Author Topic: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?  (Read 1905 times)

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Offline Westinghouse

Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« on: May 07, 2012, 02:19:44 pm »
For years cyclists have come to this forum asking about how safe it is to cycle alone cross country. Many have asked about the safety of the Southern Tier, and more particularly about the extent of the ST near Mexico. A long time ago I mentioned the rampant drug violence across the border. At that time I had been on this forum for a long time. I hadn't noticed anyone's mentioning the drug violence before then. Perhaps they had, but I sure did not see it. After I wrote about it as a sort of "be wary" post, some came on here and said that some of the places I had mentioned were safe and good places for tourists. Nuevo Laredo was one place I had in mind that someone said was OK. I mentioned some other small town which someone insisted was safe where later occurred a mass human slaughter. Here is the latest from Nuevo Laredo.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/mexico/9247447/14-headless-bodies-found-in-Mexican-city.html

Fourteen headless bodies were found in a van.  Nine others were found hanging from a bridge. You can use the link or just google the story.

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 02:48:36 pm »
I rode from Midland Texas down to Big Bend and across the Southern Tier to Austin in 2010. I rode from Austin to Baton Rouge last year. Always felt completely safe (except in cajun country). There are 20,000 border patrol employees in the US and I think most of them must work in Texas. There are more of those trucks than any other vehicle. And Nuevo Laredo is a long way from the Southern Tier. If one is looking for trouble they will be able to find it anywhere. No fear mongering! 

Offline hem

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 11:50:14 pm »
Just spent a few days riding in the Big Bend area down around the border. Marfa to Presidio, the river road, national park and back up to Marathon and Alpine. Did not have a single incident to cause any concern regarding being threatened. Oh yes the herd of javelinas at night in Fort Davis State Park was interesting though. And saw a bear in Chisos Basin too.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 07:33:58 am »
I recently did the Southern Tier and feel that the threats are far overrated.  I figured I was safer than I would be near home.

Offline hem

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2012, 10:47:58 am »
Pete you went so fast through on your ST I was kinda wondering if you got to see anything.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2012, 11:02:57 am »
Pete you went so fast through on your ST I was kinda wondering if you got to see anything.
To me the scenery looked pretty much the same for much of the way at least until past Del Rio.  I did eat a lot of great food and met a lot of very interesting people.  It just isn't the kind of scenery that excites me so I was pretty happy, just riding and chatting up the folks when I did stop.

Offline Jason

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 12:11:17 pm »
I'm going to ask a very basic question

What's the goal of the original post?
 
singlespeed touring - life generally requires just one speed.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Is the ST Near Mexico Safe?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2012, 05:33:27 pm »
I've done the ST a number of times. I never had the least bit of trouble at all except for one little thing. Two officers in a border patrol truck pulled up in back of me on that stretch of road between Van Horn and El Paso. I was travelling east to west. I was well past where I 10 deposits you on that side road that  goes through all those little towns, where you can look to your left and see Mexico. I pulled over on my touring bike. They asked me if I knew anybody in any of the towns up ahead. I didn't and I said so.

This is what they told me. It's not an exact quote, but it is the message accurately reproduced. If anyone at all yells to you or motions to you to come to where they are, don't go. Just keep right on moving.

I told them thanks for the information. I told them I had enough sense to figure that out for myself, and I thanked them for reinforcing that sense of the area I had already gained. I asked them why they had stopped me to give me that information. They said two people had been found robbed and murdered in one of those little Mexican towns. You know those places. If you're going west you can look left and see the lights from those little towns. They said the people who had been murdered had been somehow lured over there into Mexico from the American side of the border. They didn't tell me much more than that. There was no way in hell I was about to let some stranger on the side of the road divert me into Mexico anyway.

What was the point is posting that information. Well, people usual to this forum have been around the block a few times, and across the continent on bicycles for some. If they can do that, they're experienced enough not to need reminders of the risks that might await veering off the path and going south of the border for a little fun. But all that glitters is not gold. A kindly looking face can hide an evil mind. For those who are younger, and not yet exposed to the evils that men do, I would advise you to think twice before leaving the designated route, and wheeling across the border into some little town at the beck and call of some seemingly friendly stranger who, "just wants you to have a little fun." OK? I'd hammer out danger. I'd hammer out warning.