A week to go, and dry weather’s forecast!

It’s next weekend! We can’t wait to see everyone on the Knavesmire, and as you’ll see above, the weather is looking perfect. Fingers crossed, it should be dry all the way from Wednesday when our volunteer set-up team arrives, through Friday when gates open, until Monday when we break down and depart.

  • Directions to the event are here on the website – whether you come by foot, cycle, train or motor vehicle! Satnav to YO23 1EX..
  • Please do turn up and camp, motorist or lightweight! Advance campsite bookings are now closed, but if you haven’t pre-booked you are still very welcome to just turn up and check in to the campsite on the day. Full prices and details are on the website.
  • Gates open for campers to come onto the site at 4pm on Friday but if you arrive earlier there is plenty of free parking. Before coming across the horse racing track onto the site with a motor vehicle please ensure you have first gone over on foot to the check-in tent, where you can book a pitch or, if pre-booked, collect your pitch details.

    The check-in tent will aim to be open from 2 pm so that anyone arrriving early can get booked in and then move straight onto site as soon as gates open at 4pm. Again, please go over on foot from the parking area to the check-in tent.

    Camping is a great way to experience the event – we hope you’ll join us! It’s also unbeatable value for a three night stay in beautiful York…

Under two weeks to go!

We’re just under two weeks away from the York Rally and York Cycle Festival 2024!
Our busy volunteer teams have been firming up all aspects of the event:

  • We’ve finalised the talks and entertainments schedule, with some great volunteer speakers and three tremendous bands: find full details here
  • The organised rides list is also finalised, with 19 rides across three days – many thanks to all of the volunteer ride leaders and back markers! Find the full list here.
  • The trade show (FREE for exhibitors!) now features over 20 companies, including some major brands exhibiting for the first time! See above for some of their logos, or visit the Trade Show page on the website for the very latest list.
  • And there’s a great turnout of clubs for the club stands and displays area – again see logos above or see the full list on our website.

NEW features to highlight this year include:

  • Grasstrack racing is back on the Saturday, thanks to the National Clarion Cycling Club! The race meeting will include rounds of British Cycling’s National Grass Track Endurance and Sprinter’s Leagues plus other other races for a full aftenoon of grass track action for Seniors, Juniors and Youth riders, male and female. Entries are open via British Cycling here.
  • FREE! Kids MTB skills coaching. Mark and Amanda of Apex Cycle Coaching are qualified British Cycling Level 2 coaches for Mountain Bike, Cyclocross and Road/TT. They provide coaching for Sheffield’s Steel City Rippers, Crank It Cycling and other clubs in the region. So we’ve very grateful that they’ll be offering free coaching to under 18s on their custom-built training circuit at the Festival! Just join in, no need to book!
  • Bargestra: York’s Arts Barge Big Band Community Orchestra. We’re delighted to have Bargestra making their debut at the 2024 York Cycle Rally & Festival – they’re York’s community big band orchestra, playing pop, jazz, latin and swing, and part of the York Arts Barge project. Please make them very welcome! They’ll start playing from around 1pm on Sunday, outside the talks area (or inside, if rainy).

Don’t miss this year’s event – it really is shaping up to be a good one!

Finally, the inevitable reminder for anyone not already booked to please book your campsite pitch ASAP please – advance bookings are open until the 14th June, for swifter check-in and reduced prices. Thank you!

York Cycle Rally & Festival 2024 – March update!

Rally and Festival are shaping up! Help us by distributing the 2024 flyers…

As we look forward to warmer weather, an update on preparations for the York Rally and York Cycle Festival 2024! 

  • We’ve printed our 2024 A5 flyers! Front artwork is above, and the reverse is below. We rely very largely on volunteers to help us distribute these to fellow cyclists and anyone else who may be interested – so if you could help promote the event by finding good homes for some, please just email publicity@yorkrally.org with your name, how many you’d like and your postal address, and we’ll send them off to you with our thanks! 

