Warm Showers

Warm Showers is a non-profit social networking service for people engaging in bicycle touring to arrange homestays. The platform is a gift economy — hosts are not supposed to charge for lodging and are not binded. The platform is accessible via a mobile app and a website based on Drupal software. The website is hosted by Skvare, LLC, a web hosting service. The company is a Colorado 501 nonprofit organization headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
The platform has been described as a "cyclists’ support network whose members may offer free amenities and services such as meals and lodging".
Rough Guides recommends Warm Showers as means to improve security of solo female cyclists.
Warm Showers helps bicycle travelers to balance the self-reliance of camping and hotels with opportunities for social encounters.
Warm Showers has a positive effect on rural communities, both socially and economically.
Many users of the platform cycle for health reasons or to reduce their carbon footprint and to be environmentally friendly.
The organization received donations of $100,641 in 2015, $84,009 in 2016, and
$115,324 in 2017.


A Canadian couple, Terry Zmrhal and Geoff Cashmen, founded Warm Showers in 1993. They created a database from the existing members of biking-hospitality organizations.
In 1996, Roger Gravel became responsible for the platform.
In 2005, Randy Fay created the website based on the existing database.
On November 15, 2009, the platform became open-source software. It has had 15 contributors and 7 releases since then.
On January 22, 2012, open source development of the mobile app for Android started and has had 11 contributors.
Randy Fay is listed as the developer with the most commits for both, website and Android app.
On October 7, 2012, open source development of the mobile app for iOS started and has had 2 contributors.
In 2017, Seth Portner was its executive director, its board chair was Len Bulmer and board members were Cyril Wendl, Russel Workman, Stephanie Verwys, Ken Francis, Jack Turner, and Bruce Squire.

Membership statistics

Homestay requests

Warm Showers grants trustworthy teams of scientists access to its anonymized data for publication of insights to the benefit of humanity. In 2015, an analysis of 97,915 homestay requests from BeWelcome and 285,444 homestay requests from Warm Showers showed general regularity — the less time is spent on writing a homestay request, the lower is the probability of success. Since both networks are shaped by altruism, low-effort communication, aka 'copy and paste requests', evidently sends the wrong signal.