Featured

Monthly Programme

home-page-bannerWelcome to Isis Cyclists, an informal member group of Oxford Cycling UK. We publish details of our rides month by month, and you’ll find the current month’s rides below this introduction. To see an outline programme for up to four months ahead, visit the Looking Ahead page.

We aim to start each ride promptly, and so we encourage people to meet 15 minutes before the advertised start time in order to welcome new riders, catch up with familiar faces and sign the riders’ list. We don’t publish the ride leaders’ contact details on this site, but if you have any queries about a particular ride, please get in touch through the Contact Us page at least a couple of days beforehand.

If you’re new to cycling with a large number of other people, you may find our Tips for Cycling in a Group page helpful.

cyclinguk_web-logo-no-strap-2col-cmykIsis Cyclists and Oxford Cycling UK are part of Cycling UK.

‘Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.’ – Susan B. Anthony, 1896

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July 2018

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Beautiful Bridewell Organic Gardens: destination for an afternoon social ride on Sunday 10th June

 

Ellen writes… What an amazing few weeks of sunshine we’ve had, not the usual two sunny days followed by a thunderstorm at all! I think all our rides last month enjoyed lovely conditions. The evening stop & stare ride, during which we tried hard to work out where seven paintings by two Turners (JMW and William Turner of Oxford) were painted from, what had changed and what was artistic licence, was great fun and the evening sunshine was fantastic. We also very much enjoyed our visit to the lovely organic gardens at Bridewell near Wilcote and quite a few of us rode home with plants we’d bought. When I got home I Googled mine and discovered it grows to 7 feet tall (whoops!).

This month we have our usual interesting collection of rides plus our annual weekend away which we are holding at Braziers Park in the Chilterns. A record 24 riders have signed up to take part, so it should be a wonderful weekend. We’ve also got to the 35 mile ride in our season of long rides preparing for the 50 mile challenge on 9th September. This year we will be going south and east (for a change) with the coffee stop in Thame and lunch at the Waterfront Café in Benson.

Help us spread the word about Isis Cyclists! Would you be interested in helping us let more women know about us? We are looking for a few of you willing to give out leaflets at one or two events a year, for a couple of hours. The Oxford cycling campaign group Cyclox kindly invites us to join them at their stalls. It’s a great way of meeting other cyclists – and all you need to do is be enthusiastic about our rides. The next two events are the Elder Stubbs festival in Cowley on Saturday 18 August, and the Green Fair in early December. Contact Lucy Tennyson via the Contact Us page.

STOP & STARE RIDE: THURSDAY JULY 5th: OXFORD WOMENS’ BLUE PLAQUES

The Oxfordshire Blue Plaques scheme promotes recognition and awareness of people, places and events that have been of lasting significance in the life of Oxfordshire or more widely.

The stop and stare ride will visit 6 of the women’s blue plaques in Oxford city. A further 6 will be visited at a later date (TBC).

The ride meets at 9:45am outside Costa Coffee in Summertown for a 10am departure. It will be approximately 7 miles long and take about 2 hours with coffee taken at the end of the ride at the Handlebar cafe in St Michael’s street.

Ride leader is Sarah Twine.

SHORT & STEADY RIDE: SATURDAY 7TH JULY: A RIVERINE RIDE

Meet by the statue of the ox, outside Oxford rail station from 9.45am for a 10.00 am departure. This ride takes advantage of the lovely newly surfaced path along the Thames, it follows the river to Iffley Lock, crosses the lock, then turns down Meadow Lane and on to route 5 which takes us through Hinksey and Osney to The Tumbling Bay café at West Oxford Community Centre for coffee and homemade cake or biscuits. We then continue along the Thames by way of ‘Fiddler’s Island’ to Port Meadow, cross the new railway bridge to Aristotle Lane, then make our way through Jericho and back to the city centre. The ride is 9 miles in length, with only a tiny hill in Iffley village, and the terrain is a mixture of towpath, quiet roads and a short section of grassy path. The ride leader is Karen Wolff.

FRIDAY 13th – SUNDAY 15th JULY: ISIS WEEKEND AWAY: BRAZIERS PARK

Final details of this much anticipated event will be sent to those who have booked around 10th July.

LONG RIDE: SATURDAY 21st JULY: A MEANDER IN TRHE VALE

The build-up to the Isis 50-mile challenge reaches 35 miles with this long ride across the Vale of the White Horse to Charney Bassett. Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre at 9:45 for a 10:00 departure through Cumnor and Appleton to Fyfield, from where we head southwest in the general direction of Charney. We initially take a detour through East Hanney, Denchworth and Goosey, before eventually striking east and north to Charney itself for lunch. You can either bring a picnic to eat on the village green or dine at The Chequers pub. The (shorter) return route takes us to Southmoor and along the country road back to Cumnor for tea and biscuits at Liz’s house. From there it’s downhill for most of the way back into Oxford.

