Review: GABCY Bakery Tour – Phil

In January 2023 most of the River parks and reserves were still closed in the aftermath of the floods. Undeterred, Phil rode a 2-day, 240km U-shaped tour of the GABCY Network linking up many small towns with a particular focus on their bakeries. This is his account.

This was my first trip to the northern country in decades, and never with a bike. With it came the normal trepidations- how far can I expect to get per hour; do I have enough water capacity; will I have phone reception if something goes wrong?

Day 1 – Murchison to Echuca, 116km.

I caught the 5:55 am train from Southern Cross Melbourne to Murchison East. I had a plan to utilise the prevailing wind.

A week earlier I had rolled out from Seymour train station assisted by a ripping southerly that blew me along. A mechanical meant I had to pull the pin and go home. But I learnt a few things. The second time around I changed the route to bring my first re-supply stop (water) closer, and the wind now favoured an arc-shaped parcour. Just on the wind… I highly recommend targeting the best wind for your route. If time doesn’t allow that, then plan your route around the wind.

Changing my route was easy. I was already well versed with the GABCY network and playing on rwgps has become a hobby. 

At 8:10am I arrived at Murchison East station and excitedly clipped-in. Away we go! You pass an impressive two-storey old hotel before crossing a fortified bridge over the Goulburn River and into Murchison central.

The bakery has automatic doors like a bank! By now the trip was taking shape in my head. It’d be a bakery tour of the Northern Country. You can town-hop easily enough here. It’s 30k from town to town on gravel backroads. Less than 10 cars passed me in 2 days (250k).

I love custard scrolls and figured I’d eat 4 each day and rate them. Sadly, custard scrolls don’t exist in this part of the state. I know, crazy. I settled on a custard tart. Then I asked the friendly staff for their most popular item under $5. She gave me a vanilla slice. This would be the new game plan. That idea lasted 2 bakeries; I was offered a vanilla slice every time and there is a limit to how many vanilla slices I can eat in a day!

Breakfast done. Off we go. I ride with a Garmin etrex mounted on the stem as my navigation device and utilise rwgps to configure the pre-trip gpx file. Two years ago I would have had no idea what that meant.


To read the full report and access a Strava link for the route, click on this link – Review: GABCY Bakery Tour – Phil


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: