August 2022

In action on July’s midweek ride.

Thursday 4th August: Social Evening Ride: Mikron Theatre – “Red Sky at Night”

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 17.45 for a prompt 18:00 departure. This will be a short (less than 10 mile) ride to The Plough Inn at Wolvercote in order to be there in time to order food/drinks before watching the Mikron Theatre outdoor show Red Sky at Night which starts at 7.30pm. No tickets are required. Instead, a ‘pay what you feel’ collection will be taken after the show. The ride is flat and the leader will be Lilia Bonacorsi. As this is a social ride, male friends and partners are welcome to join us.

Multi-award-winning Mikron was founded in 1972, and 2022 marks Mikron’s 50th year of bringing professional theatre to your doorstep. Mikron is the UK’s most prolific theatre company, touring to over 120 venues per year.

Bring a blanket to sit on the grass. NO picnics.

Saturday 6th August: Short & Steady Ride: Are you in the right gear… for the hills?

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 10am for a 10:15am start. The aim of this ride is to practice 3 gentle hills on fairly quiet stretches of road. We will have time to pause before the climbs for questions and tips. We will head through Marston up to Headington (depending on numbers, to have coffee at the Black Boy pub or coffee and cake at Jacobs and Fields). We’ll go through parks and pass the SSSI, Rock Edge, then return to Radcliffe Square via Morrell Avenue’s new cycleway, Cowley and the Iffley Road. As usual, we ride at the pace of the slowest rider.

The ride is c. 10 miles long, mostly flat, with just the three practice hills. It will be led by Yvonne Macken and Liz Weekes. Below is a link to a 5 minute YouTube video that has some tips on gear changing, useful for hills. It’s not an official resource, but good for demonstration:

Link to the Short & Steady Route

Sunday 14th August: Medium Ride – Windmilling around! Wolvercote

12-08-22: The route and destination have been changed on account of an amber warning of extreme heat.

Rather than climbing the steps at Wheatley Windmill in 35 degrees, the medium ride this month will set off earlier and seek out shadier routes with no hills to climb. It will be slightly shorter at around 12 miles.

Bring lots of water and (optionally) your swimming costume.

Meet 9am in Radcliffe Square to set off 9.15 am latest. We will drop down to the river and go out to Botley via Willow Walk, and then take the minor back road to Wolvercote. The coffee stop is at Jacobs Inn, which has a shady garden. They serve breakfasts (e.g. bacon or egg bap £4.50) as well as coffee and drinks.

Swimming option: If anyone wants a dip in the Thames at the newly designated swimming point, we cycle right by just before the coffee stop.

We return via the canal into the city centre, aiming to be back by 12 pm.

The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.

Saturday 20th August: Isis Cyclists’ 50-mile challenge ride 2022 to Evenley

Meet at 9.30am in Radcliffe Square for a prompt 9:45am start on this, our 9th annual 50-mile challenge ride. There will be a pick-up on the way out, on the ring-road cycle track where it meets Elsfield Rd in Old Marston at 10am. Please let me know if you want to meet us here.

This year we are heading north and desperately hoping for better weather than when we last headed in this direction in 2016. On this occasion, we ended up sheltering from wind and rain in a bus shelter! As usual, the ride will be steady and we will have plenty of roadside and cafe/pub breaks, so please remember to bring something to eat and drink to keep you fuelled up.

The route is slightly different from the 2016 one and is also going to be ridden the other way round (anticlockwise) so that if the SW wind does decide to blow, we will get the best of the sheltered riding on offer. So we will leave Oxford and head out through Marston to Woodeaton and Islip before riding around the northern edge of Otmoor for coffee at The Barn in Stratton Audley. This is quite a long stretch to coffee (~18 miles) so we will also pause near Merton for a “self-fuelling” stop. It is then another 9 miles of pleasant and slightly more undulating riding to Evenley in Northamptonshire where you can either opt to eat at The Red Lion PH or picnic on the large village green.

After lunch we soon return to Oxfordshire and some pleasant villages that we don’t often get to explore. There will be the possibility of riding a 1.5 mile bridle track, Buckingham Lane (1 mile hard farm road and 0.5 miles of earth track beside a wood). We will only ride this if it’s been dry. The alternative is a slightly longer on-road route through Hethe and Hardwick. I expect that we will divide into on and off-road groups here, and meet up the other side. After a very short section of B-road, we head off-road briefly at Swifts House Farm. There’s no alternative this time, but it’s all hard farm road except for 100m across a field which has always been kept well-mown when I’ve ridden it. At worst it’s a short walk. Then Bucknell, Middleton Stoney and down the B430 to our tea stop at The Old Flight Centre, Weston on the Green.

The final section is on familiar territory, through Bletchingdon and Hampton Poyle to Kidlington where (depending on how tired we feel) we can either return to Oxford on the main road cycle track or on the Water Eaton track.

If you are planning to come, please can you let me know via email or WhatsApp by Sunday pm (14th August) because I need to let coffee and tea venues know numbers. I also need to know whether you want to lunch at the pub or picnic. If there are large numbers wanting to eat at the pub, then we will need to pre-book meals, but we can do that the week before, once I know numbers.

So, finally! The route is not particularly hilly. There is Islip hill to climb in the morning and Bletchingdon in the afternoon, but apart from that it is flat or gently undulating. The route is suitable for all bikes. If you’re bringing a road bike with narrow tyres you will need to be happy with at least one section of hard track with a loose top surface in places and a 100m stretch over grass where you may need to push. The route should be 53 miles return to Radcliffe Square and the leader is Ellen Lee.

2022 Isis Cyclists 50-mile challenge route

Sunday 21st August: Oxford City Cycling UK ride to coffee at Annie’s, Thrupp

Meet in Broad St for a prompt 9.30am departure on a leisurely 21 mile ride to Annies at the Canal Yard (Thrupp). This mixed ride will be led by Stephen Lee and the pace will probably average around 10mph: that is, roughly the same as a medium or long Isis Cyclists’ ride. The route will leave Oxford via Banbury Rd and pick up the canal towpath at Wolvercote. It will meet the A44 cycle track at Yarnton and follow it to Woodstock. It will then head east, across the A4095 and along the Straight Mile to descend briefly on the A4260 to Thrupp and coffee at Annies. The return will use quiet back roads through Kidlington to pick up the Water Eaton track. This will bring us back through Cutteslowe and North Oxford.

Link to route

Tuesday 23rd August: Midweek Ride – Circumnavigating Oxford

I have ridden this route twice and thoroughly enjoyed it. It does what it says on the tin and there is an opportunity for people to join at any point if they wish, or, conversely, to leave at any point. I will start at Redbridge Park and Ride and head towards Sandford to join the route. We will have coffee at Cumnor (no cake at the Bear and Ragged Staff, I’m afraid). There is no obvious place to have lunch, so we have always taken our own food on previous occasions. There’s an opportunity for late lunch/drinks at the Abingdon Arms in Beckley, though they only serve (good) pizzas on Tuesdays. The ride is 38 miles long if you do the whole thing – in the past, we have skipped the Grenoble Road section on arrival back into Oxford and headed home from there. There aren’t many busy roads, though you have to ride from Farmoor to Eynsham. Meet at Redbridge Park and Ride (near the entrance/exit opposite Go Outdoors) at 9.45am, ready to start at 10am. If you would prefer to meet us along the way, let me know and we can communicate via the Midweek Rides WhatsApp group. If you’re not on that group, let me know. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to the Midweek ride route