I see more and more cyclists using warmshowers who have only been members for 2 weeks or 5 weeks or some such. And all I can think of is they googled some sort of query for cyclist accomodations..
Just because I've been hosting (and loving it) for over 13 years, doesn't mean that at one time I wasn't a newbie, I can still remember my first WS encounter in 1999, I hosted a couple from Switzerland.
I've got a guy who is coming and in his profile, he blatantly says that he is low budget, and he's on a tour slated to last a couple of years? and he's only been a member for 2 weeks..so am I just human for assuming that he's just looking for free food and stays...and then hopefully I am pleasantly surprised when he turns out to be delightful like most all cyclists? Also, I noticed in his feedbacks, that he stayed 2 and 3 days with his hosts..I don't mind someone taking a rest day if they need it, but I don't like the red flag in my mind, thinking he is just biking from one shelter to another.
I don't mind short notice or even no notice. Too long of a notice to me, is way too much information for me. I'm busy. And I don't want to get a dozen emails from the same cyclist, that they are a day late, or a day early...I know, I am the exception.
I've actually built an outside bathroom (toilet, face basin), and a kitchen sink and a self contained hot water outdoor shower for cyclists so they can come anytime, even if I'm not here.
For the times that cyclists come when we are not here, we are starting to think about securing things that can "walk" off, that would be tempting for touring cyclists...young men take toilet paper...an old man took a magnifying glass (to read "damn little print" on the adv cyc maps), one guest took a camp stool, I saw it in her photos on her blog and asked her to return it. Little cycling trinkets in my guest room that cyclists used, gone. I used to put out postcards and stamps with a note saying "take one", they took them all...
I love to give things to people who truly need them, and don't consider myself stingy.
That's only a half dozen negative experiences, and I'm sure we are all guilty of something...but I have at least a hundred cyclists a year..so I have to be realistic...
So thanks all, for letting me bend your ear..