Author Topic: I would like some info on the souther tier  (Read 7256 times)

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Offline psemler

I would like some info on the souther tier
« on: November 18, 2009, 05:31:10 pm »
Hi, everybody.
first of all, thanks for the wealth of info and all of you taking the time to help others. I got a lot of help for my cc ride 2 years ago.
Here are my questions-
I'd like to ride from Austin or San antonio area to San Diego (whichever place in TX  is a "good deal" for a flight from San Francisco)
I reckon it's about 1700 miles or so from Austin to SD.
So -- my questions-
1. how's the camping and showers on that section? Is the camping cost reasonable or even free some places? (I've gone cross country several times and you can't beat the transam for camping, a lot of it free too! Believe it or not -- Love kansas for this reason)
2) I will take one month. When's the best day (yes, day) to leave Austin or San Antonio? I was figuring sometime in March or april. let me know.
3) how's the connection to southern tier from either of these 2 cities?
thanks so much!

Offline tonythomson

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 02:29:09 pm »
I took the 190 all the way to I10  from Temple north of Austin, not sure that is much help but great road and quiet, not many camp sites but plenty of reasonable motels.

If you do take that road and cuts out a lot of climbing then look out for Chili Red burgers en route - could just go one now!
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline psemler

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2009, 12:21:45 am »
do you think Austin or San Antonio is better to start? I am thinking austin. If so, I will take your advice on hooking up with southern tier

Offline aggie

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 07:25:46 pm »
I've taken the train into and out of San Antonio (I live near LA) without difficulty.  You could take the train from SF to San Antonio then take the train from San Diego to SF.  It isn't hard to connect to the Southern Tier from San Antonio.  I was heading west to east and rode on hwy 90 from Del Rio.  It is a pretty good road (Texas uses chip seal almost exclusively on all its roads).  I rode in early April from El Paso to San Antonio and the weather was excellent.  You should be able to find several camp grounds until you hook up to the ACA Southern Tier.  I used hotels so I can't speak to the availability of showers except to say that if you stop in Langtry you will have to camp at the community center and there aren't showers or toilets.  Toilets are at the Judge Roy Bean state park.  It is open from 8am to 5pm along with everything else in that community. The community center does have a water faucet outside that you can use.

Offline psemler

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2009, 11:58:39 am »
thank you for helpful advice. I am thinking of leaving April 1 and taking one month to ride to San Diego. I think i will either fly to San Antonio or Austin depending on cost since both look good for connecting to the souther tier. If it's the same cost, maybe San Antonio, since I've never been and would like to see the Alamo. I will take train from SD to SF.

I would like to camp (and shower), so I will just hope for the best. I don't have the money for hotels. I suppose with lots of open spaces so-called stealth camping is an option (again, I prefer an inexpensive campground or park with a shower)

thanks!

Offline runner_runnered

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 01:12:26 pm »
I've taken the train into and out of San Antonio (I live near LA) without difficulty.  You could take the train from SF to San Antonio then take the train from San Diego to SF.  It isn't hard to connect to the Southern Tier from San Antonio.  I was heading west to east and rode on hwy 90 from Del Rio.  It is a pretty good road (Texas uses chip seal almost exclusively on all its roads).  I rode in early April from El Paso to San Antonio and the weather was excellent.  You should be able to find several camp grounds until you hook up to the ACA Southern Tier.  I used hotels so I can't speak to the availability of showers except to say that if you stop in Langtry you will have to camp at the community center and there aren't showers or toilets.  Toilets are at the Judge Roy Bean state park.  It is open from 8am to 5pm along with everything else in that community. The community center does have a water faucet outside that you can use.

i will be in and around el Paso next april, so out of interest when you say lovely weather.... how hot was it roughly?

Offline aggie

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2009, 11:33:32 am »
Temperatures (high's) were in the mid 70's.  Early morning temps were in the upper 50's.  Very little humidity and no rain.  I also opted to take hwy 90 out of Van Horn, TX to Marfa, TX to avoid the steep climb up Mount Locke (observatory) and into Fort Davis.  The road has a nice wide shoulder with little traffic and a gradual climb.  The only disadvantage is that there aren't any water stops between Van Horn and Marfa (about 70 miles).  You might be able to find some water in Valentine but there weren't any open stores when I went through.

Offline runner_runnered

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2009, 02:45:26 pm »
Temperatures (high's) were in the mid 70's.  Early morning temps were in the upper 50's.  Very little humidity and no rain.  I also opted to take hwy 90 out of Van Horn, TX to Marfa, TX to avoid the steep climb up Mount Locke (observatory) and into Fort Davis.  The road has a nice wide shoulder with little traffic and a gradual climb.  The only disadvantage is that there aren't any water stops between Van Horn and Marfa (about 70 miles).  You might be able to find some water in Valentine but there weren't any open stores when I went through.

fantastic, that's an excellent temperature. i might give you a PM at some point if that is ok, to find out some info on the area. bit busy at the moment though

Offline andersbrett

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2009, 11:15:12 pm »
Hey -- just finished biking the Southern Tier. To reply to some of your questioning:

First, regarding E-W versus W-E... I've heard many say that the prevailing winds are from the west. Hard to verify how much this will impact you. On the other hand, the higher elevations occur in California, Arizona, and New Mexico, so if you're afraid of cold weather you may wish to save that part for later in the year, when it's warmer.

As to camping... I spent the first week or two spending money on campgrounds. Then I ran into some guys going the other way who provided some invaluable advice: you probably don't need to pay much for lodging. I developed a typical method of aiming to stay in a small town, then going to the sheriff's office / police station / fire department and asking if I could (a) stay inside or (b) pitch my tent on the lawn outside their building. Almost always worked. Sometimes they'd direct me to a free city park. (Note: I've heard it's a good idea to say "pitch my tent" rather than "camp," as "camping" evokes images of a fire, etc.)

The guys who told me about asking at government agencies also had a lot of luck with churches. They often camped on church lawns, even without asking, and never had problems with this. In several cases, they woke up to find friendly church people greeting them, even offering them breakfast. Also, don't forget WarmShowers -- you can't go wrong there.

Hospitality is easy to come by on the Southern Tier!

Offline Jason

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 11:33:26 am »
I second the comment about asking the local services for assistance with camping.  East of Austin, it's usually hit and miss, but there are a few opportunities.  West of Austin, you'll be fine.  Some of the towns, obviously, are little more than a blinking light, so you may have to resort to asking people at a cafe, or whatever; in either case you'll be fine.  As was the case for, I would be asked about my nightly arrangements at a store or cafe or whatever, before I had a chance to ask them.

There's a thread about Southern Tier camping that a few of us commented on a few days back that you might want to look over.  Having just finished the ST I would recommend going at it with the idea if you're creative enough, you can swing a place to camp (which is likely true anywhere in the world.)  As someone noted above, "pickign a tent" rather than camping is a safe way to think about it; I would just ask for a small plot of land, etc.  It sounds more stressful, or harder maybe, than it will actually work out to be.

The local fire/police departments are more than open-minded about you camping for a night just about anywhere - local park, side of their building, etc.  Again, same with Churches.  Being on a bike is disarming (and comforting) for just about everyone you would end up asking, vs showing up with a huge RV in need of "hook ups..."

singlespeed touring - life generally requires just one speed.
Southern Tier, TransAm, tons of places in between.

Offline psemler

Re: I would like some info on the souther tier
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2009, 03:13:29 pm »
thanks again everybody. the trip is taking shape. I will go from Austin to SD and take one month. plan to leave end of March. I was worried about camping at first but no longer. Sounds just like the Midwest friendliness!