Warm Showers: where globetrotters can take a bath
It can be offered a room, a couch or a tiny plot of land for your tent. It won’t be missing a shower – the mirage of each cyclist after a day of riding -, that’s sure. This is what the great Warm Showers community offers. The website gathers touring cyclists and hosts all around the world.
It’s a kind of Couchsurfing for bike riders, made in the USA.
Twenty years ago Terry Zmrhal and Geoff Cashman had the great idea to connect rolling stones cyclists who love receiving. Thanks to new technologies that idea became a website in 2005. Randy Fay added an interactive map and made things smoother. Now a small group of volunteers manage the project and communication among members. The site has been translated in 15 languages and can count on 54.000 subscribers around the five Continents.
Hosts live in astonishing places. From Cape Verde to Papua New Guinea, passing through Oman
Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe, Vietnam and Nepal, you can find a roof over your head and a shelter for your bike.
In 2014, 42% of users – almost 23.000 – come from Europe, 40,8% from North America and 8% are Asian bike riders. Oceania and South America are both contributing with 4% of subscriers overall. At the very bottom tail-end there’s Africa, with 336 people.
As far as the Old Continent is concerned, at the very top we have France and its 6.000 users. Then, Germany follows (3022 members). Italy and the Netherlands reach 1.000 travelers.
Who wants to join the Warm Showers circle can’t be minor. If you want to sign up you should give some basic information in your profile. When you join the community it means you are available to offer hospitality, not only to receive it. To be considered a member it’s worth to introduce yourself and make a list of services you may be able to offer to a visiting cyclist – such as bed, food, laundry, tent space, use of kitchen -. Generally speaking, sharing is the key word and the degree of openness is up to you, depending on the confidence you have in the human race. You are under no obligation to offer hospitality, but respect everyone is the main rule of the club.
You can meet touring cyclists of all ages. They don’t try only to travel in an affordable and adventurous way, but they also share tips, tracks, images, videos and comments. The Warm Showers package includes reciprocal hospitality, safe guides to the places you are going to visit, mutual aid and lot of passion for bike tripping. All for free.