Ellen writes… I hope you’re all having a great summer. Perhaps it hasn’t been the warmest or the sunniest ever, but hopefully you’ve been able to find a bit of decent weather to get out and about in. July was a busy month for Isis Cyclists, and this continues into August. We have our normal summer programme plus an extra mixed social ride to cream tea at Coombe’s historic Reading Room. Our “stop & stare” ride is a little different too this month, as we will be stopping and watching a musical play performed by the Mikron Theatre Company, probably the only theatre company in the country that arrive at their venues by narrowboat.
Finally, if you’re planning to attend the Elder Stubbs Open Day event on August 19th at their allotments in Easy Oxford, please do stop and say hello to some of our members who will be there promoting the group.
Whatever you’re planning this month, have a great time and I hope to see you on a ride.
Have a great month’s cycling!
SATURDAY 5TH AUGUST: SLOW AND STEADY RIVERINE RIDE
Meet by the statue of the ox outside Oxford rail station from 9.45 for a 10.00 am departure. This ride follows the river to Iffley Lock, crosses the lock, then turns down Meadow Lane and on to route 5 which takes us through Hinksey and Osney to The Tumbling Bay café at West Oxford Community Centre for coffee and homemade cake or biscuits. We then continue along the Thames by way of ‘Fiddler’s Island’ to Port Meadow, then across to Jericho and back to the city centre. The ride is 9 miles in length, with only a tiny hill in Iffley village, and the terrain is a mixture of towpath, quiet roads and a short section of bumpy path so thin tyres are not ideal although the bumpy path section could be walked. The leader is Karen Wolff.
WEDNESDAY 9TH AUGUST: STOP & WATCH: MIKRON THEATRE AT THE PLOUGH, WOLVERCOTE
Our stop and stare ride is a bit different this month as it’s an evening social ride (male friends and partners welcome) to watch the Mikron travelling theatre group perform a musical play at the Plough PH in Wolvercote. They will be performing “In at the Deep End” about the history of the RNLI, which promises us some “marvellous maritime music.” Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre at 6pm for the ride to Wolvercote via the canal and Port Meadow. Entry is free, but donations are requested at the end. Food will be available at the pub. Please remember to bring bike lights as the return to central Oxford will be in the dark. The return trip will be 10 miles long and the leader is Lucy Tennyson..
SUNDAY 13TH AUGUST: MEDIUM RIDE TO WHEATLEY WINDMILL
Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre at 1.45 for a 2pm start. We’ll leave Oxford parallel with the Cowley Road, then along Barracks Lane, continuing across the ring road to Horspath. We will take a different route from usual in Horspath, which will involve some off-road riding on the outskirts of Shotover and possibly a short section of walking (a bit like Chilswell Lane), so road bikes with narrow tyres are not recommended. We’ll arrive back near the top of Gidley Way and proceed to the windmill, for tea and cake. Our return route is via Garsington and through the back streets of Temple Cowley to Barracks Lane. There are some hills in Horspath and Garsington, but these can be taken slowly and/or walked. The total length is about 14.5 miles. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.
WEDNESDAY 16TH AUGUST: EVENING SOCIAL RIDE TO THE BELL AT HAMPTON POYLE
Meet either at 5.15pm for a prompt 5.30pm start in Radcliffe Square (outside the entrance to Vaults Café) or at 5.30pm for a prompt 5.45pm departure from the parade of shops in Cherwell Drive, Marston (opposite the BP garage). We will head out towards Hampton Poyle via Islip and stop for food and refreshments at The Bell and then take a direct route back to Oxford. This is a social ride and so male friends and partners are welcome. The total ride length will be around 20 miles and the ride leader will be Natasha Williams. Please let Natasha know if you’re planning to join the ride in Marston and don’t forget to bring lights for the ride home.
SATURDAY 19TH AUGUST: LONG RIDE TO BENSON
Here’s your last chance to get in some training before the 50 mile challenge ride at the start of September (see below). Meet from 9.45am for a prompt 10am departure from outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad St, Oxford. We will leave Oxford via Marston and Headington and ride to Little Milton Village Shop for coffee via Stanton St John, Forest Hill and Wheatley. We will then continue through Chalgrove and into the open countryside of South Oxfordshire to lunch at the Riverside Café, Benson. Our return route will take us through Wallingford and Brightwell cum Sotwell before climbing over Wittenham Clumps to Little Wittenham and Long Wittenham. We cross the river Thames at Clifton Hampden and return to Oxford via Marsh and Toot Baldon and the Watlington Rd. The route is all on road, 40 miles long and is rolling with a few more noticeable climbs which can be taken at your own pace. The ride leader is Liz Weekes.
SUNDAY 27TH AUGUST: SOCIAL RIDE TO CREAM TEA AT COOMBE
This is an additional ride to our normal monthly programme, ensuring that we keep up our annual tradition of cream tea at Combe’s historic Reading Room. Meet at 1:15pm for a 1:30pm departure outside Costa Coffee on the main Banbury Road in Summertown. We will head north on quiet roads and tracks to Kidlington from where we will pick up a short section of off-road track, Begbroke Lane. This brings us out on the A44 cycle track for about 3 miles before we reach Woodstock. There we pick up Sustrans route 5 for a mile or so before turning north and west towards Combe. After our cream tea we will head back to Oxford via the Hanboroughs. The approach to Oxford will be along the A40 cycle track, although if you are heading south and west of Oxford, you may prefer to return through Eynsham. The ride is approximately 25 miles long and moderately hilly, but all hills can be taken at your own paced or walked if necessary. The Begbroke Lane off-road section is suitable for all bikes. The off-road section north of Woodstock is probably not suitable for bikes with very narrow tyres or if it has rained heavily, but an on-road alternative is available.
This is a mixed social ride, so male partners and friends are very welcome to join us. The ride leader is Liz Matthews.
SATURDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER: ISIS CYCLISTS 50-MILE CHALLENGE RIDE
Meet from 9:15 for a prompt 9:30 departure. We will leave Oxford, heading north on quiet roads making our way to the roundabout at the top of the Woodstock Rd. Riders from North Oxford or Kidlington can meet us here at around 9.50am. Please let Ellen know if you want to meet here so we can wait for you if necessary. We will then head west along the A40 cycle track to Eynsham before taking quiet roads to Standlake where will have coffee at the village market. We then continue via Old Shifford and Cote to cross the R. Thames at Tadpole Bridge. We then have a climb up to Buckland before descending into the Vale of White Horse to our lunch stop at a café in Faringdon. Our return route takes us through Fernham, Hatford and into Stanford-in-the-vale before returning to Oxford via Charney Bassett, Fyfield, Appleton and Cumnor.
The total length of the route (back into the centre of Oxford) is around 50.5 miles long and is pretty flat with three noticeable climbs, two before and one after lunch. Please bring plenty to eat and drink as we will have several short picnic stops along the way. We will aim to return to Oxford around 6pm. This ride is designed to be enjoyed (rather than suffered!), and so we will be riding at a moderate and steady pace and stopping regularly to refuel. If time and weather permits, there will be a chance to walk up to the Faringdon Folly from which great views of the surrounding countryside (including White Horse Hill) can be had. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.