Ellen writes… February might not be everybody’s favourite month for getting out on their bike, but the days are getting longer and we have another interesting selection of rides on offer to help change your mind. In fact, the month will find us riding to pretty much all points of the compass.
For those of you who enjoy our medium rides, you have two bites at the cherry because you can turn our long ride into a medium ride by returning to Oxford from Tackley by train. I hope that the weather will be kind on 11th February for my “Lonesome Pine” ride, so that we can take the time to really have a good look at lots of trees. The more you look at them, the more magical they become (honestly!). For short & steady riders, there’s a trip to Headington with a chance to explore some of its nooks and crannies and finally our ride with Oxford City Cycling members will take us out west, to Witney.
Finally, next month sees the Women & Bicycles festival. We’re very pleased to announce that our short and steady ride will be happening on Sunday 5th March in conjunction with the event. For an outline of other rides in March, visit our Looking Ahead page.
SATURDAY 4th FEBUARY: SLOW AND STEADY “HEADING TO HEADINGTON!”
We will meet at 09:45am for a prompt 10am start outside The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road) for a 7- 8 mile gentle ride around lesser known Headington. We will cycle through University Parks, and will take a gentle climb along tree-lined Harberton Mead at a manageable and slow pace! We will explore the quiet cycle lanes and residential streets of Headington Old and New before stopping for coffee at the Bonjour Café. We will return after coffee back to South Parks Road.
The ride leader is Sarah Twine.
SATURDAY 11TH FEBRUARY: MEDIUM RIDE “ON THE TRAIL OF THE LONESOME PINE”
** Cancelled on account of bad weather **
Meet from 09:45am for a prompt 10am start outside the South Lodge of the University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road). In this ride we will be exploring all things coniferous as we wind our way through North Oxford and on to Kidlington. Learn to tell your pines from your cedars and your spruces from your firs! Take a fresh look at around 15 different species of conifer and appreciate with me their fantastic contribution to our urban landscape. On our return to Oxford we will end up at The Victoria Arms in Old Marston for coffee. The ride is mostly flat and 15 miles long. Please dress up warmly as we will be stopping frequently. The ride leader (and self-confessed conifer nut!) is Ellen Lee.
SATURDAY 18th FEBRUARY: LONG (OR MEDIUM) RIDE TO TACKLEY
Meet in Broad Street in front of the Tourist Information Office at 10.45am for an 11.00am start. The ride will leave Oxford via cycle route 1. It will continue through Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon and onto Kirtlington, then onto Tackley for lunch/ refreshments at the Tackley village shop.
Long ride: the return journey is via Woodstock, returning to Oxford down the A44 cycle track. This route includes some sections of off-road tracks not suitable for bikes with very narrow road tyres. This route (which is approx. 26 miles long) does include a couple of hills in either direction which can be taken at your own pace or walked. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.
Medium ride: If you would prefer a medium length ride, it is possible to return to Oxford by train. This takes 10 minutes, costs £ 3.60, and times are: 13.26 -15.26 -17.42
Please note: If you are coming on this ride, please let Lilia know by 13th February as the village shop has to be notified. The café is not open in the winter unless arranged in advance, so the plan is to make things simple by ordering a vegetarian soup for everyone. Cakes etc can also be purchased.
SUNDAY 26th FEBUARY: JOINT ISIS-OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO WITNEY
Meet at 9.15 for a prompt 9.30 am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will explore the countryside to the west and south-west of Oxford. The route will be mainly flat, but be prepared for the odd hill along the way. We will leave Oxford to the north via the A44 cycle track, Yarnton, Long Hanborough, Eynsham and South Leigh. Refreshments will be taken in Witney (probably Church Green café) and the homeward route will start out along Tar Lane before turning onto the B4449 and re-entering Oxford through Farmoor and Botley. If the weather is unpleasant we may have to adapt the route on the fly. The distance will be a little over 30 miles, and the ride leader will be Liz Matthews.