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Entitlement mentality of guests

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Unregistered anon_user's picture
Entitlement mentality of guests

We are starting to feel a trend developing where the guest is EXPECTING the host to provide all the comforts of home when all we are really doing is giving a safe place to camp and a warm shower. The entitlement mentality seems to be prevalent with folks in their twenties and early thirties. In New Mexico, we offer transportation to a buffet where the hungry cyclist can fill 3-5 plates of food for a minimal cost. BUT we do not feel it appropriate that we pay for the meal. It extends to doing laundry. There is a laundromat just across the street from us and if you, as guest, need to do laundry we will lend a helping hand by supplying laundry soap, but our machines get enough use between us and the granddaughter who comes by to do her laundry at our place. We feel if you need to do laundry bad enough, the experience is something that is a burden to your finances and not ours. In short, we are concerned that the guest treats us as if we are supposed to be their bed-and-breakfast along the route. While it is enjoyable to have diverse company in the form of traveling cross-country cyclists, we ask that you respect our surroundings if you stay with us and ask if you need something. Entitlement is EXPECTING all the comforts of home when indeed, again, we offer a safe place to lay your head in the evening and a warm shower to get rid of the road dirt. We feel it is a shared responsibility and not for someone to get too comfortable and take advantage of what is being offered. To combat this trend, some on the warmshowers list are limiting hosting to older riders 35 years and older. And perhaps the most cavalier event is the guest who emails us two and three months in advance as if they were booking a room. Totally uncalled for!!

John & Donetta Demirjian
Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member WS Member's picture
Right On

I belong to couch surfers too and I often have younger guests in the 20 to early 30 range. They often are as you described only looking to see what they can take out of the situation and not looking to give a thing. I did not think of raising my age limit and that may be a good idea. Thanks

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Hosts need to be explicit about their expectations too

Immature guests are truly annoying.

That said, please make sure you're explicit about your expectations and house rules, both on the profile and in advance communications. Make sure you don't let them assume you're going to feed them. It's just communication. (John, your profile does not yet say that clearly.)

It's always good to point out the How to be a good host and the How to be a good guest articles.

-Randy
Warmshowers.org webmaster

Unregistered anon_user's picture
changing the profile

Randy-- I changed the profile and almost immediately after I did, there has been very less than usual response to our hosting of the cross-country long haul cyclist. It seems if we have hit a real nerve amongst the travelers. Without a meal expected or access to laundry, we are now low on the list of people to contact when in Las Cruces. Disappointing, but ok. It is something the cycling community has brought upon itself as a self-inflicted wound. Again, we provide a safe haven to camp and a warm shower. And that is substantial after a long day on the road. Unfortunately we do not afford our guests all the comforts of home. We had to draw a line in the sand for those who were cavalier with our home.

WS Member wsadmin's picture
You get to offer what you want to offer

It's super important that you and the guest agree on what's happening. It's not wrong for a guest to prefer a place that might offer more, and it's not wrong for you to not offer food, etc. At all.

IMO you've been so generous so much it's probably good to get a bit of a break. Sometimes we hear from hosts that are annoyed and it seems like they've just given too much because they've been on a popular route and never turn their profile "off". And they just get tired of it. So getting a slowdown can be a good thing.

Isn't it also right now the slowdown time of year for the Southern Tier? Could that be part of it?

Unregistered anon_user's picture
NOT a slow time in the Southern Tier

We should be seeing an influx of new people heading out from San Diego along the Southern Tier route. As Spring picks up, the flow usually steadily increases. We have had no one of the serious riders this Spring so far and that us unusual we think.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi Randy, thank you for

Hi Randy,

thank you for paying attention to John's post. I can tell you that he and his wife are the stalwarts of this critical desert transit area. They host year round, often several times a month. This time of year, sometimes several times a week.

Your points are well taken. I too have asked John to slow down a bit so that he doesn't burn out. Conversely, it is also true that after too many data points of issues thematically recurrent, limiting guests has had despair-ful results. That is, it really does seem that if a meal isn't offered, a high percentage of cyclists find hospitality not worth their while. The "data points" and the experience behind them seem to make this clear.

