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Old 02-10-2014, 09:23 AM   #46
kbroderick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markk53 View Post
One way to look at it:

Is it a public roadway? If so, it's "on road". I must say I've seen some single track public roadways before, so even that is questionable.

I'm personally thinking if it is a public roadway that has been maintained to the point of being passable by a Honda Accord, even if they have to creep along at 4 mph it is "on road".

Off road is exactly that in the strictest sense - off the public road ways.

...
A good gauge for "off road" versus "road" could be this:
  • Can you wash the front end out in a rut that takes up half the front wheel, and break ribs? It might be "off road"
  • Is the mud deep enough to swallow your rear wheel and hold the bike up? It might be "off road"
  • If you don't make it to the top of the hill you will your bike flip flop to the bottom or will you flip over backward trying to get over that rock lip in the middle? It might be "off road"
  • Are there grapevines hanging over the "road" that will grab your arm or, worse yet, your neck and rip you off your bike like octopus tentacles? It might be "off road"
  • Did you have to go around a rock bigger than your front wheel that was left by the great glacier? It might be "off road"
Any additions guys?
Edited your list to include the conditions I've found on Vermont's Class 4 roads (well, vines, not necessarily grapevines). Technically roads, not necessarily maintained (some are maintained seasonally, some to limited amounts by neighboring landowners, and some not at all), but I sure as heck consider stuff like this:



to be off-road riding.
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Old 02-10-2014, 09:35 AM   #47
Grinnin
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That looks like a road right in this town. Except we have deeper erosion gullies and more ledge. I'm not saying that you DON'T have these features, just describing our road.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:06 PM   #48
kbroderick
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Originally Posted by Grinnin View Post
That looks like a road right in this town. Except we have deeper erosion gullies and more ledge. I'm not saying that you DON'T have these features, just describing our road.
Classic old New England roads, built before erosion control was commonplace. I'll also have to admit that the ledges and gullies look a lot smaller in the photos than they did when I was on the road wondering what the heck I'd gotten myself into.*


* A thought after descending the first multi-step piece of ledge that I didn't think I could ride back up, of course.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:12 PM   #49
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Offroad is anywhere I would not want to drive a car/truck with regular tires and suspension. Could be wide nasty eroded two-track or singletrack. Gravel isn't really.....I've ridden 600 lb bikes with street tires on gravel roads and if anything it handled better than knobbies
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:06 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by aterry1067 View Post
Pui....but, here goes. I grew up in TN, and we used to ride 4wd trails, logging trails, strip pits, and the like. Most of the time we considered it to be riding "off-road". Many of them were very challenging for any vehicle. Years later, thanks to the Air Force, I ended up in Las Vegas, and I had a 4wd bronco and a 2stroke quad. I often rode trails and real off-road there. There, "off-road" meant, there is NO road. "I am at this point in the desert, and I want to go to that point in the desert, I will find the best path to get there." It could be a wash, a ridge, or just simply a direction, but most often, there was no road to speak of. Yes, I road many trails there (spent most of the time at Apex, simply because it was close), but I sometimes made my own path, much like others. Then, 5 years ago I moved to the republik of Maryland, thinking I would be able to ride muddy trails again, and ride power line trails, logging roads, etc. Sadly, if you have an internal combustion motor 10 feet away from the pavement here, you are a criminal to society and will surely be charged with some dumbass felony of some sort. I f*king hate it here. So that being that, I look forward to riding a gravel or dirt trail of just about any sort. Is it off-road? No, not even remotely close. The closest thing we have here is paying a shit ton of money to go ride circles around a muddy track.....not really my cup-o-tea, but I know lots here enjoy it. More power to 'em.
Yep, struck a nerve.
Your story and mine are mirriors, excpt I never made it out west. I got stationed in Maryland in 1999... almost made it on in '08 but I went from having $100k in home equity to $100k underwater. Still, I'm starting to see the light.
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:25 AM   #51
Recreateme
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
A road is a road. When you leave the road the you are "OFF ROAD"
Pretty much this.

If its a classified as a road or laneway or whatever by the county/municipality or shows up on maps as a road, then its a road, regardless of the surface. If its a shitty surface then i would preface it with that.

A gravel ROAD is a road.

Anything that isn't legally classed as a road, is 'off-road'.

On Road / Off Road shouldn't be used to speak for the quality of the surface you ride on IMO. I have seen many off road sections that are very nice flat hard packed gravel/dirt that were better to ride on then some legal roads.

Personally when someone says 'off road' i still ask "What are the conditions?" in terms of compaction/material/pitting/width/etc..

Because like you said, its all depends on who you're talking too as off-road ranges from nice gravel to single track trail to almost nothing through the forest along the side of the mountain crumbling under you as you struggle over downed trees and boulders lol
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:31 AM   #52
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It's simple...

