As hosts, it is our job to bridge the gap between our own expectations of hosting and where our visiting cyclists are coming from. A cyclist just setting out on tour is in a different mindset than someone a week away from finishing. Maybe your visitor is carrying too much weight and hoping to ditch some gear. Or, they may need a new rear tire, having worn theirs down. Be flexible; consider what sorts of supplies, snacks, or other conveniences you’re willing to provide versus what you reasonably can provide.
Is your visiting cyclist feeling tired or challenged?
Show them where they can sleep, take a shower, offer them your WiFi if you can, and give them some space.
Is your cyclist looking for a bit of fun?
Swapping stories and forming quick friendships can be a highlight of hosting. Sure, some hosts offer backyard barbeques, the keys to their car, or breakfast, but remember that something as simple as a cold drink and a snack can absolutely make someone’s day.
How close is your home to bike shops, grocery stores, post offices, and other services?
If you’re far from services, think about having some helpful supplies on-hand (like tinned foods or bike tubes) or even just a basket where cyclists can leave extra food or equipment that might be helpful to the next rider. If services are nearby, you could write down your favorite bike shop, restaurant, or brewery to point riders in the right direction.
Thank you for hosting!
Bike tours are a series of highs and lows, and everyone is at a certain point of their tour when they visit you. Wherever you are located, and whether the space you have to offer is grand or small, no matter what, you are providing a safe, calm place for cyclists to regenerate — and for that, you make all the difference.
For more information on starting your first tour or learning how to become a host, visit www.warmshowers.org, or download the app from any app store.