Planning for 2023 – new organising volunteers needed NOW!

We very much hope everyone enjoyed the 2022 York Rally!

Many thanks to all who attended, volunteered and otherwise contributed to a vintage York Rally back in June! Our all-volunteer team have been taking a well-earned break since, so please excuse this belated update…

  • Some impressions of the 2022 event (in under 2 minutes) are in this video (or click the player at the bottom of this page).
  • Do you have any photos or videos from the 2022 event which you could send us, for our archives and to help publicise future events? Photos of happy Rally-goers are especially welcome! Please just send them (at full size please) to publicity@yorkrally.org – or if the files are too large to email, we suggest you use the free WeTransfer service (skip any screen which may appear promoting the paid version!).

2023 Rally – first planning meeting and provisional dates

Thoughts are now turning to the 2023 York Rally…

  • We have now confirmed with the Racecourse that the likely dates for the 2023 York Rally are 23-25 June 2023. But we are still awaiting final confirmation from City of York Council, so this remains provisional for now.
  • Our first organising committee planning meeting for the 2023 Rally will take place at the Church Hall of St Chad’s on the Knavesmire in York, at 10AM on Saturday 10th September 2022. A zoom option will be available – please contact us for the joining link if you would like to participate.

New organising committee volunteers urgently needed

You may recall that around this time last year we issued an urgent call for organising committee volunteers, to ensure the Rally’s survival. Many thanks to the several new volunteers who joined the Committee following that call, and for their invaluable work for the 2022 event.

But we still urgently need new organising committee volunteers, to fill vital roles from which, as the years pass, current voluteers must eventually retire, usually after many years of service – be that due to health, age, moving house or other life events. 

Roles we’ll need to fill in the near future (or at least to start the handover process) include overall event organiser, trade show organiser, site facilities/contractor organiser, talks organiser, publicity and comms person, website content editor, graphic designer (for posters, show programme etc) and more.

Of course some of these particular roles may be filled from within our current team but that will leave further gaps in other areas – so please do volunteer even if these specific roles aren’t for you.

To keep the Rally sustainable, we need new organising committee volunteers to come forward NOW, ideally ahead of the planning meeting on 10th September.  

The main committment needed is to attend at least some of our planning meetings, which take place on Saturday mornings in York as above, around six times a year. We make a Zoom option available so if you can’t easily get to York that may not be a problem – much of the organising work is done by email anyway..

The Rally needs people of any talents and experience who can help it happen!

If you think you could volunteer to be on the organising committee and to help keep the York Rally alive and flourishing, please either

As ever, we’ll keep in touch as the 2023 Rally takes shape, and look forward to keeping up this grand tradition for another year!

With best wishes,

The all-volunteer York Rally organising team

Some memories of 2022:

Path open – and a new bar operator

Out on a ride at the 2015 York Rally, enjoying the traffic-free York-Selby bike path, which runs along the course of an odl railway: Photo Bob MacQueen

We have now had it confirmed by Sustrans that the converted railway path south of York, National Cycle Network (NCN) Route 65 a.k.a. the Solar System Greenway, will be open during the Rally weekend.

The path has been undergoing maintenance on and around the “Fisher of Dreams” former swing bridge between Bishopthorpe and Naburn, as pictured above.

This section will be open for the Rally weekend but please be aware that minor works will be ongoing and take extra care in this area – there may be heavy machinery including a three tonne excavator at work.

But now that the path is confirmed as open, there is no need for any diversion, a huge relief as the possible closure could have disrupted many of our rides. Please ignore any references to a diversion in the show programme, which went to print before this could be confirmed.

Huge thanks to Caps Off, Bishop Auckland-based brewery and craft beer specialists, for stepping in to run the York Rally bar at very short notice after the brewery we’d lined up originally were unfortunately struck down with COVID and had to cancel.

Find out about their beers and more at at: www.capsoff.co.uk and sample them yourself in the bar area at the Rally! Open Friday evening onwards (and there’s the Quiz from 7:30 on Friday there, too)

And please do also raise a pint at the Rally to our volunteer Dylan, who handles the catering, and who arranged this vitally important last-minute replacement, on one of the busiest weekends of the summer, when it seemed almost impossible!

Again, unfortunately this news came too late for the show programme….

York Rally 2022 – just over a week to go!

