Review: GABCY South East – Alister and Duncan

Alister and Duncan rode 198 km around the South East corner of GABCY Network in January 2022. Their route included parts of Golden Black Track, Reap the Red Ridge, Camel Cornella and Kirwans Rushy Whroote. They posted about their ride on Facebook and also on Relive (see latter for most pics and details of their exact route).

We seized the moment of stupidly hot weather to hit the gravel in central Victoria over three days last weekend, credit card camping with Duncan Parkinson. Train to Murchison, rode to Heathcote (which wasn’t the picturesque wine-town I was expecting from all the Shiraz I’ve had from there) via the Whroo cemetery (poor bastards). The empathy for those diggers turned inwards as we baked in high 30s riding up and down dale, running low on water to get to our first night’s accommodation. Thankfully the thunderstorms hit after we got there which then drenched what we’d left outside. We saw countless wallabies, plenty of roos and the odd Wedgetail. From Heathcote we rode to Rushworth via Colbinnabin for silo art and pub lunch. Last day to Nagambie via the ghost town of Whroo and the Balaclava mine and crossing the treacherous (for bikes) Kirwan Bridge. Duncan had more in the tank and so rode on to Seymour.

We have to thank ‘Nick’ from the GABCY Network who has pulled together amazing routes and ride planning resources to grow gravel riding in central Vic. It includes accommodation/camping options, sights to see, hazards to watch for. Of course, we ignored the advice to ride in Spring/Autumn. Amazing work.…/12/16/the-gabcy-network/

You can watch an animated map of the ride here:

Another interesting and different report. This one shows:

  • How various legs from GABCY Network routes can be combined to make longer routes. Including using different train stations as start and finish points.
  • Impact of weather. From 30+ degree days riding through bush where carrying enough water is a major issue. Then 20 mm overnight rain means having to adjust route next day to avoid some planned earth / clay tracks.
  • Impact of seasons on landscape. The same routes that are bright primary colours in spring and autumn, become a beige-out in high summer. Streeton was more poetic about Australian summers declaring “gold and blue” as “nature’s scheme of colour in Australia”, as evidenced in Golden Summer – Eaglemont (1889)
  • Importance of getting different perspectives. I’ve been to Rushworth many times, but I don’t recall seeing any of the things in pics posted by Alister and Duncan 😂. Also seems the new cafe that had newspaper over its windows all last year has opened, so I’ll have to go and check it out!

Thanks for the plug guys, hope you had fun.

Review: Golden Black Track – Harry

Harry rode the Golden Black Track in November 2021. This is how she described it on Facebook.

First bikepacking trip on the wondercross and first time staying in bush camps alone. I was at times really aware that I’m a woman, especially with the solo camping and sometimes not knowing if the situation was safe!

I’m doing the Golden Black Track. It’s fantastic.

First day rode from Murchison to Dargile state forest and stayed just a little way off from Dargile camp ground and was completely alone. Rode 65kms. Was harder than I anticipated as the elevation was near the end of my ride. The campground had no water. Would need to bring in enough.

Second night visited my folks in heathcote so a very short ride.
Third night rode to Rushworth and then stayed at Greens campground. Free. Had a drop toilet but no water or fire wood.

Rode back to Murchison- just a short one and went home.

Really went party pace as I’ve definitely lost my riding legs during lockdown and had been sick the week before. The constant up and down was tiring but there is warning of this of Nicks website. It’s a beautiful ride.

My biggest issue is not sleeping. Just can’t seem to sleep in the tent! Will have to practice in the yard 🙂

It was definitely type 2 fun but it’s always a humbling experience. Went to plenty of bakeries in the towns and had a really good dehydrated meal from radix nutrition- would purchase again! The bird song and the quiet was just what I needed.

Saw a fox, 2 echidnas, lots of Roos and 2 rabbits.

Harry also wrote a longer, more detailed and introspective article published on Desire Lines (an excellent Australian bikepacking website) –

Harry’s article is a good one for starter bikepackers to read to get an understanding of what is in store for them. It also confirms that when bikepacking you will get a deeper understanding and appreciation of your riding companions, even if riding alone.


Review: Yellowbelly Track – Mags and Lisa

Mags and Lisa rode the Yellowbelly Track in May 2021.

They started in Yea on the GVRT, then travelled via Yellowbelly Track-Roads option to Echuca. Then they rode back diagonally through various small country towns to Yea.

The trip was over 500km, taking 9 days, including a full rest day in Echuca. They stayed in commercial accommodation for all 8 nights.

They documented their trip on social media. Food at wineries was such a recurring theme that they renamed their trip the FatBelly Track