by car?

I regard my bicycling friends as cyclists, whatever means they are using to travel at any moment. To me, touring bicyclists are a community of people with a deep common interest who can enjoy each other's company whenever they meet. It troubles me very much to read absolute bans on anyone arriving by car -- my health has taken me out of the long-distance cycling realm, and it would be terribly depressing that the friends I have made over the years through cycling no longer welcome me.

Yes, you're free to be absolute -- no bike, no bed. For me, friendship, community, and maybe some great bike stories make a much more solid basis for inviting people to share my digs.

I'm absolutely NOT saying that Warm Showers should abandon its mission of connecting cyclists. Just not in an absolute way that excludes people who are or want to be part of our community.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS

HI Aozolins,
I would think that your friends would welcome you on or off a bike, no one is going to turn an established friendship away. You probably have their contact email and certainly could (if you wished) contact them outside of WS. Just email your established friends directly, using their actual email address. You are not excluded from seeing them. And you should (I suppose) certainly be free to contact folks about stays saying you are on a car tour. I feel strongly that this information needs to be front and foremost in the contact email that anyone requesting a stay by car might make.
That said.... I feel that Warm Showers is for folks on bicycles and should stay that way. I don't like the idea that the site would even remotely resemble CouchSurfing or HospialityClub, why not just use those sites? I don't get the need to be on Warm Showers to do this when there are excellent sites to do what you suggest? The identity of this sharing community is centered around cycling, not just long distance cycling, but certainly about and for cyclists. Arriving by bicycle seems very important to me.
All the best,

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
For Diana/Andrejs OZOLINS: 100% agree (Comment 9)

no need for general judgment, when individual decisions suffice.



Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Top idea!

Top idea! Edit, sorry i thought my reply would include a quote. Top idea of leaving people arriving by car a negative feedback on their profile, particularly if they hadn't mentioned it.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS

It all has to do with what you put on your page or what you answer in your initial contact. Be straightforward and throw in requirements. Planning ahead is tough when touring and there are times when there is not much notice. I usually apologize up front when that is the case and explain myself.
Manners are most important and if not observed, close the door.
Warmshowers is the best source of social contact when traveling solo. The friendships carry on. It would be a shame for the few to ruin it for so many.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
people not touring

Well, it's really great to hear the opinions of others. I will definitely change my profile to be more specific! Yes, Warm Showers is such a great way to meet people and I agree that I would hate to see it ruined by a few. I have myself reaped the benefits of using the List and I still keep in contact with people from over the world who I have stayed with while traveling! IN fact in another day or so, a Swedish cyclist will be arriving that stayed last year with me....So the connections are important and go on....I think much more than connections made through some of the other sites like couch surfing etc.
Thanks all for input and especially to WS team for the work you guys do!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
non-touring Warmshowers requests

It was a first for us too, this summer, receiving hosting requests from WS members travelling by car or on foot. We look forward to welcoming touring cyclists, so it felt like a cruel joke to get only emails from "avid cyclists" who were leaving their bicycles behind. So, like other members suggested, we changed our profile to be specific that we want our guests to be currently on tour with bicycles. You're not being grumpy. The WS spirit is for the touring cyclist.

Utente WS Ritratto di wsadmin
Warmshowers is for touring cyclists

Yes, you're totally right: Warmshowers is for touring cyclists. On occasion we're contacted by a cross-country walker or something, and we usually say "OK, as long as you make sure to let hosts know that you're not on bike and of course respect their 'no'".

Fundamentally, though: Never invite somebody you do *not* want to your home. And if you have a hard line on arriving by bike (as most WS members do) just say "Sorry, I only accept touring cyclists. You might consider Couchsurfing."

Thanks so much for your hospitality!


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
people using Warm showers not touring...

I agree that warm showers should be exclusively for touring cyclists. At times, I get the odd request for lodgings from people who are not currently traveling by bike. I only make an exception for warm shower members that have previously hosted cyclists as proven by positive comments on their warm shower's page.

I would be hard pressed to host cyclists on a same day notice as well.

