March 2020

In this issue:

Ellen writes…


Sunnyhill, sunny day!

We hope that the definite signs of spring will tempt you out to join us on one of our rides in March. Also, don’t forget about the car/van assist ride on Sun 5th April. I will be checking the route out in the middle of March and will send an email around to the group shortly after that with full details and arrangements for co-ordinating travel.

Bike Oxford 2020

For those of you who would like to take part in the Bike Oxford event this year, the organisers given Isis Cyclists a discount code that will give you 15% off the ticket price. Provisional routes for this year’s event can be seen on the Bike Oxford website. The discount code is BOISIS152020.

The Oxford Greenways Project

I attended the initial workshop organised by the Oxford Greenways Project (its current title) on behalf of Isis Cyclists. It is a project that is jointly funded by the County Council, City Council and Oxford University, in order to identify and propose a series of routes linking the towns and villages within about 8 miles of the edge of Oxford, to the City. The idea is for these routes to plug into routes created and improved as a result of the Oxford LCWIP (Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan), which is currently in the final stages of approval by the City Council.

This project is following in the footsteps of, and learning and adapting ideas developed in, the Cambridge Greenways Project, which is a few years ahead of ours(!) and has just secured funding for the first two of its proposed routes. It was very heartening that there was huge support for the Oxford project across the political parties, from cycling organisations, the local district councils, both Oxford Universities and some employers. So, if you have any ideas for links, improvement to existing routes or entirely new ones which will help us to get access to the countryside, and those living in the countryside to get access to Oxford, why not have a chat with me on a ride or drop me an email through the Contact Us page (or to my personal email address if you know it).

Isis - FebCheck our photo site for pictures taken on our rides in February:


Meet outside the Sheldonian theatre from 12.15 pm for a prompt 12.30 start. We will take cycle route 5 to Wolfson College to see “The Ways We See” Oxford Photographers Exhibition. It’s open daily in the Private Dining Room and the Florey Room from 10am until 7pm, subject to College commitments.

We’ll then continue to Summertown and Wolvercote in order to try out the newly resurfaced canal towpath. We will finish our ride in Jericho for tea and cake at the Branca food cafe. The ride is short (less than 10 miles in length), flat and suitable for all types of bicycles (including e-bikes). The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.


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 9:30 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. (This is the ride that was cancelled in February due to bad weather.)


Meet from 10am in Radcliffe Square, Oxford for a prompt 10.15am departure on a ride that gives you a choice of an on or off-road approach to our refreshment stop at The Oxford Garden Centre, near South Hinksey. Our route will begin by heading through the quiet leafy streets of North Oxford and Jericho to pick up the canal and river towpaths to Osney. We will then pick up Willow Walk to arrive at North Hinksey. This is followed by the main climb of the day, Cumnor Hill. This can be taken at any pace and walked if you wish.

We will then turn down Hurst Lane where decision time looms, because this ride has two leaders and so will split into two groups here. One group will head back to North Hinksey via Raleigh Park Rd, ride through the village and then turn onto the ring road cycle track for the short hop to South Hinksey. The other group will take the off-road Chilswell track, with its fabulous views back towards Oxford. The track emerges on Hinksey Hill, so we will cross the interchange on the cycle track and ride the half mile along the ring rd cycle track to South Hinksey. The groups will meet at the Garden Centre café. We will return to Oxford via Redbridge and the side streets of South Oxford.

The ride will be approximately 13 miles long and the only significant hill is Cumnor Hill. The two ride leaders are Sarah Twine and Ellen Lee.


We did this ride two years ago and it was most rewarding.  Meet inside Jacob and Field (on Old High St, Headington, near Waitrose) from 9:30am for a coffee, before departure at 10am prompt.

We will head off under the underpass onto the Bayswater road towards Stanton St John. We will then ride past the church and down the hill and head for Boarstall via Bernwood Forest.  We may have a short stop to admire Boarstall Tower, which is just off the road.  After a short stretch on the Thame Road we turn for Brill, climbing the hill that brings us out by the Windmill and the Pheasant Public House, where we will have lunch.

If you are planning to come, it would be very helpful if you could tell the leader, Jane Carlton Smith, and also let her know what you would like to order from the menu. You can pay on the day.

The return route starts with a long freewheel down the hill to Oakley, then on to Worminghall. We then turn for Wheatley, Littleworth and Horspath before the ride concludes at Horspath Driftway (on the ring road). The ride is approximately 25 miles long and hilly, but will be taken at a moderate pace. It is expected to take about 5 hours, including stops. There is the option to have tea at Waterperry if enough people want to make a day of it.

The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith, and you can view the route on Mapometer.


Meet in Radcliffe Square, at the back of the University Church for a 13:30 departure for this social tea ride where male friends and partners are very welcome. This ride will take us through Botley, Farmoor, Swinford, Stanton Harcourt and on towards Aston, where we will stop for coffee at Aston Pottery. The (mostly flat) return route will be through Brighthampton, Newbridge, Appleton and Cumnor. The leader is Leonor Barroca, and you can view the route on RideWithGPS.

Women-focused bicycle events in Oxford this month

Book event at Broken Spoke – Friday 20th March

7pm, Broken Spoke, Osney Lane, OX1 1NJ

Broken Spoke is hosting a really exciting book talk event with two cycling superheroes: Jools Walker and Emily Chappell, focussing on women’s cycling. They have both published new books in the past year so we will be hearing a discussion between the two of them, followed by a Q&A panel and book signings.

The tickets are priced on a sliding scale to make the event accessible to people on different incomes. Further information and tickets on Broken Spoke’s website and/or  Facebook.

Train like a woman: How to adapt your cycling training to your hormones – Friday 24th April

Organised by Cowley Road Condors
7pm, Florence Park Community Centre

Join Level 3 cycle coach and experienced bike racer Jasmijn Muller for an evening talk on ‘how to train like a woman’. Listen to some of the key things she picked up from Dr. Stacy Sims’ inaugural “women are not small men” course, which she completed in November and December 2019, as one of just 50 lucky people in the world.  Learn how to adapt your training for optimal performance through the various stages of the menstrual cycle. Find out how different anti-conception methods impact your training and performance. Discover how to mix up and change your training and nutrition once (peri)-menopause hits and your hormones are all over the shop.

Further information and tickets (£8): Cowley Road Condors website and/or Facebook.