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

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

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November 2022

The ‘white bike ride’ in October visited all the white bikes marking where cycling fatalities have occurred in and around Oxford city in the past few years. 

Saturday 5th November: Short & Steady Ride – The proof of the pudding?

A short ride (9 miles in all) taking in the towpath and Sustrans track to Sandford Lane, for a coffee and cake break at the Proof Social Bakehouse conveniently right at the end of the cycle path. The return route will be via Kennington, Sustrans Route #5 through Grandpont and crosses the river on the Gasworks Bridge to reach the City centre and Radcliffe Square. Meet at Radcliffe Square at 10.00 for a prompt 10.15 start. Your ride leader is “Garmina”*, sorry Liz Weekes (who will not rely on “Garmina” entirely).

Link to Short & Steady route

* For those of you who don’t know, Garmina is Liz’s occasionally temperamental sat nav!

Tuesday 8th November: Midweek Ride – Relaxed ride to Abingdon

Meet from 10:45am in Radcliffe Square, Oxford for a prompt 11am start on this relaxed ride to Abingdon. The route will go to Donnington Bridge and then follow Sustrans NCN Route #5 to Abingdon where we will enjoy refreshments in a cafe (lunch or coffee). The same route will be used to return to Oxford. The entire route will be flat and approximately 18 miles long. The leader will be Lucy Tennyson.

Saturday 12th November: Medium Ride to Wheatley

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 10am for a 10:15am start. This month’s medium ride is going to be something of a hill-climb challenge to the south-east of Oxford. There will be a chance to recap hill-climb strategy at the start of the ride before putting it to the test on the ride itself. We will head out along the flat Thames towpath as far as the Ring Road. Then we will go East round the Ring Road via Littlemore and Blackbird Leys before taking our first hill challenge up to Garsington. We’ll go down the other side still heading East to Denton and then uphill again to Cuddesdon and still slightly uphill to the South edge of Wheatley where we will have coffee at the Willow Tree Coffee Shop at Mill View Garden Centre. For the return we will head through Horspath, across the Ring Road and down Barracks Lane on to Cowley Road.

The ride is 15 miles long and there are two main hills on the outward ride and a more steady slope on the return from Wheatley, which people can take at their own pace. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

Saturday 19th November: Long Ride – Visiting Lord Nelson

This ride is a variation of one that Lesley Durbin led last May, and which I sadly missed. It’s 8 miles shorter and has slightly less climbing. We will meet in Radcliffe Square at 10am, ready to set off at 10.15am. We can pick up people at the bus turnaround at the top of Horspath Road at 10.40am, ready to cross the ring road at the lights. We’ll climb the straight road out of Horspath and head for Garsington, where we can take the road through Denton and along the lovely valley to Chippinghurst. After that, it’s a stretch of main road to Chalgrove, where we take a bridleway to arrive at the Lord Nelson pub for coffee, cake, or even a light lunch snack. We return via the same bridleway to Chalgrove and take the well-ridden route back to Little Milton and Cuddesdon, before riding down the hill we came up to Horspath and back to the ring road. The ride is just under 25 miles long with just over 900 feet of climbing, mainly at the beginning and end, and the leader is Jane Carlton Smith. As I will need to book a table at the pub, please let me know by email or the Contact Us page on this website (not WhatsApp) if you are planning to join me, by 17th November at the latest.

Link to the long ride route

October 2022

We apologise for the late publication of this month’s programme, as a result of which some of you may have missed the ride on 1st October.

Isis Cyclists and Bike Buddies photo album: September 2022

Saturday 1st October:Short & Steady Ride: Coffee at Flo’s

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 10am for a 10:15am start. This month’s ride is going to be a very relaxed anti-clockwise potter around south Oxford, using tracks, paths and minor roads. We will be working our way from the City Centre, south-westwards through Grandpont towards the river where it crosses the ring road. We then pick up the towpath for a short distance before crossing Iffley lock and riding through the village. We then have the only hill on the ride, a climb up Tree Lane to Rose Hill and then Littlemore where we ride through the first of two low traffic neighbourhoods. We then descend to Florence Park where we will stop for coffee at Flo’s. We return to the start through the Cowley LTN. If you don’t regularly cycle in any of the LTNs, see what you make of them. The ride is just over 8 miles long and there is just a single hill, between Iffley village and Rose Hill. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.

