December 2020

In this issue:

The spectacular annual murmurations of starlings on Otmoor proved a popular destination for individual rides in November.

Ellen writes…

Hello Everybody,

Unless there is a last minute hitch, the rule of 6 outdoors is back this week, and so we are able to offer our intended programme of rides in December! However, as we are emerging in the new “improved” Tier 2, I’m afraid that there won’t be any indoor cafe stops. You are strongly advised to bring your own refreshments as it may not be possible to get take-away coffee and cake.

I hope that you have managed to get out and about a bit during the current lock-down. With short days, this is much more of a challenge than it was in the spring. I’m lucky that my work recognises the importance of fresh air and exercise. This means that I can take an hour or so out in the middle of the day to get on my bike. On sunny days, being outside during daylight hours is just such a mood lifter.

I’m not the only Isis Cyclist who has been out there making the most of slightly quieter roads. Below is a link to “Isis in Isolation” photographs for November 2020. I make no apology for having selected a number of stunning skyscape and sunset pictures. When the gloom has lifted, we’ve had some wonderful skies to enjoy. November is a real transition month. At the start of the month the autumn colours were still really vibrant, but by the end the countryside is definitely in winter mode. For obvious reasons there are fewer people in this month’s photos, but plenty of stunning scenery.

Isis in Isolation – November 2020

Saturday 5th December: Short Rides

Meet from 9.45am for a 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprise 6 cyclists maximum.

Sarah Twine will lead a scenic city parks ride which is a 7-mile route taking in some of Oxford’s many parks and green spaces. It will include a climb up to Headington, but on a quiet back road where riders can go at their own pace or walk if they wish. If you want to check the route out beforehand there is a link below:


Ellen Lee will lead an 11-mile ride which will head out through North Oxford and Jericho before cutting across to Botley Rd and Osney Island to North Hinksey. The route then returns to Oxford via Wytham, Wolvercote and down the newly surfaced Oxford Canal. The link to the route is below:


Saturday 19th December: Medium Rides

Meet from 9.45am for a 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprise 6 cyclists maximum. However, it may be possibe to run a second group to the Bothy Vineyard, subject to the availability of an additional leader.

Liz Matthews will lead a ride south-west to the award-winning Bothy Vineyard, which is holding a Christmas mini-market from 11am to 5pm. The outward route takes us through South Oxford, Kennington and Sunningwell, and we return via Cothill, Wootton and Cumnor. In addition to the Bothy’s own wines, there will be other stalls selling jams, cakes, fresh samosas and other goodies, all in a Covid-secure environment. Since the vineyard is ending its wine production, this will be one of your last chances to purchase its produce, so leave room in your panniers for a bottle or two!

At a distance of 20.7 miles this ride is on the long side of medium, but is generally flat. Because it’s so close to Christmas, feel free to deck your bike (and/or yourself) in festive garb.


Karen Wolff will lead a 17-mile ride which will be the reverse of the route in the link below! It will start by climbing Cumnor Hill before riding through Besselsleigh, Dry Sandford, Cothill, Sunningwell and back into Oxford along the Sustrans track and river towpath.