TRAVERSE Issue 14 - October 2019 - Page 5

EDITORIAL TRAVERSE: Why The Iconic Status? B ack to Birdsville and again on the track of the same name, this time for the Frontline Safari. The Birdsville Track is one of those iconic Australian outback tracks, along with the Oodnadatta, Strzelecki and perhaps Gibb River Road, that strike fear into travellers. Why? These tracks are now merely nothing more than well-maintained country dirt roads. Sure, they get rough at times but are nothing compared to what they used to be. It got me thinking, are these tracks still worthy of the ‘iconic’ status? They are no longer a challenge for any rider who can slightly handle a dirt road. It’s not uncommon to see dozens of bikes on any of these roads at any time. No, they are no longer a challenge, and here’s the beauty of all of them. Take your time on them and explore, there’s things on all of them that will astound you. Aside from the Gibb all aforementioned tracks pass through deserts and this issue has more than its fair share of desert stories from Australia. Three different stories, TRAVERSE 5 all tied together by environment, locations and experiences. There’s certainly something beautiful about Australia’s deserts and the challenges they offer … one thing always shines through … human spirit. Leigh