2021 AGM and next meeting: 30th October

A quick note that the next York Rally AGM and planning meeting will be held on Saturday 30th October 2021 at 10.00am at St Chad’s on the Knavesmire Church Hall in York.

As ever, all are welcome.

If anyone would like to join the meeting via Zoom please e-mail a few days before to: info@yorkrally.org – we will do our best to make remote participation practical but please do bear with us if there are any issues.

Please also let us know if you would like a lift from the railway station.

Urgent call for organising team volunteers

We hope this finds you all well, and that many of you enjoyed some summer cycling despite of the lack of a York Rally this June. After the enforced break, we’re eager to bring the much-loved York Rally back once again.

But we do now need your help.

We need new volunteers on the organising team if we’re to run the next York Rally in June 2022! Please step forward if you can.

The York Rally Committee recently met for first discussions about running the event in 2022. Unfortunately, since the last York Rally in 2019 a number of our key volunteers on the organising committee are no longer available, through health, life events or other commitments.

Without enough people to take on organising/leadership roles to cover all of the essential aspects of the Rally, we cannot run the event safely and sustainably.

The two absolutely key jobs we need new volunteers to cover to secure the Rally are:

(1) Managing campsite bookings

This is the critical admin task which the current team cannot cover for 2022, although we will give any new volunteer full support.

It involves processing website and paper campsite bookings from November onwards. Familiarity with spreadsheets or similar will be needed, and email/phone for handling correspondence.

There should be no need to handle money (except perhaps forwarding occasional cheques to our Treasurer). There is also no need to be based in or near York – we can work remotely but of course you should be intending to come to the Rally!

We need to know that this role is filled by the end of October 2021 for the 2022 Rally to go ahead. To find out more or if you could do this job, please contact Paul Reid ASAP on organiser@yorkrally.org.

(2) Trade co-ordinator

To shadow our current volunteer for 2022, and take over for 2023.

Our current Trade Co-ordinator will retire from the role after the 2022 Rally, if that goes ahead. So a new volunteer is needed ASAP, so that they can learn the ropes for a year before taking over.

This role involves booking in and dealing with exhibitors for the trade show, as well as dealing with contractors for marquees, generators etc. It would suit someone with business experience. Again, there is no need to be in York.

This role really needs to be filled by the end of this year (2021) so that the handover can start ahead of the 2022 event (if it runs).

Unless this role is filled, we will not be able to run a 2023 event. To find out more or if you could do this job, please contact Charlie Hodge ASAP on trade@yorkrally.org.


There are other jobs too which we would like to fill, ranging from selling programmes at the gate to auction cashier to volunteer co-ordinator. Please do contact Paul Reid as above for more details or if you feel you can commit to any of these, or just to indicate willingness to step up in an organising role and to help keep the York Rally running.

If the 2022 York Rally can go ahead, it is likely to be on the weekend of 17-19th June 2022. These dates are still provisional, but please do put them in your diary for now.

We’ll keep everyone informed of any updates, and many thanks in advance to anyone who can make a commitment to help run the next Rally. Together with you, the Rally-goers, we have kept this historic and enjoyable event alive. And now, after the pandemic cancellations, we’d love to see it return again! So please do get in touch if you can help.

Yours in cycling as ever,

The all-volunteer York Rally organising team
info@yorkrally.org

No York Rally in 2021, but we’re hoping to be back in June 2022!

At our recent virtual AGM and planning meeting, the all-volunteer York Rally organising committee unanimously decided that it is, regrettably, not possible to run the Rally in 2021.

Although restrictions may have eased by June, we cannot at this point be sufficiently confident to run the event. We had left the decision about a 2021 event as late as possible, hoping for more certainty by now, but it could not be postponed again simply because so many aspects of the Rally need booking and organising well in advance.

However, the committee is optimistic that we will be able to run a full York Rally in 2022. Of course this will have to be confirmed in due course (probably towards the end of this year) if circumstances permit.

If it can go ahead, it is likely to be on the weekend of 17-19th June 2022. These dates are still provisional, but please do put them in your diary for now – something to look forward to at last!

We’ll keep everyone informed of any updates.

Meanwhile, thank you to all of the York Rally’s volunteer officers and committee members who agreed to continue in their roles at the Rally’s AGM.

The committee will meet again (virtually) on the 24th April to discuss what if anything we can do mark the traditional Rally weekend in June. As ever, our meetings are open to all, so please do contact us if you would like to join.

