December 2021

Saturday 4th December: Short & Steady Ride – Encountering (South) East Oxford

This 10.4-mile ride, taken at a slow and steady pace, uses cycle tracks and paths to explore areas of Oxford which you may not have visited before, as well as some more familiar parts. It includes very short stretches of main road. Starting from outside the Vaults and Garden Café in Radcliffe Square, at 10am, we will take the Iffley Road before branching off and riding through Iffley Village, and thence via the Florence Park and Littlemore Low Traffic neighbourhoods (while they are still in place!) into Greater and Blackbird Leys. There are green spaces and parks in this area and we will ride through most of them. Returning to Cowley Road via the Temple Cowley LTN, we’ll visit Halley café (fairly new, and not used by us before) for coffee and cake, to reward ourselves for a short and almost entirely flat ride. Please arrive at the starting point at 9.45am, to allow time for signing up and briefing before we leave promptly at 10am. The ride should take around 1.5 hours at most, plus the time taken for refreshments at the end. You will be led back to central Oxford if needed, where the Green Fair will be in full swing in the Town Hall (it’s a super event). The leaders are Jane Carlton Smith and Karen Wolff.

Link to the short & steady route

Saturday 11th December: Medium Ride – Bothy Vineyard Christmas Fair

Meet at 10:00 for a 10:15 departure in Radcliffe Square for this medium ride which takes us up Cumnor Hill and through Besselsleigh, Dry Sandford and Cothill to the Bothy Vineyard, where there is a small outdoor Christmas Fair. Last year there was mulled wine and samosas on offer, as well as a few other stalls selling home-made gifts. We return to Oxford via Sunningwell and the Thames cycle path. The ride is 21 miles and involves the long climb of Cumnor Hill. The rest of the ride is either flat or downhill, and is mainly on country lanes and cycle paths. The ride leaders are Karen Wolff and Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to the medium ride route

Tuesday 14th December: Midweek Social Ride to Lunch at The Shed, Charlbury

The route is 22.8 miles long and will start and finish in Eynsham. It is a quite hilly, but attractive route. Meet in the square at 10.15 for a 10.30 start. If you would like a coffee at the start arrive at 10am. You can park in the square or in the doctors’ car park (OX29 4QB). (To get to the square you follow a short footpath).

We will start cycling out of Eynsham along Cuckoo Lane and through East End. The route then goes along quiet, pretty lanes to Fawler. We continue up to Charlbury and then skirt round the outside before taking a right turn up to the Old Shed Cafe where we will have lunch. This is where the group had an away week-end before the pandemic. We are not able to book, but there should be plenty of space.

The return ride sees us cycling through the centre of Charlbury and into Cornbury Park where we cycle along a track. We may have to push the bikes at this point but it is not far. We continue up to Finstock and through Wilcote, where we pass Bridewell Organic Gardens. Continuing along quiet country lanes we rejoin Cuckoo Lane and back into Eynsham. This is a social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome. The ride leader is Julia Millington.

Link to the midweek ride route

Saturday 18th December: Long Ride Around the Southern Villages

A 24-mile ride starting in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) and ending on the Ring Rd at the top of Horspath Rd. Meet from 10am for a 10.15 departure. Please make sure you arrive promptly so that there is time to sign-up and listen to the leader’s briefing. For those from the east of the city, there will be an additional pick-up point at 10.30am on Donnington Bridge (north side). The ride leaves Oxford via Boar’s Hill (the only hill on the route) before descending to Bayworth and Sunningwell. Here it will take a short stretch of well-surfaced off-road track (Pen Lane) to enter Abingdon where refreshments will be taken at one of the many cafes in the centre. It then follows NCN 5 south to Sutton Courtenay, Appleford, Long Wittenham, and Clifton Hampden. It returns to Oxford via Marsh & Toot Baldon and the B480. There are a few short sections of good quality off-road track which are suitable for all but the narrowest road bike tyres. The ride leader will be Leonor Barroca.

Link to the long route

Thursday 23rd  December: Christmas Lights Ride

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church) from 6pm for a 6.15pm departure on a tour of some of Oxford’s Christmas light displays. We plan to cycle around the highlights of Morrell Avenue and East Oxford then visit a particularly impressive display in Kennington and the entire route will be less than 12 miles in length, fairly flat and taken at a steady pace. There will be several stops along the way to admire both artistic and cheesy illuminations. Option of Christmas drinks on the return journey into Oxford. The ride leader will be Sarah Twine.