Normally, the turn of the year gives us a chance to look forward to better things ahead. However, for the moment Isis Cyclists can’t organise their regular rides. Tier 4 rules mean that an individual can only ride with another single person outside their household. However, with better weather and the vaccination programme starting we will surely be back riding in small groups at some point in the next few months. Rest assured, we will start up again as soon as we can.
In the meantime we hope you are able to get out and about and take advantage of the very quiet roads. This might not seem a particularly attractive prospect, but as long as you wrap up it’s still wonderful in its own special way! See our tips for winter cycling.
Unless there is a last minute hitch, the rule of 6 outdoors is back this week, and so we are able to offer our intended programme of rides in December! However, as we are emerging in the new “improved” Tier 2, I’m afraid that there won’t be any indoor cafe stops. You are strongly advised to bring your own refreshments as it may not be possible to get take-away coffee and cake.
I hope that you have managed to get out and about a bit during the current lock-down. With short days, this is much more of a challenge than it was in the spring. I’m lucky that my work recognises the importance of fresh air and exercise. This means that I can take an hour or so out in the middle of the day to get on my bike. On sunny days, being outside during daylight hours is just such a mood lifter.
I’m not the only Isis Cyclist who has been out there making the most of slightly quieter roads. Below is a link to “Isis in Isolation” photographs for November 2020. I make no apology for having selected a number of stunning skyscape and sunset pictures. When the gloom has lifted, we’ve had some wonderful skies to enjoy. November is a real transition month. At the start of the month the autumn colours were still really vibrant, but by the end the countryside is definitely in winter mode. For obvious reasons there are fewer people in this month’s photos, but plenty of stunning scenery.
Meet from 9.45am for a 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprise 6 cyclists maximum.
Sarah Twine will lead a scenic city parks ride which is a 7-mile route taking in some of Oxford’s many parks and green spaces. It will include a climb up to Headington, but on a quiet back road where riders can go at their own pace or walk if they wish. If you want to check the route out beforehand there is a link below:
Ellen Lee will lead an 11-mile ride which will head out through North Oxford and Jericho before cutting across to Botley Rd and Osney Island to North Hinksey. The route then returns to Oxford via Wytham, Wolvercote and down the newly surfaced Oxford Canal. The link to the route is below:
Meet from 9.45am for a 10am departure in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church). Note: each ride comprise 6 cyclists maximum. However, it may be possibe to run a second group to the Bothy Vineyard, subject to the availability of an additional leader.
Liz Matthews will lead a ride south-west to the award-winning Bothy Vineyard, which is holding a Christmas mini-market from 11am to 5pm. The outward route takes us through South Oxford, Kennington and Sunningwell, and we return via Cothill, Wootton and Cumnor. In addition to the Bothy’s own wines, there will be other stalls selling jams, cakes, fresh samosas and other goodies, all in a Covid-secure environment. Since the vineyard is ending its wine production, this will be one of your last chances to purchase its produce, so leave room in your panniers for a bottle or two!
At a distance of 20.7 miles this ride is on the long side of medium, but is generally flat. Because it’s so close to Christmas, feel free to deck your bike (and/or yourself) in festive garb.
Karen Wolff will lead a 17-mile ride which will be the reverse of the route in the link below! It will start by climbing Cumnor Hill before riding through Besselsleigh, Dry Sandford, Cothill, Sunningwell and back into Oxford along the Sustrans track and river towpath.
I can’t quite believe it, but this is the 100th newsletter that I’ve written since I took over doing it in 2012! I was very much hoping that it would be an up-beat edition, with plenty of interesting rides on offer. However, the announcement of the new national lockdown well and truly scuppered that hope!
So, we are back where we were, unable to offer any rides until the lockdown that starts on November 5th is lifted. However, rest assured that we are ready to start as soon as we possibly can. In the meantime, it is still be possible to ride either with members of your own household (or bubble) or with a single other person.
Bike Buddies, our WhatsApp group, can still be used to arrange single riding partners in addition to sharing your adventures, asking for riding-related help/information and keeping in touch. If you are not a member and would like to join, send an email via the Contact Us page and I’ll add you.
On the bright side, after some nifty rescheduling to avoid the wettest day ever recorded in October, we managed to run both short & steady and medium rides in their new Covid-friendly format. It was wonderful to meet riders whom I hadn’t seen since March and to find out what they had found to do to get them through the lockdown and subsequent easing. It seems that everyone who has cycled has found it a source of comfort and inspiration, a real aid to maintaining sanity. Despite the onset of colder weather, we will be continuing to call upon its unique ability to uplift mind and body.
Welcome to the October 2020 edition of the Isis Cyclists Newsletter. After months of Isis Cyclists inactivity, and assuming that Covid-related rules don’t change again in the next few days, we are restarting rides!
Isis rides won’t be quite the same as they were, but we have concentrated on getting a system in place that allows a reasonable number of riders to take part while avoiding the need to commit in advance. Please read the notes at the top of the Home page for a reminder of what you need to know and what you need to bring with you when joining a ride.
To help you choose a ride we have included links to the routes on our ‘selected routes’ page. Please note that all of the rides will start in Radcliffe Square, even if the routes shown in Mapometer or Ride with GPS begin somewhere else.
And before I forget, here is the link to photographs of what Isis Cyclist members got up to informally in September. Let’s hope that this will be the last “Isis in Isolation” photo album!
Saturday 17th October: Medium Rides
Please meet in Radcliffe Square promptly at 9:45am so that the leader can fill in the rider registers and explain how the rides will work before you set off at 10:00am.
Leader: Jane Carlton Smith
Route title: Circular route into the countryside: views over Otmoor