Robert Mink

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
using the WS list

I'm amazed that so many people use this forum and that so many have responded to this issue! It's great to hear suggestions/thoughts and ideas from you all!!
happy tail winds!

Utente WS Ritratto di cnighbor1

I agree Warm showers is for hikers and cyclists only.
However I get so few postings from warm showers I would say it doesn't function has an effective source for finding a place to stay!! I hosted over the past five years two groups
But the correct test is number of postings there should be in the 1000's of summer postings If you figure number of cyclists touring world wide and number of days on the road in summer we should get one heck of a lot more postings
Charles in Walnut Creek, Ca

Utente WS Ritratto di wsadmin
Disparity between where cyclists go and where hosts are

Hi Charles - thanks for your hospitality!

We've had few visitors over the years as well, and I finally figured out that we either (in Denver) lived where there were way too many hosts for the cyclists who came through, or now, in Palisade, CO, just live off the beaten track.

The fact is there are more people and more hosts in major metro areas (like the Bay area...) but few cyclists. Most of the cyclists going through your area stay out on the coast, as we did when we went through there, so they miss you.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Funny, I haven't been on this

Funny, I haven't been on this site for awhile and when asked to login to stay active, I was thinking of how maybe when we take our camper this winter down south, I could possibly contact a few people who are on the list! Then I saw your note and one other person who agreed but said that if you did host other cyclists he'd make an exception. LOL, I have only hosted two cyclists in the past couple years because I live off the beaten path. But when we travel with our camper we do take our bicycles with us.

So, I guess my point is, I have mixed feelings about this. It's a great suggestion to write "Bicyclists Only" like others suggested. Yes, I'd have some trepidation with someone in cars, but maybe not someone in a camper with their bicycles who has hosted others before.....LOL, someone like my family.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
proven warmshowers members travelling by other means

In my profile I state:

"If you are not actually cycle touring, please do not ask for accommodations unless you a member of warmshowers that has hosted cyclist in the past or are a registered member of the list for over one year."

This weeds out the couch surfers and other non-cyclists and rewards members of the warmshowers community that have extended hospitality in the past or will in the future. The year qualification is to discourage pseudo-members who register just prior to a trip without any real intention to reciprocate. So Mary Kay, if you are driving your motor home in Poland, drop on by!

Robert Mink
Jary Poland via Spokane USA

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
proven members

This makes lots of sense.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
It is your home and you

It is your home and you decide who stays in it. Make it clear on your profile that you are only providing hospitality for touring cyclists.

You are not a hotel chain and should not be treated at such.

I am just going to edit my profile :O)


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Truck maybe?

OK. I'm half guilty. I contacted two WS hosts this year about the possibility of leaving my truck with them as I started a tour. Both responded positively, as would I. Yeah, very different than if I had just been passing through in my vehicle, looking for a no cost motel. That too would get a 'sorry' from me.

For reasons unrelated to the truck issue, one host did not work out from my side. The one that did came through in spades. He was thanked generously. A win-win.

Hosting is a win-win experience most of the time.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
I think it is up to each

I think it is up to each individual host to decide who they will accept. We are all different and what is ok with one person may not be with another.

In October 2013, I will be riding a Honda 90 motorbike from Denmark to the Gambia in Africa to donate it to a hospital. It is the poorest area of the country and the Gambia is one of the poorest countries in Africa. I am trying to help the poorest of the poor. As well as having my own adventure.

I am financing the whole trip myself, including the purchase of the motorbike. Every penny I collect will go to the hospital, not to pay for food, fuel or lodgings for me.

The ride will take me through a big part of Europe, through Morocco, Western Sahara (Yes the desert), Mauritania, where everyone is told to avoid. Lawless, bandit country. With the worlds largest minefield, which is unmarked and I will ride through it. I am so pleased it is a small motorbike with very thin tyres. Into Senegal and then into the Gambia.

Most likely, I will try and use WS for overnight stops. I am hoping even those, like myself, who stipulate "cyclists only", will take pity on me, when they see what I am doing.


