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Member email forwarding.

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Member email forwarding.

In the past, I didn't realize that many members turn off their email forwarding. I suppose this is to avoid spam or items that they are not interested in. I sent emails from the road a week ahead of time while on a cross country ride and ended up wasting many hours with my requests. There were a lot of 'no responses'. Later I would receive apologies from them not to have gotten back to me in time to be helpful. They only received Warmshowers email requests when they got around to logging into the site.

I believe a great new feature of Warmshowers would be to specifically show when a member has his forwarding turned off. This way one can skip them as potential hosts where there is only a short time to give notice. I can remember thinking to myself a number of times, 'I hope he gets back to me. There are no other members nearby'. And by the time I realized he was not going to respond, I had passed him by.

So my idea is to 'display it' when it is turned off, or possibly try another alternative. Don't allow the member to turn off the email forwarding specifically for requests and personal messages, but allow cutting off other mail from the site. If he doesn't want to be bothered at all, have him use the 'not available' feature.

Presently, there is the feature which displays when a member last logged in and this is very helpful. If a member hasn't logged in for a few months, the assumption can be that he or she has become inactive.

I don't mean to be insensitive, but this might help touring riders all over the world.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Email contacts gong by the wayside

It would be wonderful if we could figure out a way to get people to check their email regularly, Jack.

The way the system works currently, anytime a member receives a message on the Warmshowers Website from another member an email is sent automatically to the recipient's personal email account saying, "Hey, you've got an message on Warmshowers! Click this link to see it."

When people say they didn't get the message until after you've gone it's not because they didn't go to the site so much as they didn't check their email and so didn't see the message (or chose not to respond).

Frankly, I don't know how we could get members to be more timely in reading their email and responding to other members' requests. And, since it's not a question of forwarding email I'm don't think we can approach things from that direction.

We're certainly open to suggestions though!

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Email forwarding

I was told wrong and stand corrected. I apologize for my misconception.

This year I am attempting a 7,000 mile USA ride with pre-planning up the whazzo. The adventure begins in the mid-west in the middle of March and I was concerned about sleeping outside in potentially cool conditions. I'm kind of a sissy at being uncomfortable so the initial idea was to find hosts for the beginning of the ride until I got far enough south where the overnights would be temperate for tenting.

I began contacting potential hosts way in advance, around the first of November. It helps to have a website that introduces you. It's called advertising. People are much more prone to accepting you if they can get a comfortable feel for you. I was so successful that I have continued my search throughout the route of the ride. Of the 157 overnights planned, I have located nearly 120 hosts, and I still have over three weeks until the beginning of my ride. It helps that I am traveling in populated areas where there are plenty of hospitality members.

The bulk of the hosts come from Warmshowers, Couchsurfers and Tripping. When that doesn't work within an acceptable time, I contact the media (newspapers and TV). The drawback to this is they want interviews. But they do get the job done if a reporter finds your story interesting. You are then flooded with offers.

It's fun when you inform a reporter about Warmshowers. They are wide-eyed as they have no idea concerning the cycling and hospitality communities. I try to explain that hosts are the best part of one's cycling travels. Anyone who would open their house to a stranger has to be among the best, and there is nothing like spending time with like-minded people. You become long-term friends in such a short time.

Where there isn't a responding newspaper I contact the town's Mayor's office, Tourist office, and Park and Rec. I've found that churches don't respond well but I don't know why. Another good source for help is a Chamber of Commerce. Every town has one. I tell them of my need to purchase a shower and a patch of grass and ask all of the above if they know of a serious cyclist in town as we try to take care of each other.

They have responded with some pretty amazing offers such as an overnight stay in a hotel, a free one day pass to a gym, a meal at their expense at a local restaurant, and tickets to a State Fair. But remember that many of the people you contact are volunteers and not full time workers. Therefore their response may take some time.

I have found that the number of non-responders from Warmshowers is about 10%. The number of non-responders from Couchsurfers is about 30%.

I wish I knew the answer to having people check their email. I suppose I wonder that in this day and age, how could one get along without email. The non-responders are a more interesting question. A simple 'no' would suffice if they are uninterested. This is a site based on hospitality, generosity, open arms, camaraderie and information sharing. Common courtesy should go right along with these attributes hand in hand.

WS Member Imagen de WS Member
Just out of curiosity . . .

Just out of curiosity, Jack, are you doing some kind of "charity" ride? I'm just curious as to whether it's simply the fact that you are riding a bicycle for such a distance (surely an oddity in the US) or whether you are riding for a "Cause" that gets their attention.

I agree that it would be really nice if everyone acted kindly and in the spirit of Warmshowers, which is indeed an open, welcoming, community. A simple, "Sorry, no can do." would be fine. Sadly, many people prefer to let silence speak for them.

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The reason for my ride.

My age is the basis for people's interest. I am celebrating my 70th year with a 7,000 mile ride and therefore it is called the "7,000@70 Bicycle Tour". It's premise is to inspire those 50+ into more exercise to improve their health and have fun while doing it. Our obesity is killing us. I will be giving lectures at select locations all along the route. What people want to hear is stories of my bicycle adventures and their reactions satisfies my desire to inspire. My age is also the underlying reason for all the media interviews.

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You're ahead of me by a decade

Huh . . . I'm planning a "6-6-6- Ride" - I will be 60 this year; I want to see Arches, Zion, Canyonland, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks, and; I want to ride back on the Mississippi River Trail. That itinerary is approximately 6,000 miles and it should take about 6 months.

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At 60, you have plenty to look forward to.

Your ride sounds great. Try to see Arches early in the year. It gets so hot there. 107 when I passed through in late June of 2011.

I'm also planning on a western loop in 2014, taking in Monument Valley and the Pacific Coast on the way out and the Lewis and Clark on the way home.

Do you have a blog where we can follow?

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Looking forward

Thanks, Jack. It's funny how when I speak to younger people about the next 20 years and say, "If I live that long," they almost always flinch and assure me I have nothing to worry about. Optimists that they are . . . ;-)

I've been thinking I'd leave Baton Rouge in March hoping to be in Utah by mid- to late-April.

I thought I'd head . . . well . . . I'm still working on that. Part of me wants to go northwest through Texas and northern New Mexico; part of me want to head west and go through Texas and southern New Mexico - for Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, and Roswell - then head north. Still working on that.

I have a blog but I don't write much in it yet. Certainly nothing about this idea. When and if I do I'll let you know.

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So Much To See, So Little Time.

I can't help you with the best route, it's all in the eye of the beholder. My tour also starts in March and I am heading due south to Florida to locate those warm breezes. I enjoyed the Western USA better than the East but one never knows what is over the next rise.

I wish you luck and stay in contact.

Jack Day
‘7,000@70 Bicycle Tour’

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