June 2022

Isis Cyclists and Bike Buddies photograph album: May 2022

Saturday 4th June: Short & Steady Ride: Weaving around West Oxford

A repeat of last year’s short and steady ride in July, this ride is flat and just under 12 miles long. Starting in Radcliffe Square at 10am, we will make our way along the towpath and up to North Hinksey, returning to the towpath near the station and riding up the river again to St Margaret’s Church, Binsey. After that, we will hope to have refreshments at Medley Manor Farm café, if it’s open, before making our way back along the towpath and into town. If the café is not open, we’ll stop at the West Oxford Community Centre for coffee and cake. We should be back by 1pm. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to the Short & Steady Route

Saturday 11th June: Medium Ride: Brunch at the Blue Sky Eco Cafe

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 10.00am for a 10.15 departure for this medium ride to the Long Furlong Community Centre in Abingdon for brunch. We will ride out along the sustrans route through Radley, but then cut through Abingdon on cycle paths.

After refreshments we will head up the hill to Sunningwell, then enjoy a long downhill swoop to return to the river cycle route and back to Oxford.

The ride is 15 miles long and will be led by Karen Wolff.

Link to the Medium Route

Friday 17th – Sunday 19th June – Weekend Away

There will be no long ride this weekend because of the long-awaited weekend away!

Thursday 23rd June: Evening Social Ride to the Victoria Arm, Old Marston.

Meet in Radcliffe Square from 6.15pm for a 6.30pm departure on a relaxed potter up the canal and down the river to end up at the Victoria Arms in Old Marston for food/drinks. We will also have a chance to visit the Almond’s Farm Bank, which is a local wildlife site adjacent to the Vicky Arms, and hopefully enjoy the meadow flowers. Should the weather be wet, we will re-route to avoid the river towpath! The route is 10 miles long and entirely flat (apart from the odd bridge) and will include river and canal towpath, so very thin, road tyres are not ideal. The leader will be Ellen Lee.

Tuesday 28th June: Midweek Social Picnic Ride: Ducks are a-dabbling; up tails all…

This route is a repeat of last November’s midweek ride to Ducklington, so if you enjoyed it then you can repeat the experience – hopefully in warmer weather! Meet outside Costa Coffee in Summertown from 9.45 for a 10:00 departure. We will cycle north along the canal towpath from Wolvercote to Yarnton; thence through Cassington to Eynsham, where we will have a short refreshment stop, probably at Wholesome Earth, which serves really good cakes.

The route then takes us to Sutton and Stanton Harcourt before turning along peaceful Tar Lane and the Northern Cross Valley bridleway (which has a good surface) to Ducklington. The plan is to have a picnic by the duck pond, warding off the marauding mallards; alternatively, you could have lunch at the nearby Bell pub (or even picnic + drink at the pub). In the afternoon we enjoy a few exhilarating swoops along the Aston Mile and then have a choice: either a) turn left along the lane through Yelford to the A415 at Hardwick and then to Standlake, or b) make a detour to Aston Pottery for more cake(!) and then continue to Standlake via Cote and Shifford. From Standlake we cycle through Northmoor, Newbridge, Kingston Hill (the day’s only climb) and Appleton. There will be an optional tea stop in Cumnor (even more cake?) before zooming down Cumnor Hill back into Oxford. The route officially ends in Frideswide Square.

The leader is Liz Matthews. The total distance is 34.5 miles via Yelford or 37 miles via Aston Pottery. If more than a few people want to eat at the Bell we may have to send in our menu choices beforehand, but I’ll send a message to the Midweek Rides WhatsApp during the preceding week to gauge people’s likely preferences: picnic vs pub. Partners welcome as usual on midweek rides.

Link to route: Link to midweek route

May 2022

Saturday 7th May: Short & Steady Ride – An Outing to Flo’s

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 10:00 for a 10:15 departure for this short ride around Marston, Headington, Cowley Marsh, Florence Park and South Oxford. This ride includes one long hill, but via a pretty and quiet route up Harberton Mead. The rest of the ride is on cycle tracks, towpaths and minor roads. We will stop for coffee at Flo’s in Florence Park. The route is 8 miles altogether and the leader is Karen Wolff.

