Monthly Programme

Welcome 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 in the online version of our newsletter (scroll down below this introduction). During the current coronavirus pandemic we are offering a limited programme of rides, in keeping with the Government’s rules and guidance from Cycling UK. We will be concentrating on short and medium rides over the autumn and into the winter. Rides will have a maximum of 6 people, and you will need to keep to social distancing rules at all times.

We have also published a selection of routes on this website, so that people can continue to go for rides independently.

There’s quite a lot of information on this page, most of it designed to reassure you; please do take the time to read and absorb it…

The plan

We are organising rides twice a month:

  • 1st Saturday morning of the month: 3 short & steady rides (8-10 miles)
  • 3rd Saturday morning of the month: 2 medium rides (11-20 miles)

Each group on a particular day will take a different route. The routes and group leaders are advertised monthly in the newsletter. Routes are selected from the ‘selection of routes‘ page of the website, so you can look at them beforehand and choose one. However, each group must contain no more than 6 people: the leader and 5 participants

We are operating a first-come, first-served system to avoid the complexities of booking and the risk of people booking but not turning up, thereby leaving unfilled spaces. 

Longer rides will continue to be organised informally through the ‘Bike Buddies’ WhatsApp group. Alternatively, you can find some routes to follow yourself on our ‘selection of routes‘ page.

Before you leave home:

  • Social distancing rules mean that we cannot offer any mechanical assistance. So, make sure that your bike is in good working order and you have a plan for getting home if the worst happens. Happily, breakdowns occur very rarely. In any case, Short and Steady rides tend to stay within 3 miles of the city centre. 
  • Pack sanitiser and/or wipes, and a face covering.
  • Although the ride will include a refreshment break, there may not be a suitable café. So, if there is no café stop, or if you don’t wish to go inside one, bring something to drink and eat. (See the newsletter for the arrangements for an individual ride.)
  • Bring a padlock which is long enough to loop through your frame and a railing (or similar), as you won’t be able to share someone else’s.
  • This should be self-evident… if you have been around someone with covid-19 symptoms in the past 2 weeks or are experiencing covid-like symptoms yourself (even if you haven’t been tested), stay at home!

At the start of the ride:

All rides will meet in Radcliffe Square

When you arrive, you will find one leader at the back of the church and the other two on either side of the Radcliffe Camera. Simply join your selected group. If it’s already full, you will need to join another. If all three groups are full (unlikely!), you won’t be able to come out with us that day. 

Group leaders should be in position a quarter of an hour before the advertised departure time. If your leader hasn’t arrived yet, please keep your distance from others and don’t accidentally end up in a large group. 

The leader will fill in the rider register herself in order to avoid passing round pen and paper. The register will also serve as our record for the NHS track and trace service, so we ask you to co-operate by giving your name and personal contact number, as well as an emergency contact in case of need on the ride.

On the ride:

We ask you, please, to: 

  • Follow your group leader and try to avoid bunching up, although this is difficult at crossings and junctions. Just be sensible and do your best. 
  • Don’t ride two abreast, unless we’re on
    • very lightly trafficked roads with adequate width and very good sight lines or
    • wide off-road routes.
  • Look out for each other and let the leader know if anyone gets behind or needs to stop for any reason. 
  • If you need to stop, just tell the leader and they will find somewhere safe to do so.
  • If you start to feel ill with covid-like symptoms during the ride, please tell the leader. We’ll have to ask you to leave the ride immediately. 

Every ride will still stop for a refreshment break, either at a café or in the open air (e.g. a park). If the area is in Tier 1 (medium risk), it is still possible to visit a café; if the area moves to Tier 2 (high risk) or above, it the break must take place in the open air. The description of the ride in the newsletter will tell you the planned venue. When we stop, avoid parking bikes on top of each other and/or sharing a padlock.

After the ride:

If you start to feel ill with covid-like symptoms and/or test positive in the next 2 weeks, please let us know (as well as the NHS tracing service), so that we can co-operate with the NHS tracing service. Use the contact email info@isiscyclists.org.uk; you should also pass this to the tracing service.

And finally…

We apologise for this long list of instructions, but we must make sure that we can all enjoy our riding safely by following the official guidance and staying within the law. The ride leaders are doing as much as they can to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection on our rides, in accordance with the risk assessment measures published by Cycling UK (see the list of links below). However, we cannot eliminate risk entirely, so we ask you to act responsibly for both yourself and others.

Things may seem strange at first, but we’ll soon get used to them and be able to focus on the cycling once again.

Useful links:


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

I want to be motivational and inspirational for everybody: my big aim is more women on bicycles.” – Marianne Vos