I much prefer riding dirt most of the time. There's often better scenery and fewer crowds. Even riding curves in the mountains on pavement can only be done to a certain level before Johnny Law starts giving you a hard time.
There are also a lot of knuckleheads on the roads around here. People offroad tend to be friendlier.
'8yrs in the Marines, 'almost a decade of knocking heads in the service industry, I took a ride out to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving at 41yrs old, and my mom confiscated my bike.