March 2023

Isis Cyclists and Bike Buddies photos: February 2023

Saturday 4th March: Short & Steady Ride – An odd route to the White House

On February’s snowdrop ride.

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 9.45 for a 10.00 departure on this short and steady ride to the White House (Tap Social) PH for coffee and cakes.

You can tell that I don’t like taking the direct route because we will be starting out in the wrong direction, to Marston via the University Parks cycle track. We’ll then tackle the only real hill on the route, Harberton Mead, which will take us to Headington. From there we will take some less familiar minor roads, paths and tracks through Wood Farm and onto Temple Cowley. We will then descend to ride through Florence Park on our way to cross the river at Iffley Lock. From there it’s plain sailing to Donnington Bridge and into South Oxford to our coffee stop, on the corner of White House Rd and Abingdon Rd (about 0.5 miles from the city centre) where the ride finishes after exactly 10 miles.

The climb up to Headington is on a quiet road and can be taken at your own pace or walked. There is also a slight incline from Iffley Turn up to the village. The route is 10 miles long and is mainly on minor roads but with a couple of off-road, but surfaced sections and the ride leader is Ellen Lee.

Link to short & steady route

Saturday 11th March: Medium Ride – Circuiting Boar’s Hill

This up and down route takes us along the Thames, up a hill to Bayworth, up another steep hill to Foxcombe Hill where we should get some good views of the dreaming spires. We then meander through Old Boar’s Hill and follow the lane down to Old Wootton, then Besselsleigh before landing up at The Bear and Ragged Staff in Cumnor for a well earned coffee. From there it’s straight down Cumnor Hill and back along the Botley Road cycle path.

The ride is 16.5 miles in length, and includes one steep hill. We will, of course, take all the time we need for our ascent, and wait at the top for everyone!

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 10:00 for a 10:15 departure. The leader is Karen Wolff.

Link to the medium route

Saturday 18th March: Long Ride: NEastern W-villages: Worminghall, Waterperry, Wheatley

We start as usual, meeting at Radcliffe Square from 9.45am (leaving at 10.00am), We will proceed via the University Parks cycle path to Marston and out via a hill to Elsfield. The route continues through Beckley, Horton cum Studley and Worminghall. There’s a bit of undulating, giving good views over Otmoor, arriving at Waterperry Gardens for refreshments.

The break is at 17 miles or so, leaving the shorter part of the route after the break.

We return to Oxford via Holton, Wheatley, Horspath and then Barracks Lane taking us down to the Cowley Road and onwards to the centre of Oxford. The ride is 25 miles with several hills but all familiar ones to us, and the leader is Clare Farley.

Tuesday 21st March: Midweek Ride – A Wychwood & Minster Lovell Circuit

The out & Back distance for this ride is 37 miles, meeting at 9:45 under the Costa Coffee Clock in Summertown for a 10am departure. The steeper hills are all down!

We leave Oxford via the canal from Wolvercote past Dukes Cut lock on an improved cycle path to Yarnton. We then turn left past Worton Gardens to Cassington, crossing the A40 to Eynsham for a possible coffee stop. We re-cross the A40 near Cuckoo Lane, and ride through East End with long views across to Stonesfield and the Ditchley Estate. After descending East End Hill, we climb to Wilcote and continue through the pretty village of Ramsden for lunch at the Charlbury Garden Centre. After lunch, we round the edge of the Wychwood to Leafield, turning south to Minster Lovell via Field Assarts, Fordwells and the winding wooded lane to Asthall Leigh. We may pause briefly at Minster Lovell Hall. Then on to meet A40 East of Eynsham via Crawley, Delly End, North Leigh and Long Hanborough on segregated cycle paths along the A4095 and A40.

Ride leaders are Karen & Dick Wolff.

Link to the midweek ride route


February 2023

Isis Cyclists & Bike Buddies Photos – January 2023

Saturday 4th February: Short & Steady Ride – Wheels to Wolvercote.

Roadside maintenance on a ride in January.

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 9.45 for a 10.00 departure on this short and steady ride to Wolvercote for refreshments at Jacobs Inn. We will head out of central Oxford via Jericho and then onto the canal towpath to Wolvercote for an early break. Then we will return to Oxford via Wytham and Botley. Due to Willow Walk being resurfaced (hurrah!) we will use the cycle track on Botley Rd until we can get to the track across Oatlands Recreation Ground and paths to Osney Mead and then continue on the river towpath back to Folly Bridge. The route is around 8 miles long and mainly flat. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

Saturday 11th February: Medium afternoon ride to Annie’s at Thrupp

Fingers crossed for some winter sunshine for this pretty ride out towards Otmoor, and onto the canal-side village of Thrupp for afternoon tea. You can join the ride either at our usual meeting place at Radcliffe Square at 1.15 to leave at 1.30pm, or in Marston in Marsh Lane at 1.45 pm, just after the junction opposite the garage on the cycle path. There’s a short hill through Woodeaton before we head downhill into Islip. The ride is then mostly flat as we thread through Kidlington via The Moors and a short stretch of main road to reach Annie’s. The return route is back through Kidlington via Water Eaton to the Banbury Road and cycle route 51 back through north Oxford. This ride is around 19 miles long, and a few miles less from Marston. We will aim to be back by 5pm latest. The ride leader is Lucy Tennyson.