Hosts inthe area have worked hard to make southern New Mexico a real asset to the system. We are determined to remain so.

Thanks again for your interest in our situation.

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Thanks for your hospitality and commitment

Thanks to all of you for such hospitality and commitment.

It's certainly possible that this is all too easy for cyclist guests these days. I hope not. It's also not my experience, but I haven't ridden one of the major routes.

Let's all remember that cyclists don't *need* hosting (most of the time). It's just a great way to meet people and enjoy new friends. So if we say no, we're not doing any damage.

All: Please make absolutely sure to leave neutral or negative feedback when you have a guest (or host) that someone else might not want. That's the way the community polices itself, and it could potentially root out the problem members. (And for the same reason leave positive feedback when warranted.)

WS Member WS Member's picture
Mr. Fay, The subject isn't

Mr. Fay,

The subject isn't too important as a complaint about this or that as much as it is about a trend we are seeing. The Southern Tier seems to have evolved into the popular dash route -- people who want to go coast-to-coast as fast and inexpensively as possible to say they did it. Just this morning I had a request from a 26 year old doing just this, with a full SAG vehicle, four weeks a WS member, looking to "book" a night one week and a half ahead, and against the rules posted in my profile. We don't consider this to be the spirit of WS although others might not mind. While the concept is destined to draw these sorts of abuses (and you have seen all of them I'm sure), what we are trying to convey is that these sorts of things are happening, at least on our route, so often as to force hosting restrictions.

You are spot on about cyclists that should not 'need' hosting mostly. We're here for the emergencies to be sure. Staying to recharge batteries after days of hard desert riding or a couple of days to repair a torn tent is one thing. Hosting coast to coast riders who have 'booked' a WS route and so carry no tent at all is quite another. Yet we often enough see 'touring cyclists' with sleeping bag but no tent, no cooking wares, no tools other than a patch kit, not enough money with which to eat; looking for pit crews instead of hosts.

We are guilty of not writing reviews. We've actually requested people not to write reviews, feeling it to be a payback of sorts we did not want instead of the community tool it is. Thanks for pointing this out, Randy. We will change that.

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Tit-for-tat feedback is not allowed

Just FYI, we don't allow tit-for-tat feedback (where somebody just gives a negative because they got one). So if something like that happens you can let us know and we'll do something. But really, the community has to police itself (via feedback). Mark and I can't sort out disagreements or disappointments among 40,000 members. We would *love* for there to be no more "entitlement-oriented" travelers ever again, but I think that would require lots more education, primarily by the hosts.

Neutral feedback like "We felt like these people asked more of us than we offered, and that they're not really traveling in the spirit of what we think touring cycling is." is fine. It should honestly express your reaction and not be too inflamatory.

Thanks for your hospitality and your feedback! And please do say no every time somebody doesn't seem to meet your criteria.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Alright Mr. Fay, my last post

Alright Mr. Fay, my last post here, I promise. After taking in the value of your experience and pragmatism, and having seen how you have dealt with a couple of private issues of cyclists who have passed through over time, it is just as important to take a moment to say thanks to all WS staff for the unsung work you do. Having your ear for this moment is my opportunity to say 'thanks' personally. But know that those thanks stand proxy for others you do not hear, and many more who do not yet know enough to realize just what exactly it is that you all do.

The time you gave to this engagement was most useful. Thank you. See you on the road! R/ Jeff Gardner, Las Cruces

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Thanks so much! BTW, there

Thanks so much!

BTW, there are dozens of happy feedback entries posted daily. 66 positive today and 1 negative (a host that was a front for a hotel). So while immature or entitlement-oriented travelers are annoying and get occasional complaints, there are lots and lots of people doing great out there. We try to read some of the happy feedbacks so we keep our perspective :-)

WS Member WS Member's picture
Addendum -- I just realized

Addendum -- I just realized that when I said 'payback' it was taken in the bad vernacular. Rather, I meant the opposite -- positive feedback we did not want as a sort of quid pro quo for someone's good stay. Sorry for not making that clear.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
SAG?

