February 2020

In this issue:

Ellen writes…

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We do use our feet for other purposes here, to climb Jarn Mound on Boars Hill.

What a fantastic start to Isis Cyclists’ 2020! Not only did all our three regular rides and one “pop-up” ride (to Boars Hill) go ahead unimpeded by the weather, we also saw record numbers of riders joining us. It was wonderful to see so many faces, familiar and new sharing the joy of cycling in the winter. If you haven’t managed to join us on a ride yet, why not do so in February?

January also saw the opening of booking for our 2020 weekend away at St Katharine’s, Parmoor. Sixteen cyclists have already booked places in the retreat house with more planning to camp nearby. Space is still  available in the house if you would like to take part. If you aren’t on our mailing list and are interested in taking part, please get in touch through the Contact Us page.

I would also like to give you advance notice of another “special” cycle ride: a car-assisted ride on Sunday 5th April, starting in Pangbourne in Berkshire and visiting The Living Rainforest in Hampstead Norreys. The ride will be a fairly challenging 19 miles, with several climbs and several descents down narrow, twisty roads. However, by then spring should have well and truly sprung, and the countryside should look wonderful. Full details will appear in the March newsletter.

Happy cycling!

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 1st: SHORT & STEADY RIDE – SMOOTH TARMAC TO SANDFORD

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Respectful cyclists always dismount at a lock.

Meet from 10.00am in Bonn Square at the end of Queen Street for a prompt 10.15am departure. We will ride down St Ebbe’s to the river Thames and pick up the South Oxford cycle route and continue south along the Thames Towpath, enjoying the most recently resurfaced section along the railway line. Then we will head towards Sandford Lock to cross the Thames and take refreshments at Sandford Village Hall cafe. There is also the weekly food market for a bit of shopping. You can order food by email to collect on the day if you wish.

From there we will return to Oxford via Littlemore, Rose Hill, Iffley village and Meadow Lane. This ride is 8 miles long and fairly flat. It will be taken at the pace of the slowest rider. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8th: MEDIUM RIDE – A (HOPEFULLY) SUNNY RIDE TO “SUNNY HILL”

Meet in Radcliffe Square, at the back of the University Church from 10:00am for a 10:15am departure for coffee at the Sunny Hill vineyard in Horspath. We will start by taking the University Parks cycle track to Marston before riding through East Oxford, past the Cowley Centre and on to cross the ring road by subway on Long Lane, Littlemore. We will then take an interesting route, mainly on surfaced tracks and quiet roads through Greater Leys to emerge on Grenoble Rd and then onto the B480 for a short distance. We will then turn towards Garsington and start what is the only substantial climb of the ride; it can be taken at any pace and even walked. This will take us up through Garsington and onto the Wheatley Rd with potentially fine views over to the Chiltern Hills. We will then descend the long, straight hill to Horspath for coffee, cake and, who knows, maybe a taste or two of the products of the vineyard. Their own wine, sparkling cider and cider vinegar (all organic) are on sale, so it may be worth bringing an extra pannier. After coffee, it’s just a short two-mile hop to the ring road, where we will go our separate ways.

The route from the centre of town to the ring road (at the end of Horspath Road) is about 12 miles and back to the centre of town via Barracks Lane, a further 3 miles. If you live in East Oxford, we can pick people up on Rymers Lane, opposite Florence Park at approximately 10:35am. Please let the ride leader know (via the Contact Us page) if you will be at the pick-up point, so that we can wait if we arrive early. There will be some surfaced tracks on the route and one substantial hill as mentioned above. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.

SUNDAY 9th FEBRUARY: OXFORD CYCLING UK HALF DAY RIDE – OTMOOR LOOP TO WATERPERRY GARDENS

As usual, we are invited to join the Oxford Cycling UK half day ride which this month will be led by Steve Tuohy. Meet in Broad St, Oxford (outside Oxford Campus Stores) for a prompt 09:30 departure on a clockwise loop of Otmoor with coffee at Waterperry Gardens. The route will leave Oxford via Marston before riding through Woodeaton, Islip, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Fencott and Murcott. From there it will climb Pans Hill before heading for the coffee stop via Oakley & Worminghall. The return from coffee will take us through Wheatley, Littleworth and Horspath. The entire trip is 29 miles long and will include two hills before coffee and one after.

SATURDAY 15th FEBRUARY: LONG RIDE – SNOWDROPS IN SOUTH OXFORDSHIRE

We will meet at the Beirut restaurant (on the corner of Osler Road and London Road in Headington, OX3 9BJ) at 9:45am for a 10am start, heading out to Stanton St John and cycling through Forest Hill and the outskirts of Wheatley. As much as possible, we will follow country roads and quiet lanes through the rolling Oxfordshire countryside searching for snowdrops and other spring flowers that might be waiting for us. We will pass through the rural villages of Great Milton (of Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons fame), Great and Little Haseley before stopping for a break at the community run Little Milton Village Shop where we can have coffee and cake or a bacon or sausage bap – perfect sustenance for a cycling brunch as we tend to arrive about 11.30am. Once refreshed, we will return via Cuddesdon where we will pass Ripon College (a centre of theological training and research), before descending to Horspath and back to Oxford. This ride is about 22 miles and has several hills or undulations, which will be taken at a gentle pace or can be walked. The ride leader is Lucy Wright.

SUNDAY 23rd FEBRUARY: SUNDAY MORNING MIXED SOCIAL RIDE TO THE MILK SHED

Meet from 10:15 for a 10:30 departure at the junction of Norham Gardens and Parks Road, by the entrance to University Parks, for this mixed social ride to the Milk Shed at Weston on the Green. We will head off through North Oxford and Summertown following route 51, cross the bridge to Cutteslowe Park then take the cycle path along the Banbury Road for a short stretch before turning off to follow the route across the fields to Water Eaton. From there we follow quiet lanes through Hampton Poyle and up the hill to Bletchingdon, then downhill to Weston on the Green, taking a late coffee or early lunch at the Milk Shed. Our return route takes us back through Bletchingdon via an alternative road, and across the fields to Kidlington church. From there we’ll head straight back to Oxford along the Oxford Road. The ride is 23 miles long, and there are a couple of hills (which can be walked). As this is a mixed social ride, male partners and friends are welcome to join us. The ride leader is Karen Wolff.