York Rally 2022 – just under a month to go!

It’s just under a month until the York Rally! Campsite advance bookings close soon – plus the Quiz is back in a more relaxed format, the Talks schedule is taking shape, and a heads-up on works and diversions affecting major York cycle routes…

The Quiz is back!

You’ve arrived on Friday afternoon, set up on the campsite (after it opens at 4pm), maybe had a bite to eat (the on-site catering will be open) – and after that why not come to the bar area and join the Quiz?

After its debut in 2019 we’re revamping the format this year to be more relaxed – so just turn up in the bar area from 7:30 pm and it’s £1 per person to take part, with max. six in a team. Quizmaster Ian Prince will have a set of cycling-related questions pitched at an accessible level, and edible and drinkable prizes!

Camping at the 2015 York Rally. Photo: Mike Handley

Advance campsite pitch bookings – closing soon!

We’re already at record numbers for advance bookings, and they’re still coming in. But bookings must close soon – so that our campsite team can allocate piches, keeping groups and friends together, and prepare the lists for fast-track check-in on the day. If you haven’t yet booked, please do before the 10th June! After that, we can’t take more advance bookings but campers are very welcome to just turn up and pay on the day – we won’t run out of space!

If you have any questions about camping, please do just drop a note to our friendly campsite team: campsite@yorkrally.org

Standing room only for a talk at the 2017 York Rally. Photo: Peter Eland

Talks – taking shape!

Huge thanks to all who got in touch after the last newsletter to offer talks! We now have the schedule almost complete… you can see the full schedule here but here’s the headlines:

1 pm – Cycling Britain on a Twenty Five Quid Bike by Nick Dawes
2 pm – The Unknown story of Tommy Simpson and the 1958 Cardiff Empire and Commonwealth Games by Stuart Stanton
5 pm – In Search of Lost Lanes by Jack Thurston
6 pm – Cycle framebuilding by Richard Hallett

12 pm – Inspired Cycle Engineering
1 pm – Electric bikes Q&A
2 pm – TBC

Please just come along to the talks tent in the main marquee to join any talk!

Cycle route closures – heads up

Visitors to the York Rally should be aware of works and changes on major cycle routes in and near York.

First, Terry Avenue in York (the riverside path which runs from the Millennium Bridge towards the city centre on the side of the river closest to the Rally site) is closed for long term flood prevention work. This closure will definitely be in place during the Rally. For many destinations in town you can just use the other side of the river, and there are signed diversions too. More details via the York Cycle Campaign here.

Secondly, the route north across Clifton Ings (on the NCN route to Beningborough Hall) has been diverted to a new path – see here for details.

Finally, and most seriously, the Sustrans NCN Route 65 from Selby to York, also known as the Solar System Route, or the York Greenway (and part of the Trans-Pennine Trail) may be closed at a stretch including the critical river crossing near York, the “Fisherman Bridge” as pictured below, between Bishopthorpe and Naburn.

We have been in close and friendly contact with Sustrans and they hope, but cannot guarantee, that works will be complete by the Rally weekend and the path will be open. But we must be aware that it could be shut to all traffic, with heavy machinery on site and no possibility of access even for pedestrians.

If this section is still closed during the Rally, it could disrupt several of our led rides, and of course inconvenience Rally-goers arriving or departing from the Rally by this route.

Our Rides organising volunteers are working hard to develop contingencies and to research the best possible diversions. If these are needed we will signpost them ahead of the Rally. Meanwhile, please just watch out for further updates.

On the church service ride at the York Rally 2018. Photo: Paul Dunn.

And more…

And more…

  • We’ll shortly be unveiling the Rides schedule – this has been complicated somewhat by the works noted above, but many thanks to all who have again volunteered to lead rides! We’ll keep you posted with updates…
  • Grasstrack and cyclo-cross racing will be taking a break from the York Rally this year, but we hope to host them again in future years when schedules align…
  • Don’t forget to bring an instrument if you can – bring it along to the Open Mic Night on Saturday evening!

We’re all looking forward to seeing everyone on the Knavesmire in June!

With best wishes,

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee

York Rally 2022: just six weeks to go….

Open Mic at the Rally, Saddlebag Sale sold out – and bumper campsite bookings!

There are now less than two months until the York Rally 2022! Here’s some latest updates:

Campsite bookings: a new advance record!

As mentioned in the last newsletter, advance campsite bookings online and by post have been coming in at an astonishing rate. With six weeks still to go, we already have more pitches pre-booked for 2022 than for any York Rally since the event was revived in 2015.