Link to Short & Steady Route

Saturday 14th May: Medium Ride – Riding to Islip

We will gather in Radcliffe Square from 10:00 for a prompt departure at 10:15; we will follow the canal until the nice new surface stops, and then meander through new and old Kidlington on our way to Islip where we will stop for refreshments. On the way back we will face the only hill of this ride (a bit tame, I know ;-)) and then all the way down to Oxford through Woodeaton. The ride is just over 18 miles long and the ride leader is Leonor.

Link to Medium Route

Thursday 19th May: Evening Social Ride to the Isis Tavern

Meet from 5.45pm in Radcliffe Square, Oxford for a prompt 6pm departure on a circular ride round Oxford City ending up at The Isis Tavern for drinks/eats. The route will be fairly flat and will be about 10 miles in length. As it’s a social ride, male partners and friends are welcome. The ride leader will be Sarah Twine.

Saturday 21st May: Long Ride – Brightwell Baldwin

Please join me (Lesley Durbin) on a ride to one of my favourite country pubs. Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.45am for a 10am start. We will leave Oxford via the Barton Park track and wiggle through Forest Hill, Wheatley, Great Milton and the Haseleys before finding the lovely path from Chalgrove to Brightwell Baldwin, once a part of the Ewelme Hundred. We will stop for around an hour at the Lord Nelson pub for Coffee/cake and/or lunch. Those wishing to picnic can use the beautiful St Bartholomew’s churchyard opposite.

We will return to Oxford using the Chalgrove path again, then onto Little Milton and up to Cuddesdon before swooping down into Horspath to finish the ride at BMW on the ring road. The ride is 32.5 miles in length and there might be a hill or two along the way …….

Link to Long Ride Route

Tuesday 24th May: Midweek Social Picnic Ride north to Steeple Barton

16-05-22: The route has been amended as the lunch stop has moved from Sandford St Martin to Steeple Barton. The overall distance is just under a mile longer. The description and link below show the new route.

This ride explores the villages north of Woodstock to Steeple Barton, a village abandoned during the Black Death. The route will involve a couple of stretches on cycle tracks alongside busy A roads, but I hope that the countryside beyond will more than compensate! This is the provisional route; it may change before the day, and even on the day, depending on people’s preferences (and the weather). However, the start point and time are fixed.

Meet at 9:15 outside Costa Coffee in Summertown for a prompt 9:30 departure up the canal to Yarnton. There then follows a four-mile section alongside the A44 before we turn off into the countryside just beyond Woodstock. We will pause for refreshments in the village of Wootton, where you can buy coffee, tea, biscuits etc. in the shop to consume in the nearby churchyard. We continue along country lanes to Steeple Barton, where we will picnic at the church.

The return route starts by passing through Westcott Barton, Kiddington and Over Kiddington. After crossing the A44 we ride through Ditchley Park, Stonesfield, Combe, Long Hanborough and Church Hanborough eventually reaching the A40 near Eynsham. You can drop into one of the cafés in Eynsham if you’re feeling in need of a pick-me-up before tackling the cycle track along the A40 back to Oxford.

The ride is moderately hilly (but with no long climbs), and the total distance back to the city centre is 38.3 miles. Because eateries are few and far between in the north of the county you’ll need to bring a picnic. The leader is Liz Matthews; partners are very welcome.

Link to Midweek Route

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

March 2022

A well-earned pause at the top of Gidley Way on February’s sunny medium ride to The Sun at Wheatley

Saturday 5th March: Short & Steady Ride – 20 Bridges Ride

Did you know that you can cross no less than 20 different bridges on a short 7.5 mile bike ride? Meet in Radcliffe Square at 10:00 for a 10.15am departure. We will follow towpaths, cycle paths and quiet roads, and cross railways, streams, rivers and canals on our bridge-counting ride. There is a short section on grass which is easily rideable but may be a bit muddy if we have a lot of rain. Refreshments will be taken at the West Oxford Community Centre. The ride leader is Karen Wolff.

