January 2020

In this issue:


Gathering for the ride to the Bothy Vineyard on 21st December

Ellen writes…

We had plenty of gentle and mild weather in December so that (unusually) all our rides went ahead on schedule. We even managed to avoid any encounters with flood water!

The new year is always a time for taking stock; thinking both about the year ending and the one to come. 2019 was another great year for Isis Cyclists, as you can read in our annual report for 2018-2019. We have continued to enjoy our usual mix of confidence-building explorations in and around Oxford and more challenging rides into the countryside beyond. Obvious highlights were another wonderful weekend away based in Charlbury, a 50 mile challenge ride that explored villages at the base of the Berkshire Downs and a car/van assist ride from Lechlade that visited Kelmscott Manor on the very last day it was open for two years. However, no ride is “ordinary.” Each one is a sociable exploration in which the familiar can sometimes be magically transformed into something new by the seasons, the weather, the company and any number of “happenings” along the way. Let’s hope for plenty more in 2020!

2020 weekend away: 17th-19th July

We are returning to the Chilterns, 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. There will be a separate mailing with full details later this month. If you haven’t joined us for some or all of one of these weekends, why not go for it in 2020? I think that anyone you talk to who has taken part in one will thoroughly recommend it.

Happy cycling in 2020!

Check our photo site for pictures taken on our rides in December: https://photos.app.goo.gl/2LgRyqDTJJcENtYK8


Meet at 10am for a prompt 10.15am start at the bottom of Walton Street (where it meets Worcester Street and Beaumont Street) and we’ll take advantage of the closed road and ride up through Walton Manor to Wolvercote, around to Wytham and then along to North Hinksey where we will take refreshments at The Fishes (see its breakfast menu).  Breakfast is served until 11.30am.  We will then return via Willow Walk and the tow path back to the city centre where the ride will finish in St. Ebbes Street (by St. Ebbes Church).   The ride is a fairly flat 9 miles and will be taken at the pace of the slowest rider. The ride leader is Natasha Williams.

The route is available at  https://ridewithgps.com/routes/31650835


Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to Oxford main rail station from 10:00 for a 10:15 departure. This ride takes us in a circle right round the city of Oxford using tow paths, cycle lanes and quiet roads. We will exit the station at the back and drop down to the canal where we’ll follow the towpath, as far as we can in a northwards direction. We’ll then go up onto quiet roads when the tarmac runs out and on towards Wolvercote. From there we wiggle our way through Summertown, then join the Marston Ferry cycle path before heading up Harberton Mead, then along Hilltop Road and back down the hill to Barracks Lane cycle path, then Florence Park. We’ll then cut through to ‘Sylvie’s’ on the Iffley Road where we’ll take refreshments. After coffee it will be straight back to the city centre along the Thames towpath. The ride is 12 miles long and will be led by Karen Wolff.


Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores on Broad St for a prompt 9:30am start on a leisurely ride to Yarnton Nurseries organised by the Oxford Cycling UK group and led by Stephen Lee.

The route will wind its way north on minor roads and paths and cross the ring road using the Cutteslowe bridge. It will then take the Water Eaton track to Kidlington and will cross the railway and canal to pick up Begbroke Lane. This will bring us out on the A44 cycle track, a little way to the north of the Yarnton Nurseries. After coffee we will return to Oxford directly using the A44 cycle track and, if it is dry enough, the canal towpath to Wolvercote. The pace will average about 10mph and the ride is flat (apart from a couple of bridges near Water Eaton) and approximately 15 miles in length. Please note that this is a mixed ride and so male friends and partners are welcome.


Meet by the Vaults café entrance at the University Church in Radcliffe Square at 10.45am to set off at 11am. We will head out through Marston and over the ring road to Elsfield, from here circling  Otmoor via villages including Horton cum Studley, Murcott and Charlton on Otmoor. In recent months, the fields have been flooded and the River Ray has burst its banks in low lying areas of Islip, where we will stop at the Red Lion pub (now part of the Jacobs Inn group) for bar snacks or lunch about three quarters of the way round. Bring a flask or drink and a snack to keep you going.

You can take a look at the pub menu at https://www.redlionislip.com

We will be cycling on roads throughout, and hopefully the later start means it will be free of ice. However, I will adjust or shorten the route if we have unfavourable weather The 22 mile ride is gently undulating with a couple of hills which we won’t rush.

The ride will be led by Lucy Tennyson. You are welcome to wait for the group just over the ring road by the Woodeaton turn at around 11.15am.