Apart from the initial climb up to Cumnor (walking permitted!), the route is generally flat or with gentle inclines. Once we’re out of Oxford, we ride mostly along quiet country roads, although there is a crossing of the busy A420 at Fyfield (care required!) and a short stretch along the A417 near Stanford-in-the-Vale. The ride leader is Liz Matthews.

Important notes:

  • Please bring a mid-morning drink and snack for the outward section as there are no eateries before Charney.
  • Please let Liz know via the Contact Us page by Wednesday 18th July if you wish to eat at The Chequers, so that we can let the pub know how many people to expect. Thank you!

TUESDAY 24th JULY: EVENING SOCIAL RIDE TO THE ABINGDON ARMS, BECKLEY

Meet outside Costa Coffee in Summertown in good time for a 6.30pm departure. We’ll go out of town towards Kidlington via Water Eaton and on to Islip, working up a thirst for the pub with an uphill stretch to Beckley village giving glorious views over Otmoor. The Abingdon Arms is a community owned pub, specialising in locally produced food, and hopefully we can bag a table outside. As usual with our evening rides, male partners and friends are welcome. We’ll take the most direct route home into Marston. Please bring lights. The ride will be 13 miles long and the leader is Lucy Tennyson.

SUNDAY 29th JULY: A SOCIAL RIDE FOR TEA AT DORCHESTER ABBEY

Meet at 12.30pm for a prompt 12.45pm departure by the bike racks outside John Lewis (in Norfolk Street – back entrance to Customer Services) for a leisurely cycle to Dorchester via Abingdon. We will be joined by the Oxford City branch of Cycling UK at Dorchester Abbey for afternoon tea, so our mission will be to arrive before them! This is a joint social ride so male friends and partners are welcome to join us. We will ride directly home from Dorchester arriving back into Oxford via Horspath. The ride will be approximately 32 miles long and is mainly flat apart from a couple of steepish hills on the approach to Cuddesdon near the end of the ride. The ride leader is Natasha Williams.

 

June 2018

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Stopping for a photo on the first pop-up ride on 7th May

** Stop Press: See below for details of our Summer Solstice evening social ride to the Bell at Hampton Poyle! **

Ellen writes… What a fantastic month of sunny cycling we’ve had in May, and how wonderful after the cold and gloom of March and April. Our Short & Steady ride at the start of the month enjoyed perfect warm, early summer weather and it was fantastic to see such a large and colourful collection of cycles and cyclists wending their way along towpaths, cycle paths and minor roads to Wytham for coffee. Both the asparagus-picking (medium) and Artweeks (long) rides were well supported and enjoyed by everyone. May also saw our first experiments with “pop-up” rides. There was one long ride out for lunch in (well actually outside) the Yurt at Nicholsons in North Aston and an evening jaunt round Otmoor. Hopefully more rides will pop up as the summer progresses.

The June rides are a varied and tempting collection: hopefully providing something for everyone. June also sees Oxford Bike Week (9th-17th) and you can find more about the rides on offer at http://www.oxfordbikeweek.co.uk/.

Another Oxford cycling institution is going through exciting times. The Broken Spoke Co-op, which many of you will know from their bicycle repair courses and Beryl’s Nights, will soon be moving premises. They are crowdfunding in order to cover the cost of the move. You can read more about this at http://bsbcoop.org/pledge-to-our-crowdfunder.

Finally, as part of the Freewheeling project, there will be a screening of the film “Afghan Cycles” at the Ultimate Picture Palace in Jeune St on Sunday 17th June at 3:30. For more information, visit http://www.artsfestivaloxford.org/whats-on/pre-festival-events-1/afghan-cycles.

Don’t forget to make sure both you and your bike are fit and ready for your ride! Please ensure your bike is road-worthy, and it’s a good idea to carry a spare inner tube as it may be possible to mend a puncture on the spot. Have a good breakfast too and carry a snack and drink in case you need a bit of extra sustenance.

Happy cycling!

SATURDAY JUNE 2ND: SHORT & STEADY RIDE: THREE LOCKS TOWPATH RIDE TO SANDFORD MARKET

Meet at 09.45hrs for a 10.00hrs departure from The Ox statue opposite Oxford city railway station.

The ride will be approximately 8 miles long and mainly flat along the Thames towpath, Sustrans route and incorporating Osney, Iffley and Sandford Locks. Please be aware that there will be a long stretch of cycling on the Towpath and through locks so do ensure you are confident cycling off road near water and have appropriate tyres for the ride.

We will leave the station and go straight onto the tow path, passing besides Osney and Iffley locks. We will cycle along a stretch of the popular Sustrans route and turn left upon reaching Kennington, cross Sandford lock to Sandford on Thames village Hall for a relaxed coffee and shop in the weekly market and “Talking Shop”. After coffee we will take a meandering route via Rosehill and Iffley, Meadow Lane and Iffley Fields to return to the City centre.

The ride is 8 miles long and will be taken at the pace of the slowest cyclist and approximately 2 hrs. Ride Leader Sarah Twine.

