The Return of the Retro Ride!

We are delighted to tell you that there will be a Retro Ride at this year’s York Cycle Rally, which 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!

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!

York Cycle Rally Guided Rides Programme for 2023

FRIDAY EVENING SOCIAL RIDE:

As in previous years, there will be a gathering of riders wishing to ride to Deighton for fish and chips, and maybe a pint or two in the pub!

This ride will leave from Start Point 5 at 18:30.

Sunset will be at 21:40 on that evening, and so LIGHTS ARE MANDATORY.

SATURDAY RIDES:

09:00 Challenge Ride: The Tour de York.

Join Eamon Prendergast of the York Wednesday Wheelers for this 68 mile epic ride encircling the city of York, through lovely countryside. At a medium pace, riders will enjoy riding along mainly quiet roads and surfaced country lanes. There will be a refreshment stop. Route map and GPX file below: (Mapometer app) Saturday Challenge Ride : The Tour de York. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451378

09:10 The Tour of the Ainsty.

Join Gary Knighton (York Rally Committee) for this 31 mile tour of the lowlands to the west which were known, historically, as the Wapentake of Ainsty. There will be a variety of surfaces to ride and, as Gary says “There are some very green, green lanes.” This ride is NOT suitable for road bikes with narrow tyres. There will be a refreshment stop at Doyly’s tearoom at Bolton Percy. The pace will be medium. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Rally Tour of the Ainsty 2023 V2. Mapometer.com cycling route #5459025

09:20 On road ride to Stamford Bridge.

Andrew Richardson, of York Wednesday Wheelers, will lead this medium to fast paced 37 mile ride to the east of York to the historic town of Stamford Bridge. Here, in 1066, King Harold’s army defeated a Danish invasion, before marching south to meet William of Normandy. The rest is history! There will be a refreshment stop. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Rally Road Ride to Stamford Bridge 2023. Mapometer.com cycling route #5456858

09:30 The Non- Conventionals!

Ian Prince (York Rally Committee) will lead this ride for those of you who ride tricles, recumbents, hand cycles, Moultons, Bromptons etc. Mainly using a traffic-free cycle path, the destination is the Tearoom at Naburn Lock, where delicious snacks and drinks can be had. Route map and GPX file below: The Non-Conventionals 2023. Mapometer.com cycling route #5459964

09:45 Easy ride to Riccall

Barry Raynor (York Rally Committee) will lead this leisurely 19 mile ride along a traffic-free track and quiet roads to the village of Riccall, where there is a tearoom. Route map and GPX file below: Saturday’s Family Ride to Riccall. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451405

10:00 Westwards with the Rouleurs

Mark Presley from York Rouleurs is leading this medium-paced 35 mile ride through villages to the west of York, calling at Tim’s Bistro at Thorpe Arch for refreshments. All are welcome on this ride along quiet roads. Visit the York Rouleurs at their stall at the Rally to find out more about this friendly and inclusive club. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Westwards with the Rouleurs 2023 v2. Mapometer.com cycling route #5462546

10:30 The Solar System Greenway

Join Peter Huxford of York Greenways and the York Rally Committee, for this leisurely, traffic-free 17 mile ride along York’s Solar System Greenway, visiting the Planets along the way. This former railway line is now home to a variety of plants as well as wildlife. The Planets sculptures are spectacular, too! Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Rally Solar System Greenway. Mapometer.com cycling route #5458777

12:30 The Way of The Roses.

Bill Ramage is leading this leisurely-paced, mainly traffic-free ride along the York Riverside path and quiet roads to the Home Farm café at Beningbrough. The route follows part of Sustrans’ Route 65. The Riverside Path is shared with people out for a stroll, so be prepared to take it easy. Beginner cyclists are especially welcome on this 23 mile round trip. (This ride will be repeated tomorrow) Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Knavesmire to Beningbrough Farm Shop. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451368

13:00 RSF Ride: Dunnington and Beyond.

Join George Nutt of The RSF Off-Road Cycling And Touring Club for this 26 mile ride to Stamford Bridge. There are lengthy off-road sections on farm tracks and bridleways. Enjoy both quiet roads and interesting traffic-free tracks through lovely countryside. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app) The RSF’s Saturday ride to Stamford Bridge.. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451375

SUNDAY RIDES:

08:30 Church Service Ride.

For those wishing to go to the church service at Naburn, Paul Reid (York Rally Committee) will be leading a leisurely paced ride which is 10 miles in total, to St Matthew’s Church, Naburn. Further details are to be found in the Rally Programme.

09:00 Challenge Ride to Fridaythorpe.

