Ellen writes… There’s a steady rain of leaves now as I ride into town through Marston Meadows, so it must be autumn! Hopefully we’ll have some quiet and dry weather on our rides this month to aid our appreciation of the season of mellow fruitfulness. September felt very much like a transition month with some days feeling positively like summer and others reminding us that a new season is on the horizon.
Our colleagues at Cyclox have been having some meetings with the County Council Roadworks Team to see if road works/road maintenance around the County can be improved. The Roadworks Team has produced a survey in order to help them understand the issues cyclists face on the road. They want you to report incidents in the last 2 years (e.g. spills, punctures, collisions, near misses etc.) that you believe were caused by a poor road surface. Our understanding is the survey doesn’t cover everyday experiences of poor road surfaces. Details of the survey and how to access it are at the bottom of this newsletter.
In 2018, Isis Cyclists will be 10 years old! What a wonderful decade of cycling we’ve (almost) had. Personally, It’s been fantastic meeting so many of you out on the rides and having the chance to share my enthusiasm for cycling (and eating cake!). I hope that many of you will be able to join our celebrations at our 2018 weekend away.
All Isis riders are invited to and celebrate our tenth year at a cycling weekend in the Chilterns from Friday 13th July to Sunday 15th July 2018.
You can choose between residential accommodation or camping, both with meals included, or you can join us for the day. There’ll be short and long rides, a historic house and grounds, yoga and stretching, evening bonfire, and fine dining in the friendly and welcoming atmosphere of Braziers Park. Full details and how to book in next month’s newsletter.
SUNDAY 8th OCTOBER: SLOW AND STEADY FLATS AND HEIGHTS
Meet at 10.00am for a 10.15 departure, at the Oxford Ox statue opposite the steps entrance to Railway Station. This will be a shorter ride than normal to allow time for some hill climbing practice if the majority want this.
We will ride up the canal towards Wolvercote, then back along the river and via Binsey Lane and Osney to North Hinksey. With tuition, we will practice using gears for hills in the Westminster Way area on the other side of the ring road via an underpass. Finally, we’ll head to North Hinksey for well-earned refreshments at The Fishes, and return to Oxford via Willow Walk. The ride is 8 miles in length and you can do as much of the hill climbing as you wish. The ride leader is Clare Farley.
Please note that many roads in N. Oxford and Marston will be closed for the half marathon. You may need to allow extra time to get to the start.
SATURDAY 14TH OCTOBER: MEDIUM RIDE: CIRCUITING OXFORD
Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to Oxford main rail station from 9.45 for a 10.00am departure. This ride takes us in a circle right round the city of Oxford using tow paths, cycle lanes and quiet roads. We will exit the station at the back and drop down to the river where we follow the lovely route along Fiddlers Island. Depending on the state of the ground, we will either follow the river up to Wolvercote, or take the canal tow path. From there we wiggle through Wolvercote and Summertown, then join the Marston Ferry cycle path before heading uphill to Brookes University’s spacious Café cCntral for refreshments. From there it’s downhill to Florence Park, then through Iffley village and back to the river to complete our circuit. The ride is 13 miles long and will be led by Karen Wolff.
SATURDAY 21ST OCTOBER: LONG RIDE TO WATERPERRY GARDENS
On this ride we will wind our way over the ring road and out towards Horton-cum-Studley via quiet roads to reach Waterperry for coffee. Made famous by Beatrix Havergal who established her School of Horticulture for Ladies here from 1932 to 1971, it’s now home to 8 acres of beautifully landscaped ornamental gardens, gallery and gift shop, museum, and cafe serving hot and cold food and cakes There is a charge for entry to the formal gardens, but if we all agree, we could go in to see the late flowering perennials. We will take a quick route home, especially if the weather isn’t good. Meet outside Jacobs and Field cafe/deli in Headington (next to Waitrose) at 9.45am to set off at 10am. The ride is just over 20 miles long and will include a couple of hills The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.
FRIDAY 27th OCTOBER: STOP & STARE RIDE: OXFORD’S INTERESTING TREES
Meet on Magdalen Bridge, on the left hand pavement heading into Oxford, at 1.45 pm for a 2 pm start. This slow and gentle ride will focus on interesting trees in the grounds of colleges and will be based on Sophie Huxley’s book “Oxford Trees”. We will visit at least four different college gardens and Holywell Cemetery if the weather is nice. There will be no entry fees for local residents, however if you have an Oxford University or Alumnus card, it will do no harm to bring it with you.
The ride will be less than 5 miles long and will take around 2 ½ hours. We will have tea in Walton Street, or the Vaults and Gardens café, depending on where we end up. The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith. N.B. This ride will not take place if the weather is wet, or especially cold. Please check your email on that morning if hoping to come.
SUNDAY 29TH OCTOBER: JOINT ISIS/OXFORD CYCLING UK RIDE TO COFFEE AT WITNEY
Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure. We will ride out to Witney via Botley, Farmoor, Eynsham and the very quiet Cogges road (Tar Lane) that runs from Stanton Harcourt to Cogges Farm. The farm is hosting a pumpkin-themed event in the afternoon, but we hope that the Cogges Kitchen café won’t be too crowded in the mid-morning. If it is, we’ll continue to the town centre. The return route, which will be longer than the outward stretch, will take us up the hill to New Yatt and North Leigh; thence to Freeland, Church Hanborough, Cassington, Worton and Yarnton. We’ll probably take the cycle track alongside the A44 back into Oxford, but if the weather is very kind during the preceding week we may be able to take the more peaceful towpath alongside the canal. As usual, we will aim to average a slightly faster 11mph before coffee, but the return route will be taken at Isis’ normal pace. The total distance is a shade under 32 miles long; there is one appreciable climb from Witney to North Leigh, and a short and sharp down-and-up near Freeland. The ride leader will be Liz Matthews.