KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In the next week, bicyclists, teams and crews will make their trip to Knoxville for the 2021 USA Cycling Championships. For some, this is one of the dozens bike races they’ll travel to this year. That means hotels, motels, and host families.

A host or host family provides housing, food and other necessities to traveling competitors to ease the financial burden and also make their stay more like home.

Stephanie Hall and Gene Fitzhugh have hosted several competitors and crews in the past they say it’s a great way to get to be a bigger part of the competition.

“We’ve met great people and we’re glad cycling is back we’re thrilled we get to have that experience,” said Hall, adding that these people aren’t just bicyclists, they’ve become friends for years after their stays.

“You get to talk to the riders and you here their angst before the race and they talk about what went wrong what went right,” said Fitzhugh.

Crews who travel to help set up teams for the race say because they are on the road so much it’s nice to have someone to be a stand-in family.

“The best part you always feel like home, in a hotel it’s there are some nice things but generally it feels like hotel life but when you come see a family and meet the locals they tell you where the best things to get and sometimes its a lifesaver,” said Zane Freebairn, DNA Cycling Mechanic.

Freebairn adds he is on the road 300 out of 365 days a year.