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
that is not the purpose of WS

I would not appreciate this attitude. Warm Showers is designed for cyclo-tourists. That's how it should be used. This comment makes me want to remove my membership. You need to respect the purpose of this site.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Motorcyclist? please no, no... no

Oh my, This site is for touring bicyclists, please go to Hospitality Club where they do what you are asking. You are doing this community a dis-Service!
I know some members of WS that also list on Hospitality Club and CS... please go there

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Vehicle/ and other hosting

I have to go along with the WSL being for touring cyclists only. We are helping with an experience and not a vacation! What we have learned from touring cyclists has always been worth the price of hosting...I do not see the same resulting from our being a motel.

Hosting a vehicle to help facilitate a bicycle tour, is much different than hosting a person who is not on a bicycle tour. We have hosted a vehicle gladly where the individual planned to end a tour at our place due to time constraints.

Generally, we would not host someone not actively riding, unless they were known hosts or former guests. Given this, these individuals would most likely have contacted us well before and worked things out...could not see them "showing up" on any short notice.

Utente WS Ritratto di wsadmin
We've done this many times

I guess that I would say using WS to facilitate a self-powered tour is a fine use of WS. We've arranged parking for a vehicle many times, and hosts have been quite gracious. I don't think there's anything wrong with it at all.

Non registrato Ritratto di anon_user
Mixed tour - cycling and public transport

I just happened on this forum. We have never used Warmshowers, but thought it would be a way to connect with cyclists who would have local knowledge and shared experiences. Our upcoming trip covers distances that we don't have time to cycle, so we plan to use public transport for longer distances, yet use our bikes for several days in an area as well as for some of the point to point days. Is this an inappropriate use of warm showers? I wouldn't have thought so, but this forum topic makes me feel less welcome if I arrive off a train to enjoy an area by bike. Are we not welcome if we don't ride 80 miles a day? Just a thought.

Utente WS Ritratto di wsadmin
Talk with your host

This is something to make clear to your host and make sure it's ok with them. A few hosts have strong feelings about it and think that cyclists who use the service should be "touring cyclists", meaning cyclists who are traveling primarily by bicycle. It sounds like you're kind of in the middle. But if you are clear with the host and they invite you, you're good.

Utente WS Ritratto di guyhackett
Mixed tour

If you are using public transportation to travel with your bikes, I would consider you a bicycle tourist and you would be welcome in my home!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
A while back, some one

A while back, some one contacted me about leaving a vehicle while they toured, it may have been you, maybe not. I remember I replied with some questions and immediately got the feeling that I appeared to be unfriendly to the asker. But my concerns were: liability to vehicle?, how long?, did it need to be under shelter?, would I have keys to it in case it needed to be moved or started on a regular basis, the season was spring or early summer, and a parked car needs to be moved to mow or trim grass around, etc...
The person making the request seemed annoyed that I had any questions, and that I didn't simply answer yes.
I always try to accomodate touring cyclists..but ya never know how some people are going to take things..
Always food for thought..

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Not Touring

Interesting thread. I only came upon it today when asked to log on to keep our membership active.

I pretty much agree with all those who are reluctant to welcome non-bike tourists. In our case, however, we happen to live very close to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail and have hosted almost as many paddlers as we have peddlers. We are canoeists as we are bike tourists, so we share both interests. Our most recent guests were paddling but are cyclists and came across our posting and contacted us through WSL. As with any of us, we could have turned them down, but we were delighted to have them here.

It's up to you, the host(ess).

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
At the end of the day we are

At the end of the day we are all adults and invite whoever we want to into our homes. If I decide to use WS on my motorbike travels, I would certainly make it clear I was not travelling by cycle in my initial contact or forum post.

Being honest and upfront is of paramount importance.


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Awwwww....thanks! We may be

Awwwww....thanks! We may be travelling this time next year with our bicycles on our camper.,...I doubt if we're coming to Spokane, but if we do, I'll look you up!

Mary Kay

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS

Mary Kay, I live in Poland, hailing from, if you are in this neck of the woods, come on over!