Hi there, just chanced upont this thread and cannot make sense of the acronyme - anyone there who will enlighten me? Thanks Birgit

WS Member WS Member's picture
SAG

I'm not sure that it stands for anything, Birgit. The term refers to a cycle tour that has vehicle support. A vehicle that follows behind the rider(s) to carry gear and often provide repair support.

Ourselves and many others do not host rides with SAG support. There are several reasons for this.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Birgit

A sag wagon is a support vehicle for individual riders so they do not have to travel self-contained. A sag wagon is not for the purist who enjoys the trials and tribulations of traveling self-contained for long distances in and out of the country.

--John Demirjian

Unregistered anon_user's picture
SAG wagon

Sag is short for "support and gear".

WS Member WS Member's picture
LOL! Yeah John, you are

LOL! Yeah John, you are right. I was just trying to be....more diplomatic.

'Support and gear'. thanks...I learned something today.

Jeff

WS Member WS Member's picture
Well at least they're reading

Well at least they're reading your profiles then! After 5+ years on multiple hospex sites I have learned that this is not standard behaviour.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
well, it happened again

Even after specifically posting that we are not a bed-and-breakfast mentality here in Las Cruces, I have a fellow who is on a fundraiser booking rooms along the route over a week and a half in advance. It is the entitlement mentality that I can't seem to get past that bugs the hell out of me. He's got a sag wagon and has stopped at others along the way to save money. We, in turn, are not for the casual cyclist. We are here for the hardcore, self-contained adventurer who is into crossing the country as a badge of honor for endurance of rough going. We sit at the crossroads of the desert and humanity as an oasis of sorts for those slugging it out for a hard day in the raw desert. We are just not into fundraisers. That is a tired thought from the past. We represent a link in the chain of continental achievement, and a sag wagon is just out of our league.

--John Demirjian
Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Please say "no"

Please be more explicit in your profile:

"We do not accept riders who have a SAG"

"Bed-and-breakfast mentality" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing to you as to others.

If you say "We accept only self-supported bike travelers and we do not offer meals" I think it will be more clear. Maybe put that on top.

Note that most people don't read *anything* *ever*, so people will still contact you.

But please say "no" and don't let it bug you. The site does not exclude those traveling with a SAG; A fair number of people will even host people who are biking but arrive in a vehicle.

There are many, many different ways to travel, and all of them have their unique benefits. Self-supported touring is no the only way.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
we did say no

Our profile is staightforward. No need to update.

WS Member WS Member's picture
I'm not sure I understand the

I'm not sure I understand the problem with requesting a week and a half in advance (if anything that would probably be too little notice for us - others ask for accommodation 6 months out, that's fine but we probably have no idea what our schedule will be that far out - usually 3-6 weeks out is the sweet spot for us) but as has been said you can put whatever requirements you see fit on your profile and each guest is free to agree to them, or look elsewhere.

Beyond that there's not much more you can do, WS is growing and as with any other hospex site there will be a significant number of members who join up only to be hosted so that they can save money with no interest in any camraderie or cultural exchange (and yes these tend to be the very ones who don't read your profile as they aren't the slightest bit interested in knowing what type of person you are).

When Couchsurfing was functioning we would get around 1000 requests per year - probably 700 would instantly qualify for a cut and paste denial they were that useless (signed up 3 minutes ago, nothing in profile, had not read our profile) but we responded to all of them. If you don't care about your response rate just ignore the requests from people you see as not entering into the spirit of hospitality exchange on Warmshowers, otherwise just write up a short, polite, generic message and save it to a clipboard manager or browser extension like 'clippings' (firefox) then your response is just a couple of clicks away - it's not that much effort.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi Paul. Like you, I too

Hi Paul. Like you, I too used to say the more lead time the better. That aspect is but one data point in what we have seen as a steep decline in the American cyclist, generally over the last couple of years. As the advance notice goes, a guy who contacted the hosts in town today is presently in Chula Vista, CA. I'll bet an entire paycheck that he has already arranged WS stays throughout CA, AZ, Silver City, Las Cruces, El Paso, Ft. Davis and beyond. With a personal SAG wagon no less! Because we see this time and again.

