Author Topic: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier  (Read 3545 times)

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Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« on: May 23, 2011, 12:33:11 pm »
Any recent travelers on the Southern Tier that can comment on safety concerns/cautions on the portion of the route that is close to the Mexican border. Will be spending a signifcant portion of the ride alone. Plan on starting from San Diego early January 2012. Wife will be providing support via motorhome from Tempe eastward. This system worked great for our Lewis/Clark trip in 05. Any comments would be appreciated. Farmer John
« Last Edit: May 23, 2011, 12:34:59 pm by john conway »

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 01:47:48 pm »
Farmer John, You don't want to count your chickens before they hatch.

The west is invaded by people in motor homes in winter, though I don't remember seeing many very near the border areas. IMO, border violence is more or less restricted to conflicts between two or more sets of bad actors, and nobody has any interest in attacking a cyclist on the American side of the border. However, with the world being the way it is and the incidences of violent crimes being what they are in the US, I would say it is probably OK to do that section of the ST, but to be careful and not let anyone distract you or lure you away from your intended route of travel. There are not any guarantees anyway. The most anyone can tell you is that statistically speaking, many people have cycled that route without any problems with violence or other crimes. However, there have been some notably violent crimes against persons near that stretch of road between Van Horn and El Paso. I suppose it's a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I am not sure anyone can help to micro manage your passage through that aea to ensure your safety. I'd say just go there and cycle the way and don't worry about it.

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 05:24:35 pm »
Thanks for the feedback, Westy. That's what I was planning on doing anyway. I don't have that much concern myself but everyone I tell my riding plans to suggest that I go and get my head examined. FJ

Offline nthabiseng

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 11:32:30 am »
Yea, we had a few people question our sanity when we told them of our plans to cycle the ST. But they weren't cyclists...So anyway, we just did the ST, Feb to April, and had absolutely no trouble near the borders.  We were as careful there as we are in general, and I expect you will be fine too.  Be cautious, but not scared.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 11:37:04 am »
     Transcontinental cycling is way far outside most people's conceptions of something to do. The vast majority might not ever consider doing it. I told someone a month ago in a group converstaion I was considering bicycling to California. He assumed I meant to California Street about 10 miles away in Port Saint Lucie, and was responding to me with that thought in mind. A friend who knows about me and what I do assured him it was California the state. This guy could not believe what he was hearing. He was actually dumbstruck with the idea that I could ride a bicycle to CA. When I gave him some accounts of my cycling 37,000 miles through 19 countries he went off the charts and probably thought I was lying and making it all up.

    I know one thing. If I do need my head examined, it's not because I do tanscontinental bicycle tours. Some people think it's crazy to do that, but I don't. I think it's cool. What's even cooler is we have the freedom, the money, the time, and the motivation and drive to do it. I think that's what some people are so jealous about.

     Have a good trip. I want to do another tour soon. I was going to do the ST, then changed my mind in favor of the AC. Now I am considering the ST again.

Offline dstromberg

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2011, 09:16:13 pm »
Not sure if I'm responding properly but I have a question for Westinghouse. I am riding the ST West to East starting October 1st 2011 with one other person and would be happy to have more join our ride. Is this a time you would do with us?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 01:43:00 pm »
Thanks. October is too far off to make a decision about, and I am an east to west rider, usually. Would you all consider going east to west soon?

