York Rally: all systems go for 2017

York Rally: all systems go for 2017

With apologies for a rather large gap since the last update, it’s time for another York Rally update. We’ve made good progress in the last few months, have attracted a major national event to the Rally, and are looking forward to the summer already!

Campsite – earlybird deadline imminent!

If you book into the campsite early it helps us enormously with the planning and financing of the Rally, and to recognise that, we reduce the prices for “earlybirds”. But earlybird discounts for the next Rally (24-25th June) close on the 1st April. So book your space now and you’ll get the reduced prices – and fast-tracked entry on the day.

Rally to host BSCA National Championships!

We’re delighted that the Rally has been chosen to host the British Schools Cycling Association (BSCA) National and Yorkshire Grasstrack Championships. This will take place in the arena on the Saturday of the Rally, and we’re also very happy that the Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Association will be back on the Sunday. Between these two events we should have a fantastic weekend of spectacle and participation: grass roots cycling at its best.

York Rally Sportive (17th May) gearing up

Bookings are filling up (via British Cycling online – or by post if you prefer) for our next fundraising Sportive! There’s a choice of 100km or 140km rides, taking you into the beautiful North York Moors via some demanding ascents.

Even if you’re not on for riding, volunteers to help run the event are still needed. If you could help marshall, staff a feeding station or take on various tasks at ride HQ, please contact organiser Pete Dunn on 07740 171 252.

Our Beautiful City – #walkcyclefestival

The York Rally is delighted to be taking part in the “Our Beautiful City – #walkcyclefestival” celebration starting on the 28th May – a week of walks and bike rides around York. We’ll be at Rowntree Park for the opening event on Sunday the 28th May, and then we’ll be running a short bike ride to Nether Poppleton on the 29th (Bank Holiday Monday).

  • Volunteers are always welcome to help on the stand at Rowntree Park.
  • Or could you help lead the ride? York Bike Belles, the organisers, have a free ride leader training session on the evening of Wed, 6th May. Contact us if you’d like to take part.
  • Our participation in this event will reap rewards in local publicity – it has already helped us get listed among York’s community cycling groups.

Other York Rally news

  • After many months of paperwork we are finally a Community Interest Company! As I write this we’re in the process of transferring operations fully to the new structure, which both limits the personal liability of us as organisers and should make fund-raising easier. York Rally CIC will remain entirely volunteer run, and not for profit: as before, our only objective is to see the York Rally survive and prosper.
  • We have a provisional date for the 2018 York Rally already! Keep the 23rd-24th June clear in your calendar. This has been cleared with City of York Council (who handle the venue hire) but is still subject to final confirmation until the 2018 horse-racing calendar is firmed up.
  • We are always looking for new volunteers – both for general help on the day, and on the committee – so please do come along to a meeting if you’re interested, or to help at the Rally sign up here.
  • Could you give a talk at the Rally? We’re expanding our talks programme this year, and touring talks were particularly popular last time. We’ll have a projector on hand. If you’d like to give it a go, please contact Peter Eland on publicity@yorkrally.org

Many thanks again to all who entered the 2016 Photo Competition, and apologies again for the delayed judging! We will announce the winners ASAP!

Our next meeting will be at 10AM on the 13th May 2017 – please watch the website for venue details. All are welcome – especially newcomers!

Many thanks again for your interest in the York Rally. We hope we’ll see you there again in 2017!

With our best wishes for happy cycling,

The York Rally Committee

Pre-Christmas, post-AGM York Rally update!

Season’s greeting to all York Rallyers and all who enjoy – or contribute to – this great event. It’s time for another York Rally update!

Campsite – book now for super-earlybird prices!

The deepest discounts for camping at the 2017 Rally (24-25th June) close at the end of the year! So book your space now and you’ll get the best bargain – and quick entry on the day. Plus the knowledge that your early booking helps us enormously with the planning and financing of the Rally.

York Rally AGM – main points

Many thanks to all who turned out for the York Rally AGM last month. We had a productive meeting which sets us on course for the year ahead.

  • We are moving forwards with the process of becoming a Community Interest Company, and the forms should be submitted to Companies House shortly. We hope to be incorporated as a company limited by guarantee early in 2017.
  • We have a provisional date for the 2018 Rally already! Keep the 23rd-24th June clear in your calendar. This has been cleared with City of York Council (who handle the venue hire) but is still subject to final confirmation until the 2018 horse-racing calendar is firmed up.
  • Many thanks to the hard working volunteers who once again stepped forward to take on organising duties on the committee for the year ahead. We are always looking for new volunteers – both for general help on the day, and on the committee – so please do come along to a meeting if you’re interested, or to help at the Rally sign up here.
  • And the AGM especially thanked our new Sportive organiser, Pete Dunn, for taking on this demanding task. As you’ll read below, it’s coming together nicely, and entries are already coming in. Book yours soon to secure a place!

York Rally Sportive – 17th May 2017

Bookings are now open (via British Cycling online – or by post if you prefer) for our next fundraising Sportive! There’s a choice of 100km or 140km rides, taking you into the beautiful North York Moors via some demanding ascents:

(click to enlarge)

Full route details, GPX downloads etc. will be added shortly, but both the 100k and 140k routes will  very similar to the ones from the last York Rally Sportive in 2015.