Link to the Short & Steady Route

Saturday 8th October: Medium Ride: Lunching in Woodstock

Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford from 10.45am for an 11am start. Today’s route will take Sustrans Route #51 to Kidlington, except we will take the lovely Water Eaton track rather than the main road. We will then continue around the outskirts of Kidlington to pass by the airport and onto Woodstock where we will stop for 1/1.5 hours for brunch/lunch and to have a wander around. The return journey will be along the A44 cycle track (Route #5) and the well-surfaced canal towpath. The expected arrival time back in Oxford is 3pm – 3.30pm. The ride is approximately 20 miles long and fairly flat. All the cycle tracks used have a good, hard surface. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.

Saturday 15th October: Long Ride: Rolling Countryside to Rousham

Please note the different starting-point.

This is a 27-mile circular ride into some rolling North Oxfordshire countryside, using mainly roads, but also some familiar towpaths and bridleways. A shorter option for those who wish to join part of the ride is available.

Meet outside Costa Coffee on Banbury Road in Summertown from 10am for a 10.15am departure. We will head north through Summertown to pick up the canal towpath in Upper Wolvercote. We will then continue as far as Yarnton where we will turn off onto the A44 cycle track that we will follow all the way to Woodstock. Depending how we feel, we may stop there for coffee at The Museum of Oxfordshire in Park Street.

If you are wondering whether to try a long ride for the first time or don’t want to be out all day, then there is an option to return from Woodstock. We can’t guarantee that there will be a leader available to return with you. However, navigation back to Upper Wolvercote is easy (the reverse of what you’ve already ridden) and if you want to return to the city centre, you can then continue down the canal towpath. So if you’ve never tackled a long ride, why not give it a go as you can always return from Woodstock if you wish, a ride more akin to a medium one.

The main ride will continue, leaving Woodstock to the NE along the Hensington and Banbury Roads to cross the A4260. It then descends through Tackley to Rousham before heading to Lower Heyford and Kizzies Bistro alongside the Oxford Canal for a snack lunch.

We return through Kirtlington, Bletchingdon and Hampton Poyle before our final approach to Oxford along the Water Eaton track. The route is just over 27 miles long and is moderately hilly beyond Woodstock. The ride leader is Sarah Twine.

Link to Long Ride Route

Tuesday 18th October: Midweek Ride: Way out West – Lunch at Cogges Kitchen

Meet from 9.45am in Radcliffe Square, Oxford for a 28-mile relaxed ride out for lunch at Cogges Kitchen, located within the grounds of Cogges Manor Farm on the outskirts of Witney. We will leave Oxford north along the canal, parting company with it to join the A44 cycle track for a short distance. We will then turn west through Yarnton and Cassington to cross the A40 and enter Eynsham. We will stop for coffee here, either opting for an al fresco stop in the Market Square (next to Lyall & Co coffee shop where coffee and cake can be purchased) or at the Whole Earth Cafe. We can decide on the day. For anyone wanting to join the ride at Eynsham, I would expect us to arrive around 11-11.15am.

We will then continue towards South Leigh. The route below shows an on-road route to South Leigh. If it’s dry, there’s also the option of taking Chilbridge Lane which is mostly surfaced except for a ½ mile section along a field edge and through a small copse. Again we can choose what to do on the day and even divide into two groups. Whatever happens, we’ll stop in South Leigh to inspect the ex-bus shelter which, no doubt, will be decorated for Halloween. We’ll enter Witney via Oxford Hill and make our way to Cogges Kitchen where we have a table booked.

We return to Oxford via New Yatt, North Leigh and Long Hanborough before returning to Cassington and reprising a few hundred metres of our morning’s route. We’ll then ride down Bell Lane to pick up the A40 cycle track back to the Wolvercote roundabout and the end of the ride. Radcliffe Square back to the Wolvercote Roundabout is 28 miles. The ride is mainly flat although there is a short climb up Oxford Hill to enter Witney and a gentle drag up from Witney to North Leigh on the return journey. This is a social ride and male friends and partners are welcome. The ride leader is Ellen Lee.

Link to the Midweek Ride Route

Saturday 22nd October: White Bike ride

Please note the different starting-point.

This is a ride to commemorate women riding bikes who were killed by men driving HGVs during the last five and a bit years. We will visit all five of the sites where the deaths occurred and remember the young women who died. If you would like to, it would be nice to wear white (but most of us probably don’t have anything suitable). I will bring labels with the names of the women and you can wear one for the duration of the ride, if you would like to.