Saturday 18th February: Long Ride – Snowdrop Ride

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 9.45 for a 10.00 departure on our annual search for snowdrops in South Oxfordshire. We leave Oxford via Marston, crossing the ring road and riding through Barton Park and up past the Crematorium to meet the B4027 at Stanton St John. From there we coast down through Forest Hill, Holton and Wheatley. We then cross the River Thame and head along Stowford Lane, turning to Little Milton where will have coffee at the Village Shop. We now begin our snowdrop hunt in earnest as we ride through Little Haseley to Great Haseley and Great Milton. We’ll have a brief stop between the two Haseleys to, hopefully, enjoy the snowdrops in a small area of woodland. We will return to the Oxford ring road at the Horspath bus turning circle (where the ride ends) via Cuddesdon and Horspath. The ride has a couple of hills both side of coffee, but nothing too daunting. The ride is 23 miles long and the ride leader and chief snowdrop hunter is Ellen Lee.

Please note that the route we’ll be using is slightly different to the two “great and small” routes on the Isis Cyclists’ website.

Link to Long Route

Tuesday 21st February: Midweek Ride to Stanford-in-the-Vale

At just under 38 miles, this is quite a long route, but it’s largely flat with gentle ascents rather than hefty climbs. Meet in Radcliffe Square from 9:45am for a prompt 10am departure along the south Oxford cycle route. We pick up NCN route 5 past Kennington before turning west and continuing through Sunningwell, Whitecross, Cothill and Tubney to Fyfield. Here, we have to cross the A420 twice in order to maintain our line of advance: once through the tunnel and once at road level (using the traffic island will make this easier). Pressing on through Fyfield Wick and Charney Bassett, we join the A417 just south of our lunch stop at the community-run coffee shop in Stanford-in-the-Vale. However, if(!) it’s a very mild day, you might prefer to picnic on the village green in front of the church.

The return leg starts by retracing our steps (wheels!) to Charney Bassett, from where we head north to Southmoor, cross the A420 via the bridge and follow the back road through Longworth, Netherton, Appleton and Cumnor. Finally, we whizz – with care – down Cumnor Hill and along the Botley Road back into the city centre. Arrival time at the station will probably be 3-3:30pm.

This is a social ride: partners are very welcome. The leader is Liz Matthews.

Link to the Midweek Ride Route

January 2023

Isis Cyclists & Bike Buddies Photos – December 2022

Saturday 7th January: Short & Steady Ride to Sandford Food Market

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 10.15 for a 10.30 departure on this short and steady ride to Sandford Food Market via Iffley village and Littlemore. After refreshments and shopping at the market, we will return to Oxford by crossing Sandford Lock and joining the Sustrans NCN Route 5 track to meet the river towpath and hence back into town. The route is around 10 miles long and mainly flat, although there will be a slight climb out of Iffley village. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.

Saturday 14th January: Medium Ride – Circumnavigating Oxford

This ride takes us on a round tour of Oxford on towpaths, quiet roads, parks and cycle paths. Meet in Radcliffe Square at 10:00 for a 10:15 departure. We will head north through Jericho then join the canal towpath up to Wolvercote. From there we wiggle through quiet roads in Summertown then follow the Marston Ferry Road cycle path to Marston. We then climb Headington Hill by way of Harberton Mead and cut through Brookes campus and South Park before heading downhill towards Barracks Lane cycle path. This brings us out in Cowley Marsh, then Florence Park where we’ll stop for coffee at Flo’s before returning to the centre of Oxford by way of Iffley village and the Thames cycle path. The ride is 12.5 miles long with one longish hill and the leader is Karen Wolff

Link to the medium ride route

Saturday 21st January: Long Ride to Eynsham

The long ride goes north to Eynsham via lovely Cumnor Hill and many villages. We start as usual at Radcliffe Square at 10 (leaving at 10.15!), and proceed via the towpath and back ways to Botley Road and our favourite slow and steady hill. It is the only one of note on this ride! After that we take Appleton and Eaton Roads through Netherton to the A415.

As coffee is at 19.5 miles or so, it might be a good thing to bring interim refreshments with you as we can stop after 12 or 13 miles in Northmoor for 10-15 mins to renew ourselves, or earlier should we see an opportunity.

We go along for a little bit and turn off to a great route through Northmoor, Bablock Hythe, Stanton Harcourt (thatched cottages galore!!) and Sutton until we get onto the B4449 to Eynsham. There we will have (more) coffee n cakes at the Wholesome Earth Cafe, before wending our way through the rest of Eynsham and via Cassington and Yarnton to the A44 bike path and the canal path (or stay on the A44 bike path if the weather etc is against us!). Then onto the centre of Oxford. The whole ride, from Radcliffe Square and back again is 28.6 miles, and the leader Is Liz Weekes.

Link to long ride route

Tuesday 24th  31st January: Midweek Ride – The open road to Thame

Note change of date.

