October 2019

In this issue:

Ellen writes…

Animated conversation on the Didcot to Upton cycle track, an old railway line.

So, summer has well and truly gone, but never fear, there’s something wonderful to experience on the bike in every season. Let’s hope for some sunshine and spectacular autumn colours as we roll along on this month’s rides.

Our first car/van-assisted ride at the very end of August worked out well. A good group assembled in Lechlade and headed off in the direction of Kelmscott House. Several of us took the chance to have a look round on what was the last day it was open to visitors for two years. I think everyone enjoyed the opportunity to cycle in less familiar surroundings and my Brompton certainly had great fun trying to keep up with the “big bikes”. We have one or two ideas for future such expeditions and hope to have our next one in the New Year.

Ellen knows just the thing to fill that hunger gap between coffee and lunch.

Summer lasted just about long enough for our first few rides in September and in particular for the 50-mile challenge ride. A record-breaking 24 riders took part on a pleasant but not (thankfully) super-hot day. As leader, I was very relieved that it was dry because I’d included over 10 miles of off-road riding in the route, which headed down to Didcot to pick up Sustrans route 544 to Wantage and includes a lovely section of old railway path and several lovely spring-line villages, including Ardington where we had lunch. The afternoon took us into the Vale of White Horse and flat roads on our way back to Oxford. Despite the 1000+ miles cycled by the group, we didn’t have a single puncture!

No wonder everyone is cheering: from here it’s downhill all the way to the end of the ride!

We have already booked a venue for our 2020 weekend away. Full details and booking instructions will appear in the January newsletter. However, in case you want to put the date in your diary to avoid disappointment, it will be from 17th19th July. We are going to the Chilterns again, this time at St Katherines, Parmoor which is a retreat house near the village of Frieth. There is a campsite nearby for those who want to enjoy the full outdoor experience.

Happy cycling!

Check our photo site for all the latest pictures taken on our rides in September:


The October short and steady ride is a slow and scenic route around  north and west Oxford, and will take in autumnal delights such as the horse chestnut trees and apple orchards of Wolvercote.

Meet outside Costa Coffee, Banbury Road, Summertown from 10:15 am for a 10:30 am start. The route will take National Cycle Network routes, other cycle paths and quiet roads to Wolvercote, Wytham and then Botley. In Botley we will ride into N. Hinksey village to pick up Willow Walk to reach the West Oxford Community Centre for refreshments. We will then continue across Port Meadow, through Jericho and back to the Banbury Rd meeting point. The entire ride is approximately 9 miles long and mainly flat with a few slight upward drags and the ride leader is Sarah Twine.


Meet from 10.00am for a 10.15am departure at the junction of Headington Road and Osler Road – just up from the Shell petrol station. The ride will leave Oxford via Old Headington before crossing the ring road and heading to Stanton St John, Worminghall, Holton and Ladder Hill in Wheatley before stopping for refreshments at Mill View Nursery and Cafe.

We will return via Wheatley Windmill, approaching East Oxford via Horspath and Barracks Lane. The ride is approximately 17 miles long and does include climbs which can be taken at your own pace, or even walked. The ride leader is Clare Farley.


Meet for a prompt 10am start by the statue of the Ox outside Oxford Railway Station. Please note the later than usual start time to allow those affected by half-marathon related road closures to find their way to the start.

The route will take us down Botley Road and up Cumnor Hill. We will then continue through Cumnor village, Appleton and Fyfield where we will cross under the A420 to emerge in Tubney. From there we will ride through Cothill and Wootton before climbing up through Old Boars Hill. A descent of Hinksey Hill will bring us out at the A34 roundabout and we will ride a little way along the ring road cycle track before re-crossing the ring road and stopping for our refreshment break at The Oxford Garden Centre.

We will return to the Station via North Hinksey and Willow Walk. The route is approximately 20 miles in length and includes climbs of Cumnor and Boars Hills. The ride leader is Stephen Lee. Please note that this is a mixed ride, so male partners and friends welcome.


Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to Oxford train station from 9:45 for a 10:00 departure. We will head off through the parks and back streets of Botley before climbing Cumnor Hill. After the hill (which can be taken at your own pace) the rest of the ride is level or downhill. We’ll ride on country lanes through the pretty villages of Cumnor, Eaton, Appleton and Fyfield before stopping for refreshments at the Dog House Hotel at Frilford. We then turn towards Cothill, then Sunningwell before returning to Oxford via the Thames path. The route is 24 miles in length and will be led by Karen Wolff.


Remember, this is the day the clocks change and so you should bring lights with you.

We are leaving from Costa Café in Summertown at 1:15pm prompt. The ride will take us through Woodeaton, Islip, Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Murcott, Horton-cum-Studley and Stanton St. John. We will get back into Oxford through Barton,  Headington, Headington Quarry and Wood Farm where we will try a new café where they have promised to have plenty of ‘natas’.  We will get back to the starting point through beautiful Old Headington.

This is a 27-mile ride with a couple of hills, but these can be taken at your own pace. It is also a social ride, so male partners and friends are welcome to join us. The leader is Leonor Barroca.