Link to 20 Bridges Ride Route

Saturday 12th March: Medium Ride – Over the Hill to Abingdon

Starting from Radcliffe Square at 10am, we’ll ride through South Oxford and ascend Hinksey Hill into Boar’s Hill. From there, we’ll arrive in Abingdon via Bayworth, Sunningwell and Penn Lane. We’ll visit St Ethelwold’s Garden in East St Helen’s Street and if they’re not running a café there, there’s plenty of choice in the Market Square for coffee. After refreshments, we can cross the bridge and return over the Thames via the Lock and Weir, taking Route 5 back along the partly refurbished track to Radley. We’ll then return to Oxford, still on Route 5, bypassing Kennington and joining the towpath. There is some off-road riding, none of which should be too muddy (famous last words) and the route back to Radcliffe Square is 17.5 miles.

Please note the earlier starting time, allowing you to get back in time for a late lunch. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to Medium Ride Route

Tuesday 15th March: Cyclox Meeting – Why video-ing your bike ride will help us all

7.30-8.30pm on Zoom. Crispian Poon, Director of OnSee, will talk about their project putting video cameras on bikes to identify unsafe road situations. Crispian will tell us how the video system works, what their next steps are and how this will help all of us cycle more safely.

Register on Eventbrite. The Zoom link will be sent to you by email before the meeting.

Saturday 19th March: Long Ride – A Potter to the Pottery

Meet at 10am in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church) for a prompt 10.15am departure to Aston Pottery. Our ride will take the fairly direct route out of town along the Woodstock Road cycle track, then a stretch on the A40 cycle track, before turning left into Eynsham.

We’re then on to country roads through Sutton, Yelford and Cote. We’ll arrive at the Pottery in time for lunch. Our return route brings us back via quiet lanes through Cote and Old Shifford before a short stretch of A415 takes us into Standlake. We then have a lovely detour on country roads though Northmoor and Moreton before rejoining the A415 at Newbridge. We’ll then head for Cumnor and a nice sweep down back into Oxford.

Even though we’ll clock up good mileage, around 36 miles, it is a relatively flat route, with one significant hill after lunch, which we’ll take at a steady pace and regroup at the top. Finishing time is difficult to judge as always, but it won’t be much before 3-3:30pm. The ride leader is Yvonne Macken.

Link to Long Ride Route

Tuesday 22nd March: Social Midweek Ride – Stanford-in-the-Vale

Meet in Frideswide Square, Oxford, on the opposite side to the Saïd Business School, from 9:45am for a prompt 10am departure. We head out of Oxford via Botley Road and Willow Walk. We pass under the A34 and tackle the hill up Raleigh Park Road, emerging near the top of Cumnor Hill. We then ride into the Vale of White Horse via Cumnor, Appleton, Southmoor, Charney Bassett and Goosey before reaching our lunch stop in Stanford-in-the-Vale. There, you can choose between The Horse & Jockey pub and Stanford Coffee Shop – or, if you’re feeling hardy, a picnic by the church.

The return route takes us through Goosey, Lyford, Fyfield, Tubney, Cothill and Sunningwell. We approach Oxford using the Sustrans path from Kennington and along the river towpath to Folly Bridge. The route is just over 38 miles long (18 miles out; 20 miles back) and involves only one substantial hill near the start. After that the terrain is largely flat or rises gently. Note that we are unlikely to get back to Oxford until after 3pm.

This is a social ride: partners are very welcome.

The leader will be Liz Matthews. Please can you let me know by email or WhatsApp by Sunday 20th if you wish to eat at the Horse & Jockey, so that I can book a table. Thank you! Also, if you are likely to become peckish en route, please bring a snack as we can stop briefly by the wayside.

Link to the Midweek Ride Route