Meet outside the University Church in Radcliffe Square at 9:45 for a prompt 10:00 departure, heading out through Marston, Northway and Barton to take the country road north-east to Stanton St John. We will then descend the hill, turning left at Menmarsh to ascend slowly by Bernwood to Oakley. We’ll then ride along the B-road for a couple of miles before turning to climb up to the village of Chilton. Our reward is a descent through Easington to Long Crendon that is steep enough to be fun, but not so steep that you can’t look around and enjoy the expansive views. In Long Crendon we join the Thame Road before taking a path along the “old road” over the river and into Thame past the church.

I haven’t yet booked lunch, but am anticipating using Treacles Tea Rooms on the High St. I will message/email if there is a change of plan or if we are required to book. The return journey is more direct along NCN Route 57 as far as Worminghall and then returning to Menmarsh and climbing up to Stanton St John. A short stretch on the B4027 and we’ll turn off through Elsfield to return to Marsh Lane (where the ride finishes). The route is moderately hilly and just under 33 miles long and the ride leader is Ellen Lee. It’s a social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome to join us.

For those living in North Oxford, Marston and Headington, it may be more convenient to meet us on the ring road at the crossing to Barton Park. Please message or email me if you plan to meet here, so we can wait if necessary. I expect that the main group will arrive there at approx 10.30am.

Link to the midweek route

December 2022

A sunny ride to the windmill at Wheatley in November.

Isis Cyclists & Bike Buddies photo album: November 2022

Tips for Winter Cycling

Saturday 3rd December: Short & Steady Ride

This short and steady ride starts at Radcliffe Square at 9.45am for a prompt 9.59am departure before the clock starts chiming. We will join the towpath to Donnington Bridge and use cycle paths to Marsh Road. There is a hill (not too steep) to join Hollow Way. We turn into the business park to have refreshments at the Water Tank and have a mooch around the superstore. New Christmas cards and gifts, as well as second hand merchandise, are on sale. Panniers may be required. The return journey is all downhill along Barracks Lane and through Mesopotamia to the centre of Oxford. This route is 9 miles long and mostly flat and will be at a relaxed pace. The leader is Lesley Durbin who is looking forward to seeing you all.

Link to Short & Steady Ride Route

Saturday 10th December: Medium Ride – Mini-Christmas Market at The Bothy

**Please note the unusual starting place!**

This month’s medium ride is to the Bothy Mini Christmas Market and has been a regular Christmas ride for the past few years. It is a fairly long one at 20 miles but is a lovely festive ride which also offers you the option of peeling off at the Appleton Christmas Barn if you don’t want to cycle the whole way.

We will meet at the Ox Statue at Oxford railway station at 10.00am for a 10.15am start. The route takes us along Willow Walk and along Raleigh Park Road and Arnolds Way to eventually meet Cumnor Hill. From Raleigh Park Road to Cumnor is the only hill on the ride. We will then cycle through Cumnor village to the Appleton Christmas Barn where those that wish to peel off can take a look around and maybe get a drink from the Appleton community shop on the return route (I suggest you ride a reverse of the route out which will be approximately 12 miles return). The full ride continues through Fyfield and Frilford Heath to the Faringdon road and the Bothy where numerous delights await, including Christmas gifts and mulled wine. We will enjoy half and hour or so here before cycling back through Cothill, Dry Sandford, Besselsleigh and pick up the same route back in reverse via Willow Walk to the Station. Ride leader: Sarah Twine.

Link to Medium Ride Route

Saturday 17th December: Long Ride – Another Wander to the Kitchen

** Ride cancelled on account of the weather **

Last February, Lesley led us for our first visit to The Wandering Kitchen Cafe near Berinsfield. Today we’ll be making a welcome return visit. Meet in Radcliffe Square for a prompt 10am departure on this 28 mile ride. The route will take us out of Oxford via Barracks Lane and Horspath Road. There will be a pick-up point on the ring road, at the end of Horspath Road, by the bus-turning circle. Please be there by 10.25am. We will then continue up the hill to Cuddesdon and Great and Little Milton before dropping down to Stadhampton, Drayton St Leonard and our coffee stop. We return via Burcot, Chiselhampton, Chippinghurst, Denton and back to Cuddesdon to return to the ring road where the ride finishes. The route is hilly at the start and end, but flat in the middle and the leader is Leonor Barroca.

Link to the Long Route

Tuesday 20th December: Midweek Ride to Waterperry Gardens

Meet outside the University church in Radcliffe Square at 9:45 for a prompt 10:00 departure, heading out through Marston, Northway and Barton to take the country road north-east to Horton-cum-Studley. From there, we swing into a generally south-easterly direction to Worminghall, and then south-west to Waterperry, which lies at the 15-mile point. The return route takes us across the A40 at Wheatley, followed by a climb through Littleworth, joining Gidley Way at the top. This takes us down to Horspath; thence to the ring road at the Mini plant and on to Horspath Driftway and Barracks Lane. We disperse just past the far end of Barracks Lane, at the junction of Bartlemas Close and Cowley Road, by which time we will have ridden a shade over 22 miles. There are a couple of climbs, one each on outward and return journeys. The leader is Liz Matthews.

Link to the Midweek Ride Route