May 2020

Ellen writes…

IMG-20200419-WA0000_2Well, here we are five weeks into the lock-down and I hope you, your family and friends are keeping well and getting out to exercise on your bike or on foot. The weather has been glorious, and I know that many of you have been taking full advantage of your one exercise per day. Riding during lock-down has required some changes to the way we ride and where we ride. As I said to a dog walker who was getting flustered when she couldn’t get her dog out of my path, “what’s the hurry? It’s not like I’m in a rush to get anywhere”.

Anyway, riding more slowly and having the “brain space” to look around rather than computing collision avoidance with all the usual stationary and moving road hazards, has led me to make some real discoveries on my own doorstep. I’ve seen buildings and architectural details that I’d never noticed before in 30+ years of riding in Oxford, enjoyed the fantastic spring flowers and blossom and nearly been in collision with a muntjac deer running down St Aldates in the middle of the afternoon! I hope you’ve had some memorable lock-down moments too amid all the other stuff.

IMG_20200411_185029It’s been fantastic to see all the new riders out enjoying the quiet roads and tracks. It’s been particularly heartening to see so many families with young children. It would be great if they feel confident to continue riding once the lock-down eases. Cycling UK are running a “Campaign from your couch” encouraging people to write to their local papers demanding better facilities for cyclists moving into the future. Please do check this out and take part if you have a little spare time. It would be a wonderful thing if something really positive, like more active travel were a side-product of this horrible pandemic.

The Bike Buddies WhatsApp group has continued to be busy with photos, videos and accounts of lock-down cycling experiences. I’ve collected a small fraction (!) of photos to put into our Isis in Isolation photo album this month, so why not check it out and see how many places and faces you recognise!

The new Selection of Isis Routes page on this website has proved very popular with our members and others. The selection of routes is constantly expanding, so it’s worth keeping an eye on it.

Oxford Artweeks have been a staple of our rides every May and so I’m very pleased to be able to let you know that, although there will be no 2020 Artweeks in the “real world”,  virtual Artweeks 2020 are happening between 2nd and 25th May and you will be able to visit all the venues at any time of day (or night!) from the comfort of your sofa. Check out the Artweeks website for more details.

IMG-20200410-WA0011Finally, the Isis Leaders’ Group has been batting around ideas for what the group might do once group riding restrictions are lifted. How will we celebrate, are there new types of rides we want to add to our program, how might we deal with (hopefully) increased demand? We’ve had some thoughts, but would really appreciate some “blue sky” thinking from you too. Please do let us know your hopes, fears and ideas via

Best wishes for a healthy month and here’s hoping that restriction will begin to ease soon.IMG-20200409-WA0009