York Rally 2015 AGM report and update!

Many thanks to all who turned out for our 2015 AGM, held in York’s Railway Institute.  Key points from a very productive meeting:

  • It’s been a remarkable year! Thanks were expressed to all of our volunteers and ride leaders, to the Friends of York Rally supporters club members and to the exhibitors, traders, suppliers, council officials, performers, inventors, club representatives and  everyone else who worked with us to put on the 2015 event. There has been lots of positive feedback.
  • The Rally is in good shape financially, having made a profit in 2015. We resolved to continue to run a very tight ship for at least the next two years until we have built up a financial cushion sufficient to give us peace of mind against, for example, a last-minute event cancellation.
  • The committee resolved to start the process of changing the York Rally to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) – in other words, a charity. We will be taking the helpful advice from the York CVS to help us through this process. This will aid in fundraising, and will also limit personal liability of committee members.
  • We are delighted that Jude Ainsworth has agreed to take on the vital role of Volunteer Co-ordinator.  This is a key role in helping everything run smoothly at the event.
  • We are delighted to also welcome Dylan Thomas (of York’s Poetry in Motion Cycles) to the organising committee.
  • But we still have the following vacancies! If anyone would like to step forward for any of these, please contact us on info@yorkrally.org:
    • Fire officer
    • Safety officer
    • Security officer
    • Youth Activities co-ordinator
    • Charity Ride co-ordinator (we would like to attract newcomers to the Rally, and raise some funds for a good, high-profile local cause , by hosting a ride in aid of the Martin House Children’s Hospice)

The AGM was followed by a ‘normal’ committee meeting. More good news:

  • We have an email from the council at last (after many months of negotiation) confirming that we can use the central area which was fenced off last year for our grasstrack racing. This will make a huge difference, meaning the site layout will make so much more sense!
  • The first few campsite bookings are in, taking advantage of super-earlybird prices until 31st Dec 2015!
  • A system for bulk-emailing newsletters will be in action shortly, so reminders to last year’s campers, updates for Friends and to those who have signed up by entering their email address on the website will be going out soon! If you are not yet signed up, you can do so on the website front page.
  • We are already starting to book marquees, showers etc. where suppliers require plenty of notice.
  • It was noted that while our 2016 dates (18-19th June) clash with the Eroica Brittania event, they avoid a clash with the 2016 British Cycling Road Race Championships which take place in Stockton-on-Tees from the 23rd to 26th June. All the more reason for cyclists and spectators to come to the North East for a run of great events. We also hope that many racers will want to join us on the grasstrack for a warm-up!

Our next meeting will be held at 10 AM on Saturday 30th January 2016, and as ever all are welcome, especially newcomers. We are trying a new venue: Cycle Heaven in Hospital Field’s Road, York have kindly offered to host us free of charge in the meeting room next to the cafe in their huge new shop. This venue is a little way from the station, so we will be arranging lifts for anyone arriving on foot – please just contact us on info@yorkrally.org.


York Rally AGM 2015 at the Railway Institute, York. Photo: Dave Waldram
York Rally AGM 2015 at the Railway Institute, York. Photo: Dave Waldram


Website up, email problems (now fixed)…

We’re happy to report that this website is now up and running  on its permanent address, www.yorkrally.org :-). If you have any bookmarks to the old server at www.yorkrally.dougiereid.co.uk please do change them over.

Update – we had some email problems, but they’re now fixed. But if you’ve sent any emails in the last few days and not had a reply, please re-send as some incoming mail may have been lost 🙁


Signs at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Eddie Gouthwaite.
Signs at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Eddie Gouthwaite.

Website disruption warning!

Just a quick note that we will shortly be changing how this website is hosted, and it may go off the air for a little while, at some point in the next few weeks. I have also ‘frozen’ the site until the transfer is completed, and temporarily disabled comments.

If the website is down, please visit our Facebook page for any updates.  It shouldn’t be down for too long.