But for now, let’s cross fingers for the next York Rally to take place on the weekend of 17-19th June 2022 – COVID permitting of course!

Merry Christmas from the York Rally!

In this difficult and extraordinary year the York Rally team wishes you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year, and we really hope we can see many of you soon at another York Rally.

As you will know, sadly the 2020 Rally was cancelled in March due to COVID-19. Thank you again for all of the messages of support in the wake of this announcement.

Since then the organising committee has kept active and in regular contact, and we are in good shape to organise another Rally just as soon as conditions allow.

We will make a final decision on a Rally in 2021 at our upcoming meeting and AGM in January (see below).

At the moment we are cautious about raising any expectations for 2021. Even after the cancellation early this year, the Rally finances are sound but we cannot risk running anything but a ‘full throttle’ Rally – one which we can be confident will go ahead and one for which Rally-goers can be confident to book campsite pitches in advance. We will have to weigh up the welcome news of vaccines with the risk of ongoing restrictions.

We do want to run the Rally again just as soon as possible, which is why we are leaving the final call as late as we can. The final decision about a 2021 York Rally will be made at January’s meeting, and we will then let everyone know ASAP.

Meeting and AGM
The next York Rally meeting, and AGM, will take place virtually on the 23rd January 2021. As ever, all are welcome to attend. If you would like to join, please contact us.

We will let everyone know about the meeting’s decision on a 2021 Rally as soon as possible!

Meanwhile we wish all Rally-goers the best of health and cycling happiness, and a very Merry Christmas.

The all-volunteer York Rally Team

It would have been the York Rally weekend!

Just a quick note to thank all of the well-wishers and contributors who have left comments on this website, on the York Rally and Friends of York Rally Facebook pages, or contacted us direct, as we come up to the dates the York Rally would have taken place, had it not been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Head over to the Friends of York Rally Facebook page in particular to join in the celebration of the Rally that could have been – you can join fellow York Rally supporters in posting old photos and recalling treasured memories for everyone to enjoy!

As we spend this year’s Rally weekend at home we can certainly look forward to future events. The organising committee is active by correspondence and eager to resume planning for the next Rally.

We do very much hope and expect to be back in 2021 – but until we’ve confirmation of dates for the Knavesmire, and the committee has formally decided that the COVID-19 risk has sufficiently reduced, we’d rather not make any announcements just yet.

Just as soon as we have news of future events we’ll let everyone know!

Meanwhile, we wish all Rally-goers the best of health and safe cycling, until we can meet again in York!

The York Rally organising committee

York Rally 2020 cancelled

York Rally 2020 CANCELLED

We regret to announce that the 2020 York Rally has been cancelled. We are in the process of refunding all bookings in full. A further announcement with full details will be made shortly.

The York Rally Committee

Bands, beer and badges – we’re getting set for the 2020 Rally! Plus, cleaning and recruiting…

A rather belated update as we gear up for the 2020 York Rally in June!


Cwrw Ial beer and vegan pizza – both booked!

We’re delighted to announce the return of community brewing company Cwrw Ial to the York Rally! Pictured above at the 2016 Rally, they’ll be bringing a selection of their fine beers.

We’re also very happy that Mio Pizza, whose vegan menu went down so well at the last Rally that he sold out, will be back with increased stocks ready for a very busy weekend in 2020! 


Campsite – earlybird prices are still available!

For the full Rally experience it’s best to stay on site! And as ever, we’ve made sure that the earlier you book your campsite pitch, the cheaper the prices. The reduced rate earlybird fees are still available until the 30th April 2020. 

This year we welcome a long-standing friend of the Rally, Peter Poppy, to the campsite team. He’ll be handling bookings by post, so please do note the new address if you’re sending us your booking form , a copy of which you can download from our website.

For all the campsite details, and for both online and postal bookings, please just click the button:


Can you help with badge design?

Without a graphic designer on the York Rally volunteer team, we always struggle with designs for the York Rally badges. And this year, we’re also running low on badges for our supporters club, the Friends of York Rally – so we need a new (undated) design for that as well as one for the 2020 Rally.

We’d love to see your creative ideas! If you have even concept sketches (finished vector artwork is even better) please do email publicity@yorkrally.org and we’ll take it from there! Or just post them at the York Rally Facebook page if you prefer…

We note, by the way, that 2020 marks 75 years since the first York Rally in 1945 (see some history here). That may be something that could be commemorated in the badge design, too…


Bands and more booked!