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2011, 01:50:23 pm »
Actually, I was planning an E-W October-November-Dec tour of the ST, but that was when I was teaching business English in Yemen. After snipers shot and killed 52 demonstrators near our school and wounded 250-300 others, students refused to commute into the area for classes, the program closed, and I came back six months earlier than had been tentatively anticipated. Now I am in Florida and I want to go on tour. It's a toss up between the ST and the AC. The AC would be shorter and less expensive and easier to get back to FL. The ST would be classic, but longer, more expensive, and harder and more expensive to get back from.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2011, 03:49:22 am »
Hi Farmer John
Cycled the ST alone and no probs near the border, in fact I would say the main danger was actually from the motor homes - some of those drivers just don't seem to realise how wide they are :o
Have fun it's a great trip
Just starting to record my trips

Offline Jason

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2011, 01:45:24 pm »
I wouldn't highlight the area in and around el paso as anything beyond what the entire route represents:  a chance to see the country and provide yourself a sense of adventure. Being safe and careful everywhere is important:  my experience in el paso and the ride to it from van horn was amazing - the ride, the people the food.  Plus, in my case, heading west, I could celebrate el paso as having just finished riding across Texas.  So el paso is very special to me for that alone.
singlespeed touring - life generally requires just one speed.
Southern Tier, TransAm, tons of places in between.

Offline mikebmcfall

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2011, 07:37:49 pm »
Thought I'd comment on Mexico and boarder safety.
I live in San Felipe Mexico.  It's 120 miles south of Mexicali on the Sea of Cortez.  I'm planning on riding the Northern Tier this Summer.  My wife is acting as my support team.  I've been training for the trip by taking solo out and backs of approx 30-40 miles per day on the road that goes between San Felipe and Mexicali.  The biggest concern that I've had is that I'm spoiled because of great road conditions (wide shoulders), flat terrain and, believe it or not I've never had to ride in the rain.  My bike is a Rans Recumbent, so it's a little unusual and I get many smiles and comments.  I know that the road I've been training on is not representative of many of the Baja roads, but I've never felt intimidated or uncomfortable by people or passing traffic. 
Enjoy your trip!  My wife and I are in Phoenix today slowly making our way to Bar Harbor Maine to start the ride.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2011, 10:45:01 am »
The murder of an American businessman has just raised safety concerns along the US / Mexican border.

Reporter: Steve Nunez
Web Producer: Brian Pryor, Layla Tang

STEINS, N.M. (KGUN9-TV) - The family of a man shot and killed in a New Mexico ghost town Tuesday is outraged by reports identifying their father as a rancher.  New Mexico State Police told KGUN9 News there are no suspects in the murder of Larry Link.  His family found the 68-year-old not far from their home in Steins, New Mexico.Media reports immediately began to surface that made parallels with the murder of Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, who was shot to death on his Douglas ranch in March 2010.  Although no suspects were ever named, many people in the area believed the murder was committed by an illegal immigrant.  The reports said Link was a rancher and suggested he may have also been killed by an illegal immigrant.Several family members told KGUN 9 On Your Side that they do not want Link's murder to be used for political gain when it comes to illegal immigration.  Instead, they want to the world to remember link as a fun-loving family man, who owned Stein's Ghost Town so he could share it with the rest of the world."The whole world knew him as Uncle Larry, that's how he introduced himself," said Link's daughter, Pamela.  "He never had an enemy. And he loved my Mom."Link was a businessman.  He bought Stein's Ghost Town in 1988.  At one time, the ghost town attracted 90,000 thousand visitors a year from all over the world.  It's cuddled next to Interstate 10, just across the Arizona state line.  He moved his family there because he envisioned it in his dreams."If you were in Grandpa's presence, within five minutes you were no longer a stranger.  You were kin of the family," said Link's granddaughter.
Vandalism and theft forced Link to close the ghost town three years ago, something that Pamela Link said broke her dad's heart.  Now with their hearts broken, his family wants the truth to be told to protect the legacy of the man they loved so much.A tearful Pamela Link said, "I just know [that] he's not with us anymore.  He wasn't a rancher. He was a businessman.  He was a father, a husband, a grandfather."The New Mexico State Police would only tell KGUN9 News there are no suspects in Link's murder.  A spokesperson declined to release any other information because the investigation is ongoing.  The Hidalgo County Sheriff also declined to comment.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Border Safety concerns on Southern Tier
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 12:42:06 pm »
Steins is a good 60 miles from the Meixan border.