SUNDAY 10TH JUNE: MIXED LONG RIDE TO BRIDEWELL ORGANIC GARDENS

Meet outside Costa Coffee on the corner of Banbury and Oakthorpe Roads in Summertown from 1:15 for a 1:30 departure. We will be heading in a fairly leisurely fashion (approx.10 mph) to an open afternoon at Bridewell Organic Gardens near Wilcote.

We will start off along the canal towards the A44, then cut off to Yarnton before joining the A40 for a short stretch. We will then head off into the countryside along Cuckoo Lane. We’ll follow quiet country lanes to the Gardens where afternoon tea is available, then make our way home via Wilcote, North Leigh and the A40 cycle path. The ride is 26 miles in total and includes a few ups and downs.

Bridewell Gardens do not charge an entry fee, but ask for a donation towards their valuable work helping people recover from mental illness by gardening.

This Sunday afternoon ride is open to male partners and friends; the ride leader is Karen Wolff.

TUESDAY 12TH JUNE: STOP & STARE RIDE: “A TURNER ROUND OXFORD”

In this evening stop & stare ride we will be looking at Oxford with 18th and 19th century eyes and exploring how two different artists (both William Turner) saw Oxford and its environs. We will be visiting 5 paintings by the “famous” Turner (JMW) and 2 by his less illustrious almost contemporary William Turner of Oxford. How have the views of Oxford changed? Are the paintings accurate depictions or have they been sprinkled with a bit of artistic licence? I’m sure there will be plenty of opinions and no “right” answers!

Meet from 6.45pm for a prompt 7pm start from Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). The route will take us through central Oxford, out onto the river and then up to South Park, Headington before descending into Marston and our final picture in Old Marston. After the ride we can coast down to the Victoria Arms for a drink. The route is 7.5 miles long and includes a single hill in the shape of Morrell Avenue which can be cycled (or walked) at your own pace. Please bring bicycle lights, especially if you want to enjoy a drink afterwards. The ride leader for this artistic exploration is Ellen Lee.

If you would like digital copies of the paintings to download to your phone or tablet and take with you on the ride, please send us an email via the Contact Us page.

SATURDAY 16TH JUNE: LONG RIDE: SOUTH-EAST TO BENSON

This is the first long ride in the build-up for our 50 mile ride in September. Meeting on the junction of Cowley Road and Magdalen Road (outside old bingo hall) at 9.45am for 10am departure, we will take Barracks Lane to get out of Oxford in a fairly traffic-free way. Our route will take us via Horspath Hill up to Cuddesdon and down to the mill, Great Milton and Chalgrove. There will probably be a short stretch on bridleway to get us to Brightwell Baldwin, and then we will continue close to Ewelme to Benson for refreshments in the Waterfront Cafe (17 miles).  We return through Berrick Salome, Chalgrove, Stadhampton (a short stretch on main road) Chislehampton, Denton, Garsington and Blackbird Leys/Cowley. The ride is 30 miles with some hills. The leader is Clare Farley.

THURSDAY 21ST JUNE: SUMMER SOLSTICE EVENING SOCIAL RIDE FOR A MEAL AT THE BELL, HAMPTON POYLE

We will meet outside the Sheldonian in Broad Street, at 5.45pm, for a 6pm start.  Making our way through Jericho, we will join the Oxford Canal towpath at Wolvercote and ride up it to Shipton-on-Cherwell.  We’ll then cross the fields to Hampton Gay and onwards to The Bell at Hampton Poyle, where I have booked The Library for 8pm.  The 17-mile route is weather-dependent and may be changed if there’s rain during the preceding day(s). It’s also bumpy and not suitable for carbon bikes with road tyres or for recumbents (sorry).  The ride is open to male friends and partners.  The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

May 2018

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Up the hill to the windmill at Brill on 21st April

 

Ellen writes… Welcome to the May 2018 edition of the Isis Cyclists Newsletter. This month sees the return of our midweek Stop & Stare rides and also our evening social rides. Over the summer we will also be trialling the idea of pop-up rides. Basically, if one of our ride leaders finds themselves with some spare time, the weather is nice and they feel like a cycle ride, they will post to the Google Group to let you know brief details so that you can join in, if you wish. Any of our multifarious types of rides may “pop up” from a short amble to a long ride, and you may only get a day or so notice, so keep an eye on your inbox!

Don’t forget to make sure both you and your bike is fit and ready for your ride! Please ensure your bike is road-worthy and it’s a good idea to carry a spare inner tube as it may be possible to mend a puncture on the spot. Have a good breakfast too and carry a snack and drink in case you need a bit of extra sustenance.

Wow, amazing….I didn’t mention the weather!

An important note about data protection

I expect that, like me, you have had a number of data protection emails appear in your inbox recently. This is because the data protection laws change in May 2018.  You receive our newsletters and email updates because you have requested to be added to our mailing list at some point in the past.  If, at any point, you wish to stop receiving emails from us simply send an email to isiscyclistsctc+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com or to the Contact Us page on this website.

Please note that our mailing list is hosted by Google and so Google is a data processor who may have access to your personal data: read Google’s privacy policy. We will always hold your personal data in compliance with UK data protection laws and we never sell or share your information.

SHORT & STEADY RIDE: SATURDAY 5TH MAY: LET’S GET READY TO CYCLE – IDEAL FOR NEWBIES AND RETURNERS

This month’s short ride is aimed at those who would like to cycle or have cycled in the past but not for a while and are lacking in confidence about their riding ability or bike set up.  We’ll take a look at bike set up and I’ll have some tools so we can adjust saddles if need be.  We’ll then head off on a short circular loop on quieter roads through Jericho, Wolvercote and Wytham.  We’ll stop for coffee at the end of the ride.  Meet at the Lion Brewery (outside staircase 1), St. Thomas Street (just along from Paradise Street – please be careful as there’s 3 way traffic lights on Paradise Street / St. Thomas’ Street), OX1 1JE at 11.30am where we’ll check bikes over and answer any questions before heading off on our ride around 11.45am.  The ride is flat and will be around 8 miles long and the pace will be slow and steady.  The ride leader is Natasha Williams.

MEDIUM RIDE: SATURDAY 12TH MAY: A CHANCE TO PICK ASPARAGUS!

Meet  at 0945am for a 1000am departure outside The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road). We will take the cycle path beside University Parks and Mesopotamia, through cycle tracks in New and Old Marston village through to Elsfield via its infamous hill (which can be walked if necessary).

We then cycle on to Beckley where we will stop at the Abingdon Arms for well-earned refreshments. Afterwards, we continue on to Horton cum Studley along the straight mile road. We then tackle another hill before taking the Oakley road down to Bernwood, Menmarsh and Stanton St John. We then cross the B4027 to the Asparagus Hut for those who would like to pick some Asparagus. ( which is hopefully ready by mid May!)

The ride will continue to the London road roundabout in Headington where it will conclude on the Headington side. The ride is 14 miles, will be taken at a slow-medium pace and is likely to take approximately 3 hours including stops.

The ride leader is Sarah Twine

STOP & STARE RIDE: THURSDAY 17TH MAY: ARTWEEKS OXFORD

Our first midweek ride of the year will take us on a slow and easy outing around a selection of local artists’ exhibitions on the east side of the city, mostly group shows with a mix of media and styles so you should find something to make you stare. We’ll head out along the river to start our visits in Magdalen Road, then meander through Headington, and return to town via St Clements and Iffley Road. Meet outside the Sheldonian to leave at 10.30am.  The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.

LONG RIDE: SATURDAY 19TH MAY: AN ARTWEEKS AMBLE TO ABINGDON AND APPLETON

Join us for a 26-mile circuit to visit a few of the many sites open during Artweeks South. Leaving at 10am from outside the Sheldonian Theatre, we will take a wiggly route to Abingdon via Kennington and Radley. The first stop, after 10 miles, will be an exhibition by various artists at Peachcroft Farm, where we will also take coffee. Another 10 miles sees us arriving, via Shippon, Tubney and Fyfield, at Appleton Village Hall for more art and coffee. Two miles further on, in Cumnor, are a couple of studios worth visiting before you whizz back down the hill to Oxford. If you have the Artweeks catalogue, the venues are numbers 431, 439, 436 and 437 respectively. You’ll be delighted to know that there are no substantial hills on this ride, which is led by Liz Matthews.

WEDNESDAY 23RD MAY: EVENING SOCIAL RIDE TO THE FLOWING WELL, SUNNINGWELL

Meet in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) from 6pm for a 6.15pm departure. We’ll take a slightly circuitous route to get to the pub (the Flowing Well in Sunningwell), via Kennington and Radley, roughly 10 miles, and come back a more direct way (about 5 miles to the centre of Oxford). The ride is mainly flat, no real hills. This is a social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome to join us. Don’t forget to bring lights in case the ride back is in the twilight. The ride leader is Liz Weekes.

There is no joint ride with Oxford City Cycling UK in May.

April 2018

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February’s annual snowdrop ride yielded shimmering vistas of white (photo by Liz Matthews)

Ellen writes… Every month when I sit down to write this intro I try really hard not to obsess about the weather. However, what was going on in March??? Two lots of snow and some crazy cold weather! We were very lucky that we only had to cancel one of our rides as we managed to reschedule the short ride to avoid the “beast from the east”. We have re-organised last month’s cancelled long ride to April, so we hope for much better conditions for an expedition to conquer Brill Hill. There are two leaders and Jane will be looking after slower riders, so as long as you can ride the distance please feel confident to join in.

The Isis leaders’ group has now planned our rides until the end of July. There are some great rides to look forward to and we will be welcoming back our Stop & Stare rides and our summer evening social rides. We are also experimenting, by organising the odd long, slower ride. In June we will be riding out into the Oxfordshire Cotswolds to enjoy the Bridewell Organic Gardens on one of their open days. We will also be starting our programme of longer rides on the third Saturday of the month, which culminate on 9th September with our popular 50 mile challenge ride. This year we will ride east and south to visit Thame and Benson.

Finally, I’d like to alert you to an event organised in National Bike Week on Sunday 17th June by a number of local groups including Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon, Sustrans, Cyclox, the Community Centre and Broken Spoke. Isis Cyclists will also be taking part. It’s a community event and there will be lots of events, stalls, short drop in talks, maintenance workshops and the chance to try out an electric bike. It promises to be both fun and engaging and we’re looking forward to taking part.

SATURDAY 7th APRIL: SLOW AND STEADY RIDE – ELLEN’S SECRET OXFORD

This lovely ride comes from a book co-authored by Ellen and although much of it will be familiar, it is full of pleasure in the form of streams, islands and fishes.  Starting in Radcliffe Square, we will head down Magpie Lane, aiming for Brewer Street, via St Aldate’s.  We’ll wind our way around the bulk of the Westgate Centre and make our way to Whitehouse Road, then on through the Grandpont Nature Park to Willow Walk, and the Fishes at North Hinksey, where the coffee and tea comes with free toast. Retracing our route to Oatlands Road Rec, we’ll ride up Binsey Lane to the second fishy pub on the ride.  From the Perch, we cross the Thames at Fiddler’s Island and ride across Port Meadow, heading for Aristotle Lane.  We return to Radcliffe Square by the same route as the short ride in March, but in the opposite direction.  Meet at 9.45am for a 10am start, by the railings outside the Vaults & Gardens café entrance.  The ride is just under 9 miles and should finish by 12.30 at the latest, including the coffee stop.  The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

SATURDAY 14th APRIL:  MEDIUM RIDE – WORTON ORGANIC GARDENS

Today we will enjoy a relaxed ride out of the city via Wolvercote to visit Worton Organic Gardens, where the owners grow flowers, fruit and vegetables in a lovely rural setting. There is an organic cafe selling cakes, soup and light meals, plus a farm shop. The ride is mostly flat or undulating, on quieter roads and will include a short stretch of canal path (might be slightly muddy). We will return to town via the A40 cycle path and Summertown. Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street, Oxford at 9.45am for a 10am start. Ride leader will be Lucy Tennyson, and ride length is approximately15 miles.

SATURDAY 21st APRIL: LONG RIDE – BRILL AND BACK!

We invite you to meet inside Jacob and Field (on Old High St, Headington – near Waitrose) from 0930hrs for a coffee, before departure at 10am prompt. We are hoping for good weather for this slow but challenging route to Brill and the beautiful ancient windmill.

At 10am we will head off under the underpass onto the Bayswater Road towards Stanton St John. We’ll then ride past the church and down the hill and head for Boarstall via Bernwood Forest. After a short stretch on the Thame road we turn for Brill, climbing the hill that brings us out by the Windmill and the Pheasant PH where we will have lunch.

The menu can be found at https://www.thepheasant.co.uk/lunch-menu. If you are planning to come, it would be very helpful if you could tell the joint leader, Jane Carlton Smith, and also let her know what you would like to order. You can pay on the day.

The return route starts with a long freewheel down the hill to Oakley, then on to Worminghall. We then turn for Wheatley, Littleworth and Horspath before the ride concludes at Horspath Driftway (on the ring road). The ride is approximately 25 miles long, hilly, but will be taken at a moderate pace where possible. We envisage the ride, including stops will take 4-5 hrs total. The ride leader is Liz Weekes, and Jane Carlton Smith will be looking after slower riders.

SUNDAY 29th APRIL: JOINT ISIS/OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT WATERPERRY

(followed by a visit to the Velo Vixen open day in Wheatley)

Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford, for a prompt 9:30am departure. We will leave Oxford in an easterly direction through the University Parks and Marston. We will then climb through Elsfield before joining the B4027 as far as Stanton St John where we will descend to Menmarsh and Worminghall. Refreshments will be at Waterperry Gardens, but don’t eat too many cakes because afterwards it’s just a short hop to Wheatley and the Velo Vixen open day where you can check out their merchandise and enjoy some more coffee and cake! We will return to Oxford via Littleworth and Horspath. The ride will be approximately 22 miles in length and will involve climbing one steep hill before our stops and one (less steep) afterwards. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.

If you don’t want to visit the open day at Velo Vixen, then there will be a led ride straight back to Oxford using the same route.

March 2018

** STOP PRESS: The ride to Brill on Saturday 17th March has been postponed on account of the expected cold weather, wind and snow. We plan to run it in the spring. **

Ellen writes… What interesting weather we had to contend with in February! The first two rides suffered nasty wet and windy weather, the second two enjoyed cold and crisp weather. The “beast from the east” has meant that the short and steady ride organised for Saturday 3rd March has been rescheduled to Saturday 24th. We hope that the spring might have put in an appearance by then and we can enjoy an eccentric wander round Oxford en route to the East Oxford Community Market. All the other rides are in their usual slots.

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Photo by Liz Matthews

I thought you might be interested to see a photo of the Isis Cyclists Leaders’ Group hard at work! Earlier this month we had a “working lunch” to talk about all aspects of rides and ride leading. It was a very productive session (despite the evidence of the photo!) and we came away with several good ideas to make rides run more smoothly. If you have any ideas about this, we’d love to hear from you and if you are interested in finding out what is involved in becoming an Isis Cyclists ride leader, then please do ask me or any of the other leaders out on a ride. We are always happy to increase the size of our group.

However, we must be doing something right because we’ve discovered that Isis Cyclists has been named among the 8 best cycling groups for women in the UK in an article on the Redbull website. Thanks to Leonor Barroca for having eagle eyes and spotting this fact. You might notice that we are sporting a lot less lycra than anyone else!

FINALLY: Remember to make sure both you and your bike are fit and ready for your ride! Check that your bike is road-worthy, pump up your tyres and, if you can, carry a spare inner tube as it may be possible to mend a puncture on the spot. Have a good breakfast too, and carry a snack and drink in case you need a bit of extra sustenance.

Happy cycling!

 

SATURDAY 10th MARCH: MEDIUM RIDE – WATERPERRY WANDER

We will meet at Jacobs Brasserie (on the corner of Osler Road and London Road in Headington, OX3 7RA) at 09:45am for a 10am start, heading out to Stanton St John, flying over the M40 to Worminghall to reach Waterperry for refreshments at their café. We can make time for visits to the garden centre by popular request. We’ll return via Wheatley and Horspath and towards Barracks Lane to reach central Oxford. The ride is 15 miles long with several hills which can be taken at your own speed. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

** POSTPONED ** SATURDAY 17th MARCH: LONG RIDE – BRILL AND BACK!

We invite you to meet inside Jacob and Field (on Old High St, Headington – near Waitrose) from 0930hrs  for a coffee before departure at 10am prompt. This is the 2nd long ride of 2018 due to the January ride having to be cancelled. We are hoping for better weather for this slow but challenging route to Brill and the beautiful ancient windmill.

At 10am we will head off under the underpass onto the Bayswater road towards Stanton St John. We will then ride past the church and down the hill and head for Boarstall via Bernwood Forest. After a short stretch on the Thame road we turn for Brill, climbing the hill that brings us out by the Windmill and the Pheasant PH where we will have lunch.

The menu can be found on the pub’s website. If you are planning to come, it would be very helpful if you could tell the leader, Sarah Twine via the Contact Us page, and also let her know what you would like to order from the menu. You can pay on the day.

The return route starts with a long freewheel down the hill to Oakley, then on to  Worminghall. We then turn for Wheatley, Littleworth and Horspath before the ride concludes at Horspath Driftway (on the ring road). The ride is approximately 25 miles long, hilly, but will be taken at a moderate pace where possible. We envisage the ride, including stops will take 4-5 hrs total. The ride leader is Sarah Twine.

SATURDAY 24th MARCH: SHORT & STEADY RIDE – STARTING OFF IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!

Meet from 9.45am in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) for a 10am departure for a ridiculously circuitous route to coffee at the East Oxford Farmers and Community Market. We will head out through leafy North Oxford before turning south through Jericho back to the city centre where we will pick up the river towpath to Iffley. We will wend our way up through the village emerging on Rose Hill before finally heading towards our destination between Union St and East Street. The route is 9 miles long, so cakes are fully justified! Why not bring an empty pannier to take some shopping home? The route is mostly flat and on quiet roads, paths and cycle tracks, but there is one climb from the river at Iffley up to Rose Hill. This can be taken at any pace, or walked. So dust your bike off and join us? The ride leader is Ellen Lee.

SUNDAY 25TH MARCH: JOINT ISIS/OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT THE OLD FLIGHT HOUSE, WESTON-ON-THE-GREEN

Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford, for a prompt 9:30am departure. We will leave Oxford in an easterly direction through the University Parks and Marston. Once across the A40 we will meander northwards along quiet roads through Woodeaton, Islip, Bletchingdon and Kirtlington. Shortly after leaving Kirtlington, we will strike out east along Akeman Street to its junction with the B430 by the airfield above Weston-on-the-Green and our coffee stop at The Old Flight House antiques centre.

To return, we will continue east along Akeman Street to Chesterton, and then turn south to Wendlebury and Weston-on-the-Green itself. We’ll pass through Bletchingdon a second time; thence to Oxford via Hampton Poyle, Gosford, Water Eaton and Summertown.

The total length of the ride is about 33 miles (longer than our usual long rides), but there will be scope for taking shortcuts on the way home, particularly if the weather is unfavourable (or the leader runs out of puff!). There are a number of short-ish hills, including through Woodeaton and Islip, on both approaches to Bletchingdon and on the approach to Kirtlington. The bridle path through the fields near Water Eaton includes a short stretch of unmetalled track. Since this is a joint ride, the pace will average roughly 11mph on the outward leg and a little less on the homeward run.

The ride leader is Liz Matthews.

February 2018

Ellen writes: I hope you’ve managed to get out on your bike, despite the rather miserable weather during January. I’m sorry that our long ride was cancelled. We don’t cancel rides lightly. We do so if we judge that the conditions are not safe or if the weather is such that riding will be no fun at all.

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Riders on the bridle path near Water Eaton en route to Annie’s Tea Room at Thrupp on 14th January (photo by Sarah Twine). 

We hope that no more cancellations will be necessary and that all February’s rides will go ahead unhampered by the elements. We’ve got a good selection of rides for you, so we hope you’ll find something to suit. We’ll be indulging in an orgy of bridge crossing, searching for spring flowers and possibly tackling a few hills on our way to investigate a new refreshment stop in Wheatley. As usual, we’ll be joining riders from Oxford City Cycling UK on the last Sunday of the month.

Ruth Davis has brought my attention to an on the BBC website, What is stopping women from cycling? See what you think: perhaps it will lead to some interesting discussions over coffee and cakes on our February rides!

SATURDAY 3rd FEBRUARY: 20 BRIDGES RIDE

Did you know that you can cross no less than 20 different bridges on a short 7.5 mile bike ride? Meet by the statue of the ox outside the Oxford rail station from 10.15 for a 10.30 departure. We will follow tow paths, cycle paths and quiet roads and cross railways, streams, rivers and canals on our bridge-counting ride. There is a short section on grass which is easily cyclable but may be a bit muddy if we have a lot of rain. Refreshments will be taken at the West Oxford Community Centre. The ride leader is Karen Wolff.

SATURDAY 10th FEBRUARY: MEDIUM RIDE – CLIMBING THE LADDER! (SOCIAL RIDE)

Congregate in Radcliffe Square outside the church at 10am for a prompt 10.15 departure.  We’ll head out via the Marston Road and can have another pick up in Cherwell Drive at 10.25am. The route will leave Oxford via Elsfield and Stanton St John and continue through Worminghall and Waterperry on its way to Wheatley Garden Centre Café. There are two steep hills to conquer, Elsfield Hill and Ladder Hill in Wheatley. These can be taken at as gentle a pace as necessary. After the refreshment break it’s an easy 4 or 5 miles back to Oxford, mainly downhill. At 20 miles, this ride is slightly longer than our usual medium ride and is also a social ride, so male partners and friends are welcome to join us. The ride leader is Natasha Williams.

SATURDAY 17th FEBRUARY: LONG RIDE – SEEKING SNOWDROPS IN SOUTH-EAST OXFORDSHIRE

We will meet at Jacobs Brasserie (on the corner of Osler Road and London Road in Headington, OX3 7RA) at 09:45am for a 10am start, heading out to Stanton St John and cycling through Forest Hill and the outskirts of Wheatley. As much as possible, we will follow country roads and quiet lanes through the rolling Oxfordshire countryside hunting snowdrops and daffodils. We will pass through the villages of Great Milton (of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons fame), Great and Little Haseley before stopping for a break at the Little Milton Village Shop where we can have coffee and cake or a bacon or sausage bap – perfect sustenance for a cycling brunch as we tend to arrive about 11.30am. Once refreshed, we will return via Cuddesdon where we will pass Ripon College (a centre of theological training and research), before descending to Horspath and back to Oxford. This ride is about 22 miles and has several hills or undulations, which will be taken at a gentle pace or can be walked. The ride leader is Lucy Wright.

SUNDAY 25th FEBRUARY: JOINT ISIS/OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT ASTON POTTERY

Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure. We will leave Oxford in a northerly direction up the Woodstock Rd and pick up the A40 cycle track to Eynsham. We’ll then make for Aston Pottery via Stanton Harcourt, Hardwick & Yelford. The return will take us to Standlake on quiet roads where we will pick up the A415 for a couple of miles, crossing the River Thames at Newbridge and then turning back on minor roads through Netherton, Appleton and Cumnor before entering Oxford along the Botley Rd. The route has a couple of hills either side of coffee but is otherwise pretty flat. The aim is to get to coffee at 11am and to do this we will need to average about 11mph. The return route will be at a reduced pace of about 10mph and the entire route is approximately 33 miles long. The leader will be Liz Weekes.

 

January 2018

Isis Medium Ride Aug2014 008

A sunny outing in August 2014

Ellen writes… Welcome to the first Isis Cyclists newsletter of 2018, our 10th anniversary year! How time has flown since the first ‘Five Miles to Fabulous’ ride that led to the formation of Isis Cyclists in June 2008, and what an amazing adventure it’s been! From a personal perspective, it’s been wonderful to meet so many interesting and enthusiastic people out on rides. As time has gone on, the organisation of the group has been taken up by a small band of ride leaders. I never cease to be surprised and delighted by their creativity and commitment. Liz Matthews, who looks after our website, is currently creating a page entitled ‘Meet the Leaders’ which will tell you a bit more about this intrepid band! She has recently also added an Isis Cyclists Guide to Cafes and Tearooms which is a subject about which we pride ourselves that we know something! If there are any that we’ve omitted, or if you would like to add a comment about a venue on the list, then please do get in contact with us via the Contact Us page.