To ensure that the Rally runs smoothly our team of hard-working volunteers books all sorts of things well in advance – marquees, toilets, showers, tables, fire extinguishers, catering… and also on the list is the artists who provide our live music!

We’re very happy that we have again booked American Routes, featuring Irene and Brian Hume (formerly of hit band Prelude) for the Saturday evening performance, and The Sonics will again be delivering their lively rock and roll set on Saturday morning!


Cleaning – changes afoot

An essential if less glamorous thing we must arrange before the Rally is cleaning of toilets and showers. Since we revived the Rally we have been incredibly fortunate that Rally-goers Pippa and John have taken on this role with incredible dedication, keeping the facilities spotless throughout the weekend and handing them back to the Racecourse in a better state than we found them! We have received numerous positive comments over the years, both from Rally-goers and the Racecourse.

For 2020, John and Pippa are stepping back from cleaning – we wish them many very well-deserved Rallies without this duty, and pass on our sincere thanks. 

That does mean we must make some alternative arrangements, and we feel we should recognise that it will be very hard to live up to the standards set by John & Pippa, who were on site full time.

We are currently looking at commercial cleaners who may come in a few times per day over the weekend, unless there’s someone among you who might want to take on the (paid) cleaning role? If that could be you, please email Charlie on trade@yorkrally.org to talk details!

And for everyone – please do bear with us if the new arrangements don’t quite rise to the level of previous years! We’ll certainly adjust for future Rallies once we see how any new cleaning arrangements work in 2020. And your assistance in ‘self-cleaning’ the facilities after use will be much appreciated in any case!


Help us recruit!

Do you know fellow cyclists who don’t yet join you in attending the York Rally? It would be great if all of our attendees, friends and supporters could make it a new year’s resolution to mention the Rally to at least one cycling friend in the coming months and urge them to come along! We’re happy with numbers so far, but the Rally’s ongoing vitality depends on new visitors – who we hope will become regulars!

Could you help distribute the Rally’s 2020 leaflet (per the picture at the top of this email?) At other events, at campsites or at cafes to fellow cyclists? If you would like some paper copies (A5) please just email with your address to publicity@yorkrally.org

Also on the recruitment front, we always need more willing volunteers to help on the organising committee – the only requirement is really that you can attend a good proportion of our meetings, which are around 8 times a year, on Saturnday mornings in York. In particular there’s a role for a volunteer fundraiser – if you fancy taking that on, we’ll do our very best to support you and make it a rewarding role! Please just contact Paul Reid on organiser@yorkrally.org or 07467 321443 if you’re interested.

Finally, please do keep sharing and mentioning our posts on social media – follow our Facebook page here and if you’d like to print or share our leaflet, it’s available here.


And finally…

All are welcome – especially newcomers, and anyone interested in joining our organising committee – at our next York Rally planning meeting, which takes place at 10am on 28 March 2020, at the Church Hall of St Chad’s on the Knavesmire, Campleshon Road, York. Please just let us know if you would like a lift from the railway station.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the Rally in June!

With best regards,

The all-volunteer York Rally Team

York Rally 2020 dates are confirmed (19-21 June) and campsite bookings are now open!

York Rally 2020 poster - main image by David Kimberley

We’re delighted to confirm that the next York Rally will take place on the weekend of 19-21 June 2020! Our all-volunteer team is already looking forward to welcoming everyone to the Knavesmire once again…

Campsite bookings are open now, so please do take full advantage of the earlybird discounts! And all are welcome at our upcoming AGM.


Campsite – super-earlybird bookings are open now!

For the full Rally experience it’s best to stay on site! And as ever, we’ve made sure that the earlier you book your campsite pitch, the cheaper the prices. The cheapest super-earlybird rates apply until the 31st December. 

This year we welcome a long-standing friend of the Rally, Peter Poppy, to the campsite team. He’ll be handling bookings by post, so please do note the new address if you’re sending us your booking form, a copy of which you can download from our website.

For all the campsite details, and for both online and postal bookings, please just click the button:


AGM approaching…

All are welcome – especially newcomers, and anyone interested in joining our organising committee – at the York Rally AGM, which takes place ahead of our next planning meeting. Start time is 10am on Sat 30th November 2019, at the Church Hall of St Chad’s on the Knavesmire, Campleshon Road, York. Please just let us know if you would like a lift from the railway station.

