Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Southern Tier in Winter

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Southern Tier in Winter

Old 10-14-12, 01:43 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Southern Tier in Winter

Hi guys,

I'm off to cycle the Southern Tier in November, from East to West.

I'll be using ACA maps, but won't be able to see one in the flesh until literally arriving in the States. So I wondered if anyone who has done it could help with a few questions:

Are bike shops fairly close by, or should I consider taking significant spares / tools?
Has anyone ever got across purely (or mainly) wild camping? What's access to subtle sites like? Do ACA maps help with locating any?
Is it likely that there'll be a lot of other cyclist doing the route at this time of year?
Security / safety-wise, are there any specific places along the route that feel unusually dodgy / sketchy?

Cheers,
Dave

Long time reader first time poster, thanks for such a great resource.
dave_VD is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 04:02 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 795
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Liked 13 Times in 11 Posts
I can only speak for the western part, but wild camping out in the desert should pose no problems. Water might be an issue, so you could fill up your supply in a town or rest stop, then ride outside of it, looking for a sheltered area behind a group of trees, abandoned building, or gully or wash (normally a bad idea, but winter is not the season for flash floods. Keep a weather eye out for freak subtropical El Nino storms, though.)

There are a few spots where campers congregate, though. This is somewhat off the official ACA route, but may well be worth the detour in winter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9y-...c&noredirect=1
stevepusser is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 07:09 PM
  #3  
Walmart bike rider
 
gpsblake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,117
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 24 Posts
I rode from South Carolina to Abilene, TX, wild camping the entire way without a single hotel stay. You won't have too many problems, just scout out a campsite about an hour or two before sunset, you don't want to wait until dark. You should also learn how to do basic repairs and maintenance on your bike and carry extra tubes etc so the answer is yes, take the proper tools, don't rely on an LBS being nearby. The catcus (cacti?) in Texas seem to shoot needles in your tires from the side, I suggest slime or really flat resistant tubes/tires.

As far as the weather, yes it can get cold in the ST, and it can get bitter cold in western Texas and New Mexico in December/January
An example is Van Horn, Texas
https://weather-warehouse.com/Weather..._December.html
Look at those minimum low temps and average low temps for December... BURRRRRRR
gpsblake is offline  
Old 10-14-12, 09:11 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The ACA routing from Los Cruces to Phoenix takes you through some mountinous areas that could be very cold. It'll be doable with the right cold weather gear. You could divert through Tuscon on the interstate to avoid. I do not think bicycles are allowed on the interstate from Tucson to Phoenix so you'd have to plot a secondary route for that section.

The ACA maps will be filled with useful camping information, some of it free, but mostly pay sites. They will not help you with wild/stealth camping, but not likely to take you through any truly 'sketchy' areas. You're not likely to meet many other touring cyclist on the ST in the middle of winter.

You can check historical lows/highs and other info by simply Googling "average weather for ..........." Likely be many nights below freezing through west Texas and New Mexico, but day temps will rise quickly to comfortable.

I do touring in January every year near and north of the ST in Texas and Louisiana and haven't encountered anything not easily managable. Mostly nice cyling conditions. Just be prepared for rain and cold.
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 10-15-12, 05:01 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,878
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 766 Times in 567 Posts
I went in February and went west to east so it may be a bit different, but I met only a few touring cyclists, maybe a dozen or a bit more in total.

Much of the route has ample camping, more so in the west than in the east though. I especially liked the roadside picnic areas in Texas, because they usually had a roof and I could just lay out my sleeping bag. I chose to stay in campgrounds when available and even got a room fairly often, but wild camping was pretty easy and I did a fair amount of it. In some areas stealth might be needed, but much of the way I just camped in plain sight like in a picnic area, under a bridge, or off the side of the road. I never pitched a tent (used a bivy) so I don't know if that might raise more eyebrows with law enforcement. A guy I rode with some of the way did pitch a tent under a bridge and the cops ignored him but I am told that tents are not allowed in Texas picnic areas (he just laid out a sleeping bag there).
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 10-19-12, 01:52 PM
  #6  
afoot and lighthearted
 
Boondock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Puyallup WA
Posts: 121

Bikes: 1989 Trek 950, Trek 1220

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I did west to east, starting in Oct ending in Dec. Coldest night was 17 degrees near Tallahassee. I endured 2 straight weeks of sub-freezing night temps. I sleep cold so I had appropriately rated sleeping bag and clothing. I spent 4 nights with WarmShower hosts, 5 nights in hotels, 3 nights in (free) city parks, a bunch of campgrounds/RV parks. 4 or 5 (free) nights in National Forest campgrounds, and a couple of State Parks. I stealth camped 3 to 5 nights a week. During my tour I made videos and show or talk about stealth camping along the ST

Last edited by Boondock; 10-19-12 at 02:13 PM.
Boondock is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
ltrose
Southern California
2
01-03-13 12:10 AM
cpodest
Touring
26
11-07-12 04:09 PM
Onion67
Southeast
3
12-28-11 11:04 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.