Three weeks to go!

There are now just three weeks to go until the Rally! So things are hotting up. We’re delighted that campsite bookings are already ahead of some previous years (in numbers of pitches booked, and campers attending). Trade bookings are also up on expectations so, while we’re not quite yet completely ‘in the black’, we’re very confident that the finances are looking good.

So far we’ve raised about £14,000 of the approximately £18,000 budget for the 2015 Rally – many thanks to everyone who has booked a pitch, ordered clothing or become a Friend of the York Rally to help us achieve this. ‘On the day’ campsite bookings, sales of badges and show programmes, clothing, Friends memberships and other items will, we’re pretty confident, close the final gap.

But as many expenses have to be paid in advance, please do take advantage of the final few days to book a campsite pitch at reduce rates, if you haven’t already! It’s cheaper than on the day, and on arrival you’ll be fast-tracked past the queues of those who haven’t yet booked. Reduced price bookings close at midnight this Monday (1st June) and all online advance bookings on Monday 15th June!

If you’d like to order York Rally clothing to collect at the Rally,
the same deadline applies!

Finally, we’re running another Sportive in September, to raise funds – for the 2016 Rally we very much hope, or to cover any shortfall for 2015 if necessary! Any advance entries really help, and we hope it’ll be a grand day of riding:

Talking of riding, the list of rides going out from the Rally is the most comprehensive in years: many thanks to the leaders and organisations who have stepped forward to arrange them:

The latest addition is rides from the RSF Off-Road Cycling Club (aka the Rough-Stuff Fellowship)…

We also have some news about a church service on the Sunday. We did speak to the Minster but, the Rally having not happened for a few years, the booking for the service on Sunday morning has lapsed and we won’t be able to get it back for some time. The ‘Parade’ mass ride was also going to be problematic. Anyway, we’ve now arranged a service at an alternative venue a short cycle ride away, St Matthew’s Church in Naburn. These are the details I have:

An all age worship service with a Father’s Day theme will take place at St Matthew’s, Naburn, at 9.30a.m. If people want to meet to ride to the church we’ll leave the Knavesmire at 8.45 using the route via the Cycle Way. There will be a marshalled ride back after the service.

The ride over to the church is almost entirely traffic free, on the old railway path, with just a few hundred yards of 20 mph road at the end. We’ll have a map on the website shortly, and probably paper copies to hand out (most of the route is shared with several other rides).

I think that’s all for now. We’re still working hard on several things:

  • Paperwork! Risk assessments, insurance, event manuals, fire plans etc etc are all soaking up time, with the brunt being borne by our Rally Co-ordinator Paul Reid. A huge thanks to him from us all for taking this on.
  • Trade: we have a great selection of traders coming to the Rally! See the latest list at:
  • The show programme! This will be compiled in the next week or so and sent to print in good time for delivery before the Rally.
  • Volunteer organisation! It takes a mass of people and organisation to stage the event – everything from marshalling the traffic to sorting out recycling needs sorting out! If you could help, please email
  • Site layout. A slight spanner in the works has arisen rather late in the day: a key area of the Knavesmire several football pitches in size has been declared ‘out of bounds’ for us to use: it was levelled and re-seeded relatively recently and is not yet fully established, and it’s to be fenced off. We were intending that space to be used for the grasstrack arena; this has now been moved down towards the Racecourse stands, with trade show and catering alongside it. It’s now a less than ideal layout – but a workable one we hope. Unfortunately there’s no getting around this, but we’re pretty sure it’ll be for this year only.

Finally, just a note that though we’re working to make this Rally the best we can, please don’t expect it to rival past Rallies when the event was at its peak: we just don’t have the money to do that. As we work to revive the Rally from scratch, we’re staging this first Rally on about a third of the budget it had in the years before its cancellation. Despite everything being done by volunteers, and no expenses being claimed by anyone including committee members, we just don’t have the funds to do things like pay for advertising the event, having more marquees than absolutely necessary, or ‘buying in’ extra attractions.

We hope it’ll be a grand weekend of cycling nonetheless, and we’ll rely on you, the visitors, volunteers and Friends to make it a great get-together even if it’s not as big-budget as it could be… And we’re very much hoping that this year’s Rally will leave us in a strong position to make it bigger and better in 2016!

We look forward to seeing you there!

The York Rally Committee