You are right; these sorts of behaviors have always happened. Our point isn't the behavior. It is that a bevy of these sorts of things has become a norm, here anyway. Where for many years we gladly took on all comers that sometimes included a quirckster, now 'locking down' our profile to limit those engaged in a time-honored achievement weeds out MOST considerations. The self-contained traveler who comes off of three or four days of tough desert riding who calls grateful for a shower, a place to sleep and comraderie has become the welcome exception instead of the rule.

Yeah, we'll just say no. Its just that at one time we never had to do that. Meanwhile, those who do engage the journey without having cut a corner or two or six or a dozen continue to be people of delightful presence and fibre that makes it all worth the while.

Thanks, Paul.

WS Member WS Member's picture
An Age of Entitlement ...

I agree with the original post. it seems these days as if tent space + a shower is just not enough.

My latest " disappointment" was a "mature" guy who stayed *two* nights, plus got a pretty elaborate meal we prepared, then seemed to be annoyed that I couldn't connect his laptop to our WiFi - he wanted to Skype. I think he was also a tad grumpy to have to use his own tent, tho that's clear from our Profile. ( Previous guests indoors have been just too stinky!)

When he left, I took it upon myself to guide him through city traffic to resume his trip. Last thing I said to him was " Don't forget FB".

We saved that guy around US$ 50.00 in **camping fees** alone - let alone the cost of a hotel, and he yet he has given us NO FEEDBACK. ( I have given him Neutral)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BTW : another "entitled" Guest has just written to me to say, " thanks for hosting our visit" etc etc ...but gave us Neutral FB "...because we gave her Neutral" ... that's her second Follow UP message too !
----------------------------------------------------------------------
What a world we live in...

WS Member WS Member's picture
Bicycle Fish! Some day I'll

Bicycle Fish! Some day I'll ride Australia again just meet you all.

There will always be a marginal or inconsiderate edge to any social fractal. The difference now is that what was once marginal has become oddly common. Its surely not a reflection on cycle-touring as much as it is about society itself. But still.

I'll hope that the reaction of the hosts in our city is an exception. But I'm thinking not. Most hosts here have really tightened up the requirements for invitations. Part out of necessity, part of just being weary of dealing with the inconsiderate and unprepared travelers just a little bit too often.

I hope more people come to admire and respect what you've both done for the WS community.

R/ Jeff Gardner
Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member WS Member's picture
Asking in advance

So far, I've just had a few guests and they were awesome- I just love meeting interesting folks. As I don't get that many requests, I enjoy cooking for guests and making them as comfy as possible.
Actually, I appreciate being asked early, e.g. I just got a request for some time end of June. For me, this saves me the kerfuffle a short notice might cause (although I can make hosting possible at short notice). Especially in summer, lots of potential hosts are on holidays themselves and it might be a good idea to check in advance whether there's any chance to find a WS-host at all. This especially in places with very few WS-members.
As I'm no "hardcore-I-cross-the-desert & the Alps" ;-) cyclist myself, I also welcome people who just spend some weeks cycling without wanting to break records.
And, as said before, my WS experiences and also years as a member of the German "Dachgeber"-community have just been great, as a host and as a guest.
So, let's keep on sharing our idea of hospitality...and may the wind be ever in our backs ;-).

WS Member WS Member's picture
Choose your guests carefully

Hi Susanne,

I am a host because I like to meet people from around the world and offer them a nice stay. For me that includes cooking and I clearly announce it to my guests so that they will not buy fresh food which they have to throw away on the next day. Offering a bed to someone and not to share my table with them is not compatible with my attitude towards life. Maybe that is part of southern European culture. However, I ask for early notice, I have a close look at profiles and feedbacks and I refuse about 2 of 3 hosting requests. First preference are people who already hosted and got feedback, then those who got positive feedback as guests.

So far, in three years and about 20 guests, I never had bad experience but only great encounters. There was only one who did not show up but he called me in the evening and his story about technical problems sounded plausible.

