Talks and performances

The Rally hosts all sorts of talks and performances, from live music to children’s entertainments to informative lectures on cycling subjects.

2019 music and talks

The Foresters, the Rally’s traditional Saturday evening band for many decades, retired in late 2018 and have now disbanded. We thank them for their many fine performances – they will be missed! So we are now starting the almost impossible task of finding a replacement.

We will confirm the 2019 band for the Rally Saturday night ASAP.

But we’re very happy that The Sonics Rock and Roll Band will return to the Rally in 2019, and we’ll make sure they don’t have power problems this time! Three keen cyclists, they will play two sets on Saturday morning, from 10:30am and 12 noon, in the main central area.

2019 talks will be announced ASAP.

2018 music and talks

For 2018 we’re delighted to welcome The Sonics Rock and Roll Band to the Rally! Three keen cyclists, they will play two sets on Saturday morning, from 10:30am and 12 noon, in the main central area.

Legendary folk band The Foresters will also play their traditional session from 7.30pm in the main marquee.

Saturday talks:

Many thanks to all of our speakers!

  • 1 pm: Electric bikes Q&A
    Find out all about new electric-assist technology with John from the Electric Transport Shop in York. A tailwind for your bike!
  • 2 pm: A new type of rubber tyre
    Richard Adams of Gecko Rubber introduces a new UK-made puncture proof tyre made from pure recyclable cellular rubber, and explains how e-bikes and bike sharing are shaking up the tyre market
  • 5 pm: Bicycle poetry workshop
    Join Bernie Cullen, former Director of York Bikerescue and now Poet in Residence at Yorkshire Arboretum, for a relaxed poetry workshop, including readings of her poems and the opportunity to write your own. Paper and pens provided – just bring your imagination!
  • 6 pm: Tips from touring Europe
    Experienced touring cyclist and author of the “…on a bike called Reggie” books Andrew Sykes offers hard-won advice from many miles in the saddle all across Europe.

Sunday talks:

  • 12 pm: The bicycle: history and future
    Former owner of component maker Middleburn, Darin Palmer, muses on the development of bicycles and cycling from pre-history to modern times, and the vital role bikes must play in our future.
  • 1 pm: Flying Gates and framebuilding: Q&A
    Liz Colebrook of Beaumont Bicycle welcomes your questions on the iconic Flying Gate design, her work as an artisan framebuilder, and offers insights into cycle ergonomics and comfort.
  • 2 pm: Electric Bikes Q&A
    Find out all about the new electric-assist technology with John from the Electric Transport Shop in York. A tailwind for your bike!

From previous years:

Live music – The Foresters and Pretend Stage

Traditional folk band The Foresters play on the Saturday evening at the Rally in the main marquee. Here are some images from recent years (does anyone have a video?)

Transporting all of their kit by bicycle trailer, local performers Pretend Stage set up in the central square of the 2015 & 2016 Rallies for an eclectic performance of music and dance:

Children’s entertainments

Derek Carpenter fascinates younger visitors to the Rally with his  tricycle-based ‘Punch and Judy’ act, throughout the event:

Talks and lectures

2018 talks will be confirmed ASAP!

Talks in 2015 included Sikh storyteller Roop Singh, and an account of high-miles cycling though the years, from Dave Barter. In 2016 we had a great line-up including sports science, touring in Canada and electric bikes. We now have our 2017 schedule:

2017 talks: Saturday

  • 1 PM: Electric Bikes: Q&A with John from the Electric Transport Shop
  • 2 PM: The Bishop of Selby (Bishop John, the “Cycling Bishop”).
  • (The auction starts 3PM – talks pause so as not to clash)
  • 5 PM: Chris Juden, former CTC technical expert. He says “The title of my talk will be ‘Choose your Discipline!’ in which I’ll discourse upon how my mission during my time at CTC was to provide some much-needed balance against the domination of cycle sport in all matters technical.”
  • 6 PM: Mark Waters, with touring tales from Ireland
  • 6.45PM: Wheelbuilding masterclass with Dave Gall from Spa Cycles
  • (Foresters start 7:30: talks stop)

2017 talks: Sunday

  • 12 PM: Charles Jepson: “Fellowship through Cycling” – an illustrated historic talk on the
    National Clarion Cycling Club and the wider Clarion Movement.
  • 1 PM: Andrew Sykes about his books ‘…on a Bike Called Reggie’
  • 2 PM: Electric Bikes: Q&A with John from the Electric Transport Shop
  • 3 PM: Rough stuff recumbents: Chris from Inspired Cycle Engineering explains a new option for rough-roads riding: the fattrike.
The Foresters at the York Rally in 2015. Photo: Malcolm Carline
The Foresters at the York Rally in 2015. Photo: Malcolm Carline