Join Roger Bilsby of The York Wednesday Wheelers for this medium-paced 62 mile ride to Seaways Café at Fridaythorpe. The scenery is varied, from the lowlands of the Derwent Valley to the steep climbs of the Wolds. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Sunday’s Challenge ride to Fridaythorpe.. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451371

10:00 Westwards with The Rouleurs

Erin Bagral of The York Rouleurs, is leading this medium-paced 35 mile ride, which is aimed at encouraging women and non-binary people to ride in a non-competitive situation. There will be a refreshment stop at Tim’s Bistro at Thorpe Arch. Visit the York Rouleurs at their stall at the Rally to find out more about this friendly and inclusive club. Route map and GPX file (Mapometer app) below: Westwards with the Rouleurs 2023 v2. Mapometer.com cycling route #5462546

10:20 RSF Ride to Skipwith and Selby

Join Ian Wood of The RSF Off-Road Cycling And Touring Club , for this 34 mile ride, with off-road sections to Skipwith and Selby. Enjoy the scenery, away from motor vehicles, along country lanes including byways, bridleways and the Solar System Greenway. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Rough Stuff Fellowship’s ride to Selby on Sunday.. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451373

10:45 RSF Solar System Greenway

Geoff Smith of The RSF Off-Road Cycling And Touring Club is to lead this 17 mile off-road, traffic-free ride to Riccall. The pace will be slow/ medium, as this ride is along a shared use path. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Sunday’s RSF ride along the Solar System Greenway.. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451374

11:15 The Way of The Roses

Join with Bill Ramage for this relaxed-pace 23 mile round trip to the Home Farm Café at Beningbrough. (The same ride as yesterday’s) Much of this route is traffic-free along York’s Riverside Path, and also some quiet roads. The Riverside path is shared with people out for a stroll, so be prepared to take it easy. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): Knavesmire to Beningbrough Farm Shop. Mapometer.com cycling route #5451368

13:00 The Col de Kimberlow

Peter Huxford (York Greenways and York Rally Committee) is leading this relaxed pace ride along mainly traffic-free paths to York’s highest point (Kimberlow, c. 40 metres above sea level!) and on to the York Velodrome for refreshments. Route map and GPX file below (Mapometer app): The Col de Kimberlow. Mapometer.com cycling route #5452128

The York Cycle Rally CIC Organising Committee hopes that that weather conditions are favourable for its Guide Rides Programme, but reserves the right to change or cancel rides should the need occur.

We ask that prospective riders ensure that their cycles are in a good mechanical condition and roadworthy, as we wish all of our riders an enjoyable ride.

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

Flyers are here, and a 2023 news round-up!

The York Rally 2023 is starting to take shape! We’ve a round-up of recent progress and a call for help distributing our A5 flyers….

2023 flyers are here – please help us distribute them!

We’ve printed our 2023 A5 promotional leaflets, and we’d be very grateful for any help distributing them! They’re double-sided:

2023 A5 flyer – side 1

The graphics we’re using on our A5 flyer – a general promo for the 2023 Rally. JPG is best for use on social media, PDF is best for printing (up to A3).

2023 A5 flyer – side 2

Side 2 of the 2023 A5 flyer. It’s also included in the PDF which you can access from the side 1 panel to the left.

If you could pass these to fellow cyclists, make them available at events or local cycle cafes, shops or other venues, or otherwise usefully distribute, please do get in touch! Please just drop an email with your postal address to publicity@yorkrally.org and we’ll send 50 or so copies in the post – please just let us know if you would like more or fewer.

Alternatively, you can access the Rally downloads page, where you’ll find all of these graphics, plus previous show programmes to download.

2023 planning progress round-up

Our organising team met in York at the end of January, and good progress was noted on several fronts:

  • We’ve confirmed Cwrw Ial Community Brewing Company will be back running the bar…
  • And several of our loyal caterers have already confirmed too, plus some newcomers to be confirmed…
  • Sadly at this point it looks as if grasstrack racing will not be back in 2023, but we’re looking into setting up a smaller arena for a variety of activities…
  • After the great reaction to her last year we’ve again booked Linda J for the evening entertainments & open mic, and The Sonics will be back with rock and roll on Saturday morning.
  • We’ve just started with the talks schedule, but one confirmed highlight will be Rally regular – and now world record-holder – Laura Massey-Pugh describing her recent record-breaking circumnavigation with husband Stevie. Many thanks Laura – and more offers of talks are most welcome!
  • We’re working on ideas for new childrens’ activities…
  • Calling potential ride leaders: We’ve done a thorough review of the Rally’s arrangements for the organised rides, and will be making several improvements for 2023. Among these is ensuring that we have better insurance in place to protect our volunteer ride leaders and back markers from liability risks – there’s never been an issue to date, but better safe than sorry. And to keep groups to a manageable size we need to run more rides – which means more leaders and back markers – so our Rides Co-ordinator Yvonne would love to hear from any potential ride leader or back marker volunteers – please just email her on rides@yorkrally.org
  • Our next planning meeting is on the 25th March at 10am at St Chad’s on the Knavesmire Church Hall. As ever all are welcome, especially newcomers, and there will also be a virtual option.

Meanwhile, campsite bookings remain open and there are reduced earlybird prices until the end of April – if you haven’t already, why not book a campsite pitch now?

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

The all-volunteer York Rally Team