Los Angeles Times

Cyclists’ R&R


Regarding “Hop On and Take Off,” April 9 in the bicycle issue: I want to mention Warm Showers (warmshower­s.org), a worldwide volunteer community of people who open their homes to cyclists.

The concept is to provide a shower and shelter, usually for just one night, with optional meals and laundry, at no cost. This provides longdistan­ce cyclists a respite from the elements and a safe place to keep their often expensive gear.

The group asks that if you have used Warm Showers, that you also serve as a host, but this is by no means a requiremen­t; in fact, many hosts (myself included) have never been a guest.

It takes just a few minutes to register and create a profile. Hosts can read about/add feedback on guests, and vice versa.

The wonderful aspect for both the guests and hosts is the people they meet. By being a host, the world comes to you.

I have hosted cyclists of all ages from 11 countries. Most visitors are from the U.S. and Canada.

I have never had a bad experience and have thoroughly enjoyed each guest. Each visitor has been an ambassador, whether he or she is from Tennessee or Slovenia or Korea visiting my small city while riding up or down California’s Highway 1.

The cultural exchanges are interestin­g, and the stories always entertaini­ng. It makes me feel good to know cyclists have a clean, warm place to rest before venturing out on their next 50- to 100-mile trek.

They often seek advice on their next destinatio­ns, and it’s fun to play travel guide. Many guests have stayed in touch, and I know I am always welcome should I ever decide to visit them.

Any travel article about long-distance cycling should include informatio­n about this wonderful community. EMMA MAYER


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