Earlybird ending, CIO progress, a design challenge, Coxwold and more…

We had a very productive meeting on Saturday (19th March) and are making good progress on several fronts.  Many thanks to Cycle Heaven on Hospital Fields Road, York, for hosting us again.

The key points are:

– Campsite bookings are coming in well, but earlybird prices end just a week today (midnight on Sunday the 27th March). So if you haven’t already booked, please do so now to get reduced prices: http://yorkrally.org/campsite

– We have a new advisor, Mike Barnard, from the York Community Volunteering Service, who is helping us in the process of becoming a charity (CIO) and he is excellent. The process is now moving forward swiftly, with a provisional completion date of 1st October 2016. This conversion will both limit committee members’ personal liability and make it easier to attract funding, but we will retain our independence as an organisation. Essentially, the current plan is that committee members are being asked to become trustees, and Friends of York Rally will be asked to become ‘members’ of the charity (we will be writing with more details in due course).

The next stage of this process is to call a Special General Meeting (of our current Rally organisation) and this posting is formal notice that this SGM will take place at 10 AM on Saturday the 23rd April 2016, in the upstairs room at Cycle Heaven, Hospital Fields Road, York. As with all of our meetings, all are welcome. Mike Barnard will attend and direct proceedings as we pass some technical motions to proceed with the CIO conversion.

Our next ‘normal’ planning meeting will be on the 21st May 2016, at 10AM in the same venue. All are welcome!

And in other news:

Entries are now open for the Grasstrack Meeting on the Saturday of the Rally. Full details and links to online entry are on: http://yorkrally.org/grasstrack-racing/

– Could you design a 2016 badge – fast? Our treasurer Rachel has put together a provisional sketch:


but we’d love to see any other ideas! The badge company will turn sketches into final artwork, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Please send your designs by the end of March to info@yorkrally.org and we’ll choose the best to be produced in good time for the Rally! Note we still have some spare 2015 badges which you can order at: http://yorkrally.org/york-rally-merchandise/

– Are you aware of the Coxwold Cyclists Service? Like the Rally, it is a traditional cycling event with a long heritage. One of only two remaining Cyclists’ Church Services in the UK, it reaches a milestone on Sunday 8th May 2016, with 300+ cyclists, including the Bishop of Selby, expected in the North Yorkshire village of Coxwold for the 90th annual Service of Remembrance. Coxwold is a picturesque village around 20 miles north of York, and participants ride to the service from miles around. Refreshments, in the form of a home made food mountain and gallons of tea, are on sale at the Village Hall from 11 AM, and after the service, which begins at 1:30 PM. The (volunteer) Coxwold organisers have very kindly offered to display some York Rally info and leaflets to visitors in the Village Hall, and we would encourage any Rally participants who can to support this historic event on its 90th anniversary, either by attending or just helping to spread the word. There’s an excellent write-up of last year’s event here: http://balancingontwowheels.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/coxwold-cyclists-church-service.html

With our best wishes for happy cycling,

The York Rally Committee

York Rally 2015: Photo Mike Handley
York Rally 2015: Photo Mike Handley

Ready to race at the Rally? Grasstrack entries are open now…

Entries are now open for the grasstrack racing at the 2016 York Rally! You can now enter online via the British Cycling website.

This event has traditionally been one of the great fixtures of the Northern grasstrack circuit, and we are proud that it is now returning for a second time following the successful revival of the York Rally in 2015.

The grasstrack events are part of the British Cycling National Endurance Grass Track League and the National Short Distance Grass Track League.

Racing starts at 12:00 noon on Saturday the 18th June and the meet includes:

E/1/2/3/4 Race
Regional C+
Band: 5
Entry fees: Online: £15, Postal or On Day: £20

U16/U14/U12/U10/U8 Race
Youth Only
Entry fees:
Online: £8, Postal or On Day: £10

Enter online via the British Cycling website.

Racers are also welcome to stay overnight (Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday nights) as the Rally is also hosting a Yorkshire Cyclo-Cross Summer Series event on Sunday the 19th June.  Book a campsite pitch here.

There’s masses to do at the Rally for racers and non-racers alike, with trade show, catering, cycle jumble, auction and more on site to tempt you to stay! And there’s easy access and free car parking, too.

We’re hoping for a strong field at this year’s Rally, and a great day’s racing. We look forward to welcoming you in June!


