Warmshowers: awesome bike travel resource

For the last three nights, James and I have been hosting Pete, a self-described red-bearded Welshman traveling around the Pacific Northwest on a tank of a $30 bike that he bought and fixed up when he flew in to Portland. It must be a Warmshowers adventure!

I wrote about Warmshowers before when we hosted another fellow, but it seems like a good time to revisit this super awesome bike resource.

Here’s what happened: Pete sent me an email through the Warmshowers site, having seen that I lived in Portland and had an extra bedroom and shower to offer, asking if he could stay for a few days while he fixed up his bike and got ready for his tour. Since I love this kind of thing, I wrote back with our address and a hearty affirmative on the staying here.

James and I went out to dinner with some friends on the evening he was due to show up, so we just left him a note on the front door and unlocked the side door so he could let himself in. Since he’s from the UK, he doesn’t have a phone here, so it seemed the easiest way not to leave him standing around in the dark waiting for us to return. When we got home, the note was still on the door and everything else seemed as it was before, so we assumed he’d just found somewhere else to stay and hadn’t told us–but funnily enough, the next morning, when we heard the toilet upstairs flush, we realized he’d been there the whole evening, fast asleep.  heh. How often does someone live in your upstairs for a whole 10 hours or so without you knowing it?

Anyway. Warmshowers reminds me how much I love people. When I travel-bike around, I’m often annoyed that the whole world seems to be owned, and that you have to pay someone for the privilege of sleeping somewhere (at least, if you’re sleeping above-board and not in a national forest:) So I’m super into any sort of community/network that hooks together people who need space and people who have space they’re willing to share. This seems like a good model of living in general: get the people who have extra together with the people who don’t have enough, and let them share.

Plus, purely from the house-sharing end, I love having people here who are on their own adventures, and I love being able to share Portland and our little slice of life with them. Pete’s off on his grand tour now (though he left a few things behind at our house that he’ll pick up again on his way back)–I wish him the best, and I hope for more warmshowers visitors this summer touring season!:)

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