Yesterday I received a text message asking if I was available to host a bikepacker traveling up the east coast to Portland Maine. The request came from a bikepacker who was on the last part of a cross country bikepacking trip from his home in California to DC and up to Portland maine.
He found me through Warmshowers.com which is a community of touring cyclists and those that support them. This platform provides the technology for reciprocal hospitality for cyclists and hosts and is now a community of more than 185,000 users across the globe. The message was from Joshua Coy who’s profile reads that he is a big fan of music (plays and tours with his trumpet) and bikes! He is looking forward to learning new things and meeting new folks along the way.
Although I have been listed as a active host I have yet to have received a request. I suspect that Covid kept most people at home as I signed up just before the outbreak in 2020. As this was going to be my first host I went into it eyes wide open. When Josh arrived we got him settled in and then went out for pizza (his choice) and beers (my choice). Over dinner Josh recapped his journey, as I sat in awe of this 25 year old’s solo journey across the USA. I wished at his age, I’d had the courage and the curiosity to venture out into a world of unknown adventure. Now old enough to be his father I looked at him with jealousy and pride for his accomplishments. He will have completed this trip in three months.
Before he took off up the coast we rode together around town and up the coast to Hampton NH. We passed groups of bikers who all seemed to have something to say and questions to ask about a biker with full packs of camping gear. People are genuinely curious about a bikepacker….where you from? where you going? where’d you start out from? I suppose it might be because it’s not something you see everyday…. but more I think find it fun to imagine themselves as a traveler on an epic journey.
Josh and I learned a lot from one another during his short stay at our home. We also came away with the seeds of friendship which I hope will grow even though our homes are on opposite coasts. But even if our paths never cross again, I will take comfort in having met him and be grateful for the fire he has ignited in me for adventure.
Its true you can teach an old Bull Dog new tricks. Thank you Josh.