And we’ll be in touch after that meeting with another newsletter to keep you up to date with plans for 2020!

With best regards,

The all-volunteer York Rally Team

E-mail: info@yorkrally.org

Two weeks to go!

Two weeks to go: a new Retro Ride, rides & talks finalised, live music update and much more in our last update before the Rally!

Dear fellow cyclist,

With just two weeks to go it’s time for another York Rally update! We’ve been busy with final preparations so please read on for more details on the following:
  1. We’ve a new Retro Ride! Get out your classic steel-framed bike….
  2. The rides list is now finalised – many thanks to all our volunteer leaders!
  3. The talks schedule is also finalised – many thanks to our speakers!
  4. Welcome to American Routes – our new Saturday evening band…
  5. Rally round-up – congratulations to tricycle riders and trike builders, a big thank-you to clubs and associations supporting the Rally through programme advertising, and a reminder to bring cycling donations!

This will be the last general email newsletter before the Rally, but we will also be emailing booked-in campers with arrivals information etc. shortly before the event, so please watch out for that!

1. New Retro Ride

Polish up your classic steel framed bike! We’re delighted to have a new RETRO RIDE, departing 9:50 on Saturday 22nd June. It’s a gently undulating 26 miles to Tadcaster and beyond, taking the retro riders to a refreshments stop around the midpoint. Many thanks to volunteer ride leader David Kimberley for organising.

1. New Retro Ride

2. Rides list finalised

We have a fine line-up of rides for the 2019 Rally! You’ll find many old favourites (some with changed names) but also a number of new items, which you’ll see highlighted in red if you click the link below. The new rides include a 50k Audax (running alongside a lightly modified 100k – for both please do book ASAP so that we can order Audax UK entry cards), the new Retro, and a ride on Sunday morning to see a professionally acted “Historical Promenade” about the Solar System Greenway.

2. Rides list finalised

3. Talks finalised

Many thanks to all of our speakers who have volunteered to give talks at the Rally! We’ve everything from classic cycle racing to the latest research illuminating the helmet debate, as well of course as e-bike Q&A sessions where you can explore the latest technology. More speakers are always welcome, especially perhaps with touring talks. Please just get in touch if you’d like to volunteer for next year.

3. Talks finalised

Welcome our new band!

The Foresters, the Rally’s traditional Saturday evening band for many decades, retired in late 2018 and have now sadly disbanded. We thank them for their many fine performances at the Rally – they will be much missed!
Now for the York Rally 2019 we are delighted to welcome country-folk band “American Routes“, featuring Irene and Brian Hume, legends of the north-eastern music scene who with Prelude had a ’70s smash hit with “After the Goldrush”: click below to watch them perform it (on Youtube). Please make them very welcome, from 7:30 pm on Saturday 22nd June!

Welcome our new band!
  • Many congratulations to the Tricycle Association, who are celebrating their 90th anniversary at the Rally! We’re delighted that judging by campsite bookings there will be a splendid turn-out of tricycle owners this year. And don’t miss the TA’s celebratory display on “Barrow Lane” – the first row of campsite pitches as you enter the Rally!
  • Congratulations also to our long-standing trade show exhibitors and supporters Inspired Cycle Engineering, who at the 2019 Rally are celebrating 20 years of making recumbent trikes! Do try one out on their test track. Extra thanks to ICE for (as in previous years too) lending us their display for the talks.
  • As you’ll see in the show programme when you get one at the Rally, we’ve had tremendous support this year from other clubs and organisations with their advertising. So we thank the Tricycle Association (on the occasion of their 90th anniversary), the National Association of Veteran Cycle Clubs, whose 63rd Annual Rally (30th August to 1st September 2019) will be hosted by the Northern Counties Veteran and Classic Cycle Club, the National Clarion Cycling Club 1895 giving advance notice of “Clarion Sunday” on Sunday 14th June 2020, and to The Rough-Stuff Fellowship, the oldest-established off-road cycling club in the world. Please support all of their events and activities, just as they support the York Rally!

And finally

Please do book anything you can online ahead of the Rally – this really does help reduce the pressure on our volunteers on the day, and helps us plan. So please do book your campsite pitch, saddlebag sale table, and quiz team table in good time – thank you in advance! All online bookings will close on the Monday (17th June) before the Rally. And do please remember to bring any bikes or kit which you could donate for us to sell to help boost the Rally’s funds, as mentioned in our our previous newsletter.

