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northernalabama What I remember riding to be vs wtf where has all the riding places gone... the south cannot be that different from colorado

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When I was growing up in Colorado, from the time I was 5 years old, I would go out to the garage at any time of day, pull my bike out and go riding. On any given Sunday I would find all of my best friends out riding simply by being out. I would ride, I sh*t you not, from sun up to beyond sun down (navigating home by trail knowledge build from a decade plus riding the land). I lived and breathed riding (my first love). So, that was that. It was just that simple to go riding. Did I grow up in some place with a magical portal to sending it, or is the south just this bad that I cannot find private land to ride on. I am just seeking what I once had, don't mind trailering to it, but is it too much to ask for somewhere to ride without all the nonsense? The owners of the land I grew up on never care what we did, and we built full tracks with jumps and free rode everything in sight.

 

As a side note, I met my second love (my wife) 11 years ago and sold my bike way back then to start our life together, but I am ready to ride again all that is missing is the location. Anyone know where. Located in Northern AL, Harvest area. 

 

Rebuilt a 2002 kx250 from the ground up for this, so just itching for it. 

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Edited by Jo Ph
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Thanks for commenting. Whereabouts are you located? There is a decent number of closed courses (something I have enjoyed in the past) in this state and a number of small fee places. I have ridden the national forests that you speak of and while it is a place to turn the bike loose it is just a huge letdown from what got me into the sport in the first place. I am used to being able to free-ride is you will, and being legally confined to given path is the furthest thing from that I could have imagined. And while closed courses are fun they again are just a different sort of deal. Just southern boo hoo's. Gave up riding mostly due to financial issues long ago and ended up here is the south never considering that that would have come to bite me in the butt. I am lucky though and run my own business and have the ability to move for simple love of the sport and that is what I will be doing. I feel for you, and everyone unfortunate enough to live in places that are not as dirt bike friendly as I had become accustomed to.

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We don't have BLM established land around us, and landowners have figured out that they can profit from their non-productive land by providing hunting leases, etc.  So unless you own land, or know someone who does, your options are pretty much either national forests/parks that have created OHV trails, or pay to play places.  When you get around Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia, options are greater.

I just hauled my bike from the Alabama gulf coast to Michigan to ride with my son.  The state has created a large set of trails in state parks.  But they are whooped out and soft sand in the south where he lives.  Hard riding for me, but a great time as I'm with my son.  I'm hauling my bike to Moab in 3 weeks to meet my son there for a week of more open riding.

I did buy an FE501 so I could at least pretend to ride offroad down here on dirt roads, and I have an adventure bike (Super Tenere) that I can go hit some bigger stuff.  

I'm not complaining.  I'm retired, have good health and enough resources to get to ride as much as I want.  I've been to Michigan with bikes 5 times the past year, including a ride up from Alabama on my cruiser, then across Canada.  I've been to the Smokies 4 times in the past year to ride on and off road.  And headed to Moab again.  So, it's all good.

I'm located about 15 miles north of Orange Beach.

Edited by markbfe501
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Here in TX we have very very limited riding. Very small private land areas and a small NF area that is beat beyond beat. After many years it gets very old and lately I have been wondering if it is worth it. 

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9 minutes ago, YHGEORGE said:

Here in TX we have very very limited riding. Very small private land areas and a small NF area that is beat beyond beat. After many years it gets very old and lately I have been wondering if it is worth it. 

Are you in Houston?  I lived there for years and felt the same way.  At the time, we had Yegua Park at Lake Somerville (now closed), Sam Houston National Forest and a place up at Lake Livingston near Cold Spring.  But when we were kids there, we could ride Brays Bayou and many other places.  Most land owners and the police didn't mind.  I miss those days.

I've seriously thought of buying 100 acres closer to me in Alabama, just for riding.  If I could only get my wife on board . . . .

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I have mentioned this b4, but eye ALMOST feel bad, from the end of my driveway it's 1/2 mile to the desert and thousands's of miles of trails, dry washes and pipe lines/power lines to ride. If you need a winter vacation this is the place. 

settleinrv.com  clean local rv park 

Laughlin, Nv. Casinos, restaurants, night life and at times big name entertainment, just 20 miles or so away.

If anybody does come out I will be glad to show you around the area.

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On 9/13/2017 at 7:54 PM, markbfe501 said:

Are you in Houston?  I lived there for years and felt the same way.  At the time, we had Yegua Park at Lake Somerville (now closed), Sam Houston National Forest and a place up at Lake Livingston near Cold Spring.  But when we were kids there, we could ride Brays Bayou and many other places.  Most land owners and the police didn't mind.  I miss those days.

I've seriously thought of buying 100 acres closer to me in Alabama, just for riding.  If I could only get my wife on board . . . .

Beaumont area, yes the Sam H was good and still is better than nothing but it is totally beat and closed half the time. The Forest Ranger mgt likes to play games. And IRME, that is a very nice offer thanks.

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1 hour ago, YHGEORGE said:

Beaumont area, yes the Sam H was good and still is better than nothing but it is totally beat and closed half the time. The Forest Ranger mgt likes to play games. And IRME, that is a very nice offer thanks.

Forest Rangers do the same thing here.  They kind of have a 10 day closure after every rain.  It rains all the time over here.  They want to say that they allow use of the forests, but really don't want anyone to use them.

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They seem confused at the FACT that we own the forest and the Rangers are our employees. I appreciate sound mgt of the trails but too many Rangers seem to feel they are doing us a favor letting us use their private property. And then there are a few who relish power and authority.  I ride LA regularly and the attitude is far more friendly. 

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