Grasstrack racing at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Taras Melnyk.
Grasstrack racing at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Taras Melnyk.

1949, 1962 & 1975: glimpses into Rally history

Many thanks to our Event Co-ordinator Paul Reid, who unearthed three copies of early CTC magazines which featured items about the Rally, from 1949, 1962 and 1975.

Without further ado, here they are – enjoy! Apologies for the poor scanning on some of them:

Feb update: bookings hotting up, Sustrans feature the Rally and more…

Time for another York Rally update! Last weekend we had a meeting, our first in a new venue (Cycle Heaven’s shop near the Millennium Bridge in York) and we’ll likely be back there again for our next meeting too, on Saturday 19th March, when our kind hosts will work on some improved seating arrangements.

Key points from the meeting:

  • We have started the process of working towards becoming a CIO (a charity) but it may take some time. Current issues are around how the structure of trustees, members etc. will work; we will likely adapt a model constitution as advised by the York CVS service.
  • Work continues liaising with the Council, emergency services, licensing officials and the like – not glamorous but essential for the Rally.
  • Campsite bookings are coming in well! Earlybird prices are still available, and just mention when you book if you’d like to be sited with your friends or club-mates.
  • We’ve also had a gratifying number of advance bookings for the trade show 🙂
  • Marquees have been booked! Catering facilities are being booked, too.
  • The rides programme is filling out already. Co-ordinator Gary requests that ride leaders (and potential ride leaders) contact him well in advance to avoid a last minute rush…
  • We will be organising a free first aid course for volunteers and ride leaders. Date and venue (will be in York) is to be decided. Please contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator, Jude Ainsworth, if you’re interested.
  • The website is just about complete now for 2016, including a 2015 event report with many pictures. Apologies for the continued delay in judging the photo competition – that is now top of the list! Your photos have been invaluable in our publicity.
  • We have reluctantly decided that we will be giving the York Rally Sportive a rest in September 2016, unless a new lead organiser steps forward before the end of February (plenty of Rally volunteers will be available to help). The Sportive is not key to our mission (running the Rally) and the money it raises does not compensate for the stress on the organisers, especially as it falls fairly soon after the Rally itself.  It’s a shame to see the end to what was a popular and successful event, though, so if you would be interested in taking up the organising challenge, either for 2016 or maybe 2017, please do contact us.

And in other news:

  • We are delighted that Sustrans, who contributed so much to the 2015 Rally with their programme of rides and logistical help, are to feature the Rally as a “Featured Regional Event” on their new National Cycle Network map, which will be mailed out to all Sustrans supporters in April. They’ll also be spreading the word on the Rally through other channels. It’s already on the Trans Pennine Trail event listings! Many thanks for this invaluable publicity!
A ride heads out at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Peter Eland
A ride heads out at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Peter Eland

1965 York Rally – anyone remember the Bootie bike?

We have received the following very interesting letter from Brian Conolly, who would be very interested to hear from anyone with further information, or recollections, of the ‘Bootie’ bike which was on show at the 1965 Rally. Click any image above to enlarge. He writes:

Dear York Rally committee,

I’ve sent you some photos from the York Rally in 1965. I hope you find them of interest.

The Warwick University archives sent some photos to me for my web page (http://bootiebike.com/bootie/bootie.htm) on the ‘Bootie’ bicycle (mini cycle with folding bars and seat), and I thought you might be interested in those taken at the Rally.

I was looking for background info on the location of the photos when I bumped into the archive section on your website.

Some of the photos are of a well known cycle touring couple, Wilf and Hilda Corum, demonstrating the Bootie. Others are of a tandem version.

The Bootie was made at the Vickersdale Works, Stanningley, Pudsey from 65 to 73. I’m always looking for more info – maybe some of your old timers know of it and can share their memories for the website.

Best regards
Brian Conolly

Update Feb 2022!

Long-time Rally-goer Roger King has kindly found and scanned in an original Bootie Bike brochure, likely also from the 1965 Rally. Click on the image to enlarge:

1978 York Rally advert scan by Roger King

Please do leave a comment below if you have any information, memories or thoughts on the bike – or email me at publicity@yorkrally.org and I’ll pass any details on to Mr Conolly!

The Bootie bike.Photo: Warwick University Archives, via Brian Conolly.
The Bootie bike.Photo: Warwick University Archives, via Brian Conolly.