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
arrival and non pedaling guests

i do have on my profile that short notices are fine, so far i have been able to accommodate
even ones with the same day's notice. A couple of times that meant they camped in my backyard while i was not home with my permission. it is safe , dog free and private and I threw in the use of the hot tub.
i did just add for larger groups, I would prefer a couple days notice after I got a request
last sunday for a party of 6 with only 6 hours notice. Turns out they had a good tailwind
so by the time I called them back they had decided to head about 30 miles further down the road.
As for non-pedaling guests, so far I have not had any requests, but since I am also a member of couchsurfing and airbnb I do not mind hosting those folks either. If someone who was not under their own power did request lodging, I think I would refer them to go through one of the other sites, just to keep Warmshowers spirit alive. Same end result, but might steer them better on down the line. And not have them ask warmshower only hosts for lodging.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Personally, I would be happy

Personally, I would be happy to host Warm Showers members who are touring cyclists, but who are not currently on a touring trip. The fact that they have experience as touring cyclists and as Warm Showers members gives us points in common, and I think it's great to extend hospitality to them. However, I would be questioning the use of Warm Showers by people who have never used it in relation to bicycle touring before and are not touring. It seems such people would be better off looking for other communities more closely related to them.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Things change, things come up

I have to say that the profile on WSL is where you can express your preferences and limits in receiving guests. I wouldn't dream of offending someone who has expressed a preference I don't fit into.

But, I want to say that the absolute rules can be pretty chilling to someone who has been a touring cyclist for decades but who, maybe, doesn't quite have the moxy that he once had.

I remember with enormous joy the tough days in tough weather on tough terrain that ended in a warm welcome in WSL comfort. The fact is, though, that I can't do it any longer; my days have to be short and at least some of my trips will involve getting some place by car; some of my trips will involve more days by car than on bike. In fact, it's possible I may have to accept travelling only by car at some point. Good health isn't guaranteed and sometimes gives out. It hasn't come to that for me yet, but, I'm afraid, there are signs that it might. Yet, I still consider myself a "touring cyclist" and regard the members of WSL with friendship and affinity.

Being an old fart, I have many old friends and all of them are more than welcome to stay at my house if they're in the area, bikes or no bikes. And, I'm so glad to have been welcomed into the houses of similar old timers with great warmth and generosity. Last spring, I took a car tour with my wife down to Florida, where we had never been. I had my bike along and spent several of the days riding it and meeting my wife in the evening. But, the truth is, of course, that it was a trip by car. But, the high points of the trip for both of us were the evenings with Warm Showers List (and Couch Surfing) hosts who not only welcomed us but showed us way more than minimal hospitality, giving us a truly memorable introduction to their corner of Florida.

I have regarded WSL as a community, not as a mechanical, rigidly-defined service. And, I invite others to regard it that way, as well. Sure, if you'd rather not deal with cars in your driveway, make it clear. But, people are deeper and more complicated than can be discerned by their mode of travel at any given moment.And, each of us, if we're lucky enough to live long enough, will probably pass through various stages of purity with regard to bike touring.

I'm not saying anyone else has to feel as I do; but, I had to stress that some of us aren't that fussy about how people get to our homes.


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Welcome at my place on a bike or not.

For my part, I tend to see WS as a community of like minded people who are interested in cycling adventures. Whether they are on a cycling adventure at the time they ask to be hosted is not important to me. I suppose it's a grander thought to host someone on a cycling trip, but if at some point they have participated in the great adventure of being on a bike on a tour, then for me they are the kind of person who understands exactly what it's like, they have experienced the spirit of the road, and these are the people I would welcome whether on a bike, car, train trip. But WS is a Free community and in this we are all free to be selective about who we choose to host. If they have not done a cycle tour then I guess that's what Couch Surfing is for? I joined WS because I want to meet people who have the courage to step out into a cycling adventure, who have free camped, eaten like a horse, battled against headwinds, weather and long slow hills, felt the pain and pure joy of it all, and become a better person for it. I can relate to this adventure and I pretty well know that anyone else who experiences a trip like this is touched by it, and shares my love for it all. So yes, for me, WS is a cycling community, if they are on a trip then great. But if not then they are still welcome as long as they share the love of cycle touring.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Well, I think it's best that

Well, I think it's best that whoever was annoyed that you ask so many questions - it was not I - didn't end up staying! They sound like legitimate questions and I think it was nice of you to ask them because it showed you were indeed even considering it.

