Author Topic: Camping on bike routes  (Read 9885 times)

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Offline meandangel

Camping on bike routes
« on: October 09, 2008, 03:01:42 am »
On the southern tier, how much are the camp sites asking and what about motels what are the prices? What about camping off the road is this okay, if there's no camping for awhile.  I'm doing this to lose weight so at the begining I'll be able to do 1 map in two days which is roughly 30 miles.


  • Guest
Camping on bike routes
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2008, 10:59:01 am »
The Southern Tier is not stealth-camp friendly.  In the west the land owners are paranoid about illegal aliens and patrol their parcels regularly.  Although you have a right to trespass in the event of a true emergency, this right will not likely be acknowledged as it is so regularly abused.

One map panel every two days is simply not fast enough to end up at campgrounds or motels.  If you can only manage 15 miles a day, pick another more populous route like the Pacific Coast.  You will still be challenged to avoid stealth camping, but I think the locals on average tend to be a bit more tolerant than along the border.

Offline Westinghouse

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2008, 11:47:29 am »
There are hostels. The one in El Paso charged about $20.00 a day, but it did not seem to have the atmosphere hostels are supposed to have. I cycled and hosteled around England, Scotland, and Wales for about 70 days, and hosteled through almost every country in western Europe also. In those hostels you met many other fellow travelers of the world. At the Gardner in El Paso I met one old dude who was afraid to tell anybody his name because he was paranoid about identity theft. At least there were some talkative people in the lobby one evening. I would walk into town center, have a meal with a beer or two in a bar-restaurant, and walk around.

The motels in the more remote areas of western states may be somewhat less expensive than those farther east, in Florida for example. I managed to find rooms for from $25.00 to $37.00. Use hostels when you can.

As for your question about stealth camping, it depends on which section of the tier you are in. Hwy. 90 running out of Jacksonville, FL all the way across the top of the state has myriad good places to just pull off the road, and lay it down for the night. In large sections of Texas, New Mexico, and  Arizona you will find the country and yourself separated by thousands of miles of barbed wire fence. There are places to stealth camp totally unseen, but, like myself, you might end up cycling till 4 a.m. looking for that one place. Sometimes you just have to take whatever you can get.

Planning your mileage like you said will not work over the long distance. It could land you you out in the middle of nowhere with no place to rack out for the night. Plan your trip according to the realities you encounter on the road.

The roads in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are really very rough in places, and this could reduce your daily mileage in some sections

Offline meandangel

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2008, 04:15:37 am »
for each section on map one i noticed it's roughly 30 miles and there's at least one camp site per map. sure it will be over 15 miles.

Offline meandangel

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2008, 04:18:23 am »
and to camping i was just wondering if needed on the side of the road. now i had read in on magazine that there where some people that let this one person stay the night on the lawn. you say people aren't too friendly, people have been riding these routes for 20 years, they should be use to it i would think by now...thanks

Offline Westinghouse

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2008, 02:37:37 pm »
If you want to knock on doors asking poeople to let you pitch your tent in their yard, you can do that. It is not my style to do it that way. In all my touring I did that maybe three times, and I got acceptance each time. Instead of trying to micromanage before touring, just get out there on the road on a transcontinental bicycle tour and deal with it then and there. There are plenty of books on the subject of bicycle touring.

Offline bogiesan

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2008, 10:06:53 pm »
> . Instead of trying to micromanage before touring, just get out there
on the road on a transcontinental bicycle tour and deal with it then and
there. <

Yar, while I have not been on a self-contained trip (not my style at all),
I love reading about them. What I read is always the same: Get out
there and cope and be prepared to be surprised. Magic usually

> There are plenty of books on the subject of bicycle touring.<

Your local library will have several books on the topic. Look in the AC
shop for titles that interest you and then go to your library.

david boise ID

go, ristretto, FCP/AE
"Read the manual."
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2008, 09:00:20 am »
Yeah, magic usually does happen; it always did for us on my only transcontinental tour.

I never knocked on doors though.  Much better if you find folks already outside or use the phone.  We limited our asking to towns, but never found one where we couldn't find a place to camp with permission.  In most cases it seemed like we got good leads from one of the following:
  • Pure chance meeting of a local person.
  • Asking a clerk or wait staff.
  • Calling the local sheriff or police dept.
  • Asking at the local firehouse.
  • Asking at a local church.
  • Calling the local mayor, pastor, or whoever on the phone.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 10-11-08 @ 6:01 AM

Offline Westinghouse

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2008, 11:07:09 am »
It was the winter of 1984-85. My girlfriend and I were cycling from Key west, Florida to San Diego, California. We were in the heart of the Louisiana Cajun country. It was getting to be late at night. Everywhere we looked we saw canals with rows of houses alongside them, and houses on both sides of our road. We needed a place to sleep.

We walked our bikes up a driveway to a house. I knocked on the door. Two women came to answer. I explained we were on a transcontinental bicycle ride. I asked them if we could set up our tent in the far corner of their yard for one night only. I told them we would be gone early in the morning. They said they had an empty house across the street for rent, and we could just stay there for the night. We spent that night of our trip in our sleeping bags on the floor of that house.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-14-08 @ 8:09 AM

Offline billy50

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2008, 09:09:27 pm »
Completed the S-tier in May and found the campgrounds to vary in price $0-20 and motels from $35-75  The S-tier has many long remote stretches and while camping off road is possible, you will attract attention from the border patrol in a number of areas.  They are on high alert for illegals and they will be able to track your movements.  Based on your anticipated mileage, your other challenge will be carrying enough water & food to make it safely.  You would be advised to take a more populated route, but if you are intent on riding the S-tier, start in Florida where the terrain is flat and you will ride yourself in shape before you reach the long open, mountainous, and dry stretches in the west.  I'd also recommend you train before you start to increase your daily mileage and riding enjoyment. Good luck.    

Offline Westinghouse

Camping on bike routes
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 11:35:31 am »
Compared to Texas hill country, the Rockies, and the Alps, (I have cycled them all) north and central Florida are flat. I have cycled highway 90 twice. It goes west out of Jacksonville, FL and all the way across the top of the state to Alabama where its quality decreases significantly. 90 has many rises we can classify as hills. 90 is on the S-tier.

Florida west of Saint Augustine is flat. Central Florida can be rolling hills.

A map is a flat piece of paper. It cannot show you the reality of your road. Nor can it tell you what weather you will be having in this or that section of the country. A map may show you which roads go where, and elevations and other matters, but the differences of reality between a map and the terrain are far too great to rely only on map direction. Plans and times are tentative.

Whatever you ever do when cycling in Florida, DO NOT go any long distance on Highway 27/19/98 in winter. The traffic is completely out of it. It is a mad house, bedlam. Where there are side lanes for cycling they are so strewn and cluttered with debris, e.g., mufflers, rocks, gravel, pieces of wood, you have to get out in the traffic lane anyway. The traffic can seem more like a train than a series of separate vehicles. It is just a constant, annoying, din with large, extremely noisy trucks bearing down on you all day long. 27/19/98 may seem good on a map, running as it does roughly north and south in the middle of the state, but in winter it can be a corridor of hell for a cyclist.

Try riding in that kind of noise and pollution, and you will soon be looking for another way to go. I do not know of any official cycing routes that include 27/19/98.

This message was edited by Westinghouse on 10-27-08 @ 4:16 PM