TO BIRDSVILLE & BACK!
Every now and then you just have to take the time and make the effort to get in an epic ride. A ride somewhat more special than just another session in the sticks in your regular riding area.
We just rolled back into TZ HQ after exactly that kind of ride: a 2,500km epic from Broken Hill to Cameron Corner to Birdsville to Maree to the Flinders Ranges and back to Broken Hill ... and it was an absolute ripper!
Myself and Lance 'Russ' Turnley from www.offroadexplorer.com planned the route for this little jaunt and were joined by a motley crew of dual-sport disciples that included Steve 'Wolfman' Smith from www.adventuremoto.com.au, Terry 'The Major' Muldoon from the Club Y Yamaha owner's group, Clive 'V-Stormer' Ward from www.motorcyclebiz.com.au and Heath 'KLRs Rule' Schiemer from www.trailbikerallys.com.au.
Along the way we also picked up three TRAIL ZONE readers -- Greg, Len and Rob -- who tagged along for a day on the run to Birdsville.
In the space of six days we sliced our way up the Strezlecki Track, guzzled a few beers at the Birdsville Hotel, blasted down the Birdsville Track and then spent a lazy hour on the banks of the flooded Cooper Creek near Lake Eyre waiting for the wind to die down and the punt to fire into life and ferry us across. Next up came a leisurely day exploring the mighty Flinders Ranges, before looping back to the Hill.
Now, that summary of the ride makes it sound all refined and gentlemanly, but what I failed to mention was the massive amount of water, mud and greasy gloop that still dominates much of the red centre of Australia, and two crazy nights spent riding in the dark -- the first of which included running out of fuel 37.9km (how accurate are Spot trackers!) short of Birdsville, and the next dealing with the seat-deep floodwaters of Frome Creek just shy of Maree. Yee haa!
Oh, and then on the final day, we got peed on from a great height and copped savaged side winds all the way from Hawker to Yunta as a massive cold front roared in from the west.
Russ filmed the entire trip for our next IN THE ZONE DVD that will publish with our Christmas issue of TRAIL ZONE at the end of the year.
We're also piecing together a cracker story and photos on the ride, which will appear in TRAIL ZONE issue #32, so if you've ever dreamed of an outback adventure run, this will be an issue not to miss.
All of us on the ride had a heck of a great time, no one more so than The Major, who at age 66, came into the trip as an adventure riding virgin with a brand spanking new Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere that was to undergo a real baptism by fire. The Major and the Super Ten did unreal and came through with flying colours, despite a couple of small tumbles in some of the greasier sections of the Birdsville Track -- on ya, Major!
After a week of outback solitude -- and how good is it?! -- it's tough getting back to city life and into the daily grind again. But with a zillion memories of some of the best adventure riding in the world fresh in our minds, we will all have plenty to keep us inspired for those long and dreary days behind the office desk.
Bring on the next epic adventure, I say!
-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au