Mary Kay

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
The spirit of touring and of hospitality

It occurs to me to add one more aspect of this discussion: I have had the pleasure of warm showers with people who actually don't tour themselves, who even don't bike much. Twice, I've encountered people who were so inspired by friends who toured and told tales of Warm Showers hospitality that they signed themselves up. They were eager to hear stories of bike tours and to share their homes with me. And, who knows, maybe one of the cycle tourists they host will be the final impetus for them to give it a try.

So, the full spectrum of the Warm Showers List's membership includes a lot more than active cycle tourists. Each of us can set rules for whom we share our homes with, but I hope that Warm Showers as a whole is not restricted to any narrow view of acceptability. Our home has seen a variety of WSL guests, including the most adventurous (e.g., self-supported Ottawa to Lima, starting out last January) as well as some with accompanying vehicles, and even a couple traveling by bus. We've made many friends.


Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Nothing about bicycles

I recently got a request from a young guy who has been travelling (hitch-hiking) the world for ten years. No bicycle at all mentioned in his lengthy profile. He may be a nice and interesting guy, but I consider him using the WS site for his hitch-hiking travels abuse of the website's intent. I'd have a couch-surfing account if I wished to host backpackers. Nor does it appear that this guy will reciprocate and host cyclists if he ever settles down. Really!

Utente WS Ritratto di wsadmin
We have had several rounds

We have had several rounds with this guy, but ended up warning him. He is clear about his use when he contacts hosts.

Please leave neutral or negative feedback for him. If he reciprocates let us know and we'll just boot him off.

Warmshowers webmaster

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
touring cyclist or homeless with a bike?

I feel like I was used by a non-cyclist this week when a young lady called at 10pm requesting a rescue and lodging when she got a flat before she reached her intended destination at a State Park. Checking her WS site revealed about 1 sentence. That should have been a clue. But I'm a sucker and rescued her and put her up for the night. Another clue was when we offered a warm shower and, after "riding" for 40 miles in 90 degree heat, she refused the offer. By then we decided we'd have to launder everything on the bed after she left, but she slept on the floor! Any information we got from her we had to drag out of her. After she left we decided she was homeless but knew how to game the system because she had a bike. Maybe she lives in Salem and just picks a different host every other night. I've changed my bio to exclude people who are not actually touring. Otherwise our experiences for the past two years have been 98% positive. We have met some friends that we dearly love and keep in touch with.

Dave Cary,
Salem OR

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Similar situation. I, too

Similar situation. I, too have had to adopt the term,"arrive by bike only".
We had a guy today who wanted us to put him up with two teens and they wanted to ski at the local resort, kayak and cycle on the local trail. Not arriving by bike, they just want a free vacation. I didn't sign up to Warmshowers for that and don't appreciate that type of request.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Each to their own, we host

Each to their own, we host from both couchsurfing and warmshowers so it sometimes feels a bit weird to say now to someone we would have accepted from the other site.

That said, we say no to most from CS, since we enjoy the traveler mentality of bike tourers, and had some really great people (the few we had from CS has been great to ofc).

Hikers and motorcycle riders or other means of long distance but low packing people would be considered in the same way as bicyclists for us.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
Similar to Dave Cary above, I

Similar to Dave Cary above, I got a request fairly late at night from someone who wasn't cycling but may have been homeless. It was January. In North Dakota. I said no, which I felt a bit bad about since it was one of the coldest nights that year. But I am female and live alone, and just felt skeeved out. So yeah, I think people will have to be pulling up in a bike for me to host.

Utente WS Ritratto di Utente WS
You are not grumpy but only

You are not grumpy but only telling the feeling about the abuse of WS spirit.

I support your idea, that I will contact WS member when only on two wheels, that is what Warm shower set "A community for TOURING CYCLISTS and hosts"