Thank you again for your support of the York Rally – we’re already looking forward to seeing many of you in June!

With best regards,
The York Rally Team

2019 badges, a new band, good news for vegans and much more…

With just a month to go it’s time for another York Rally update! We’ve plenty to get through so please read on for more details on the following:

  1. 2019 badges are now here! Pick yours up at the Rally or order online.
  2. Children’s activities – boosted for 2019 with a treasure hunt and the return of Punch & Judy!
  3. A new band for Saturday night, as long-serving favourites The Foresters have retired…
  4. Good news for vegans – and also for those arriving on Friday…
  5. The Quiz on Friday night – tables are going fast so book now for your team!
  6. Rally round-up – Sportive, thank you to Villages Guides, thank you to Tandem Club, a reminder to bring cycling donations, Audax entries open (also for a new shorter ride), and a new Retro Ride coming up…

1. 2019 badges

2019 badges are here! Thanks to all who helped with the design on Facebook – we’re very happy with the final version, which references the historic Clock Tower which overlooks the Knavesmire. Pick one up at the Rally or order online below…

1. 2019 badges

2. Children’s activities


We’re boosting the free activities for children at the Rally – on and off the bike. First we have a new Treasure Hunt for secret stones. Then there’s the welcome return of Wildlife Activities from Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, and also the return of Punch and Judy. Plus the Grand Parade and opportunities to race – click below to read all the details!

2. Children's activities

3. A new band


After many years (decades?) of dedicated service at the Rally, we are sad to announce that The Foresters (pictured) have finally decided to retire. So the live music on Saturday evening will be from a versatile new band with a country music background – please do make them welcome! Rock and roll band The Sonics will also be back on Saturday morning…

3. A new band

4. Catering update

We always try to get a good varierty of catering outlets at the Rally, but it’s often been hard to book vegetarian and vegan options on what is a busy summer weekend. So we’re delighted that for 2019 we have booked Mio Pizza, a local wood-fired pizza specialist. And even better, their offerings include a full vegan menu (PDF)!

They, and other outlets including the Brew York bar, will be open from when gates open on Friday evening. Please do stay on site to eat if you can – the Rally benefits from a percentage of your spend, and it means we can better attract vendors next year!

4. Catering update

5. The new Friday evening quiz


Tables are booking up for the new cycling and general knowledge quiz on Friday evening! Book your team’s entry now. Teams will have a table each (for up to six players) and as there’s finite space in the Lounge marquee numbers are strictly limited. Team entries cost £10 and are open now for online booking – also on the day if there are tables still available. The quiz will start at 7:30 PM. For all the details, and bookings, see: http://yorkrally.org/quiz/

5. The new Friday evening quiz

6. Rally round-up

  • Thanks to all who ride our recent fundraising Sportive – and to all of the volunteer team who helped make it happen! Read more, and see the pictures, on the Sportive web page.
  • Many thanks to the “Villages Guides to Local Business Services” who have kindly advertised the Rally in their informative publication which is circulated to households across Yorkshire and beyond.
  • Many thanks to The Tandem Club who recently ran an article about the Rally in their club magazine. We’ll look forward to seeing many tandems on the Knavesmire in June!
  • A reminder that our Saddlebag Sale cycle jumble will have a table selling donated items to raise funds for the Rally – please remember to bring anything you can spare!
  • Showers – campers will be happy to hear that for 2019 these will be connected to mains power and drainage, and so we can extend the opening hours: now 6AM to 10 PM. They’ll be located inside the fenced enclosure to make this possible.
  • Rides – we’ll have more details shortly in our next update, but we’ll be running a full schedule of rides from the Rally, as ever. We’re also looking forward to a new Retro Ride – and a note that entries for the 100k Audax are open now, alongside entries for a new 50k Audax ride – both on Saturday morning.

And finally

Please do book anything you can online ahead of the Rally – this really does help reduce the pressure on our volunteers on the day, and helps us plan. So please do book your campsite pitch, saddlebag sale table, quiz team table, and order any badges or clothing in good time – thank you in advance!

All online bookings will close on the Monday (17th June) before the Rally.

Thank you again for your support of the York Rally – we’re already looking forward to seeing many of you in June!

With best regards,
The York Rally Team