Author Topic: Southern Tier - Texas  (Read 2587 times)

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Offline rolpin

Southern Tier - Texas
« on: March 07, 2013, 01:02:19 pm »
I'm planning a solo trip across Texas, following the Southern Tier Maps (except for travel from Van Horn to Alpine, I'll reroute along 90).  I'm beginning in El Paso March 28, 2013 (final destination is New Orleans).

Any tips, advice, information more specific than the So. Tier maps would be greatly appreciated (road conditions, weather to expect, places to stay, etc.).

I'm a little nervous about the solo part (I've done it from SF to SLC a few years ago) so anyone else considering a similar trip at the same time - would love the company.


Offline rabbitoh

Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 03:31:21 pm »
G'day rolpin,

I cycled most of the ST last year, albeit in the opposite direction to your planned ride.

I was mainly staying in motels and had little problem in finding accommodations, with only a couple of exceptions. From your post, I don't know what your preference is with regards to motels or camping.

I personally, would recommend sticking with the ACA route out of Van Horn through to Fort Davis. It is a challenging ride, especially riding W to E, and there are no services available at Kent, however the country side is spectacular.

There is a cyclist's only hostel at Marathon, and information is available at the pizza place on the main street. There isn't much available between Sanderson and Comstock. I couldn't find any store open in Dryden when I passed through. You will need to time your arrival at Langtry if you are relying on stocking up with provisions. The only store is on US90 which wiil be on your right hand side, before you head down into Langtry. There is nothing in the town iteslf, other than the Judge Roy Bean museum. It has clean rest rooms and wi-fi. You can pitch a tent alongside the community centre hall, but there are no amenities, other than a water hose. There is a donation box where you can drop in a couple of dollars. There is also a trailer where cyclists can stay, but I never saw the owner, and I am not really sure of the protocol.

Comstock is very small but does have a motel. I didn't stay in Comstock.

Road 334 out of Bracketville (ACA maps Section 4, maps 52 & 53) has a rough surface, but the surface improves once you turn onto Road 55. There are no services between Bracketvill and Camp Wood, so you will have the best part of 50 miles without services. The hills around Leakey and Vanderpool are challenging.

Out of Bastrop, the ACA maps take you through Bastrop State Park(ACA maps Section 4 map 61), but these roads were closed when I came through last year, so maybe you might want to check with them beforehand. No big deal and I rode state 71 for this section.

There is no shoulder on State Rd 150 between New Waverly and Coldspring (ACA maps Section 5 map 67) and there was lots of traffic when I rode that section. It was early morning out of Coldspring so it might have been early morning commuters.

There is no shoulder on Country Rd 363 between Kirbyville and Bon Weir (ACA maps Section 5 map 71) and this road is used by trucks.

If you have ridden SF to SLC solo, this section of the ST shouldn't cause you any concerns.

It really is a lovely ride and I hope you enjoy it.

Good Cycling

Offline aggie

Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 06:28:37 pm »
I rode from Van Horn to Marfa and Alpine along hwy 90.  It's a good ride with a wide shoulder.  Make sure you have food and water for this part because there aren't any services between these towns.  Valentine has a post office, small school, and little else.  If you are planning to stay in hotels you will have to travel from Sanderson to Comstock.  There are no hotels/motels between these two towns.  The previous description of Langtry is right on.  The store doesn't have much in the way of supplies.  Restroom there was a little iffy.  The museum is open from 8 - 5 and it has a working restroom.  No restroom is available at the community center as you only use the yard to camp.  The community center is a converted school house and is locate behind some homes just south of the museum.  I'd avoid going through the park in Bastrop. (If open).  They charge even if you are just passing through.  Once you get to Del Rio services and places to stay are easier to find.  The weather should be pretty good at that time of the year.  You could get a cold front but when I did the trip at that time of year the weather was very pleasant.  I'd follow the ACA maps until you get to Baton Rouge.  Then you may want to look at taking the Mississippi River route south to New Orleans. 
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 08:14:33 pm by aggie »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2013, 04:11:07 am »
I have cycled that route I don't know how many times. Go for it and don't worry about it. Check miles between srvices in that area. They may be spaced out but I did it without problems, and I am probably the last person on this forum when it comes to having everything planned out ahead of time. Check maps continuously when you are on the road. Stay cognizant of miles between towns. Water and feed accordingly. Don't worry about going it alone. That could be the best possible option for you. Cycling cross-country has a lot to do with personal freedom. That means freedom to start and stop when and where you want.  It means eating where and what you want. It means camping, getting up and going to sleep on your own schedule. There are those who will partner with you and expect you to conform to their ways, but not the other way around. A whiner can really be annoying after a while. Choose a companion carefully. You might meet other cyclists on the ST, but don't count on it. I have done the ST quite a few times. I saw and met only a very few cyclists. You would most likely meet many more through-cyclists on the TransAm.

Don't worry about being alone. People cycle the country all the time. I still have not heard of anything bad done to anyone.

Offline rolpin

Re: Southern Tier - Texas
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2013, 02:45:05 pm »
Thanks so much for all the encouragement and information.  The comments have been very helpful.

Still looking forward to the trip (in less than two weeks) and wondering if I'll see any other cyclists.

Thanks again,