The site is kindly hosted for us free of charge by a generous volunteer, but to date this has been configured so that the site (at www.yorkrally.org) is actually hosted on a different web address. A ‘frames’ based forwarding system is used to ensure that when you visit yorkrally.org, you are served up the pages from that other site (where we have the free hosting).

But this has several technical drawbacks, not least that linking to a particular page within the site doesn’t work straightforwardly, and Facebook also doesn’t properly preview shared links.

We’re now moving to ‘native’ hosting, which will put the site directly on www.yorkrally.org and will have none of these drawbacks! Once that is set up, we will also be able to set up a bulk e-mailing system  (our mailing list is into four figures now!)

Finally, just another quick reminder that our AGM is coming up on the 5th December and that super-earlybird campsite bookings are now open!

Signs at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Eddie Gouthwaite.
Signs at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Eddie Gouthwaite.



Notice of AGM, and an update…

Our next York Rally meeting (and our AGM)  is to be held upstairs in the ‘Light Studio’ of the Railway Institute, York, at 10AM on Saturday, 5th December 2015. All are welcome.

Alongside the usual business, we will be proposing that the York Rally (currently an unincorporated association) converts to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) – in other words a charity. This will both limit our liability as committee members and also open up opportunities for funding. We have taken advice on the legalities, and will be asking the AGM to give formal approval to start the process off.  We aim to be incorporated before the 2016 Rally, although we have been told that the process may take some time.

Since my last posting, progress has on some fronts been rather frustratingly slow:

  • We are still negotiating with the Council about the venue! We are seeking to make use of the central area which in 2015 was fenced off: this is where the arena needs to go, so it’s the centrepiece of the Rally rather than being off to one edge.  After seemingly endless negotiations (since May!) we will be having another meeting shortly.  We absolutely need to know if we have that area before we can plan the site layout for 2016.
  • Apologies too for the lack of email updates. My current internet provider isn’t as accommodating as the one I had last year, and bulk emails just get blocked. I’m working on setting up a more robust system (which can handle our ever growing mailing list – almost into four figures now!) but that’s waiting on technical changes behind the scenes on the website.  I hope email newsletters will be up and running shortly.
  • However, there has been considerable progress on the website.  Most of the 2016 pages are now in place – if in fairly bare bones form – and we’ll be filling out details soon. Take a look round – I’ve used many pictures from the 2015 event.
  • Talking of which – apologies again to photo contest participants! Your images have been invaluable for the website and other purposes: thank you all and I hope all have been credited correctly. But I’m still working on getting the images judged by the committee, and winners awarded. It will be done, soon!
  • Campsite bookings will also be open soon too – we just want to conclude negotiations with the council before we take anyone’s money.
  • Many thanks to all who took part in the 2015 Sportive (and also of course to all who volunteered at it!). I don’t yet have an official total but it has probably raised something like £2000 which we will use to stage youth events at next year’s Rally.
  •  We are happy to confirm that British Cycling have awarded us a prestigious series of races. Race organiser Dave Bishop confirms:“I can confirm that British Cycling have awarded us a National Endurance Series event and a National Short Distance Series Grass Track event at next year’s York Rally on Saturday 18th June. The Grass meeting will also include Omnium events for ladies and schoolpersons. Plus a full programme for the seniors. Cycle Speedway is booked for the Saturday lunch time with come and try it events. Sunday will see a series of Cyclo Cross Races, organised by York Cycle Works as part of the Yorkshire Summer Series CX Competition. Further events could be organised by Go-Ride coaches if we can find volunteers with qualifications.” See also the 2016 Grasstrack and Cyclo-Cross pages.

August update: 2016 work starting, website revamp underway…

It’s almost time for the Rally to swing back into action! As you might have suspected, most of us on the committee have been taking a bit of a break to recover over the last few months – although there has been some sterling work done behind the scenes (mainly negotiating with the Council about dates and other matters… but also on the Sportive, just 33 days away now.)

Anyway, we need to get cracking on 2016 soon, and earlier today I finally started work on the Rally website, to restructure it ready to feature the 2016 event :-). More changes are coming soon, to complete empty 2016 pages, give it a new front page, etc., so please bear with us as it fills out. We’ll also have the 2015 badges on sale shortly, and the show programme available as a PDF download.

