g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Cycling Site

BellaOnline's Cycling Editor


Warm Showers

Guest Author - Sharry Miller

Do you like meeting new people? Are you interested in talking with people from around the world who are traveling by bicycle? If so, joining Warm Showers may be for you.

Bicycle touring, especially extended-length touring, can put quite a strain on the pocketbook. Many tourists alleviate this problem by camping as much as possible, but pitching a tent is not always possible or desirable. Sometimes, finding a place to pitch a tent can be the problem. Warm Showers is a global network of generous individuals willing to provide some level of hospitality to cycling tourists.

With thousands of members around the world, Warm Showers (www.warmshowers.org) is uniquely designed to fill an important niche. Individuals who register to be a member of Warm Showers must be willing to host guests as well as be hosted. The level of hospitality offered is entirely up to the guest. Some are able to offer only a flat space to pitch a tent. Others may allow guests to use a kitchen or bathroom. Some even have extra bedrooms for their guests. Hosts are not allowed to charge for their hospitality, although guests are certainly allowed to help out by fixing a meal, doing chores, buying beer, etc.

I only recently joined Warm Showers, and haven’t yet had the pleasure of hosting anyone. My friend Mandy, however, has been a member for several years and has met a wide variety of people from all over. She’s been a host in two small towns in Alaska, places where you wouldn’t expect to meet tourists on bicycles. She’s had guests, however, from South Africa, Montreal, Canada, Massachusetts, Switzerland, France, Sicily, and Denmark. They’ve all spoken at least a little English, and, except for the couple from Massachusetts, they’ve all been on continent-to-continent or around-the-world rides. Mandy’s enjoyed all of these visits, and still follows several of her guests’ blogs.

The idea of inviting strangers into your home can be a little daunting. I put off joining for a few years until I realized that every comment I’d heard about Warm Showers was overwhelmingly positive. Nonetheless, personal security can be a concern. Warm Showers is specifically designed to put individuals or very small groups in touch with potential hosts. Only registered members can access information about other members. Guests contact potential hosts by e-mail first so that the host gets a chance to say yes or no to the request. All guests and hosts have Warm Showers accounts; you’ll have the opportunity to read what they have to say about themselves and see what kinds of remarks prior hosts have written. No matter what, you can always say no to a request. Information on the website reports that, after nearly 30 years in operation, there have been no significant problems reported.

I am very excited to have the opportunity to host, I hope, my first guests next summer. My daughter is excited to get to talk to people from places she’s never been, and I hope she’s inspired to take up bicycle travel herself. I hope that you, too, will take advantage of this unique opportunity and sign up to be a member of Warm Showers (www.warmshowers.org). If you do, be sure to share your experiences as a host or a guest with the rest of us.

Ride safe and have fun!
This site needs an editor - click to learn more!

Add Warm+Showers to Twitter Add Warm+Showers to Facebook Add Warm+Showers to MySpace Add Warm+Showers to Del.icio.us Digg Warm+Showers Add Warm+Showers to Yahoo My Web Add Warm+Showers to Google Bookmarks Add Warm+Showers to Stumbleupon Add Warm+Showers to Reddit

Bicycle Tour Types
Bicycling Maps
Bike Overnights
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Cycling Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Sharry Miller. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Sharry Miller. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.


g features
Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor