Ellen writes… Welcome to the Isis Cyclists’ programme for March. This month we are pleased to be able to offer a joint ride with the “Women and Bicycles” festival. We are expecting around 20 riders. I understand from the festival organisers that most riders will be local, but there may be a few who are from out of town.
We are also very happy to be restarting our “Stop & Stare” rides (a sure sign that spring is on the way). This month’s ride will be looking at stained glass in and around the centre of Oxford.
Have a great month’s cycling!
SUNDAY 5th MARCH: SLOW AND STEADY RIDE -ALONG THE RIVER WITH THE “WOMEN & BICYCLES” FESTIVAL
Meet from 9:45 for a prompt 10:00 departure from East Oxford Community Centre (EOCC), Princes St (just off the Cowley Rd), OX4 1DD.
The ride will be approximately 8 miles long and mainly flat along the Thames towpath, Sustrans route and incorporating Iffley and Sandford Locks. Due to the envisaged larger group size we will have two leaders and two sweepers (support at the rear of the group) for this ride and will split into two safely manageable groups on the route. We expect that the ride will take approximately 1½ hrs and will be taken at the pace of the slowest cyclist.
Please be aware that there will be some off road cycling on the tow path so do ensure you have appropriate tyres for the ride which may be muddy at this time of year, and will certainly have some residual debris from storm Doris. Weather appropriate cycling gear and helmets are advised, and your bike will ideally be well maintained, as only basic roadside repairs can be offered to riders.
The ride will leave EOCC along James Street, across Iffley Road over to Meadow Lane and alongside the recreation ground to Donnington Bridge, where we will cycle down to the Thames tow path, South to Iffley Lock. Access permitting (following storm Doris) we will cycle along the Sustrans route to Kennington and on to cross the river at Sandford Lock. We will then take a meandering route via Rosehill and Iffley, heading back along Meadow Lane and East Oxford roads to return to the starting point at EOCC, where refreshments will be available. The ride leader will be Sarah Twine.
SATURDAY 11TH MARCH: MEDIUM RIDE – “IN THE DOG HOUSE!”
Meet by the statue of the Ox, opposite the entrance to the rail station, from 10.15 for a 10.30 departure. This ride starts with a climb up Cumnor hill, which people can take at their own pace. After that we leave main roads and hills behind and apart from crossing one busy road, we cycle along quiet roads through the pretty villages of Cumnor, Appleton, Fyfield, Cothill and Besselsleigh, before descending back to Oxford. Our refreshment stop will be at the Doghouse Hotel, where coffee and Danish pastries have been booked! The route is 19 miles in length, and the ride leader is Karen Wolff.
TUESDAY 14TH MARCH: STOP & STARE RIDE – “THE PAINTED GLASS OF OXFORD”
Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street, Oxford at 1:45 for a 2:00 start. We aim to stop to view at least three different colleges/churches, time permitting, to look at stained glass windows dating from the 13th to the late 20th centuries. We will stop for tea and cakes at a convenient point during the afternoon.
With stops of no more than 20 minutes (allowing for stashing bikes safely), the ride should take 2½ to 3 hours, at a slow pace, and involving some travel on the tow path between town and Iffley Village (weather permitting!). The ride length will be about 5 miles from start to finish. Notes on the history of the glass will be provided. The ride leader will be Jane Carlton Smith.
SATURDAY 18th MARCH: LONG RIDE -WATERPERRY GARDENS
Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 9:45 for a 10:00 departure. We’ll leave Oxford via Headington and our outward route will take in the villages of Stanton St John and Worminghall. Refreshments will be taken at Waterperry Gardens where you can also visit the garden centre (panniers might be advisable?). The return route takes us to Wheatley, Littleworth and Horspath.
The total route is 22 miles (13 there and 9 back) and there are a couple of hills on the way and one on the return leg. The ride leader will be Liz Weekes.
SUNDAY 26th MARCH: JOINT ISIS-OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO BRIGHTWELL CUM SOTWELL
Meet at 9.15 for a prompt 9.30 departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will leave Oxford via the Cowley Rd, Barracks Lane and Temple Cowley. We’ll cross the ring road and head down the B480 Watlington Rd as far as Chiselhampton, where we will cut across to Clifton Hampden, Long Wittenham and Little Wittenham. A climb past Wittenham Clumps and we’re nearly there. Coffee is at the Root One garden centre on the A4130 near Wallingford. The return route will take us to Sutton Courtenay and onto the Sustrans route to Abingdon and back to Oxford. The entire trip will be about 34 miles long and we’ll take it at a steady pace. There are a couple of hills on the outward journey, but the return journey is flatter, with only a slight drag here and there. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.