The highlight of our anniversary year will undoubtedly be our weekend away (13th-15th July 2018) which, as mentioned in the last issue, will be at Braziers Park, not far from Wallingford and in the Chilterns, an area we only rarely visit. So far 13 have booked to attend, but there’s plenty more space, both rooms in the house or camping in the orchard. If you can’t make the whole weekend, then why not join us for one of our rides on the Saturday, or even come over for our Saturday evening celebration meal? If you would like to come, please return a booking form and pay the relevant deposit to Jane Carlton Smith. Further details are now available on the Isis Cyclists’ 10th Anniversary Weekend page. We hope to see a record-breaking number of you there!

Well, before we get to the summer, we have the delights of the winter and the exuberance of the spring to sample. Why not join us on one of our January rides and get 2018 off to a great start? Despite appearances, riding in the winter is great fun and, provided you’re well kitted out (see our Tips for Winter Cycling) you will find it a rewarding time to be out on two wheels. Over the winter period, we have decided to start some of our rides slightly later in the day. If it’s icy, there will be a better chance that it will have melted and conditions are safe to cycle. If it’s not safe, then we will cancel the ride by sending an email round the Google Group by 9am on the day of the ride. So far this winter, it’s been OK (if sometimes a bit nippy), so let’s hope January’s rides will have good and safe cycling conditions.

SATURDAY 6th JANUARY: SLOW AND STEADY TO HEADINGTON AND OLD MARSTON

Meet from 10:45am for an 11:00am start outside the Sheldonian Theatre, Broad Street opposite Blackwells bookshop, Oxford.

The ride will start cycling in a north-easterly direction along Parks Road and along the cycle path besides the University Parks and up Harberton Mead. We then meander through the grounds of the JR Hospital, Bury Knowle Park and then along Barton Lane.  We will then pick up the cycle path alongside the Northern Bypass past the new Barton Park development. The route will then take us to Old Marston village for a coffee stop at the Victoria Arms with its cosy log fire. We then return to the City Centre back to the start.

The ride is approximately 8 miles long and will take in one hill at a slow pace and will be paced at the speed of the slowest rider. It is anticipated that the ride will take approximately 2–2.5 hrs including coffee. The ride leader is Sarah Twine

SUNDAY 14th JANUARY: MEDIUM RIDE TO ANNIE’S TEAROOM, THRUPP

IMG_1625** Please note the day, time and meeting place. ** We’ll make a 10:30 start from outside Costa Coffee in Summertown, heading out to Annie’s by the canal at Thrupp. The exact route will depend on the weather, but Plan A is to meander through the back of Summertown and over the fields past Water Eaton. We’ll skirt the top edge of Kidlington, going across the fields to the church, up Moors Road and along a short stretch of the A4260 to Thrupp. The return route will initially take us northwards along the towpath to Shipton-on-Cherwell before we head back down the main road into Kidlington, and then through side streets to our dispersal point at the Banbury Road roundabout. The total envisaged length of the ride is just under 15 miles. If a Plan B is required, we’ll play it by ear. The ride leader is Liz Matthews.

SATURDAY 20th JANUARY: LONG RIDE TO WESTON-ON-THE-GREEN

Congregate in Radcliffe Square outside the church at 10am for a prompt 10:15 departure.  We’ll head out via the Marston Road and can have another pick up in Cherwell Drive at 10:25.  The exact route will be decided on weather conditions but will be no more than 30 miles and will be shortened if the weather is very cold or wet.  The Milk Shed offers nice brunches and hot chocolates with all the trimmings!  The ride leader is Natasha Williams. As this is a longer ride at a cold time of year, we will be keeping up a steady pace and aiming to average 11mph (i.e. slightly faster than normal) with fewer than normal stops.

SUNDAY 28th JANUARY: JOINT ISIS/OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT ABINGDON

Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9:30am departure. We will leave Oxford along the Iffley Rd and get onto the R. Thames towpath at Donnington Bridge. From there we will follow the Sustrans route, emerging on the road at the southern edge of Kennington. We will soon turn west along Sugworth Lane (by Bagley Wood) to Sunningwell and into Abingdon via Shippon. After coffee at the R&R coffee shop, we will return to Shippon, but turn through Gozzards Ford, Cothill and Dry Sandford before crossing the A420 at Besselsleigh and entering Oxford via Cumnor and down Cumnor Hill. The route is 23 miles in length and includes no hills as such, just the odd gentle drag uphill. If the towpath and Sustrans track are too wet an alternative on-road route will be taken. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.