Advance campsite bookings closing, programme to print, and rides list firming up…

It’s just over a week until the York Rally campsite opens at 4pm on Friday 17th June! Our all-volunteer team has been working hard as ever as we look forward to seeing everyone again – and new faces – after the two year break.

The show programme is off to print!

The 24-page show programme’s just gone to print – see cover above! It’s another good read we hope – and will be a souvenir of the event too. Thanks especially to the trade advertisers whose support helps with the print bill – please do support them at the Rally and after!

Buy your copy on the day for just £1 – or if you’re a member of our supporters’ club, the Friends of York Rally, it’s free. And just show your programme for free entry to the Saddlebag Sale cycle jumble…

Advance campsite pitch bookings – closing TOMORROW!

Advance bookings for York Rally 2022 campsite pitches must close TOMORROW at midnight (or thereabouts…)! This gives our team time to allocate pitches, and to prepare the lists for check-in (we just need your name when you arrive – no need for print-outs or tickets!).

So please book now to be sited alongside friends or club-mates, for fast-track check-in and for lower prices than if you just turn up on the day! And if you have any questions about camping or your booking, please do just drop a note to our friendly campsite team: campsite@yorkrally.org

Rides firming up – with possible diversions

As mentioned in the last newsletter, 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 “Fisher of Dreams” bridge between Bishopthorpe and Naburn. Sustrans hopes, 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.

With this in mind our Rides team have developed the diversion route below – which you can also access on Mapometer here. We’ll make sure it’s very clear (e.g. at Rally HQ) whether or not we need to use this diversion for the various rides which are possibly affected.

The list of rides at the Rally is also firming up – we’re still making some late additions/changes but the list is mostly finalised – please do take a look on the Rides page of the York Rally website!

And finally

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 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:

Saturday:
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

Sunday:
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

Merry Christmas from the York Rally!

From all of the volunteer organising team, we wish everyone a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

There’s just a few days left to benefit from the lowest campsite booking prices, which run until the end of December only. Book your pitch here.

We’re very happy to reassure all campsite bookers that if the event must be cancelled for whatever reason we will provide full refunds, just as we did after the 2020 event was called off due to COVID. Obviously the team is monitoring events closely but at the moment we are still planning for the York Rally 2022 to go ahead in full.

We’re also delighted to be doing some joint publicity with Velo Retro – the vintage cycling festival which takes place just one week before the York Rally at Ulverston on the southern edge of the Lake District. Both events have campsites, so we’re encouraging people to enjoy a week’s holiday to take in both. Visitors from mainland Europe are especially welcome, with convenient access via the Hull ferry…

Please do share the images below with anyone you think might like to join us!

In the meantime, once again Merry Christmas and we look forward to seeing everyone in York!

The all-volunteer York Rally team

Campsite bookings open now!

Book by 31st December for the lowest super-earlybird prices….

Campsite bookings are now open for the York Rally 2022, with super-earlybird prices until the 31st December 2021:

Your early bookings really do help the Rally – as well as saving you money. The more early bookings we have the more confident we can be in arranging a suitable level of facilities at the event. Advance bookings also allow our campsite team to match you up if you would like to camp with your friends or club-mates. For this, please just add a group name to your booking, whether you book online or by post.

The lowest “super-earlybird” prices last only until the 31st December 2021 – so please do book early if you can. 

Finally, a big thanks to our new campsite team who have taken over processing the bookings after our recent call for organising team volunteers. You can contact them any time on campsite@yorkrally.org with any queries about bookings – or see the campsite page for full details.

Camping at the York Rally makes for a very special experience for anyone who can make a weekend of it – we look forward to welcoming many of you onto the campsite in June!

The all-volunteer York Rally Team

It’s on! The York Rally returns 17-19 June 2022…

We’re delighted to announce that the York Rally will return to the Knavesmire on the 17 to 19th June 2022!

A superb response to our call for volunteers to join the organising committee has resulted in no fewer than six new members joining our all-volunteer team – of course more are always welcome!

This means we can be confident that key roles will be covered, and we can proceed with the 2022 event. Please save the dates: 17-19 June 2022.

Campsite bookings will open shortly. Please watch our website and social media for details – and we’ll also be keeping in touch via our mailing list. Please just go here to read previous messages, or to join the list.

We can’t wait to see everyone back on the Knavesmire, for a grand cycling weekend at this historic event! 

The all-volunteer York Rally team