November 2019

In this issue:

Ellen writes…


Overcast, but at least it’s not raining!

Welcome to the Isis Cyclists November 2019 Newsletter. It feels as though the rain never stopped in October. However this can’t be true because, somewhat miraculously, all the October Isis rides were dry and at least two of them enjoyed wonderful autumn sun.  Hopefully with the change in the month, there will be a change in the weather and that all our rides will enjoy a similarly charmed life. As the temperature will be dropping, don’t forget to pop an extra layer (or two!) into your pannier. It’s better to carry more than you end up needing rather than feeling cold and not enjoying the ride.

A couple of reminders:

  • To contact the ride leader before the ride (e.g. to ask a question or arrange a pick-up point), please use the Contact us page, clearly indicating who the email should be forwarded to. We will do our best to ensure that it gets to the right person.
  • It’s now winter, so check out our tips for winter cycling and make sure that your lights are legal. James Dawton of Oxford City Cycling UK has published a user-friendly guide to cycle lights, and Cycling UK has recently updated its guide to cycle lighting regulations.

Happy cycling!


Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to the Oxford Railway station from 9:45am for a 10:00am departure for this short ride that takes us along some of Oxford’s loveliest cycle paths despite staying close to the city centre.

We will head north along the canal before cutting across Port Meadow and turning south along Fiddlers Island. We’ll continue along the Thames to Donnington Bridge, where we head off to South Oxford, down Marlborough Road and back to the Thames. We’ll either have coffee at the roasters in Osney Mead, or The Fishes on North Hinksey Lane, depending on the weather and the number of cyclists. The ride is flat and 8 miles long and will be led by Karen Wolff.


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 medium ride out into the countryside to Beckley and Elsfield. Our ride will begin by cycling through University Parks and the cycle paths and side streets of Marston. After crossing the ring road, we will venture out in a north-easterly direction riding mostly on quiet country roads, and hopefully have some beautiful autumn colours in the hedgerows and trees. We will make our way to Elsfield and may even see the resident peacocks. 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. We will return through Barton to Risinghurst where we will stop for coffee and a Portuguese egg tart (Pasteis de Nata) and/or some other scrumptious cakes at the local Portuguese café, AKA Madeira Supermarket in Risinghurst.

This ride is about 12 miles and is hilly. All 3 hills can be taken at your own speed (at a gentle pace or walked) with regular regroupings, and of course where there is an up, there is usually a down! The ride leader is Lucy Wright.


Meet for a prompt 09:30am start in Broad Street, Oxford (by Oxford Campus Stores). We will be having a second attempt at last month’s ride that was affected by torrential rain!

The route will take us down Botley Rd 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 24 miles in length and includes climbs of Cumnor and Boars Hills. The ride leader is Stephen Lee. This is a mixed ride, so male partners and friends welcome.


Meet outside the back of the University Church in Radcliffe Square for a prompt 10:00 departure to Steventon via the South Oxford cycle route, Kennington, Abingdon and Drayton. If you are starting out from south or east Oxford, you can join the ride at Go Outdoors. Please be in position by 10:10 to make sure you don’t miss us.

The Farmhouse Bakery & Café is on the northern edge of Steventon village in a new, rustic-style building: see As well as taking refreshments you might like to browse – and purchase – their breads, savoury goodies and cheeses.

This will primarily be an out-and-back route, with a couple of variations. It includes a couple of short and slightly squelchy stretches near Abingdon and on the Hanson Trail, but you are welcome to get off and wheel your bike through them. Overall, though, the route is not suitable for bikes with thin tyres.

The total length of the ride is 25 miles, but it’s mostly flat; the only really noticeable incline is just after Sunningwell on the way back. Some urban cycling will be involved in Abingdon town centre, and we will also follow the B4016 and B4017 for a few miles. See

The ride will be led by Liz Matthews. Please could you let me know (via the Contact Us page if you don’t know my personal email address) if you are expecting to come, as it may be prudent to alert the bakery if we’re a large number. Thanks!


Meet from 12:45 for a prompt 13:00 departure at The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA), corner of Parks Rd and St Cross Rd) for this, our final Sunday social ride of the year. We will start by riding along the Parks cycle track and down the Marston Rd to pick up the Cowley Rd and Barracks Lane which will take us out onto the Ring Rd. If you prefer, you can meet us at the end of Horspath Rd (where the buses turn). I would hope to be there around 13.15, but let me know if you will meet us there, so I don’t go without you.

After a couple of miles on the B480, we will turn right to climb up through Toot and Marsh Baldon. A short section of A4074 will bring us to the Golden Balls Roundabout where we will turn left along the B4015 to Chiselhampton. We will then ride another short section of B480 before turning off through Chippinghurst, Denton and Cuddesdon and to tea at the Mill View Garden Centre. We will aim to leave by 3.45pm at the latest, so that we can complete the 3 miles to the Oxford ring road before the sun sets. However, you will need lights to make your way home from there. The ride is 19.5 miles long and includes three hill climbs which will be taken steadily. As this is a social ride, male partners and friends are very welcome to join us. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.


Cycling UK Wantage invites you to join their annual festive ride from Wantage to Uffington White Horse Hill, which again is in aid of Whizz Kidz, the children’s mobility charity.

Guests and other cycling clubs are very welcome to join Wantage CUK at Wantage Market Place by 9.45am for the start of the ride, or at White Horse Hill NT car park (grid ref SU 293866) from 11.15 to 12.00 for mince pies and mulled wine. All proceeds on the day will go to Whizz Kidz. For more details, visit