Warm Showers: Changing the way cyclo tourists do their thing


I would like to apologise to the readers of this post and to Warm Showers. I received an unsolicited email from a Andrew Stephen offering to write a guest post which would be of interest to the readers of this blog.  As I am keen on the idea of guest posts and there was nothing to show in Andrew Stephen’s emails to suggest it was nothing other than a genuine offer, I happily accepted it and posted the post on Warm Showers and “Gary” a cyclo tourist.

After publishing the post I received an email asking about a link that was meant to have been included. I thought that was odd as I didn’t recall any mention of an associated blog in any of Andrew Stephen’s emails and a double-check confirmed that.

However a review of the Word document that Andrew Stephen sent me confirmed that a link indeed had been provided, a link to a business in the United Kingdom who had purported to have sold or otherwise the bike that “Gary” used riding around the UK.

Had Andrew Stephens been upfront about the “association” with the business I wouldn’t have accepted the post. A personal blog link would have been fine, but the association with the business and the way it was used in the article has concerned me hence my decision.  To allow you to make your own informed decision I will be uploading a PDF of the emails I received before posting the article and the Word document (forthcoming).  I will then leave it to you to make your own judgement call.

For the record Andrew Stephen used the email address “” and the associated business is called “Bikesnbits.”  Personally if a business needs to try these sorts of tactics to promote itself I would suggest that one would be better off spending their hard-earned elsewhere at more reputable bicycle shops.

Andrew Stephen has been invited to post his take on this as a comment below.

3 Responses to Warm Showers: Changing the way cyclo tourists do their thing

  1. perthcyclist 24 March 2013 at 7:56 PM #

    wow, that’s a weird scam!! I will be on the alert now. Warmshowers seemed like a cool concept but I joined up and there wasn’t anyone really coming through. I did do Couchsurfing (hosting) for a while but when I moved back to Perth I got a bit annoyed with the endless avalanche of backpackers just trying to sponge some free accommodation!! There were good ones but it was hard to tell the good from the bad.

    • Andrew Priest 25 March 2013 at 8:36 AM #

      I agree it did seem a lot of work to go to promote a website. I should have questioned it all when I first got approached as there was no indication of a “return” to the writer, not even a personal blog which I would have been happy to link to. In today’s world that should have stood out to me.

      With the reference to the bike shop in the article, and the way it was brought in I am now doubtful the whole story is genuine, which is a pity as I am happy to promote Warm Showers as others report good experiences with it: by all accounts better experiences than you got from Couchsurfing.

  2. Andrew 26 March 2013 at 7:20 PM #


    I never imagined that my article would cause any upset or distrust, I am an avid cyclist and have been for many years, it has given me an opportunity to travel and meet many fascinating people across the world.

    I have always purchased my bikes and equipment from “specialist cycle retailers” and over the years have received huge support and great advice from them, I celebrate these champions wherever they are, without whom I would probably not have got into cycling in the first place.

    Yes I did mention the store in the UK from whom I have purchased the majority of my cycling equipment in the blog, and did so as much to celebrate the excellence of specialist retailers across the world who are constantly battling against “online and major retail groups” driving down market prices and making it tougher for the real specialist stores to survive, a market shift that is not just exclusive to the cycle market, it is happening across almost every market.

    I did not seek to trick you or your readers and I apologise if this is your “take”.

    You did receive a number of examples of articles I have written and had posted and you accepted this article happily before publishing.

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