April 2022

Saturday 2nd April: Short & Steady Ride – The Cumnor Hill Challenge

This Cumnor Hill challenge is a 10-mile circuit with twists and turns through the City centre leading up to Cumnor Hill. It’s led by Sarah Twine

Gather in Radcliffe Square from 10:45 for an 11:00am start, for a ride through St. Ebbes, meandering to Willow Walk and North Hinksey. We then start the climb at a steady pace before turning off at Hurst Lane. Returning via Raleigh Park Road, and Willow Walk we will stop for coffee at The Fishes at North Hinksey, aiming to get there shortly after it opens at noon. Please note that snacks will be available, but no cake. So you may wish to bring your own.

The route, which was last led in September 2021, gives riders the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the nuances of the Cumnor Hill climb.

The climb can be divided into 3 distinct sections:

  • Eynsham Road turn-off to 2nd lamp-post on the right after Arnold’s Way. This is the steepest part (5%?).
  • Just past Arnold’s Way: a short downhill stretch which you can use to gather momentum for the remainder of the hill.
  • The remainder of the hill – much gentler than the first section. The summit is more or less by the Volvo garage.

Cumnor Hill is the gateway for the longer rides to the Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire, and might be your gateway to progressing onto longer rides.

Link to the Short & Steady Route

Sunday 10th April: Medium Ride: Waterways and Willowbrook Farm

Meet from 9.45am in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) to leave at promptly at 10am. We’ll ride to Marston, crossing the River Cherwell in the University Parks and head out to Woodeaton, and over the River Ray to Islip, then North to Heathfield and Bletchingdon, calling at Willowbrook Farm for coffee around the 10-mile mark.

After refreshments, we return via Hampton Poyle, across the Cherwell again to Kidlington, and then take the Oxford Canal towpath back to Wolvercote and Summertown. The total route is 18 miles.

Please note this is a Sunday ride, aiming to avoid the busy open days held on Saturdays. Bring a pannier if you wish to do some shopping at the coffee stop: https://www.willowbrookfarm.co.uk/

The leader is Clare Farley.

Tuesday 12th April: Social Midweek Ride to Ewelme & Preston Crowmarsh

Meet at 10am in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) for a prompt 10.15am departure to Ewelme. We will leave Oxford via Horspath Road and Cuddesdon (first long hill) and then ride through Little Milton, skirting Chalgrove to arrive in Ewelme (coffee opportunity). We will visit the beautiful church (they have requested a donation because of the recent storm damage, so please bring some cash if you can). We’ll then ride through Benson to Preston Crowmarsh and have lunch at the lovely Cart Shed. You can also take a picnic, as there’s lots of grass outside the café. The return route goes through Rokemarsh and Berrick Prior to Chiselhampton, then turning off the main road via Chippinghurst to Denton. For variety, we have the option of returning through Garsington, which involves a long hill, steep at the top. Or we can return via Cuddesdon. Apart from two significant hills and a pull up from Chiselhampton, the ride is pretty flat. It’s 32 miles from Radcliffe Square back to the ring road by the retail park (Garsington Road). If you would like to come on the ride and eat in the cafe, please let me know if possible. I will book a table at the Cart Shed, but it would be very helpful to have some idea of numbers. You can contact me via the Midweek rides WhatsApp group or by email. The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to Midweek Ride Route

Saturday 23rd April: Long Ride – Up and Down Beyond Brill

Meet at 10am in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) for a prompt 10.15am departure on a hilly and beautiful ride.

We will be leaving Oxford through Northway and the new estate at Barton and following a well known and loved itinerary until Brill; beyond Brill there is a lovely route not much explored on Isis rides. It takes us on a great descent and then a smaller hill towards Chilton and then Long Crendon. The return ride brings us on quiet roads through Shabbington and Worminghall towards Waterperry, Wheatley and then back into Oxford from Horspath.

As the only place open for food is in Waterperry, please bring a picnic for a lunch stop and then we can stop for a tea/coffee and cake in Waterperry.

This is a hilly ride. However, we will take it at a reasonable pace and wait for everyone. It requires a bit of love for hills!

The ride leader is Leonor Barroca

Link to the Long Ride Route