Save The Date: 1st–3rd May 2015 for the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival!

If your calendar is anything like mine, you’ll already be fighting off an encroachment of frankly irritating weddings, bachelor weekends, milestone birthdays, must-visit festivals and other far-future shenanigans. How are we supposed to fit any adventures in? Can everybody stop getting married already?

If you’re in or near the UK, though, the 1st–3rd May 2015 is one weekend you’ll want to put a big fat circle around right away. (Here’s a handy link to auto-add it to iCal, GCal, etc.)

Because, thanks to the diligent efforts and sheer enthusiasm of these two world cyclists (welcome home, guys!), those dates will see the UK’s first ever Cycle Touring Festival taking place. Whoop!

Expect a fun weekend of inspiring talks, tour-planning workshops, food and revelry among like-minded people. Even I might stand up and say something coherent for a change. Heaven knows, we might even get some cycling in too.

Absolutely everyone is welcome, from total newcomers to grizzled veterans of life on the road. It’s all happening in the grounds of Waddow Hall, Lancashire, amid some of the best rural cycling routes England has to offer, and with camping space for ruddy tons of us.

I’m helping the guys get things up and running, part of which is helping spread the word about the happening. So this is a heads-up to let you know that a limited number of discounted earlybird tickets will be released at the end of this month.

More full-price tickets will be available closer to the time. It’s a not-for-profit event, so pricing is accessible as we can make it. We want maximum attendance and revelry, y’hear?

Click here to sign up at the Cycle Touring Festival website to be among the first to hear when the first batch of tickets go on sale. Don’t forget to put it in your calendar! (I’ll also drop a line to my own mailing list subscribers at the same time.)

P.S. If you’re still being non-committal about the date you’ll set out on your own big cycling adventure, why not start from the festival? There’s nothing like a looming deadline…

18 Responses to “Save The Date: 1st–3rd May 2015 for the UK’s very first Cycle Touring Festival!”

  1. Mike Greer

    Not the first Tom CTC York went on for years !

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      I suspect this one will attract a rather different crowd…

      Reply
    • Laura

      Hi Mike,

      The CTC York Rally is actually being restarted this year by a group of volunteers who I am in touch with. At the very beginning of planning this event, I contacted the CTC to find out what happened to the York event but only heard back from these guys quite recently – otherwise there would have been scope for working together and maybe even combining the two events.

      Whereas I understand the York Rally will cover a wide range of types of cycling (I assume it was the same in the past), our festival will be solely focussed on touring – i.e. making journeys of one night or more, by bike. It is relatively small scale and part of the aim is to build the community of cycle tourists – something I feel is far more difficult at a larger event. So yes, in some ways it has happened before, but I do think this event will have quite a different feel.

      I am also in touch with the CTC club which covers the Clitheroe area (where the festival is happening) so there is something of a link still!

      Hope to see you there,
      Laura

      Reply
      • Mike Greer

        You could well do Laura, a nice ride upto your event then on to family visits . Sounds pretty good ! Sadly the CTC seems to be changing its role and York although well attended doesn’t seem to have been viable . Hope your event grows and gets stronger each year !

        Reply
      • Peter Eland

        Many thanks for the mention Laura and best of luck with your festival – it sounds great! Sorry we didn’t find out about you sooner. Just to clarify – the 2015 York Rally is not a CTC event – it is being organised by independent volunteers, but of course we hope many cycle tourists, CTC or otherwise, will be there! Should be plenty to see – see http://www.yorkrally.org for all the details – there will be new features as well as old attractions! The dates are quite well spaced (we’re on the 20-21st June) so we hope many touring minded riders will come to both events!
        Peter Eland
        Doing publicity for the York Rally 🙂

        Reply
  2. Vinnie

    Well, hey, look at that! I actually am (tentatively, nervously) planning on chucking everything in and setting off on my bike at the beginning of May, destination unknown, so it feels like I should definitely come along to this what with the stars aligning and all.

    First Lancashire, and then the world? (We’ll see!)

    (This way I’d get to thank you in person for the inspiration, too.)

    Reply
  3. Tim Moss

    Thanks for this Tom. Starting to get excited now!

    Reply
  4. Alan

    The photograph shows ONLY motor cycles – not a bicycle in sight! A rather inappropriate photograph for a cycle touring get together. I wouldn’t dream of going to a bikers (motor cyclists) meet!!

    Reply
    • Tom Allen

      Really, Alan? I’m afraid you’re missing out! This photo is from HUBB UK, which I’ve attended for the last two years, and which welcomes ALL overland travellers, not just motorcyclists, and specifically including pedal-powered bikers (of whom there were many).

      I’ve met more like-minded people at HUBB UK than at any other such gathering. I can only hope our event proves as inclusive, friendly and good-spirited as theirs is. The bar’s been set pretty high!

      Reply
  5. Barry Warner

    Awwwww man, would really really love to come to this, but alas that weekend would be the weekend I start my tour. London to Auckland, I’m leaving 10am Trafalgar Sq………don’t tempt me to leave from Lancashire please don’t. Have a great time, all the best.

    Reply
  6. Ollie

    Hi Tom, really nice idea, will there be room for hammocks? Cheers

    Reply
    • Laura

      Hi Ollie,

      The campsites are basically grassy fields so tents / bivvies might be better than hammocks. Saying that, there are a few wooded areas so sure you’d manage – plus i’d love to try out a hammock so would definitely encourage you to bring it along!

      Laura

      Reply
  7. Zach Shacter

    This festival sounds great! I hope it continues into an annual event. My wife and I are from Colorado, and are currently planning a year long bike tour throughout Europe. We plan to be in the UK in May of 2016. It be great if we could make it a stop on our tour!

    Reply
  8. Renyk de'Vandre

    I am going to make this one of my weekends sounds like it will be fun look forward to seeing everyone there. I am leaving for a 4 month solo cycle around the UK coast and Irish Coast on the 3rd of July 2015 all booked off from work, this will be a nice run up to my trip.

    Reply

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