Jane, our assistant newsletter editor, writes… I missed most of the rides in April, having been away for almost the entire month. But I did join Ellen in search of the Lonesome Pine, for which 20+ women turned out in glorious sunshine to learn about the fascinating variety of pines to be found around Oxford (though we had to miss out the lonesome one in Kidlington, due to lack of time). We welcomed four new riders, and a great time was had by all. Download Ellen’s notes to brush up your knowledge! (PDF file)
This month’s packed programme of rides is listed below as usual, but first of all, if you’re planning to join our jaunt to Lechlade from 9 to 11 June, please visit our Summer Weekend Away page.
SATURDAY 6th MAY: SLOW AND STEADY RIDE: EXPLORING SOME OF OXFORD’S PARKS
Meet by the statue of the ox outside Oxford rail station from 9.45am for a 10.00am departure. This 9-mile ride, despite staying within Oxford’s ring road, will take us through no less than seven parks, with quiet roads, tow paths, or cycle lanes between them. The parks are, in order, Oatlands, Grandpont, Hinksey, Florence, Cowley Marsh, South and lastly Harberton Heights. We will stop for coffee at the spacious Café Central at Brookes University where reasonably priced, good quality snacks can be bought. We will be on tarmac paths or minor roads and there is one hill which takes us up to Hilltop road which can be walked. The ride leader is Karen Wolff.
SATURDAY 13TH MAY: MEDIUM RIDE AROUND OTMOOR IN ARTWEEKS
Come and enjoy the Otmoor countryside at its springtime best. Meet at 9.45am for a 10am start outside Jacobs and Field deli, Old High Street, Headington. We’ll head out from Headington, through the villages of Stanton St John and Horton-cum-Studley, to the pretty village of Beckley, where we will stop for refreshments. You can opt to visit the Artweeks exhibition in the village hall, where work on show by the Otmoor Collective of 18 artists from around the county will include mosaics, textiles, jewellery and ceramics. Tea/coffee and cake are on sale at the exhibition, but please feel free to bring snacks of your own. Ride length 15 miles, with a couple of moderate hills which we will take slowly. The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.
SATURDAY 20TH MAY: LONG RIDE IN THE VALE OF THE WHITE HORSE
Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to the main train station, from 9.45am for a 10.00am departure. This 24 mile ride starts with a steady climb up Cumnor Hill, then passes through the pretty villages of Cumnor, Eaton, Appleton, Fyfield, Cothill and Sunningwell, before descending Sugworth Lane to the river and following the tow path back into Oxford. We will stop for refreshments at ‘The Dog House’, who delighted all the riders last time with 2 platters of warmed chocolate croissants and excellent coffee! The ride leader is Karen Wolff.
EXTRA RIDE SUNDAY 21ST MAY: VELO VIXEN OPEN DAY
Meet in Broad Street in front of the Tourist Info Office at 11.15am for a prompt 11.30am start, following the Marston cycle path/ Old Headington//Bayswater Road/Wheatley Road and onto the cycle path of the A40 to VeloVixen, at Wheatley. On the way back we will take the National Cycle route 57 via Littleworth & Horspath. The ride is around 20 miles and coffee/tea and cake will be at VeloVixen HQ. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.
WEDNESDAY 24TH MAY: MIXED SOCIAL EVENING RIDE TO THE FISHES, NORTH HINKSEY
Male friends and partners welcome.
Meet outside the Radcliffe Camera (Vaults Café side) at 6pm for a prompt 6.15pm departure. We will take a leisurely ride along cycle paths and quiet roads out through Kennington and towards Boars Hill where we will pick up the lovely Chilswell Lane track and weave our way through Botley to The Fishes PH in North Hinksey. The Fishes serves a variety of light dishes, or something more substantial and, after refreshments and food for those who want it, we will head back to town via Willow Walk. Please bring lights for the journey home. Chilswell Lane is ideal for mountain bikes or hybrids, so if you have a choice of bikes, please bring along something sturdy. The track is very stony for a short section, which can be walked if preferred. The total ride is around 14 miles in length and will be taken at the pace of the slowest rider. The ride leader is Natasha Williams.
THURSDAY 25TH MAY: STOP AND STARE RIDE WITH AN ARTWEEKS THEME
Meet 10.15am for a 10.30am start outside the Sheldonian in Broad Street. We will take a leisurely wander out from the city centre to the village of Wytham to visit an unusual Artweeks site, the FarmAbility project where adults with autism and learning disabilities are involved in activities to help them move forward in their lives. Photography and woodwork will be on show. Afterwards, we will call in at the picturesque village shop cafe for refreshments. We will then return via Wolvercote, where several Artweeks sites are clustered together. You have the option of stopping off, or heading on back into the city. The ride length is 10 miles, with no hills and the ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.
Note: There is no joint Isis-Oxford City Cycling ride in May as the Oxford City Cycling group is having a camping weekend on the last weekend of the month.