Monthly Programme

Welcome to Isis Cyclists, an informal member group of Oxford Cycling UK. We have now restarted a limited programme of organised rides under the ‘rule of six’ which was reinstated on 29th March: see below for this month’s programme.

If you’re planning your own ride, remember that you can find some ideas on our page featuring a selection of routes. However, please abide by the Government’s current regulations. For guidance on safe cycling from Cycling UK, see the useful links below.

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Isis Cyclists and Oxford Cycling UK are part of Cycling UK.

Cycling for me has never been boring or neutral. A male cyclist is just a bloke on a bike, but a woman appears political, independent, a bluestocking, egregiously sporty, or suspiciously saucy.
– Eliane Glaser, The Guardian, 27/03/21

May 2021

A fine day in April

Once again, we are running a reduced programme of rides on two weekends. For guidance on what to expect on the rides, and how to prepare for them, please visit Group Rides Under the Rule of Six.

For each ride, please meet from 9.45am for a prompt 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprises 6 cyclists maximum. However, if enough people from the ride leaders’ group turn up it may be possible to add a second group on some routes. The two groups will travel separately in order to comply with the regulations.

Update: For reasons of bad weather, the rides originally scheduled for 8th May have been postponed to 15th.

Saturday 15th May: Short Rides

Ellen Lee will lead a ride of 9.3 miles, ‘A short trip to Narnia (and back).’ There will be a short stop at the C.S. Lewis Reserve and, as bikes need to be left outside, you will need to bring a bike lock. We plan to stop for refreshments at The Up in Arms refreshment hatch (Marston Rd) on our return to Oxford.

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35846365

TBC: Leonor Barroca will lead a 12-mile ride entitled A bit of countryside from north Oxford.’ Note that this route is shown starting in Summertown, but we will be starting from Radcliffe Square.

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/32242365

Saturday 22nd May: Medium Rides

Jane Carlton Smith will lead a ride to Worton Kitchen Garden via Kidlington. A table for 6 has been booked, as it is likely to be busy. The length of the route is 16 miles and is flat. It minimises use of the A40 and avoids a section of canal towpath that is currently being upgraded. If you want to read a more detailed description, the route is adapted from ‘A multi-purpose “loopy” route’ on the ‘selected routes’ page of the website.

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35920058

Sarah Twine will take a group to Abbey Meadows in Abingdon. We will be able to visit St Ethelwold’s House, where there will be an art exhibition as part of ArtWeeks. Refreshments will be taken elsewhere in Abingdon. The length of the route is around 20 miles, a little longer than normal for a medium ride, but the route is almost entirely flat.

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35912711

A BikeBuddies’ picnic at Old Shifford church in April

April 2021

Photos from members’ rides in March

We are restarting official rides this month. Until we are allowed to ride in larger groups, we will be operating the same reduced programme as in the autumn; namely, short & steady rides on the first Saturday of the month and medium rides on the third Saturday. However, because Easter fell on the first weekend of this month, April’s rides are taking place on the second and fourth Saturdays.

For guidance on what to expect on the rides, and how to prepare for them, please visit Group Rides Under the Rule of Six.

Saturday 10th April: Short Rides

Meet from 9.45am for a 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprise 6 cyclists maximum.

Sarah Twine will lead a scenic city parks ride which is a 7-mile route taking in some of Oxford’s many parks and green spaces. It will include a climb up to Headington, but on a quiet back road where riders can go at their own pace or walk if they wish. If you want to check the route out beforehand there is a link below:

Route: https://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_5073247.html

Jane Carlton Smith will lead a figure of eight ride of 11.4 miles.

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34460213

Saturday 24th April: Medium Rides

Leonor Barroca will lead a circular ride taking in Garsington, Denton & Cuddesdon (15.4 miles).

Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35641892

Karen Wolff will lead a 12-mile circular route into the countryside with views over Otmoor.

Route: https://gb.mapometer.com/cycling/route_5237937.html

Note that this route is shown starting at The Up in Arms pub, but we will be starting from Radcliffe Square; the total distance is from Radcliffe Square. In addition, rather than climbing the hill to Headington, this ride will make use of the path at the rear of Barton Park.

March 2021

Although February was gloomier than average, a glance at the Isis in Isolation photo album for the month captures the amazing variety of weather it threw at us, from snow and ice, fog, a cold wind straight from eastern Europe (a -10 degree wind chill factor one day!) to some wonderful, bright sunshine and more recently a temperature that might almost be described as “warm”. What a lot packed into a short time!

Assuming the Government’s “roadmap” goes to plan, it shouldn’t be too long before Isis Cyclists will be able to start up once again, using the same plan as implemented in the Autumn. We are looking to start the Saturday after Easter, 10th April with some short & steady routes, followed by medium rides on 24th April. We will publish full details in the next newsletter, once we know for sure that we can go ahead.

This very strange year is reflected in our most recent annual report, which will be presented at Oxford City Cycling UK’s AGM on Sunday 7th March. Thinking back to the rides in the first six months, before Covid stopped us in our tracks, was like thinking about a different universe!

With any luck, this will really be the last newsletter containing no Isis Cyclists rides. All of the members of the leaders group are looking forward to getting back to a bit more normality and getting stuck into leading rides again.

February 2021

Ellen writes…

Welcome to the February 2021 edition of the Isis Cyclists Newsletter. I hope that you, your family and your friends have all kept healthy through what has been a pretty tricky month.

I’m afraid February looks very much like another month without any Isis Cyclists rides. However, with the vaccination programme gearing up and spring on its way, surely it can’t be too long before we can ride together again?

Bike Buddies have been out and about again during January and some of them even managed to find some blue sky to enjoy! Here’s a selection of photos of what people have got up to in January.

Happy cycling and fingers crossed that we can ride together soon!

Flexipave cycle tracks

The Flexipave surface on Peep O Day Lane

Thanks to those of you who took the trouble to send me your comments on the various local cycle tracks that have been resurfaced with Flexipave. I fed all your feedback back to the company who designed and created the surface.

One question I asked was how the surface is expected to deal with tree roots, which cause havoc, damaging ordinary tarmac based surfaces. I was told that tree roots grow up towards a tarmac surface because they are searching for both air and moisture, neither of which can permeate tarmac. Flexipave has been designed to allow both air and moisture through to the soil below and so there should be no reason for tree roots to grow upwards. Let’s hope the trees behave as predicted, and that our new tracks remain smooth for many years to come!