We Dirt Riders do most of our riding on private land, be it
paddock bashing or bush riding, but we're lucky enough to
have some good friends with some awesome properties for
riding on. Most people don't have those sort of connections,
so riding on private land is often not an option.
If you do have access to private property, there are still a
couple of things to be wary of when you're out running amok.
The first thing to think of is the neighbors. You may love the sound of a 2 stroke having it's neck wrung at 5am, but
chances are not many other people do. Even in the middle of the day, a lot of folks get irritated by the noise and
dust clouds created by dirt bikes. If you are riding on a property where neighbors are a factor, try and be
considerate of them, maybe even invite them over for a ride, you may have found new riding partners. If irritated
enough, most people will involve the local ranger / council, and those guys do have the power to shut down your
riding, not just for the day, but permanently. There used to be an awesome private riding venue out York way, but 50
- 100 bikes gathering there every weekend saw it closed down by the council, and the land owner eventually sold
the land because he had no other use for it.
Another thing that often gets overlooked is safety. When there are only a few bikes and it's a closed area (like
private property) people seem to think they are safe and don't worry about things like blind corners and crests.
Many riders have tales of collisions and close calls between the only 2 bikes on the property.
Hand-in-hand with safety is liability. If you bring someone onto private land and they end up hurting themselves, it's
possible they may have a legal recourse against you or the landowner, or both. Legal waivers are great things, but
commonsense and safe riding are better for everyone involved.
The last thing is just courtesy. I'm sure the property owner doesn't want his sheep or cows chased, his front lawn
ripped up, his crop ridden through or his vehicle tracks rutted up so bad you need a 4x4 to travel them. Leave the
place how you found it, make sure you know where you're allowed to ride and what you're allowed to do, and you're
more likely to be invited back. Slinging the owner a carton of his favourite beverage doesn't hurt either.
If you do have a private place to ride - enjoy it, you're luckier than most.