Ellen writes… I hope you all had a great Bank Holiday weekend and enjoyed the lovely late summer weather. Those of us who rode for cream tea at Combe on Sunday experienced wonderful warm sunshine and a pretty route. At Combe, we sat in the Reading Room garden, munching our cakes and scones and reminiscing about the same ride in the past two years, where the bank holiday weather was a lot more normal, and we all got soaked!
A glorious afternoon in the garden of the Combe Reading Room.
There’s lots going on again this month with an evening social ride and a Stop and Stare ride in the programme. We start off with the 50-mile challenge ride on 2nd September. I hope the sun will shine on us this year, as we don’t want a repeat of last year, where we ended up cowering in a bus shelter while the wind and rain howled around us! At the moment, it looks like ideal conditions. If you are coming, please remember to bring lots of snacks and drinks, as we’ll have several short picnic stops along the way to keep energy levels (and spirits!) up.
Various other cycling events that are happening over the early autumn. Broken Spoke have got funding from the CycleBoom project to run cycle rides specifically for the over 55s. They will be running rides based in different communities to try and bring cycling to a wider audience. So if you would like to join in, or know a 55+ year old who might like to give cycling a go, visit Broken Spoke’s ‘Pedalling on’ webpage.
If racing is your thing, the Tour of Britain will be passing through the county (Charlbury) on Saturday 9th September. The Oxford City Cycling UK group is organising a ride to go and watch. They’ll be leaving Oxford at 10am: for details, visit the City group’s website.
Finally, Cyclox have announced their autumn programme of events. Their next event is a photo competition where you are not only encouraged to bring your own photos, but help and advice will be available from professional photographers. For details of all their events see the Cyclox website.
Have a great month’s cycling!
SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER: ISIS CYCLISTS 50-MILE CHALLENGE RIDE
Meet in Radcliffe Square, by the Vaults and Garden Café, from 9:15 for a prompt 9:30 departure. We will leave Oxford, heading north on quiet roads and making our way to the roundabout at the top of the Woodstock Rd. Riders from North Oxford or Kidlington can meet us here at around 9.50am. Please let Ellen know if you want to meet here, so that we can wait for you if necessary. We will then head west along the A40 cycle track to Eynsham, before taking quiet roads to Standlake, where we will have coffee at the village market. We then continue via Old Shifford and Cote, to cross the R. Thames at Tadpole Bridge. We have a climb up to Buckland before descending into the Vale of White Horse to our lunch stop at a café in Faringdon.
Our return route takes us through Fernham, Hatford and into Stanford-in-the-Vale, before returning to Oxford via Charney Bassett, Fyfield, Appleton and Cumnor. The route back into the centre of Oxford is around 50.5 miles long and is pretty flat, with three noticeable climbs, two before, and one after lunch. Please bring plenty to eat and drink as we will have several short picnic stops along the way. We will aim to return to Oxford around 6pm. This ride is designed to be enjoyed (rather than suffered!) and so we will be riding at a moderate and steady pace and stopping regularly to refuel. If time and weather permits, there will be a chance to walk up to the Faringdon Folly, from which great views of the surrounding countryside (including White Horse Hill) can be had. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.
WEDNESDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER: EVENING SOCIAL RIDE TO IFFLEY
Meet in front of the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street, Oxford from 5.45pm for a 6pm departure on a gentle 8 mile ride. We will head down the river towpath and return from Iffley via East Oxford. Please don’t forget to bring your bike lights for the return journey. This is a mixed social ride, so male partners and friends are welcome to join us. The ride leader will be Lucy Tennyson.
SATURDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER: SLOW AND STEADY RIDE: OXFORD OPEN DOORS
We will meet outside the Sheldonian, opposite Blackwells, at 1.45pm, ready for a prompt start at 2pm, heading for Jericho. We’ll visit up to 8 sites, covering centuries of architecture, and ecclesiastical, educational and domestic worlds, finishing with tea at the last site in Headington. The ride will take about 3 ½ hours and is just over 9 miles. The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.
SATURDAY 16TH SEPTEMBER: MEDIUM RIDE TO ABINGDON
Meet at 10.45am for an 11am departure by the tourist information office in Broad Street. From the town centre we will follow cycle route number 5 to Kennington then on to Sugworth Lane towards Sunningwell. There we will pick up Pen Lane, an off-road path that leads to Abingdon where we are going to have our Lunch/ refreshment stop at Throwing Buns.
We will return along Sustrans route number 5 via Radley, along the river to Isis lock, where we will cross the lock to Iffley village and take Meadow Lane back to Oxford city centre. The entire ride will be around 18 miles long.
Please note that very thin tyres are not suitable for this ride as it includes some bumpy off road paths.
The ride leader will be Lilia Bonacorsi.
THURSDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER: STOP & STARE RIDE: ‘MEMORY RIDE’
The September stop and stare ride is on Thursday 21st September, which is World Alzheimer’s Day, and will be a ‘memory themed’ ride.
The ride will meet at the entrance to Marston cycle path on the corner of South Parks Road and Saint Cross Road at 09.45hrs for a 10.00hrs departure.
The ride will take a gentle start alongside the Oxford University Parks on the Marston cycle path, through the Mesopotamia, then will carry on up to Pullens Lane in Headington, via Harberton Mead. We will cycle on to Roosevelt Drive for our first stop outside the Warneford Hospital grounds. Following afterwards to our second stop in the Churchill Hospital grounds.
We then head north towards the John Radcliffe for our third stop and on to our last two places of interest in Manzil Way and a coffee stop at the Restore Café.
The ride is 7 miles long, is an inclusive ride and will be taken at the speed of the slowest cyclist. It is anticipated that the ride will be of approximately 2 hrs duration including coffee and stops.
The ride leader is Sarah Twine.
SUNDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER: JOINT ISIS-OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT THAME
Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure. We will head out along the University Parks cycle track to Marston and then continue, crossing the ring road, and onto Elsfield, Stanton St John and down the hill to Menmarsh, and onto Worminghall. From there we will continue to Shabbington before picking up the cycle track along the A418 into Thame for coffee at Treacles Tearooms. Our return route will take us up the hill to Long Crendon before returning to Shabbington and Worminghall. There we will turn to Waterperry and Wheatley before returning to Oxford via Littleworth and Horspath. As usual, we will aim to average 11mph before coffee, but the return route will be taken a bit slower. The route is 32 miles long and is mostly gently undulating. However there are two steep climbs, one near the start (Elsfield Hill) and one after coffee. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.