We will start outside Costa Coffee in Summertown, meeting at 9.45am to start at 10am. The ride is 17.4 miles long and fairly flat apart from the last part, which climbs to Headington. You can join for part of the ride if you like, as it loops around North and West Oxford and you can cut back in, depending on where you live. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith.

Link to the White Bike Ride Route

September 2022

Isis Cyclists and Bike Buddies photo album: August 2022

Saturday 3rd September: Short ride to the newly opened Proof Social Bakehouse

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.45 am for a 10.00 departure for this short ride to the Proof Social Bakehouse.

From Radcliffe Square we will ride out through Kennington, turning to Sandford Lane for our refreshment stop in Sandford Lane Industrial Estate. The café is only able to offer takeaway at the moment, so we’ll ride to Sandford Lock to enjoy our purchases.

After refreshments we will follow Route 5 back to Oxford: a traffic-free path parallel with the railway line, taking us onto the river towpath. The leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.

Link to the short route

Thursday 8th September: Evening Social Ride

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 5.30 pm for a 5.45 departure to Beckley. The ride takes us through Old Marston then up the steep hill to Elsfield, then follows the minor road to Beckley, which should give us good views across Otmoor. The Abingdon Arms pub does good pizzas, and has a large outdoor seating area.

We return to Oxford via Woodeaton. The ride is 15 miles in length and is led by Karen Wolff. Male partners and friends are welcome to join us.

Link to the evening route

Saturday 10th September: Medium Ride to Sandy Lane Organic Farm Shop and Café, Tiddington

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.30am for a 9.45am departure. Sandy Lane Farm shop has recently opened a small rustic cafe at their farm shop and Farmer Joe and Poppy the pig are really keen to welcome cyclists for coffee and cake, so I thought we should give it a go. 

We will wiggle out through Oxford and along the Barton Park path, heading to Tiddington via Stanton St. John and Ickford. The lane to the farm has a short hill which is not too challenging. The return route retraces the route to Ickford and takes the bridleway into the back of Waterperry. 

The ride continues to Wheatley and Horspath and finishes at the BMW factory.  It’s approximately 23 miles and is led by Lesley Durbin. Don’t forget your panniers. 

Link to the medium route

Saturday 17th September: Long Ride to Wallingford

Meet at 9.45 in Radcliffe Square, ready to start at 10am. We’ll head for Wallingford, via Temple Cowley, Chiselhampton and Dorchester; and back via Preston Crowmarsh. We can stop for coffee/cakes/lunch at the Cartshed (this is halfway), depending on time and appetites; or bring snacks and a picnic. After that we go via Berrick Salome (contender for best named village), Little Milton and Cuddesdon. This route is further described on Isis’s Selected Routes). The route is 36 miles long, and with a hill or two (Cuddesdon!) so we’ll be starting promptly at 10. Leader is Liz W, ably abetted by Garmina. 

Link to the long route

Tuesday 27th September: Midweek Social Ride: A Ridgeway Adventure

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.15am, ready to start at 9.30am on a ride to Childrey, at the foot of the Ridgeway. We will leave Oxford via Redbridge and Boar’s Hill, so could pick up people at Redbridge, outside the Go Outdoors Store, at 9.45am (let me know if you want me to do this). We’ll make our way to the Ridgeway via Fyfield, Lyford, Denchworth and East Challow, before riding a lovely track along the spring line to Childrey. The highly recommended Childrey Stores serves lunches, as well as coffee and cake. If you would like to have lunch there, please let me know, as I’ll need to book a table, which will probably be outside, weather permitting. Or you could bring a picnic. We’ll return via Goosey, Charney Bassett, Hinton Waldrist and Longworth, taking a bridleway between Charney Bassett and Pusey. We may need to walk a short section of this. We can get drinks, cake and ice creams at Appleton. The ride is 44 miles long, with the biggest hill at the start and a smaller one in the middle. You’ll be going down the long one at the end. Otherwise, it’s fairly flat. We can adjust/shorten the ride if need be, to take account of weather conditions. Because of the length of the ride, you are advised to bring snacks, plenty of water and hot drinks if you like.  We will have stops in nice places. The leader is Jane Carlton Smith and please let me know via the Midweek Rides WhatsApp groupif you would like me to book lunch at Childrey.

Link to the midweek route