Any questions, please contact the organiser by phone: Pete Dunn 07740 171 252 or leave a comment below or on the Facebook event page – we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Volunteers to help run the event are always welcome and much appreciated! If you could help marshall, staff a feeding station or take on various tasks at ride HQ, again please just contact organiser Pete Dunn on 07740 171 252.

Roll on 2017!

That’s all for now folks – have a great Christmas and here’s to happy cycling in the new year!

(PS – many thanks to all who entered the 2016 Photo Competition, and apologies for the delayed judging! Among the entries is the image at the top of this page, a fine photo of the cyclo-cross racing by Eleanor Hunt).

AGM approaching: 19th November!

Our AGM is coming up fast on Saturday 19th November!

As last year (pictured), we’re holding it from 10 AM in the “Light Studio”, upstairs at the York Railway Institute a few yards from York Station.

All are very welcome, especially newcomers!

Part of the AGM’s business will be to pave the way for the Rally to become a Community Interest Company. See the agenda, below, for details.

Following the AGM there will be a ‘normal’ committee meeting.

Here are the documents for the AGM (all PDFs):

We look forward to seeing many friends of the Rally there!

Campsite bookings open, AGM and sportive dates, first draft leaflet & cards…

Things are moving gradually forwards as the team get over the 2016 Rally and start the ball rolling for 2017! As per the last posting, next year’s event is on the 24th-25th June, and:

  • Campsite bookings are now open! Book early for the lowest, super earlybird prices, to be sited with your friends, for quicker pre-booked entry, and to help with our forward planning. Do it now online!
  • We have our AGM coming up: it will be held on Saturday 19th November at 10AM in the ‘Light Studio’ of the Railway Institute, York (just a few yards from York’s railway station). All are welcome – especially newcomers!
  • Our next fundraising Sportive is set for the 21st May 2017. More details will follow shortly are up now, and online entries are open!
  • The date for the Sportive is one week after the 2017 Coxwold Cyclists’ Service, another traditional, volunteer-organised Yorkshire event with a long history. As last year, we’re co-operating with publicity, so we’ve created some ‘print out and cut up at home’ cards which cover both events – please do download the PDF make some, then hand out to any fellow riders you may meet on your travels:york-coxwold-2017-cards-v1
  • FInally for now, we have a first draft of our 2017 publicity leaflet out! Already some improvements have been suggested and we’ll do a new one with these included soon, but here it is for now – please do share! The full-size JPG is here (best for sharing on social media) and the PDF is here (best for printing out).



York Rally 2017 is go!

Dates are now confirmed for the next York Rally, which will be on the weekend of the 24th-25th June 2017!

The independent organising committee would like to invite all touring cyclists, grass-roots and grass-track racers, club riders, cycle commuters, recumbent and HPV riders, historic cycle enthusiasts and anyone else wishing to continue the grand tradition of the York Rally as the nation’s friendly cycling get-together to come to York – and to camp on site if you can! Campsite bookings open soon.

More details will follow, but for now just a note that the team will be promoting the Rally at a local event, the York Festival of Cycling, this Sunday in Rowntree Park, York. Please do come along – and volunteer to help man the stand if you can!

Here’s our new 2017 banner:


…and please bear with us as the York Rally website at www.yorkrally.org is currently being revamped for 2017!

The next York Rally Sportive – Spring next year!

Just a quick note as we’ve had a few queries about the York Rally Sportive – which ran successfully in September 2014 and in September 2015.

There will be no York Rally Sportive in September 2016 but we will be running one in Spring next year!

We have an experienced (volunteer) organiser who has stepped up to the task, and the Rally volunteer team is also ready to assist. We are just waiting for the date to be finalised.  It is very likely that the route will be very similar to previous events.

As soon as we have firm details we’ll post those online, and also email all previous York Rally Sportive participants. Thanks for bearing with us!

Riders at the Low Mill feeding station. Photo: Rachel Thompson
Riders at the Low Mill feeding station during the 2015 York Rally Grande Classic Sportive. Photo: Rachel Thompson

Post-Rally round-up: photo comp closing, badges and more…

A somewhat belated update following our post-Rally meeting, and a few reminders too!

General verdict and finances

  • The team were all really happy with how the Rally went – there’s still a list of improvements for next time (including better dishwashing facilities, and more reliable caterers!) but overall we think it went pretty well. We’re also making plans to reduce the physical toll on volunteers, especially when setting up the site.
  • We did make a modest loss on this year’s event, but it was easily covered by Rally reserves and includes some one-off expenses for equipment which will last for many Rallies to come. It’s possible that the rainly weather in regions around York put off some campers from coming, accounting for most of the shortfall. But the committee agreed that we can’t count on better weather in future years, so we must plan carefully to ensure that the Rally is in profit again next year and remains viable for years to come. As well as trimming costs we will be looking at attracting other funding and sponsorship.
  • Fundraising should be easier once we are a charity. The CIO application process is ongoing, and we are currently answering some queries from the Charity Commission.
  • We are very happy to have a few new faces on the committee but we could still use more active members! If you’re free to attend meetings every few months in York and could take on an active role, do please get in touch! Your Rally needs you…
  • Finally, we are still awaiting confirmation from City of York Council of our tentative 2017 dates: 24th-25th June 2017. They cannot definitively confirm until the (horse) racing calendar is firmed up.