If your road tires suck at it.. then its off-road, and you need a %road/%offroad that adapts to your needs

Ride your ride
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Old 02-11-2014, 11:27 AM   #53
eatpasta
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Originally Posted by Nodabs View Post
IIs this what is considered off road, a gravel or dirt road?
bikes are certainly different than cars in this respect but I would think that most bikers would consider even flat dirt as being off road.
From what ive seen from GS owners, as soon as they see dirt, they imagine this

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Old 02-12-2014, 04:17 AM   #54
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Ok, my two cents... There's no real definition of what is or isn't anything because there's a different opinion held by every single one of us. For me, offroad is where the tarmac ends which means gravel, mud, fields, whatever but that's my own opinion and I absolutely recognise where other people are coming from.
My story is a lifelong love affair with bikes but I've always preferred sports. A desire to travel made me consider adventure bikes and then, as I got older I was starting to ride just too damn fast. I knew it was time for a change so the enduro stuff became far more appealling. I have fun now at 30mph or less and feel like I really accomplished something when I take my bike somewhere silly. That's me!
I do feel like OP kind of stuck his foot in his mouth and came across badly but he also made a point. There are endless threads on this and every other forum about every in and out of riding and not that many people getting out and actually doing it. That's cool, not everyone on the racing team gets to drive the car.
All I'm saying is it does get annoying looking at all the bickering about every tiny detail of the sport/hobby/expression of your poor mental health. Why it gets annoying is that I now live in the 3rd world. I see old women riding clapped out Honda cubs with luggage made from bamboo riding over terrain that 99% of us would brag about doing if we really had the balls to do it. They ride it every day like it's nothing on dead tyres and engines pissing oil and smoke. it does make you realise that some of us really need to wake up a bit and get on with life.
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:36 AM   #55
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Makes me feel guilyy for using the word "Need"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jtw000 View Post
Ok, my two cents... There's no real definition of what is or isn't anything because there's a different opinion held by every single one of us. For me, offroad is where the tarmac ends which means gravel, mud, fields, whatever but that's my own opinion and I absolutely recognise where other people are coming from.
My story is a lifelong love affair with bikes but I've always preferred sports. A desire to travel made me consider adventure bikes and then, as I got older I was starting to ride just too damn fast. I knew it was time for a change so the enduro stuff became far more appealling. I have fun now at 30mph or less and feel like I really accomplished something when I take my bike somewhere silly. That's me!
I do feel like OP kind of stuck his foot in his mouth and came across badly but he also made a point. There are endless threads on this and every other forum about every in and out of riding and not that many people getting out and actually doing it. That's cool, not everyone on the racing team gets to drive the car.
All I'm saying is it does get annoying looking at all the bickering about every tiny detail of the sport/hobby/expression of your poor mental health. Why it gets annoying is that I now live in the 3rd world. I see old women riding clapped out Honda cubs with luggage made from bamboo riding over terrain that 99% of us would brag about doing if we really had the balls to do it. They ride it every day like it's nothing on dead tyres and engines pissing oil and smoke. it does make you realise that some of us really need to wake up a bit and get on with life.
+1
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Old 02-12-2014, 04:39 AM   #56
basketcase
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocker59 View Post
Most people who say "off road" simply mean "off pavement".
+1.

Technical exegesis of the language is tiresome. When you leave the pavement, you are off-road in the common sense of the word.

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Old 02-12-2014, 06:54 AM   #57
James Adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basketcase View Post
+1.

Technical exegesis of the language is tiresome. When you leave the pavement, you are off-road in the common sense of the word.

Doesn't seem right to call this "off-road":


Or this:


Or this:


None are paved, but all are well-maintained, reasonably smooth, and are easily traversable by any ordinary road-going vehicle.

This is off-road:


And this:


But all are public routes.

Of course, when tire marketers are using the term "off-road", they mean "off-pavement" and they're generally just full of baloney. Personally, I like to break things down into paved/unpaved/trail. It's not perfect, but it's less ambiguous than binary divisions like on-road/off-road or street/dirt or road/cross-country.
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:32 AM   #58
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Granted, a state-maintained gravel road in many of our (USA) western states does not technically qualify as "off road." In fact, the same would apply to the national forest roads where I live in Alabama. They are not state road per se, but people do use them to travel.

So while getting off of a maintained dirt road an onto a fire road, double track, or a trail better fits the term, my sense is that when most people say "off road" they are thinking "off of the pavement."

I suppose it comes down to the regional and colloquial use of language. And on a web site as diverse as this one such regional distinctions tend to get lost.

All that said, I likewise agree with your "paved/unpaved/trail" thinking. It takes in what most of us deal with when riding paved roads to and from an off-road adventure!
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:06 AM   #59
jtw000
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Well this is a road!



and so was this...



I guess it's a grey area.
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Old 02-12-2014, 08:12 AM   #60
mb90535im
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Technically a public road so I left the knobbies home. Wouldn't want to be an "off-road" poser.
Here in the southeast we have opportunities to ride fantastic asphalt twisties, untold thousands of miles in FS roads, and unfortunately dwindling but still out there single track.
It's all an adventure to me.


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