Monthly Archives: September 2019


I talked about some special bikers who enjoy traveling long distances from country to country. Such adventure lovers need to plan almost everything before beginning the journey. One important issue is where they will sleep at night. Of course, most of them carry with tents and stick them on fields, beaches or wherever. Sometimes they contact local people who show fraternity and humanity as they allow almost unknown cyclists to enter their homes and offer bed, food and a good shower.

As it comes to showers, the Warm Showers webpage is the pioneer tool to contact hosts who will be delightful to share a little of their lives with bikers. Figures are astonishing: With more than 116.000 members and 69.000 hosts, it is spread out to 161 countries in the 5 continents and members, who must be adults, speak up to 17 languages. People who want to offer hospitality must provide contact information and occasionally share great stories and a drink. The members hosting can be even decades in their future. This service is offered to private individuals or even small groups, but above all touring on bicycles is compulsory. Besides, paying for the stay is prohibited.

In 1993, Terry Zmrhal and Geoff Cashman started this service. In 1996, Roger Gravel began maintained the Warm Showers List. Randy Fay turned the list into a good looking database-and-map enabled website in 2005 and eventually assumed the webmaster/register role from Roger when the last retired in 2009. A dedicated group of volunteers manage the site and communication with the members nowadays.

Types of members range from those who are only hosts, hosts plus riders bicycle tours, long term bicycle touring mode and only people who provides information or resources. You can select whether offer lodging and food.

If you are planning a long trip on bike or are opened to share hospitality with bikers, Warm Showers is the ideal place to start with.

Tio Pepe

Tío Pepe (Oncle Pepe in English) was probably the first bike activist in Valencia, Spain. His personality allowed him to develop one of his passions: To modify bicycles so that they seemed objects and animals completely different to what people have in mind when listening to the word bike. He showed oddness, fun and open-mindedness in every artwork and ride from the last century. But above all, his persistence in making a better world on the base of bicycles is what we appreciate the most. He worked in the workshop called Villa Quita Penas (Villa Shame Removing, notice the good mood) in which he developed his most famous machines like the bike-horse or the bike-boat. Moreover, he used to ride his bikes dressed in extravagant costumes with banners on which everybody could read forceful sentences such as I pollute friendliness, happiness and peace, or Whether it is hot or cold, with a bike you travel better (in Spanish it sounds great).

One of his modified bikes is the bike-horse:

One can see the external structure to represent a horse, including the mane. If you keep your eyes on what is above the front wheel, you will discover an intelligent mechanism to transfer movement to a metallic hammer which hits a plate as the bike rides. Here you have a detail:

Next, the bike-boat:

This colorful boat made children smiling the moment they saw it. Again, you can see the metallic plate to make noise, yellow in this case. Furthermore, this bike has a special movement since the rider goes up and down similarly to waves as she pedals.

Just to illustrate his mood, he built a bike-car and one can read As all my neighbors have cars, I also have one (including the license plate) in the back.

Finally, if you wonder what face had Tío Pepe just check it out:

Now, you understand why Tío Pepe was so cherished by the people in the Cabañal neighborhood and by Valencia itself.