The murder of two European cyclists in Chiapas in April has led to the formation of a new support and information network for travelers on bicycles.
Mexican bicycle enthusiasts have created the Mexico Support Network for Traveling Cyclists, or Red de Apoyo a Cicloviajeros México (RACmx), spurred by the killings of cyclists Holger Franz Hagenbusch of Germany and Krzysztof Chmielewski of Poland.
RACmx plans to create a collaborative support network for national and foreign cyclists by compiling information that a cyclist might need while traveling, such as route guides showing accommodation options, mechanical service and medical assistance.
The social network-based service also allows for two or more cyclists traveling the same route to get in touch with each other and find safety in numbers.
After collecting cyclist travelers’ personal data, RACmx will remain in communication, monitoring the progress of their trip and offering the network’s support along the way.
Network co-founder Clara Guerra recommended that cyclist travelers plan their routes before taking to the roads. She suggested they make themselves and their bikes as visible as possible, carry a GPS device and familiarize themselves with the towns they will be visiting.
Guerra is a veteran of bicycle traveling in Mexico, having completed a trip from Tijuana, Baja California, to Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, during which she didn’t encounter any danger.
Still, she warned fellow cyclists about “vulnerable zones” in the states of Chiapas, Morelia, Guerrero, Nayarit and Sinaloa due to the presence of armed gangs.
Following the deaths of Hagenbusch and Chmielewski, one of the first activities organized by RACmx was a memorial ride in which nearly 150 cyclists rode from San Cristóbal de las Casas to the place where the two travelers were last seen alive on the highway to Ocosingo.