We’re all looking forward to a buzzing atmosphere on the campsite and at the wider Rally. If you haven’t already, please do book your pitch now to be part of a landmark Rally – advance bookings are open until the 10th June!

Saddlebag Sale – sold out!

The number of tables available at the ever-popular Saddlebag Sale (the historic name for the York Rally’s cycle jumble, which takes place on the Sunday) is unfortunately limited – and we can now report that all tables have now been booked. Apologies to any seller who may have been disappointed.

The sale opens to buyers at 11AM on Sunday morning – entry costs £1 or is free with a show programme (which costs £1). We expect a busy sale!

Saturday evening: Open Mic at the York Rally with Linda J

This year we’re taking the Rally back to its roots with the evening entertainment on the Saturday. In the early days of the Rally, visitors would entertain each other on the campsite, with whatever instruments they’d brought along.

So for 2022 we are delighted to announce “Open Mic at the York Rally” with professional host Linda Jennings – a long-time cyclist and triathlete from Bolton. Notable in Linda J’s lifelong musical career was being picked by Sir Tom Jones in “The Voice UK 2017” – as seen on TV (and her appearances are now free to view on YouTube).

Linda J and assistant John will bring amplifiers, spare microphones etc. – as well as a selection of instruments including spare guitars – and while she’ll fill in any gaps with performances, her act is all about encouraging the audience to join in – with any instrumental talent (at whatever level) or just with your voice!

So if you’re coming to the Rally, please do bring your favourite musical instrument(s) along – or just your voice!

If you’re not comfortable performing solo don’t worry – Linda is expert at bringing all levels of musicianship into her performances. And anyway – at the Rally you are among friends.

The Open Mic session starts at 7:30pm on Saturday evening, and will run to around 10:30 pm. Refreshments will be available at the bar, and several catering outlets will be open on site too. We hope to see you there!

Saturday daytime: The Sonics Rock & Roll band

We’re delighted to welcome The Sonics Rock and Roll Band back 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.

And finally

As we gear up for the last few weeks ahead of the Rally, a few final points:

  • Don’t forget that advance campsite bookings must reach us by the 10th June – so please book your pitch now if you haven’t yet – otherwise you’ll have to pay on the day, which takes a little longer, costs a little more, and also means we can’t easily site you alongside friends or club-mates.
  • We’ll unveil the 2022 talks schedule ASAP – but there are still slots to fill. Touring talks are always popular, or items of historic interest, or anything technical or even whimsical, so long as it’s to do with cycling. Please get in touch if you’d like to do a talk! 
  • There’s been a great response to our calls for people to distribute A5 leaflets to help promote the Rally. The first print run is just about exhausted, but if anyone could help us by distributing some (or some more!) to potential Rally visitors, please email publicity@yorkrally.org and we’ll look at getting more printed!

We’re all looking forward immensely to seeing everyone on the Knavesmire in June!

With best wishes,

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee

Four months to go: campsite boom, auction, displays…

There are now just four months until the York Rally 2022! And it looks like it’ll be a big one: campsite bookings are unprecedented. And we’ve updates on the auction and displays, too….

Bookings are booming!

Our new campsite bookings team have been providing the organising committee with weekly updates – and so far it’s looking really promising for a busy York Rally with many old friends, and new faces, on site. Perhaps because of the gap since the last Rally and the eagerness of people to return, we already have about 40% more pitches booked for 2022 than we did at the same time of year in 2019!

This is great – it means the Rally is coming back strong and there’ll be a great buzz to the campsite. If you haven’t already, please do book your pitch now to be part of a landmark Rally – while the earlybird booking discounts are still active!

If the event must for whatever reason be cancelled, full refunds will of course be made for all bookings

York Rally Auction Sale: confirmed for 2022

We’re delighted to confirm that the York Rally Auction Sale will be back for 2022. All of the details have now been updated on on the Rally website.

We were saddened that The York Lions Club, who assisted with the running of the York Rally Auction for many years, disbanded in 2020 after 62 years of service, in the course of which they raised over £600,000 for local charities. We would like to thank all past members of the York Lions Club for their long history of service and support for the York Rally Auction.

For 2022, without the Lions, we’ve made some small changes to the Auction rules, as you’ll see on the website. Notably, successful sellers can now receive payments by bank transfer, PayPal or cheque as they prefer – but please note that this is still a cash only sale as far as buyers are concerned!

Displays – let’s put on a show!

One of the joys of the York Rally is the displays – by clubs and enthusiasts – of cycles ancient and modern. We already have a number of displays lined up – including a new retro MTB display – but the more the merrier. The Knavesmire has almost unlimited space…

We have a new volunteer co-ordinator for these displays, Charles Jepson, and he notes:

“Anyone wishing to exhibit their veteran, vintage or classic bicycles in the display arena is invited to please inform me (Charles Jepson – on saddlebag@yorkrally.org or phone 01254 51302) in good time before the event about the number of machines they plan to bring, so that we can plan the size and location of the display arena.

I do not need to know details of the proposed displays, simply the number of cycles. Please bring as many machines as you wish.

Exhibitors should also be sure to bring sufficient bike stands and locks, and provide a brief description/history of their machine for the interest of the visiting public. I know that in the past the Rally has provided labels for this, but if you can print out your own description, please do. Anyone who lacks the facility to print out a description is welcome to forward me the details, and I will type and print it off for them. I would prefer to receive any such request at least a week before the Rally.”

Thanks Charles, and we look forward to seeing many extraordinary cycles on show for the visiting public and your fellow enthuisasts!

Clubs and special interest groups are of course also most welcome to put on their traditional displays – if you’ve not already been in touch, please do contact Charles.

More soon!

Our all-volunteer team is working to finalise many other aspects of the Rally – watch this space and we’ll have more updates shortly. Meanwhile…

  • Could you distribute some leaflets? We still have plenty of A5 flyers (see top of this email) and if you can use them to spread the word we’d be delighted to post you as many as you need. Please just drop a note with your address to publicity@yorkrally.org if you’d like some.
  • Could you help make 2022 a record year for the York Rally? Your campsite booking could help take us to our biggest-ever year – why not book your campsite pitch now?

We look forward to seeing many of you to York in June!

The all-volunteer York Rally Team

Saddlebag sales open, new flyers, Cwrw Ial beer is back, and more…

Cwrw Ial at the York Rally bar 2016 - Photo by Sue McKee

Saddlebag Sale

We’re pleased to announce that table bookings for sellers at the Saddlebag Sale cycle jumble are now open!

If the event must for whatever reason be cancelled, full refunds will be made for all bookings.

There are a few changes this year. As a COVID precaution we’ll have a new layout with better ventilation and a reduced number of tables, and for space reasons no full bikes are permitted, sorry.

We are very grateful to Charles Jepson, a long-time friend of the Rally who recently joined the all-volunteer organising committee, for running this year’s Saddlebag Sale. Many will know Charles via the National Clarion Cycling Club 1895, historic supporters of the Rally for many years, and may have spotted him mentioned in this recent Guardian article.

Cwrw Ial beer is back at the York Rally bar!

We’re delighted to confirm that the Rally bar in the main marquee will see the return of the Cwrw Iâl Community Brewing Company whose beers were well received at the 2016 event, as shown below in the photo below by Sue McKee:

Cwrw Ial at the York Rally bar 2016 - Photo by Sue McKee
Cwrw Ial Community Brewing Company at the York Rally bar 2016 – Photo by Sue McKee

New A5 flyers are here!

We’ve printed our 2022 A5 promotional leaflets – and on the reverse we’re running the “one week, two events” informal joint publicity message which we’re doing with Velo Retro – which takes place in Ulverston the week before the York Rally.

If you’d like some flyers to distribute in your area, please just drop an email with your address to publicity@yorkrally.org and we’ll send some in the post. Alternatively, click the button below to access the Rally downloads page, where you’ll find JPG versions idea for emailing or sharing via social media:

For those not familar with Velo Retro, here’s how they describe themselves:

“Velo Retro is ready for its 8th year. The only retro and vintage cycling festival in the English Lake District, where for one weekend, steel is real and retro cycling jerseys rule the roost! Based in the small and very lovely market town of Ulverston and originally inspired by Eroica Italy, it’s a festival of friendship. There’s no fence, it’s mostly free and there are no big corporate sponsors – Velo Retro is the authentic, friendly cycling festival – where you arrive as strangers…and leave as friends! Vintage cycling as part of the Retro Rendezvous Festival, a full weekend of retro loveliness – what could be better?”

More soon!

Our organising team is meeting in York on Saturday – as ever all are welcome and there will be a Zoom option. If you’d like to attend please just send us an email for the details.

We remain aware that the COVID pandemic is by no means over, so we are working on the basis that there may still be some necessary precautions to be considered during the event. And we’re taking care that if the event must unfortunately be cancelled due to renewed anti-COVID measures, we will always be in a position to make full refunds.

Campsite bookings remain open and there are reduced earlybird prices until the end of April – why not book a campsite pitch for some summer cycling now?

We look forward to seeing many of you to York in June!

The all-volunteer York Rally organising team