Photo competition closing in a week!

  • Many thanks to all who have entered this year’s photo competition! Entries close a week on Sunday (on the 31st July) and thanks to the generosity of our traders we have plenty of prizes to give away. Under 16s entries are especially welcome! Please just send your images to publicity@yorkrally.org – if they’re too big to email try the free  Wetransfer file transfer service (just hit ‘skip’ if it nags you for the paid version).
  • There’s also an initial work-in-progress collection of images from the 2016 Rally here.

Badges galore

  • all badges (Large)
    As some of you may have spotted in the info tent at the Rally, we were kindly gifted a large number of badges from previous Rallies (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, & 2012). These are now for sale on our merchandise page for just £1 each plus £1 postage for up to 8 badges.

Children’s drawing competition 2016: congratulations to the winners!

  • Over 12
    Winner: Anthony Harris
    Runners-up: Bridie Harris & Kieran Bramley
  • Over 8
    Winner: Elizabeth Reid
    Runners-up: Holly Harris & Lewis Jackson
  • Under 8
    Winner: Rosalind Sophie
    Runners-up: Hannah Sharp & Thomas Robert Graham

We’ll do a new post showing the winning entries shortly!

Our next meeting

  • Our next meeting is set for the 17th September 2016 at 10AM, upstairs at Cycle Heaven, Hospital Fields Road, York. Please just let us know if you need a lift from the station. As ever, all are welcome!

Post-rally debrief meeting – 2nd July

Many thanks to all who attended the 2016 Rally, and especially all of those who gave their time and energy to help it happen! We’ll have more updates on this website shortly…

But for now, a note that we have a post-rally meeting coming up, at which we’ll work out how to make the next Rally even better!

The next meeting is a post-Rally debriefing meeting to be held in the meeting room at Cycle Heaven, 31 Hospital Fields Road, York, YO10 4FS, at 10AM on Saturday, 2nd July 2016.

All are welcome. If anyone would like a lift from the railway station, please let us know.

York Rally imminent – and coming together nicely!

The 2016 York Rally is coming up very fast now, and so this will be possibly a final catch-up before the event!

We’re about to send the show programme off to print:


and we’ve also just had our final planning meeting, on site on the Knavesmire. It’s looking in good condition for the event.

Just about everything is now coming together. We have:

  • A full rides list!
  • A packed trade show.
  • Auction (Saturday) and Saddlebag Sale (the cycle jumble, Sunday)
  • Masses of racing and sport, especially for under 16s! If you have kids into racing we will able to keep them busy: we have Go-Ride coaches on site giving free skills training to U16s (all day Sat, plus Sunday PM), plus youth categories in Grasstrack (Saturday) and Cyclo-cross (Sunday).
  • A talks programme (still being finalised, but will we hope include touring talks, specialist club talks, and Q&A sessions on electric bikes and recumbent trikes)
  • Performers are ready to go! As well as the Foresters folk band playing live on Saturday evening, The Pretend Stage will be back with their eclectic act! And Bo Clown will be entertaining with his bicycle-borne Punch and Judy, too.
  • We have a bar selling craft beer from Cwrw Ial Community Brewing Company in Wales – under cover in a large seating area so we hope it’ll be popular.
  • We’ve been working on many improvements after last year. So expect more and better signs, a bigger Rally HQ area with much less cramped displays, new bunting for the Arena, and much more!
  • Plus we have a new Volunteer Co-ordinator – do drop by HQ to offer just an hour or so of your time if you can, or sign up online.

Campsite bookings are looking good, too! There’s still time to book a pitch, if you haven’t already. Advance campsite bookings close 11th June! It’s cheaper than booking on the day, quicker to get in, and you can be sited with friends or club-mates…

And in other news:

Cakes at Riccall Chapel, 2015. Photo: Dave Dodwell.
Cakes at Riccall Chapel, 2015. Photo: Dave Dodwell.

We are delighted to confirm that the lovely team at the Methodist Chapel in Riccall will once again be offering a wonderful array of food on Saturday morning – many of our rides head that way, and any passing cyclist is also welcome!

IMG_20160604_113114336_HDRMeet the new York Rally fire engine! With space for fire extinguishers in the basket each side of the fire bucket, it’s our new rapid response vehicle, here being modelled expertly by Paul at our final planning meeting.

On the subject of pictures, all of the images sent in after the 2015 Rally for the Photo Competition have been enormously helpful – for the website, for the show programme and for promoting the Rally in general. So we’re running it again in 2016 – if you take pictures at the Rally, please do feel free to just send us the lot! Details will be in the show programme, page 23. Many thanks in advance.

Thanks for reading this far! We hope to welcome many of you on the Knavesmire soon!