I think that communication is the key to host and visitor satisfaction. I understand and respect WS hosts who do not offer full service, especially if they host a lot and with short notice. But they should write this clearly in their profiles and communicate it in their messages.

Rainer

WS Member WS Member's picture
Learing from others, sharing with others

Hi Rainier, and hi Suzanne,

The hosts in our town have learned from the experience of all of you. Clearly, we've been able to keep genuine hospitality wide open and enthusiastic because of it.

The key has indeed been screening guests more closely. Interestingly, since doing so, we all have experienced a very large drop in hosting requests. Our suspicion had been that the primary interest of many cyclists coming through was free food. Other hospitality priorities seemed to follow, but very often in skewed fashion. I'm happy to say that since better screening began, we've not had to change any hosting hospitality at all, to include offering good meals. We are just happier offering it to travelers who host here believe are coming through with the genuine WS spirit.

Another sad observation, not very popular, I offer to you as German and French hosts, respectively. A much higher percentage of travelers who respect cycling and hospitality are foreign. Rapidly deteriorating American culture seems too clearly reflected in the general demeanor of many of our own contry-people on the road. We have come to screen out the historically problematic elements and share hospitality with the smaller group of really, really great people here.

As is many of our local host opinions applied to WS understanding, it is hosts like you that cause us to want to get on the road. German and French history, locations, monuments and beauty are ir-replaceable. But the real experience is meeting hosts like yourselves.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
beggars?

Reading all these comments, I hereby give a copy of a WSL-email. I removed names to protect their privacy.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"We are two crazy vegetarian riders of the .......... traffic and coming around
your location. My bf ........ has already done more than 5400 km from
..........., and I will be in belgium on 20th of june and meet him.

https://www.warmshowers...................... [1] his profile

http://www............................................ [2] his route
We plan to cycle together for 3 months to way back home.

Interesting thing about our trip is we just have very little money for this
trip and collected the equipment we need(bike, camping gear, clothes, all the
electronics) through freecycle and gift circle from strangers. (Yeah,
strangers gave us expensive electronics for our trip!)
If you like to support us, you can host us, give us some food and check the
list below. Maybe you have something we can borrow for 3 months. That's it.
We dont have shiny, fancy needs :)
Are you available for the 25th of June?

list:

* 2 persons water-proof tent(ours is not waterproof :)
* sleeping mat
* anti-puncture tire belt
* rear-panniers
* some comfy handlebars and grips (.............. is having a bad wrist pain)
* music player (a walkman maybe :)
* a map of your area
* a waterproof rain jacket (............. doesnt have one )

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I am convinced I am rather generous to WSL-bikers. They don't have to contribute anything for a dinner + night + breakfast besides their stories.
However, this recent email really struck me. Of course are bikers with few money, but this requestngoes beyond my imagination.

Of course I rejected their request to stay for a night. If you are so low on money that THIS is the way you have to beg for decent material, than you better don't travel.

For me these two persons are bums.

Peter de Visser
Oostvoorne, The Netherlands

WS Member wsadmin's picture
Already had a complaint about them

I already had a complaint about them and contacted them. They have not responded. Feel free to leave negative feedback. If I don't hear back from them I'll delete their account.

-Randy
Warmshowers.org webmaster

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Thanks

Thanks, Randy, for your advice.
I've put a negative feedback at their account.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Guests great "expectations"

I've hosted cyclists in Key West, Fl and am just starting to host again in San Francisco. After reading the posts in this section I made it a point of including certain things IN CAPITOL LETTERS in my profile. I *hope* it does the trick. My first guest in San Francisco was a delight! She told me she had read the entire profile along with feedback and wasn't put off by some of the things I included. I think it's very important to be concise with any potential guests about what you are willing to offer and what you expect from them in return. My profile says it all!

UPDATE;
I live at the start/end of the TransAm/Western Express route so I feel for anyone else that lives in close proximity to a major bike route!
I still love to host and I *think* it's because of what I put in my profile that I've had so few problem guests. Also, because of a couple of things i put in there, I can tell right away if someone has read my profile ALL THE WAY THROUGH! That makes my selection process a LOT easier!

