The name ‘cycle rally’ bears the unjustified scar of being regarded as old fashioned and therefore not really in tune with what today’s cyclists like to do – perhaps a bit like the name ‘cycle tourist’ is to those ignorant enough to think that way. How little they know! But enough of that! Rallies may not be ‘pure’ cycle touring, which, to me, implies a daily progression from one place to the next, but they are the next best thing, basically consisting of touring from a fixed centre as the main activity amongst various others. This is where cycle rallies come in because that’s exactly what you do at most cycle rallies – go touring round an area and get to know it really well. It’s a terrific pursuit and suits a lot of people for whom the idea of moving on every day has less or even zero appeal for whatever reason. The good news is that the rallying season is upon us once again and there are the usual mix of destinations to choose from. What I find appealing about rallies is that you don’t have to do much planning and you don’t have to find someone to go with because the chances are you’ll know people there, or if you don’t, you’ll soon make new cycling buddies anyway. Below are a few suggestions:
The Heart of England Rally http://ctc-heartofengland.org.uk/generaldocs/Meriden-Programme-2011.pdf Sorry, this one has been and gone.
The CTC East Midlands Camping Rally http://www.ctceastmidlands.co.uk/ The photo above was taken at this rally two years ago. Good touring country!
The Welsh Festival of Cycling 2011 http://www.ctc-wales.org.uk/index.shtml
The New Forest Cycling Week http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3876 (& scroll down for contact details)
The CTC 5th Grampian Rally http://www.ctc.org.uk/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabID=3876 (& scroll down for contact details)
The CTC South Bucks ‘Golden Beeches’ Weekend http://www.southbuckscycling.org.uk/index.html
The Kirkpatrick Macmillan Rally, Barnsoul, Shawhead, Dumfries. Friday 16th to Monday 19th September 2011. Further information Peter Hawkins 118/2 Stenhouse Cr., Edinburgh, EH11 3HU; Tel 0131 443 6712; email@example.com
Week Long Rallies
The 7th Semaine Europeene de Cyclotourisme / 67th AIT Rally ~ 16-23 July 2011 ~ http://cyclo.marche.be/images/stories/Documents/pdf/brochure_cyclos_2011_fin.pdf
The FFCT Semaine Federale 2011 (Flers, Normandy) ~ 31 July – 7 August 2011 ~ http://www.sf2011-flers.org/
The CTC’s annual rally, known as the Birthday Rides, is sadly fully booked.