June 2017

Velovixen ride 210517

Isis Cyclists riders added an extra ride to May’s programme, visiting the open day at the Wheatley headquarters of Velovixen, the online retailer of bike wear for women. Needless to say, a little retail therapy was involved!

Ellen writes… A big thanks to our assistant editor, Jane Carlton-Smith, for taking the reins last month when I was away cycling in the New Forest. The two big events in June are the Isis Cyclists Weekend Away (9th–11th June) and National Bike Week (10th–18th June).

As you will see below, the weekend away has proved very popular with 21 riders booked to join us for all or part of the time. If you haven’t booked to come, you are very welcome to drive over on the Saturday morning to join in one of the two rides on offer and possibly also join us for an evening meal at The Trout, Tadpole Bridge.

This year Oxford Bike Week has a theme of Science and the Environment which should make for some interesting and perhaps even thought-provoking rides along with old favourites, such as the solstice ride. Find out more about Oxford Bike Week.

Finally, I’d like to flag up another date for your diary, the Isis Cyclists’ 50-mile challenge ride which will take place on Saturday 2nd September. This year we will be heading in a south-westerly direction for a mostly flat ride to Faringdon. Hopefully we will be able to enjoy some nice late summer weather (unlike last year!). As usual, our regular monthly long ride will be getting longer as the summer progresses in order to get us ready for the challenge. This month’s long ride approaches 30 miles for a trip to Weston on the Green.

Whatever you choose to do, have a great month’s cycling!


This is a slow and steady Saturday morning ride meeting at 10.15am for a 10.30am departure from outside The Sheldonian Theatre, opposite Blackwell’s bookshop on Broad St, Oxford.

The ride will take the Sustrans route onto the Thames tow path passing through Osney Lock. (Please note no cycling is allowed at the lock, so we will need to push for a short distance). The ride will then meander through Osney Island, to Oatlands recreation ground and cross the Botley road to Binsey Lane and along to St Margarets Church. We will take time to enjoy this 12th-century historic parish church, its grounds with the infamous Treacle Well which is a Grade 2 Listed well and referred to in Lewis Carroll’s story Alice in Wonderland. We will then cycle to The Perch for coffee and return to the city centre via Port Meadow.

The ride is less than 10 miles long and will last approximately 2 hrs. Please consider sun protection and fill your water bottles! The ride leader is Sarah Twine.


We’re delighted to say that 21 Isis members have confirmed that they will attend the away weekend at some point.  But it’s really important that you let us know if you are not riding out on Friday afternoon, so that we don’t have to hang around in Summertown, waiting for you.  Some people have mentioned this, but we need email confirmation, to be absolutely sure. Please make sure that you let us know: info@isiscyclists.org.uk.

If you are camping, please bring an extra £20 for the deposit on the key for the entrance and toilet block.

We also need to know which ride you plan to join on Saturday. Please let us know ASAP by sending an email to the address above if you haven’t already done so.

We plan to have a picnic on Friday night, most probably in the riverside park.  If it’s damp or wet, we hope to be able to use the booked accommodation at the Riverside Inn.  It will be a bit of a squeeze, but we think we can manage.  Perhaps those with picnic rugs could include them in the luggage to be dropped off with Lucy T. (see last month’s newsletter).  If you have mislaid the information about dropping off your luggage, please email the address above and we will resend it to you.  And if you have any questions, please email the address above.

Now all we need to do is pray for good weather!


Meet from 2.45pm for a prompt 3pm start outside the Tourist Information Centre in Broad St, Oxford. On this gentle ride we will visit 3 sites in Oxford where meadows of wild flowers have been planted and nurtured in order to provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinators such as flies and beetles. We will leave the city centre along the river to explore Aston’s Eyot and The Kidneys, two adjacent nature sites alongside the River Thames. The Kidneys is managed by the City Council and has a wild flower meadow planted and managed by the Friends of Aston’s Eyot. We will then ride up Morrell Avenue (this climb will be taken gently and can be walked if preferred) to visit the Maggies Cancer Centre at the Churchill Hospital where a small area of unpromising land next to the centre has been converted into a haven for bees and people. Our final site is down the hill in Marston, the Milham Ford Nature Park which has a flower meadow and flower lined ponds to enjoy and also boasts a bee wall. We will then return to the city centre via the University Parks Cycle Track for refreshments at The Vaults & Garden Café. The ride will probably last around 2.5 hours and is 8 miles long. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.


Meet from 6pm outside the Tourist Information Centre on Broad Street, Oxford for a prompt 6.15pm departure. We will follow National Cycle Route 5 to Kennington and then turn to Sunningwell where we will stop for drinks and/or a meal at the Flowing Well  pub (gluten-free option available). Check the menu.

On the way back we will take the river cycle path all the way back into town. Please remember to bring bicycle lights for the return trip. This is a social ride, so male partners and friends are welcome to join us. The route is around 17 miles long and is fairly flat. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.


Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre at 9.45am for a 10am start. We’ll follow the cycle route through North Oxford to cross the A40 by the bridge at Cutteslowe. We’ll continue to Water Eaton and Hampton Poyle, and then make a diversion to visit the church and ruins at Hampton Gay. Retracing our steps to the road, we’ll pass through Bletchingdon and on to coffee at Weston-on-the- Green, either at the Manor Hotel or a mile or so further on at the Old Flight House antiques centre. The homeward run will take us through Islip and Woodeaton, and we’ll re-enter Oxford through Marston. The total distance is 26 miles. The coffee stop will be at 15 miles, so you might like to bring something to nibble when we pause at Hampton Gay. The ride will be led by Liz Matthews.

Please let me know by the evening of Friday 16th if you’d like to join the ride at the Cutteslowe bridge.


Meet at 9.15am for a prompt 9.30am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will leave Oxford via Jericho and Wolvercote and (assuming weather conditions are favourable) along the canal towpath to pick up the A44 cycle track to Woodstock. After coffee, at The Blenheim Buttery Inn, we will head out of Woodstock to the north, along Sustrans route 51 before turning east to cross the Banbury Rd and descend to Enslow. We then have a steady climb up to Bletchingdon before descending to Kidlington. We will cross the meadows on the cycle track and pick up the track to Water Eaton to return to Oxford. The ride to coffee will be taken at the slightly brisker pace of 11mph (average), but the longer part of the ride after coffee will be at a more leisurely pace. The climb up to Bletchingdon is the only one and the total mileage will be 25 miles. There will be two section of off-road riding, the canal towpath and the Sustrans route north from Woodstock. Both will be avoided if the weather is bad but should be OK for all bikes, except road bikes with very narrow tyres. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.