WS Member WS Member's picture
changing times

Your profile certainly does say it all, Mr. Sweet. I guess I've always thought that if so much of courtesy and respect had to be dictated like a legal brief, then we were in with the wrong people in the first place. Over time and lots of work, our profile hit the markers while still being upbeat.

Your point that touring has changed hits a note here in Las Cruces. Hosts here see the change. WS success seems to have run into the law of unintended consequences -- there seem to be larger numbers of people on the road for whom a profile like yours is a necessary lesson instead of a helpful reminder.

I'm glad you are back onboard Mr. Sweet. And in a great corner of the world!

R/ Jeff Gardner
Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member WS Member's picture
Profiles, rules, protocols, education, feedbacks, etc.

Hi Randy

First let me apologize for my english; second is that this post might sound strange. I hope not.
I'll do my best to make myself clear and to not make you loose your time.

I've been with WS for almost a year and up to now only had hosting experiences. Recently, as requests and guests started to show up more often, I began paying some more attention to forums. Naturally, the problems or questions that brought me to the forums are already old questions for all of this community.

One of your comments to someone's post was that he should be more specific with his profile, in order to let all the potential cyclist guests know in advance what are the limits and expectations for this particular hosting.
My point is: I’m in this because I don’t mind giving a hand to people that share the same joy that I do by riding a bike, I’m curious about their stories, I want to contribute in some way for a positive experience in my country where only 260 WS hosts are available.
I don’t expect all the guests to be the same level of education, to be equally aware of WS rules, or to be the same kind of person that I am. That would be terrible…
Having said that, my questions are: what’s your advice? Should I warn my guests in advance that they should give their feedback after they leave? (because it’s part of rules, because it’s a way of showing some formal gratitude for the host, because it’s one of the basis of this community); should I warn my guests in advance that they shouldn’t behave like in a hotel (staying closed in their room, only showing up for meals, not cleaning properly the mess they do and expecting someone else to do it, not volunteering for help in cooking meals…).
The problem is, if I do that, if I do change my profile, it will make it look less genuine. I want guests to be as they are, but I sure wish some of them could be better people…
My motivation for being part of WS is still the same and has to do with me. I do it because I want to do it. But sometimes I wonder what would be if all the guests started to behave like the ones I had lately. Would it still make the same sense to me? Is there a way of telling people (other than the ones you already have) how to behave properly in a community like this and, at the same time, not turning the all thing into a over ruled system?

Thank you for your time.
José Carlos Catarino

WS Member wsadmin's picture
An important topic

I personally don't make a point of asking for feedback, and I think you're right, the hosts that make a point of it make themselves look a little too formal or something.

In my opinion this is a community issue. Much of the community now understands that every interaction between members should result in feedback (even if neutral or negative, but CERTAINLY if positive). We've done a number of things to try to push this - for example, when a person gives feedback the other gets a notice about it, prompting them to leave feedback. But we have a ways to go. We have initiatives in the works to keep track of when hosting happens and then remind people about feedback after it happens.

Thanks for your wonderful hospitality. I'd say that if you're concerned about feedback, just a quiet word as guests are leaving saying "Please do leave me feedback when you get to a computer" would be fine. Then you don't have to clutter your profile with it. But just my opinion.

Thanks!
-Randy

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hello Jose, Your struggle is

Hello Jose,

Your struggle is understandable. Seems that many of us have been there. It is this forum that helped sort it all out.

Our local hosts have discovered that with the tremendous growth of WS, the community is not what it once was. An honor code amongst touring cyclists regarding travel is often missing. As a result, we've had many more problem guests than in times past.

After working with many different suggestions I settled on an approach that has worked very, very well. Instead of working on feedback after guests leave, we do not host unless that courtesy has been a part of their travels past. The feedback isn't for you -- its for the other WS hosts down the road. Almost without exception travelers who are considerate with feedback are considerate in your home.

We're all glad that you are around, Jose!

WS Member WS Member's picture
Hi Peter! With luck, folks

Hi Peter!

