April 2019

In this issue:

Ellen writes…

Bath Bike Trail - croppedThe clocks have changed, so it must be spring! It’s certainly been looking like it the last few days. The chiffchaffs are calling from the roadside trees and there were new-born lambs and piglets (in little concrete igloos or perhaps “pigloos”?) on my ride on my day off last Tuesday. I don’t know about you, but I just want to be outdoors all the time, enjoying the new green shoots and new life.

You may have noticed that Google+, where we have kept our photo colection, has shut down. We are currently experimenting with alternatives and hope to have a solution up and running by May. We’ll keep you posted.

Also, when you sign in for a ride, you will soon notice that the sign-in sheet has an extra tick box for giving us permission to put photos of you taken on the ride on our website and the replacement for Google+. If you are happy about this, please do tick the box. This applies to close-up photos, group photos etc., and photos where you can be readily identified. If you don’t want us to use photos of you, please don’t tick the box, let the ride leader know and avoid group photos. We will do our very best to respect everyone’s wishes.

Another change that you will notice is that our joint ride on the last Sunday morning of the month has been replaced with a social afternoon tea ride. The joint rides have been a great way of introducing some of our riders to slightly faster rides and a number now ride regularly with the City Cycling UK group. However, we feel it’s time for a change. We want to make a long “Isis Cyclists” -style ride available to men who don’t want to cycle far or fast. We’ll be trialling this new idea until the autumn and so please do encourage male friends and partners to join us, but also feel free to spread the word more widely. Lucy Tennyson will be leading our first Sunday tea ride on 28th April: see below.

Finally, the Abingdon Festival of Cycling takes place on Sunday 14th April. The festival, which is organised by Abingdon Freewheeling, offers free road, mountain and family bike rides throughout the day. For more details see:


Meet outside the Sheldonian in Broad Street from 10:15 for a 10:30am departure for this short ride on quiet roads and cycle paths through Jericho, Wolvercote, Wytham and Botley. This is the ride that was cancelled due to cold weather at the start of February, so we are hoping for better luck this time! We will take refreshments (coffee, homemade cakes or brunches) at the Manna Cafe in Botley. From there we’ll head back into the city down Willow Walk. The total ride length is 8.5 miles and is more or less flat. The leader is Karen Wolff.


Meet at Costa Coffee in Summertown (corner of Oakthorpe Road and Banbury Road) at 10:00 for a prompt 10:15 start. We will ride north to Wolvercote and then to the beautiful village of Wytham. We will then come down towards Botley, follow the quiet back lane of Osney Mead and St. Ebbes to end up in the Abingdon Road for the Portuguese treat of ‘café e nata’. For the return we ride to the Donnington Bridge and follow the river and canal back through Jericho to the starting point.

This is a flat route suitable for all riders and bikes; it is a 13 mile ride and you can see the route at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29538515. The ride leader is Leonor Barroca.


Meet from 13:15 for a 13:30 start from outside Costa Coffee in Summertown (corner of Oakthorpe Road and Banbury Road). We will make our way on quiet roads to the Cutteslowe Cycle Bridge where we can pick riders up (on the Oxford side of the bridge) at around 13.40. If you would like to be picked up there, please let the leader know, so she doesn’t go without you. From there we will ride to Kidlington via the Water Eaton track, Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon. We will then descend the hill through Enslow and take a minor road to Tackley and Rousham Gap where we will pick up the Sustrans route and green lane to Woodstock for tea. After tea we will head directly back to Oxford along the A44 cycle track, picking up the canal to Lower Wovercote and then Summertown via the Woodstock Rd. The route does include a couple of climbs before the tea stop, but none after.

The entire return route back to Summertown is 25.5 miles and includes some 4 miles of good quality Sustrans track and a short section of rough but made-up road, so should be fine for all except road bikes with very thin tyres. Because it will be 18 miles to the tea stop, we will have a short roadside break before, so please bring a snack and a drink. The eta at Woodstock is 15:45 and we should be back in Oxford around 5pm. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.


We will meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre (opposite Blackwells) at 2pm, to start at 2.15pm.  We’ll search for cycle barriers which make it difficult for bikes to pass, especially bikes with trailers for children, mobility bikes or cargo bikes.  This is in support of a project to improve Oxford’s cycling infrastructure.  The route is not set, but will include some cycling by the river and if you would like to come along, please nominate any barriers you know of (central Oxford area – see link for map), so that we can see for ourselves and take a photo for the project.  The coffee stop will depend on where we end up, after all there’s loads of choice, and we should be finished by 5pm.  The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.  You can view the area we are interested in at https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1QvlSJ8FDlQQ6VwIk_X6CXYsRBSMoxKGx.


Our first of a new series of Sunday afternoon social rides is a medium length flat route to the organic café at Worton where they serve homemade cakes in a delightful market garden setting where the owners specialise in cut flowers for weddings. If we’re lucky, the tulips which surround the outside seating should be in flower. Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 1.45pm to set off at 2pm, going out of town along the river towards Wolvercote and then taking the cycle path along the A40 before heading away from main roads. We’ll return from Worton via Yarnton, Kidlington and Water Eaton. Ride length 17 miles, and we’ll go at a relaxed pace. It’s a social ride so male friends and partners are welcome. We aim to be back by 5.30pm. The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.