  • A good news round-up from the Rides team:
    • The Retro Ride is back – this will be suitable for all manner of older bikes, whether they are roadsters, road bikes, Moultons or even high wheelers! So polish up your pride and joy, and join us for a ride into the countryside around York!
    • Audax is back in force! There will be two rides available. The first is a 100k ride to Knaresborough and the second is a mighty 400k “Summertime Blues” ride through the Yorkshire Dales to the Vale of Eden and back to the Rally, well-supported with multiple village hall food stops. To join either ride you will need to register and enter online (using the links above), or by post, and pay the (modest) fee for each ride. 
    • Finally, good news that Aldwark Toll Bridge (free for cyclists!) has re-opened in good time ahead of the Rally. This is a very useful river crossing over the River Ure for cycle routes in the Easingwold area, and it is now full open again after repairs. 

  • A heads-up that we have had significant safety concerns raised about the level of motor vehicle movements on the site during the Rally, especially at busy times for cycle and pedestrian traffic, such as when led rides are setting off. It is very likely that we will have to restrict motor vehicle movements at times during the 2024 and future events. We are still working on the details, and will let everyone know about any new arrangements ASAP. We will do our very best to ensure that any restrictions are kept to the minimum compatible with safety.  

  • We also regret that due to non-negotiable requirements from our insurer, we will be unable to offer any electric bike battery charging facilities at Rally HQ this year. Please contact us if this will cause you serious difficulties. 

  • A shout out to the new organisers of the revived Kirkpartrick MacMillan (KM) Rally which returns for 2024 about a month before the York Rally – 24-26 May. It’s another historic cycling weekend based in southern Scotland (just north of Dumfries) and we’re sure they’d welcome bookings and support from people who enjoy the York Rally! 

  • A quick note that we’ve confirmed with Rally live music regulars The Sonics and Linda J that they’ll be back to perform at the 2024 event. We may even have some new acts, too…!

  • Finally, did you know we have a supporters’ club? You can join the Friends of York Rally from just £5/year, and this will get you a free programme and Friends badge at the next Rally! All funds from memberships go to support the event, and any generous donations towards the (substantial) costs are also most welcome. Thank you! 

We’re working hard to make this next York Rally – and Festival – the best yet! Our next organising team planning meeting is coming up on the 6th April, 10:30am at St Chad’s Church Hall, Campleshon Road, York – there’ll also be a Zoom option. As ever, all are very welcome to attend.

Finally, another reminder that discounted earlybird rates for campsite pitches are only available until the end of April – please do book your campsite pitch ASAP!

York Rally 2024: post-Christmas update!

Audax is back, and we’re making trade stands free! Plus a reminder that the lowest super-earlybird campsite pitch prices end on the 31st December – book yours now!

Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!

Amid the festivities we’ve been busy on the organising team, and the 2024 York Rally is really shaping up to be exceptional. Do please book your campsite pitch ASAP to be part of it (and by year end for the lowest rates!)

As announced in our last email, the Rally is being joined by the Retrobikes Show and the National Clarion Cycling Club Summer Meeting, to create the inaugural York Cycle Festival! We’re hoping this will bring more people, more traders, more rides, more going on, and a new energy to keep the event sustainable into the future. Entry, parking, rides and just about all activities on site will remain proudly free of charge.
Grasstrack racing will be back, with many thanks to the National Clarion CC for organising! Also making a very welcome return to the Rally will be an official Audax ride – details of this 100k route are here on the Audax UK website.
The cycle industry is facing challenging trading conditions post-pandemic and in the cost of living crisis. So this year we are taking the dramatic move of making it COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE for cycle industry companies to exhibit! See here for the details and how to book.
For those who do not wish to trade all weekend, Saddlebag Sale table bookings are open now, with table prices reduced! Please book early to secure your table.