With luck, folks like this are the exception. There will always be people on those outer edges. My greater concern is that what once was considered by many people to be that 'outer edge' too often has elements that move closer to common frequency. Since my original post some months ago, we've had cyclists come through with full restaurant sponsorships, full sag support, for-profit rides. One guy even rented a car because he didn't want to deal with West Texas. All 'outer edges' of cycle touring, but examples of too many data points from that region of the experience.

Randy Fay is on top of situations like you encountered. I don't know how he does it. But because he does, we have good reason to continue to have confidence in the great WS system.

How many requests do you get in a year, Peter? Just curious.

Jeff Gardner
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Thanks for your reaction

Hi Jeff,

Year around I usually get some 10 requests (average).
I think I admit 1 out of 3 to stay over in my house.
Next to my availabillity I judge their account, experience and reviews. The rest is a 'gut - feeling".

A guest must be a pleasure for me. That's my "payment". I am NOT a social institute to pamper poor cyclists.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Good criteria. That is

Good criteria. That is eventually where this threat ended up. The advice on how to deal with it has been very helpful. You just sort of wish it didn't have to be that way.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
changing attitude

After WW 2 I was raised with the unwritten rules to comfort a guest and adapt to his/her wishes/lifstyle.
However, my 12 year old WSL-membership, age of 68 and life experience learned me that this oldfashioned attitude does not fit anymore in nowadays (general) mentality.

As shown in my profile, I changed my attitude from humble, modest and "guest-friendly", into "my terms..., my offers are..., take-it-or leave-it".
Fed up with people who show disappointed faces, when I serve my local, extended dinner and Dutch traditional snacks, potential guest are warned ahead by reading my profile that picky and/or spoiled persons are not welcome.

I try to give my guest the taste and experience what the Dutch ate and still eat/drink. If you don't appreciate this kind of practical, historical and cultural lesson while travelling in The Netherlands, you are at the wrong address and better find a McDonalds and/or a Best Western.

In short: I ever was the modest, humble person who adapted to the guest. Now I expect the guest to be modest, humble and adapted to my way of hosting.
Too bad?
No,...it took me some time to change this and feel happy with it. It's just a change in our western world mentality I have to follow.
Never too old to learn.

Peter de Visser
Oostvoorne,
The Netherlands

WS Member WS Member's picture
Peter, I understand. I think

Peter, I understand. I think some numbers of others do, too. We too have had to learn to 'lock down' our profile, using recommendations of more experienced WS hosts. You hate to do it. But, for the fewer travelers that we have to serve, it has become a consistently delightful experience. I really hope that you have found the same thing. Because if I were on the road again it'd be a privilege to petition to spend Dutch time with you.

Keep smiling...there are many really terrific people on the road. They will energize you, as you do them. Its weeding out the rest that keeps energy from draining.

Jeff Gardner
Las Cruces, New Mexico

WS Member WS Member's picture
Peter, sounds like you'd be an interesting person to meet.

Would love to be back in the Netherlands again so maybe will get to meet you. Have warm feelings for the Dutch and Holland. Fortunately quite a few migrated to these parts.
Hope the hip goes well.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
Oh?

Thanks for the compliment, John.
Up to now you did not take part in this forum discussion. What was the trigger for you to react, besides the fact that "you have warm feelings for the Dutch"?

My hip?
Sure. I have already another metal hip, so,... in two weeks I do my shopping again on the bike.
The best way to recover is: move, move, move....ride, ride, ride.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
the entitlement cyclists

Due to our weather being so hot here in the high desert, the flow of cross country cyclists has dried up for the most part as we are experiencing over 100-degree temperatures for weeks on end now. Only the hard core and the purists are out on the road. We haven't seen anyone for a good two weeks now. But the ones we have hosted have been above board, paying for their meals out at the local buffet and having great manners in my home. The trend for the entitlement cyclists seems to be waning, at best. We can hope, can't we!!
Keep on moving.

--John Demirjian
Las Crcues, New Mexico

WS Member WS Member's picture
John! I'm thinking that the

John!

I'm thinking that the careful re-writes of our profiles along guidelines of the helpful suggestions of other WS hosts have helped a lot, too!

