One weird thing we’ve noticed about this summer: the absence of cycle-tourists contacting us via Warm Showers for an overnighter stay. For the uninitiated, “Warm Showers” is an online community of touring cyclists who offer free hospitality to other touring cyclists in the form of a place to stay overnight while touring, as compared to camping, hosteling or paying for a motel. Hosts are free to offer whatever assistance they like but at a minimum, it typically involves tent space, floor space or a bed or guest room to sleep in. Oftentimes, a host will offer showers (the most desirable feature of an overnight – hence the name “Warm Showers”) food, laundry, internet, and even sag support, among others. Here, we offer whatever we can to make our guests comfortable and improve the joy and success of a safe and memorable tour!
The weird part of THIS summer: we just had our FIRST guest of the summer last night when typically by this time of the year, we’ve hosted as many as 4-6 cyclists. We did get a hosting request while out bike touring ourselves in Vermont, and sadly had to refer the cyclist elsewhere.
Perhaps the weather was weird this summer, or perhaps the MANY other Warm Showers hosts around Rochester got contacted first. Perhaps our location in the city, not as close to the canal trail (on ACA’s Northern Tier Route) as many others, makes our place a bit out of reach for a tired cyclist. (I’d happily move to a place right ON the canal if we could afford it!)
But lucky we were last night to host Alvin!
Riding from his home in Los Angeles and now ten weeks into his trip, he’s headed for NYC via Syracuse / Albany / Hudson River on a now gentle schedule after taking the “PCH” up the west coast to Oregon, and across the country from there. He’s a gracious guest, a wonderful personality, and as a native Californian surfer, he’s convinced me that a surfer mindset dovetails perfectly with cycle-touring!
Guess I never should have got rid of MY surfboard I had in Hawaii when stationed there in the Coast Guard! I might not have been good at the surfing part, but I’d be a natural camping on the beach NEXT to it!
We had a nice dinner PRE-pared by Karen since she was working late (which I still kinda messed up forgetting all about the salad) but we had no trouble filling up Alvin’s tank with the casserole and pudding. Fun stories of travel and people we’ve met touring were shared and Alvin’s story of the missing iguana reminds me to closely monitor what gets tossed into the kitchen garbage can.
And note to self … Alvin confirmed what I’ve heard from others: don’t ride northbound on the PCH. The north winds will kill ya! But DO ride it. Inexpensive hiker / biker campgrounds are available at frequent intervals along the route … Perfect for bike touring!
So, if you are “downstream” from Rochester on Alvin’s route to NYC, or you ever have the chance to host him wherever he travels, be sure to invite him in for a stay. You’ll meet a happy cyclist who’s a genuine pleasure to chat with and whom you’ll be sad to see leave without you tagging along!
Great meeting you Alvin!
Rubber Side Down!
(Ahem … “shoe glue side” … )