We’re working hard to make this next York Rally – and Festival – the best yet! Our next planning meeting is coming up on the 27th January, 10:30am at St Chad’s Church Hall, Campleshon Road, York – there’ll also be a Zoom option. As ever, all are very welcome to attend.

Finally, another reminder – please do book your campsite pitch by midnight on 31st December to get the cheapest rates!

York Rally 2024: three events in one, and grasstrack is back!

Exciting news for the York Cycle Rally 2024!

We’re bringing three fantastic, volunteer-organised events together on the Knavesmire in June 2024: the York Rally, the Retro Bike Show and the National Clarion Cycling Club Summer Meeting.

Together, they’ll make up a grand – and still 100% volunteer-organised – York Cycle Festival on the 21-23 June. Huge thanks to the volunteers with RetroBike and the NCCC who have helped make this possible, alongside our own York Rally team!

It’ll have all of the elements of the York Rally we know and love – but with more people, more traders, more rides, more going on, and with a new energy to keep the event sustainable into the future. Entry, parking, rides and just about all activities on site will remain proudly free of charge.

Even better: grasstrack racing returns in 2024 to the historic York Rally arena, organised by the National Clarion CC!

As previously mentioned, campsite bookings are already open, and the lowest “super-earlybird” prices are available only until the end of December. So please book your pitch now! https://yorkrally.org/visitor-information/campsite-bookings/

We’ll keep this update short – our all-volunteer team are busy working through the details of bringing the new events and attractions together in June. We’ll have more news on all aspects ASAP – and we’ll also be bringing the website up to date.

But watch this space – we’ll have even more good news shortly – including details of a new super-attractive offer for traders!

We can’t wait to see everyone in June, for what may just be the best Rally yet!

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee

2024 campsite bookings are open!

We’re delighted to announce that campsite bookings are now open for the 2024 York Cycle Rally, 21-23 June!

The current super-earlybird prices are the lowest possible, and are available until the end of December only. Please do book your pitch ASAP – it really helps our planning! Our campsite team volunteers will be happy to help if you have any problems or questions about your booking – just drop them an email on campsite@yorkrally.org.

As mentioned in the last newsletter we have exciting plans for the next York Rally – we’re developing plans to co-host a bikepacking, off-road and retro MTB event which will we hope see the campsite buzzing with new Rally-goers.

And that’s not all! We’re just awaiting final confirmation of some further, super-positive news about the 2024 event – we’ll announce ASAP!

Meanwhile, please do click below to book your pitch!

Many thanks to John Davies for sending the great photo of the campsite in 2023 under Saturday evening’s spectacular mackerel sky.

York Cycle Rally 2024 – save the date: 21-23 June

Belatedly, many thanks to all who contributed to the 2023 York Cycle Rally, be that as volunteers, visitors, campers, speakers, exhibitors, caterers, contractors or organisers!

As well as wrapping up this year’s event we’re now looking forward to 2024, with the Rally dates now confirmed as the weekend of 21-23 June. We’ll open campsite bookings ASAP, so please watch out for further emails, or check the York Rally website, and meanwhile please do save those dates in your calendar.

2023 lost property

We still have a number of unclaimed items found while clearing the site after this year’s Rally. Please email if you would like to claim any item:

  • keyring with about half a dozen keys and a distinctive tag, found along the enclosure fence.
  • an item of jewellery, found on the Racecourse perimeter track
  • A glasses case, found near the main toilets
  • A single key, likely from a bike lock, found outside the Saddlebag Sale
  • A cycle helmet
  • An insulated travel mug
  • A pair of glasses (probably reading glasses)

Video and photos please…

Did you take photos or video footage of the 2023 York Rally which you wouldn’t mind us archiving and using in puiblicity? We’d be very happy to add yours to the collection of 2023 images and videos on the York Rally website – please use the link on that page to contribute. Many thanks to all whose images are already featured!

Badges on sale now!