You make an interesting point about our furnace summer season. Since, generally, only the hearty and seasoned cyclists venture to this part of the country at this time of year, we may actually get a higher quality of guest than at other times of the year.

WS Member WS Member's picture
Guest's expectations

I have read this series of comments with interest. This is my 4th season of hosting warmshower guests. So far everyone who has pedaled up to my door would be welcome to pedal up again.
I have not been a guest myself of a warmshower host. But have read several profiles
while jumping around the site.

I think what is often missing is clear communication.

Run on paragraphs , minimal info, and missing info. Bikers are not mind readers

My profile is maybe a half page long, with several subjects covered in separate paragraphs
so that someone reading can easily read it. ( try reading a paragraph that does not end sometime)

I clearly state that I expect to prepare them a meal, and even add I want to fix something
they would enjoy. Makes me no difference what I fix, so might as well fix them something
they are craving rather than something they do not like. Even willing to cater to vegetarians ( have not had the vegan request yet will cross that bridge when it comes)
Folks have shared " no fish , allergic to eggs, a salad , protein, more often than not
" I will eat anything is the response" all of which are fine. Sometimes it takes
a 2nd prompting to get an honest answer, but that it what I am asking for.

I state that I do not drink, but if they bring some beer I will be glad to chill it for them

I even tell them in advance what to expect about the dress code around my home
so that they won't be surprised. And give them a chance to give feedback

I have yet to have anyone show anything less than a very thankful for what I offer.

Bottomline : clearly state in your profile, maybe ask for some key feedback somewhere
in your profile that if they do not give on first response, will give you some leverage
to ask if they read your profile and know what to expect.

Unregistered anon_user's picture
hosts offer

Kevin, I agree with your "clear communication". Have a look at my WSL-account. The statements there prevent disappointments at both sides.

Besides that, the info works as a selection tool. Guests who have special wishes, don't come to me and the people who are curious and come with an open mind, will be surprised anyhow.

Being a WSL-member of over 12 years, I learned that guests from all different kind of countries have endless varieties of personal wishes.

My filosofy as traveller by bike is "If you are in Rome, do as the Romans do."
As a WSL-host I practice the same attitude. If you visit me, you will have the "Dutch lifestyle experience".

It's a personal choice as WSL-host. I have definitely chosen for "what the host offers" instead of "what are the wishes of the guests."

Come, see and enjoy. Up to now everybody survived my treatment and cooking.

Peter de Visser
Oostvoorne
The Netherlands

WS Member WS Member's picture
Lucky Host here

I suppose I can say I am one of the lucky hosts. Over the almost seven years...I think... that I have been a host on this site I have had perhaps two not great guests.
I try my best to be very clear on what I have to offer and what they will get here. I find pasta, a salad, bread and a dessert are very good offerings at my home and no one has ever turned this down or said it was terrible. I do offer vegan, vegetarian and full on you eat what ever doesn't eat you first meals. I ask well ahead of time due to the time and effort it takes for me to make these meals.
I am on the Southern Tier and the Natchez Trace areas for bikers and I have enjoyed all but two sets through my years.
I have found this year I had zero bikers at my home for the spring ride. Jack Day has contacted me for a potential stay in the fall and I am delighted to have the heads up.
As for any other riders for the fall or rest of the hell fire of summer, then feel free to contact me.
While I don't ride....wheelchairs have more than two wheels...lol, I do enjoy the stories and lives of my guests.
Take care all bikers.
Judith Schwalb
Norco, La. between New Orleans and Baton Rouge

Unregistered anon_user's picture
I agree completely that an

I agree completely that an entitled guest's assumptions are kind of a strange and unpleasant thing. I'm out of the normal routes so I get few requests for stays ( and it does not fit my way of touring to be a guest) but though I've only had one bad experience hosting, I try to look at it that a few bad (entitled) apples should not ruin things for me, and those that are absolutely wonderful experiences when hosting. No setup is perfect ... but all in all, most host/guest experiences are so rewarding, that I refuse to let a few bad apples ruin my desire to host. :)

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