|Who wouldn’t want to host these upstanding citizens? (Tournai, Belgium in 2004)|
Boy, did we need this (or something like it) in the Czech Republic in 2006.
The Warm Showers Community is a free worldwide hospitality exchange for touring cyclists. People who are willing to host touring cyclists sign up and provide their contact information, and may occasionally have someone stay with them and share great stories and a drink. All members agree to host others either now or in the future, but for some members hosting may be in years or even decades in their future.
The mainstream media coverage has commenced.
For Road-Weary Cyclists, a Room, a Couch, Maybe Even a Meal, by Katie Kramon (New York Times)
… Warm Showers started small in 1993, but its website now lists 39,000 hosts and 89,000 bicycle tourers — people who hit the road for extended long-distance trips — in 175 countries. It is built, the website says, “on 100 percent reciprocal hospitality.” Hosts offer what they can: a couch, a room, or a place outside to pitch a tent, and sometimes meals, too. They receive no benefit other than the chance to make new friends and hear stories of the road. And unlike the for-profit Airbnb, Warm Showers is run by volunteers.
A wonderful ideal, indeed.
“In our society right now, we don’t know our neighbors, and we aren’t looking out for each other,” he said. “Warm Showers reminds me of something I loved as a child: trust, and taking care of each other, and stopping by the side of the road to help someone in trouble. That’s the kind of world I want to live in.”