For anyone who didn’t already pick one up at the Rally, we now have stocks of the 2023 York Rally badge available on the York Rally website, where you can order securely online for postal delivery:

Planning for the 2024 Rally – and a call for volunteers to join the organising team!

All are welcome at the next York Rally planning meeting, which will be at 10am on Saturday 30th September at St Chads’ Church Hall in York. There will be a Zoom option – please contact us for joining details.

As we do every year, we’ll be discussing how the Rally can move forwards and stay fresh, while retaining its ethos and atmosphere and paying its way despite ever rising costs. Among the ideas we’ll be looking at for 2024 is to host an off-road cycling and retro MTB event alongside the Rally, working with the long-time Rally supporters and exhibitors from the Retrobike group whose displays of vintage MTBs have been a regular fixture at recent Rallies.

Do you have other ideas, which you could help put into practice? Or just looking for a rewarding role helping us run the Rally? Please do get in touch and join our meetings if you can. We really do urgently need new organising team volunteers, to bring new ideas and energy to the team and also simply to bring us some spare capacity to develop new things for the event. There’s no need to live in or near York.

If you could dedicate some time to helping the Rally flourish, even if you can’t make the meeting next week, it would be great if you could please make contact before our November meeting and AGM, which is at 10am on the 18th November at the same location (or on Zoom). Thank you!

Finally, again please do save 21-23 June 2024 for next year’s Rally – we’ll be in touch again soon and meanwhile, we hope everyone had a wonderful summer of cycling!

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee

Campsite bookings close on Friday, final updates!

Several quick updates as we enter the final push for the York Rally 2023!

Campsite advance bookings close on Friday…

You have until Friday this week (the 16th) to book your campsite pitch online – after that please just turn up on the day! We won’t run out of space but it’s a little cheaper to book online, and it means we can site you close to friends or club-mates…

Rides programme released!

We’re delighted that the programme of rides for the York Rally 2023 has been released!

Trade show updated!

We’ve updated the exhibitor list for this year’s York Rally Trade Show! Please support these companies who support the Rally!

Talks updated too!

You’ll find details of this year’s talks here on the updated Talks and Performances page. Offers of talks for next year always welcome!

Programme gone to print!

The show programme has been sent off to print! We’ve kept the price at just £1 despite print cost increases, so please do support the Rally by buying one! Here’s the cover:

Finally, thanks to John Jackson for the image at the top of this page, from 2018!

Under a month to go!

In just three weeks from today the first volunteers will be on site on the Knavesmire in York, starting to lay out the campsite and set everything up ahead of the York Rally 2023 weekend, which starts in earnest when the campsite opens at 4pm on Friday the 23rd June.

We must close advance bookings for the campsite in just two weeks, on the 16th June – so for slightly lower prices and to be sited with friends or club-mates, please do get that campsite pitch booked. Otherwise, of course you are always welcome to just turn up and book a campsite pitch on the day – we’ll never run out of space.

Meanwhile our all-volunteer team has been hard at work…

  • All tables for the Saddlebag Sale cycle jumble (on the Sunday morning of the Rally) have now sold out.
  • Bands have been booked! We’ll have the Sonics back with rock and roll on Saturday morning, and last year’s favourite Linda J will be back in the evening playing at the end of the bar area. She’s bringing bassist John again and also fellow guitar/vocalist Helen, together making up The Beatroots. Although not billed as an Open Mic this year, Linda says there’ll be plenty of songs to sing along with!
  • Behind the scenes our volunteers have been negotiating the tricky waters of council event requirements – things like risk assessments, first aid and security. As part of that, we’ve been undertaking anti-terrorism training (!) and we have been asked by Police to note that visitors to the Rally should be aware that random bag searches may be carried out at any time during the event.
  • As ever, we’ve left organising the talks programme rather late and still have some gaps to fill. If anyone would like to present a tour report, promote a book or explore cycling’s rich heritage to fellow Rally-goers, please just drop a note to publicity@yorkrally.org – many thanks!
  • Huge thanks to our new Trade Show co-ordinator who has put together a strong showing of exhibitors for 2023! Please support these traders, who support the Rally…
  • And catering is all firming up too – as usual there’ll be a variety of food and drink on offer on site, from when the campsite first opens all through the weekend. Please do give these traders your custom – we need them back and part of everything you spend supports the Rally!

