November 2018

Cool bikes in the Design Museum Helsinki (photo by Liz Matthews)

Ellen writes… I think that there’s absolutely no doubt now that winter is on the way, so it seems timely to remind you that we will be running a full programme of our four regular rides over the chilly season, so why not wrap up and join us? Should weather conditions make the ride unsafe (snow, ice, high winds etc.) then cancellation will be announced via a Google Group email the previous night, so if in doubt do remember to check before starting out. We will try to get cancellations up on our website, but can’t guarantee to do this in time, so the Google Group email should always be your first port of call if you have any doubts. And do check out our tips for winter cycling.

The leaders’ group will be meeting this month to plan the next four months of rides, so if you have any requests to visit somewhere or know of a new teashop we might like to try out, then please do email us via the Contact Us page. We will also be setting a date and mulling over possible venues for the 2019 weekend away, so watch this space!

Don’t forget to make sure both you and your bike is fit and ready for your ride! Please ensure your bike is road-worthy, and it’s a good idea to carry a spare inner tube as it may be possible to mend a puncture on the spot. Have a good breakfast too, and carry a snack and drink in case you need a bit of extra sustenance.

Electric bikes: Over the past year or so, the number of electric bikes that can be seen around the city seems to have soared. If you have an electric bike and are unsure about whether or not you will be given a warm welcome on our rides, don’t worry! We are very happy for e-bike riders to join us and are very pleased that they offer people who might not otherwise get the chance, an opportunity to experience the fun of cycling. If you do join us on an e-bike, we just ask that you don’t go full throttle, but ride at the same pace as the rest of the group. And make sure your battery is sufficiently charged before you set out.

Happy cycling!


This ride is ideal for newcomers and lapsed Isis cyclists, as it is mainly flat and is an easy route along the river towpath and quieter lanes and tracks in the city.  Meeting outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 9.45am for a 10am start, we will head out through south Oxford towards Kennington. This will be our busiest stretch along a B road, so we’ll form a safe group together. We then leave the traffic behind to take a track down to the river tow path and cross the Thames at Sandford lock; then we call in at the village hall for coffee and breakfast (and shopping) at the Saturday community market. Afterwards we’ll return to our start via Iffley lock, crossing the river over Donnington Bridge, and back to the city centre.

The ride is under 10 miles, and taken at the speed of the slowest cyclist, and will be an hour to coffee, and less coming back. The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.


Meet at 09.45am for a prompt 10am departure at The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA), corner of Parks Rd and St Cross Rd) for this 12 mile ride out into the countryside to Beckley and Elsfield. We will cycle through University Parks before ‘doing’ the inevitable hill to Headington, taking the gentler climb along tree-lined Harberton Mead. We will make our way through the quieter streets of Headington, crossing the ring road to Barton and to the countryside beyond. The other hill is just after we leave Barton, and both hills will be taken at a gentle pace, and we will wait for riders as necessary.

We will venture out in a north-easterly direction and ride mostly on quiet country roads with beautiful autumn colours in the hedgerows and trees. We will meander our way to Beckley and admire the expansive views and big skies over Otmoor and the countryside beyond from several vantage points. After the thrill of cycling down the hill at Elsfield, we will stop for coffee at the Victoria Arms in Old Marston, and should arrive there by opening time at 11.30am. The ride leader is Lucy Wright.


Meet at the Sheldonian, Broad St, Oxford at 9.45am for a 10.00am departure for a meandering ride of around 13 miles out to Worton Organic Gardens for coffee and cake. We’ll leave Oxford by heading north through Cutteslowe and onto the track to Water Eaton. We will then make our way through the back roads of Kidlington, past the church, before we cross the railway and the canal and ride along Begbroke Lane to the A44 cycle track. We will turn back towards Oxford before turning off through Yarnton village and onwards to Worton and the Organic Gardens. After coffee (and possibly some shopping) we will take an 8 mile long route back via Eynsham, Farmoor and the Botley Road. The return route is 21 miles and there are no hills to speak of. There are two sections of off-road track which are fine for all but the thinnest road tyres. Ride leader is Liz Weekes.


Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure. We will leave Oxford via the University Parks cycle track and Old Marston before crossing the ring-road and climbing Elsfield Hill. After wending our way through the village, we will turn onto the B4027 through Stanton St John and onto Forest Hill. After a short section of A40 cycle track we will descend through the village of Holton and then turn towards our refreshment break at Waterperry Gardens. After coffee we will return to Oxford via Worminghall, Stanton St John and Barton, arriving back in Oxford at the Headington roundabout.

As usual with these rides, the pace to coffee will be around 11mph to enable us to arrive by 11am. The return journey will be at the usual Isis Cyclists long ride pace of about 10mph. The return route will be approximately 22 miles in length and includes three hills which can be climbed at your own pace. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee.