In Texas, we check with our counties because the roads we are talking about are under county jurisdiction. The only problem is, in many/all of the counties we like to ride, the sympathy is clearly with the locals. So....you'll find the deputies giving really circuitous answers to direct questions on the public/private status of a road. And maybe sometimes even "less than fully truthful" answers, too. Same goes with the county employees.
And many of the roads have in fact changed status officially from public to private. When we come to a gate, we ain't done in Texas. If it's un-locked (and sometimes there is a very visible lock but the chain is simply hung over a nail) and all other evidence points to public maintenance (mailboxes, graded, on the TXDOT grid, etc) we (sometimes) keep going.
As a ranch owner myself I take private property rights and trespassing very seriously. If it is private, I don't want to be on it but if it's public, don't try to keep me off.
BTW, even on many of our "public" roads there is no right of way on either side. These are "prescriptive" roads and nobody ever paid the landowner for the dirt (the road in front of my ranch is this way. I own to the center of the road and pay taxes on it, too). Your right is to traverse the road , not to pull off under that shade tree a few feet off the road.
Do your research before you ride new country. Be respectful. Take your helmet off to talk. Go slow around livestock and homes. Be polite. Don't argue.
I haven't been shot at. Yet.
RTB V- The Texas ADV Rally- Hurry before we fuck this up!
"If you can't fix it with a hammer you can damn sure teach it a lesson".
slowoldguy screwed with this post 12-20-2011 at 10:41 AM