August 2019

In this issue:

Ellen writes…


The new swift tower in University Parks, visited on July’s Stop & Stare ride

Welcome to the August 2019 edition of the Isis Cyclists newsletter. We’ve got a feast of rides, including an extra van/car assisted one on 31st August starting at Lechlade. However much we love riding in our local patch, it is nice to venture further afield occasionally and this gives us the opportunity. If it proves popular we will try and include a few in our schedule every year. Apart from that, we’ve got the regular summer programme of rides. I’m sorry that some of these descriptions are a little less detailed than usual. Our leaders get-together ended up a bit later in the month than usual which meant that those leading rides in August didn’t have much time to plan their rides. I hope that all the really important information is included, but if you spot any omissions, please let me know.

OCC cycle survey

I thought that I should include a reminder in the newsletter about the cycle survey that OCC are running and which is open for all cyclists in Oxfordshire to give their opinion on current facilities and (hopefully) lead to better and more cyclist-driven provision for cycling in the county in the future. I’m sure we all have strong feelings about this, so please do let the authorities know by filling in this survey. It’s open until 6th September at:

Happy cycling!

Check our photo site for pictures taken on our rides in July:


This month’s short ride is a short circular loop on quieter roads through Botley, Wytham, Wolvercote and Jericho.  We’ll stop for coffee at Jacob’s Inn in Wolvercote.  Jacob’s Inn doesn’t have cake but it does have desert and you can have a small desert (sticky toffee pud, chocolate brownie or strawberry cheesecake) and a tea or coffee for £5.50    Meet at 10am for a prompt 10.15am departure by the Ox statute outside the train station.  The ride is flat and will be around 9 miles long and the pace will be slow and steady.  The ride leader is Natasha Williams.


Meet from 10.00am for a 10.15am departure outside the back of the University Church in Radcliffe Square, Oxford. The ride will leave Oxford via the University Parks Cycle Track and Marston before crossing the ring road and heading to Thé Café at Greenhill Farm in Bletchingdon via Woodeaton and Islip. The café has changed hands so is no longer the Batch Cafe we visited in March, so is a bit of an unknown quantity…

After coffee and (hopefully) cakes, and/or a light lunch, we will return via Hampton Poyle, approaching north Oxford using the track through Water Eaton. The ride is approximately 18 miles long and does include a few not too steep climbs which can be taken at your own pace, or even walked. The ride leader is Liz Weekes.


Meet for a 9.30am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores on Broad Street. This 22 mile ride will leave Oxford via the University Parks cycle track to Marston before heading up Elsfield Hill (as slowly as desired!). We will then ride along the B4027 through Forest Hill before a short section of A40 cycle track brings us into Holton. We’ll ride through the village and onto Waterperry Gardens for coffee. The return route will take us through Worminghall and Stanton St John before we enter Oxford at the Headington roundabout. There are three hills of note, Elsfield on the way and Stanton St John and up through Barton on the return. The ride will be taken at approximately the usual Isis Cyclists long ride pace, i.e. an average of 10mph and will be led by Stephen Lee.


Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 5.45pm for a prompt 6pm departure. We will head west along the river before heading off road to Cumnor, Wootton, Besselsleigh and Eaton. We will return to Oxford down Cumnor Hill. We’re not sure which pub we’ll stop at, but it will probably be either in Besselsleigh or Eaton. We’ll go at a gentle pace, so slower riders are very welcome. There will be one hilly section on the way (out of Oxford to Cumnor), but the return will be mainly downhill. This is a social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome to join us. Please remember to bring reflective gear and lights for the return journey as it may be getting dark. The length of the ride will probably be in the range 14-16 miles and the ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.


This 40-mile ride is your last chance to warm up for September’s 50-mile challenge and will take us north-east to lunch at Stratton Audley Barn ( Meet in Radcliffe Square at the back of the University Church from 9:15 onwards, ready to leave at 9:30 (NB the early start time). We will leave Oxford through Marston and ride out via Otmoor and Marsh Gibbon, well to the east of Bicester. The return route swings north to Fringford, south-west to Middleton Cheney, then due south back to Oxford via Weston-on-the-Green and Bletchingdon. We’ll enter Oxford through the back of Summertown.

Depending on the state of everyone’s legs, we may have an optional tea stop at the Flight House between Middleton Cheney and Weston. We’ll also pause for a short rest by the wayside on the outward leg, so please bring a snack to keep you going. The ride leader is Liz Matthews. In terms of terrain, there are a couple of short hills at 5 and 35 miles, and some gentle undulations after lunch. If you would like to rendezvous with us either at Marston (junction of Cherwell Drive & Marsh Lane) or by the turn to Woodeaton, please email me by the evening of Friday 16th.

To view the route, visit


We are going to try out a new café in Abingdon, on a route avoiding main roads for the most part and using cycle tracks and bridleways.  For this reason, it’s not suitable for road bikes with very thin tyres, but all other bikes will be fine.  We’ll climb Boar’s Hill over the fields and then whizz down to Bayworth, continuing to Sunningwell and taking Pen Lane into Abingdon.  We’ll return via Radley, using cycle tracks and the Sustrans route to the river for almost all the ride.  The route is an 18 mile round trip and apart from Boar’s Hill, is almost flat.  Meet outside the Vaults & Gardens café in Radcliffe Square, opposite the Radcliffe Camera, at 1.45pm, to start at 2pm.  As it’s a Bank Holiday weekend, the café will be super busy, so we’ll have to be patient, but this will apply pretty much everywhere.

This is a mixed social ride, so male partners and friends are very welcome to join us. The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.


This ride will take in places that the tourists never visit (well, mostly).  They are all outside and I would hope that we get some wonderful weather as we proceed.  Meeting outside the Sheldonian (opposite Blackwell’s) at 1.45pm, we’ll set off at 2pm around the corner into the Turl.  From our first stop, we’ll ride on to a less visited college with beautiful grounds, and then up through Jericho to Summertown.  We’ll finish where we started, via a famous and threatened place.  As the ride is called “Hidden Gems”, this is all the information you’ll get, but if you want to check with the leader, please feel free to email.  The ride is about 6 miles long and should take about three hours with stops and tea.  Depending on how long we stop at each venue, we can take tea and cake in Summertown, in Jericho, or back at the Vaults & Gardens Café in Radcliffe Square.  The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.


We are introducing these to replace the train-assisted rides that are no longer possible.  We’ll meet in the Riverside Car Park (shown on Google maps*) in Lechlade at 9.45am and set off at 10am for Kelmscott Manor, for coffee and a look around the house (£10 fee) if you haven’t seen it (before it closes for major renovations).  We’ll have lunch in the lovely Victoria Inn at Eastleach and tea (if time) in Fairford.  The ride is just under 23 miles long and the hills are reasonably widely spaced.  It’s a beautiful area that we don’t often get to explore (this ride was offered for our weekend away in 2017).

As well as leading the ride, Jane Carlton Smith is coordinating lifts for people who cannot transport their own bike.  She will also need to know that you are planning to come (subject to transport), so that lunch can be booked.  We will start as promptly as we can, so please do not arrive late in Lechlade.  Contact Jane via the Contact Us page if you don’t know her email address or phone number.

* From the middle of Lechlade, turn south (left at the lights) on the A361, direction Swindon, and drive over the bridge, past the Riverside Inn, past the Bridge House campsite on your left, and it’s on your right.  Be sure to pay for enough parking because apparently it’s run by a very sharp company who will take every opportunity to fine you if you fall short of payment.  We can’t be sure of finding street parking in Lechlade.