We’re still waiting to hear some final confirmations about the site but we’re now pretty certain the 2016 dates are 18-19th June 2016. A formal announcement/press releases etc. will follow when the final details are ironed out.

It’s also time to get new artwork underway so we can promote the Rally at the York Festival of Cycling, at our fundraising Sportive, and at the Mildenhall Rally at the end of this month.

Apologies to photo competition entrants – we’ve not yet managed to get the judging done and prizes awarded, but we’re onto it now! Many thanks for all of the excellent entries. They’ll be a huge help as we go on to promote the 2016 Rally.

Once the website is a bit further along we’ll also put together a ‘final report’ on the 2015 Rally – many thanks again to all who supported it!

It was a huge success, financially as well as ‘a good time being had by all’ if we can go by the many lovely, positive reactions we’ve seen and received. We’re now very well placed to make the 2016 event even better…

Reaction and first images up!

We’ve had a wonderful response so far to the photo competition – please do keep them coming until entries close at midnight this Sunday! And feel free to send us your pictures afterwards, too!

As you’ll see from our new page headers, we’re already using many of your wonderful images to promote the Rally.  Normally we’ll caption with photographers names, but we can’t for the headers – right click the image if you’re curious, select ‘view image’ or similar, and the  photographer’s name will be in the image’s file name. Images are loaded at random from the pool, whenever you load a page on this site. Here’s the current set:

Also, we’ve been compiling a collection of social media reactions to the Rally – here’s a selection! I’d best look into some gallery software that’s easier to scroll through…

If you’re featured in either the pictures or these clippings, and you’d rather not be, please just let us know (publicity@yorkrally.org) and we’ll remove you straight away.

Next meeting this Saturday: 4th July 2015

Our next meeting  is to be held downstairs at ‘Your Bike Shed’, Micklegate, York at 10 AM on the 4th July 2015. All are welcome.

We’ll both be looking back at the recent Rally and looking forwards to the Sportive and to the 2016 Rally.

Please note that despite our best efforts we cannot yet, as I write, confirm the 2016 provisional dates – so please don’t book time off or tickets just yet! We’re pushing hard to get the dates confirmed ASAP with the relevant authorities and will announce it here any by email ASAP.

Apologies for the late notice for the meeting, and also lack of website updates since the Rally – several are brewing, but, as is the case too for many of our volunteers, it’s taking our website team a while to recover from the Rally and also to catch up with non-Rally life and work 🙂


That was the 2015 York Rally!

The final volunteers have just departed from the Knavesmire, leaving it as empty and pristine as it was before the Rally, save only for a team from the marquee company still dismantling the trade tents.

Many thanks to everyone who turned up – you made it the event it was. Huge thanks to all of our volunteers and ride leaders, whose efforts made the event happen with actions not words. Thanks to the Friends of York Rally supporters club members who believed it was possible and seed-funded the event – and welcome to the club to the many new members who signed up at the Rally. And thanks also to the exhibitors, traders, suppliers, council officials, performers, inventors, club representatives and to everyone else who worked with us to put on the event.

And thanks to everyone who stopped to thank our volunteers, and all of you who have left kind comments on websites and social media, including the Friends of York Rally Facebook page. They are all being read and are very much appreciated – and they will also be passed on to the volunteers who do not use the internet.

Although the Rally is over there is still plenty to do. Our treasurer has a huge task completing the event accounts, and our merchandising team will shortly be placing and sending out clothing orders. The website needs much rewriting now the event is over for this year, and there’s the photo competition to collate and judge.  And coming up in September, there’s the fundraising 2015 York Rally Sportive to organise…

The committee will be meeting soon to both look back and plan ahead, and we have a long ‘improvements’ list made during the event to discuss and implement before we’re back in 2016.  New committee members – who can commit to coming to most of our meetings in York (about once a month), are especially welcome.

Our provisional dates for the next York Rally are 25th-26th June 2016, but we cannot completely confirm these dates until York Racecourse release their 2016 racing calendar.

Update early July: the most likely dates for 2016 are now one weekend earlier: 18th-19th June. This will be confirmed ASAP.

We’ll post further updates in a few days, after we all have had a chance to recover, catch up and go for some bike rides!

Once again thanks to you all for being part of it  – it was great to see so many friendly cyclists having fun, to meet so many old friends and to make new ones. We’ll keep in touch and hope to see you again in 2016!

The York Rally Committee

For now just a small gallery of pictures taken on Saturday – many more will follow! We already have a good number of entries for the photo competition too – thanks for sending them so fast – and please keep them coming!



Rally imminent!

The York Rally is imminent!

Most of the team are now on site, so will have limited access to email – please use info@yorkrally.org for the best chance of a reply, but from now until the Rally is over, the best way to contact us is via the Rally mobile:

York Rally enquiries mobile: 0746 732 1443

Please use this number for all non urgent enquiries. For emergencies, there is a separate number:

York Rally Emergencies: 0746 732 1440

Please call this number immediately if there is an accident, a threat to safety, or to report a lost child.

On site, the first marquee went up yesterday – the rest go up today, with the marquee company on site at 8AM, and our team of volunteers already on site will also be marking out the campsite. Preparations will continue on Thursday, ready for the first visitors to come on Friday afternoon (the campsite opens 4PM).

The website has now been updated with loads of practical details for visitors: see http://yorkrally.org/visitor-faq/

I’m not sure if there will be another website update before the Rally, though we’re likely to be posting more updates on Facebook. In any case, all of us on the organising committee and our many supporters in the Friends of York Rally look forward to meeting you on the Knavesmire, and we hope you enjoy the Rally!

8 days to go – the photography competition!

Eight days to go – so the Rally starts a week tomorrow!

As promised,  some details about the photo competition. We need good, and even great, pictures of this year’s Rally for our website and publicity for next year – but we don’t have the funds to hire a professional photogapher to cover the event. So we’re relying on you, the visitors!

If you’re at the Rally taking pictures, please send us the best of them and have a chance to win in our photo competition!

We’re looking for any positive image of the Rally: happy people enjoing a grand weekend of cycling. Capturing the spirit of the Rally is more important than technical excellence. We need to show people why we love the Rally, and why they should come next year!

So even if you don’t think your pictures are prize-winning, but they raise a smile or happy memories, please do send them in!

The prizes

First prize: A Bridge Street Saddlebag
This is a lightweight, quick release saddlebag made in waterproof nylon. Worth £80, and includes a ‘high mount’ Klick-Fix seatpost mount. Large size (15 litres), black. Kindly donated by Bridge Street Saddlebags: www.bridgestreet.cc


Second prize: Free camping in 2016!
Free camping at the 2016 York Rally: any single pitch up to a value of £90 (e.g. a motorist pitch and four extra people).

Three runners-up prizes: Cyclemiles mugs
These cycling mugs (worth £8.95 each) were kindly donated by
CycleMiles: Tel 02392 455 355 or see www.cyclemiles.co.uk


Under 16s prize: a York Rally hoodie.

The details

Please send your images, at the best available resolution, to publicity@yorkrally.org with ‘Photo competition’ as the subject line. If the file is too large for email we suggest using the free file transfer service at www.wetransfer.com – just hit ‘skip’ if it nags you for the paid version. Don’t worry about sending big files or plenty of them: we have fast internet and masses of hard disk space! Unfortunately we cannot accept entries as prints or slides.

Closing date for entries is Sunday 5th July 2015 and winners will be announced on or before the 1st August 2015. Prizes will be sent to the winners within two weeks.

Judging will be carried out by the York Rally Committee and will take account of the age of submitters: please mention this with your entry
if you feel it is relevant, and to be eligible for the Under 16 prize.

By entering, you are granting the York Rally Committee a non-exclusive license to use your images to promote the York Rally both in print and online. Unless you request otherwise, you will always be credited as the photographer.