We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the Knavesmire once again! Meanwhile, until we see you there, we wish you safe and enjoyable cycling!

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee

York Rally 2023 – just two months to go!

As welcome signs of spring weather herald happy cycling ahead, it’s less than two months go go until the next York Cycle Rally! We’re very much looking forward to seeing many of you once again on the Knavesmire in June.

Book your pitch: earlybird campsite booking discounts close at end of April

There’s just a week or so to go if you’d like to benefit from earlybird pricing on the York Rally campsite! So if you haven’t already, please do book your campsite pitch now – the reduced pitch prices are available only until the 30th April!
Book your campsite pitch now!

Rides – what’s new for 2023

Our all-volunteer Rides team has been working hard to build out the rides schedule, so that groups stay manageable – but this does require more volunteer ride leaders and back markers. All volunteers for this will be fully covered by the Rally insurance. Please do contact Yvonne on rides@yorkrally.org if you could help as either a leader or back marker!

There are also two other updates:

(1) Pre-registration for faster departures

New for 2023: To help us streamline rider registration and to get the led rides away on time, if you can, please register in advance for led rides at Rally HQ.

Rides are all free of charge to join, and you are still very welcome to just turn up for them, but we do need to record a few basic details for safety and insurance purposes – so if you possibly can, please provide your details at Rally HQ least 30 minutes before the ride is due to depart.

This will significantly speed up ride departures. Thank you from the all-volunteer York Rally Rides team.

(2) Aldwark Bridge is closed

Anyone cycling to the Rally from the North or West should be aware that Aldwark Bridge is closed for maintenance from April to October, so this crossing of the River Ure will be out of action for the York Rally period. Sustrans has provided some suggestions for diversion routes. For anyone not familiar, the bridge in question is off to the north west of York:

Please donate unwanted cycling items to support the Rally

A reminder that we very much welcome the donation of your spare cycling items to help raise funds for the Rally, a never-ending task! Anything realistically sellable will be sold by the Rally team at the Saddlebag Sale or Cycle Auction. For other items too good to throw away we will again have a space near the enclosure fence where items can be left for re-homing to fellow Rally-goers, with just a request for a donation towards Rally funds if you take something.

  • Please bring your donations to Rally HQ before 10AM on Sunday morning.
  • If you’d like to donate a complete bike, please bring it to HQ before 10AM on Saturday, so that we can enter it into the auction.

Any items left over will be donated to a local cycling charity.

And finally

  • If anyone would like some 2023 York Rally A5 flyers to distribute to potential Rally-goers or at events, please just drop an email including your postal address to publicity@yorkrally.org and we’ll get some in the post to you ASAP!
  • Apologies, in the last newsletter the wrong brewery was named! The 2023 York Rally bar will in fact again be run by the fine people at Caps Off – they did a fine job last year and will, we hope, be a regular Rally supplier!
  • Please do also check out the history page on the York Rally website where we’re recently uploaded scans of York Rally pennants from the very early days of the event – way back in the 1950s!
  • Join us on social media! This item about pennants, and other updates, was also shared on the Friends of York Rally Facebook group – anyone on Facebook is most welcome to join this community, and also to follow the York Rally Facebook page which we use mainly for updates and announcements. Of course, we’re also on Twitter … and any sharing/re-tweeting to help spread the word about the Rally is always most welcome!

Meanwhile, until we see you in June, we wish you safe and enjoyable cycling!

The all-volunteer York Rally Committee