Author Topic: ST Border Safety  (Read 3310 times)

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Offline Cowboy Bill

ST Border Safety
« on: March 04, 2013, 06:38:00 pm »
Riding solo from Austin to San Diego in April.  Why does ACA take a route so close to the border?  Just wondering if anyone has info on how safe it is.  I'm thinking of finding my own way further North.....
Cowboy Bill
Cowboy Bill

Offline Cowboy Bill

ST Border Safety Part II
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2013, 06:51:54 pm »
I should have mentioned...I'll be self-contained and mostly stealth camping.
I'm 61...but still too young to die yet!
Cowboy Bill

Offline staehpj1

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2013, 07:55:01 pm »
I didn't find it to be worrisome.

I don't know about stealth camping there.  That said, I did a good bit of camping in the open in plain sight on the ST.  In Texas I liked the roadside picnic areas.  I didn't put up a tent, but did cowboy camp there or sometimes crawled into a bivy.

Offline CMajernik

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2013, 10:52:50 am »
It would be well worth your time to search the forums on this topic - it's been asked and addressed more than once.  There are some interesting opinions, but I think you'll find that no one is going to suggest you avoid the border or any other part of the route.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Cowboy Bill

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2013, 07:27:14 pm »
I did research the topic and really didn't find anything.  Your 'thinking' about others 'suggestions' does not give me a lot of confidence...especially since you are a 'Route Director'.  I grew up in San Diego...done a lot of car camping near the border...that's why I asked about biking it...still think it might be a BIG mistake.
Cowboy Bill

Offline jsieber

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 08:17:14 am »
I grew up in San Diego...done a lot of car camping near the border...that's why I asked about biking it...still think it might be a BIG mistake.

You're right.  You should not ride the Southern Tier near the Mexican border.  You will be worried about becoming the victim of a crime so much that you will not enjoy the trip.  You should look further north, to the land of Wyoming cowboys and Kentucky and Missouri rednecks, to find a bike touring route with which you are comfortable.

Other people may not be obsessed with Mexican drug wars (or watch Faux news) to that degree, and may enjoy the ST.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 03:14:02 am »
i had a great time and not once felt threatened on the border. the only part of the southern tier i ever felt remotely threatened in was the florida redneck section ;) 

Offline Westinghouse

Re: ST Border Safety
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2013, 07:02:57 am »
There has been much human slaughter just south of the border. That killing is happening between various drug gangs and the government authorities. It is a low-intensity war zone. In general, they have no interest in blasting some Gringo riding a bike between Van Horn and El Paso. You will definitely not be on anyone's hit list. The main concern would be going south of the border and using the E-W highway for a while. Then, you might just happen to be somewhere when something happens such as a mass murder which has become something of a national sport in those areas. It is highly doubtful that anyone other than casual criminals might bother you. When it comes to random crime, it can happen just about anywhere anytime. If that bothers you too much, stay home. The soldiers hired on by the drug cartels have no interest in you. Don't worry about it. No problem. The same goes for the border areas from Brownsville to Van Horn. Don't go where the trouble is. It won't come looking for you.

I was teaching in Yemen for quite a while. On the surface of things all seemed calm. I had always sensed an undercurrent of coming troubles, and I mentioned it quite a few times to colleagues. Then, one day, snipers appeared and shot dead about 52 people near our school, and wounded 250 to 300 more.  These murders were not random. They were committed against a certain targeted group of people. The killers did not just fire into any old group of people they came across. It's generally the same in Mexico. The killings are perpetrated against certain known and marked enemies. That doesn't include you. If I had gone to where that crowd of people had gathered in Sana'a,Yemen, I might have been killed or wounded. However, I knew to avoid demonstrations and crowds, so I stayed away from them. The moral is, stay away from the troubled areas, and you will not have any troubles. You shouldn't have any problems on the ST route in that region at all.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 07:08:39 am by Westinghouse »