February 2017

Ellen writes… February might not be everybody’s favourite month for getting out on their bike, but the days are getting longer and we have another interesting selection of rides on offer to help change your mind. In fact, the month will find us riding to pretty much all points of the compass.


Ready for the off on our ride to Annie’s Tea Room on 21st January

For those of you who enjoy our medium rides, you have two bites at the cherry because you can turn our long ride into a medium ride by returning to Oxford from Tackley by train. I hope that the weather will be kind on 11th February for my “Lonesome Pine” ride, so that we can take the time to really have a good look at lots of trees. The more you look at them, the more magical they become (honestly!). For short & steady riders, there’s a trip to Headington with a chance to explore some of its nooks and crannies and finally our ride with Oxford City Cycling members will take us out west, to Witney.

Finally, next month sees the Women & Bicycles festival. We’re very pleased to announce that our short and steady ride will be happening on Sunday 5th March in conjunction with the event. For an outline of other rides in March, visit our Looking Ahead page.


We will meet at 09:45am for a prompt 10am start outside The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road) for a 7- 8 mile gentle ride around lesser known Headington. We will cycle through University Parks, and will take a gentle climb along tree-lined Harberton Mead at a manageable and slow pace! We will explore the quiet cycle lanes and residential streets of Headington Old and New before stopping for coffee at the Bonjour Café. We will return after coffee back to South Parks Road.

The ride leader is Sarah Twine.


** Cancelled on account of bad weather **

Meet from 09:45am for a prompt 10am start outside the South Lodge of the University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road). In this ride we will be exploring all things coniferous as we wind our way through North Oxford and on to Kidlington. Learn to tell your pines from your cedars and your spruces from your firs! Take a fresh look at around 15 different species of conifer and appreciate with me their fantastic contribution to our urban landscape. On our return to Oxford we will end up at The Victoria Arms in Old Marston for coffee. The ride is mostly flat and 15 miles long. Please dress up warmly as we will be stopping frequently. The ride leader (and self-confessed conifer nut!) is Ellen Lee.


Meet in Broad Street in front of the Tourist Information Office at 10.45am for an 11.00am start. The ride will leave Oxford via cycle route 1. It will continue through Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon and onto Kirtlington, then onto Tackley for lunch/ refreshments at the Tackley village shop.

Long ridethe return journey is via  Woodstock, returning to Oxford down the A44 cycle track. This route includes some sections of off-road tracks not suitable for bikes with very narrow road tyres. This route (which is approx. 26 miles long) does include a couple of hills in either direction which can be taken at your own pace or walked. The ride leader is Lilia Bonacorsi.

Medium ride: If you would prefer a medium length ride, it is possible to return to Oxford by train. This takes 10 minutes, costs £ 3.60, and times are: 13.26 -15.26 -17.42

Please note: If you are coming on this ride, please let Lilia know by 13th February as the village shop has to be notified. The café is not open in the winter unless arranged in advance, so the plan is to make things simple by ordering a vegetarian soup for everyone. Cakes etc can also be purchased.


Meet at 9.15 for a prompt 9.30 am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will explore the countryside to the west and south-west of Oxford. The route will be mainly flat, but be prepared for the odd hill along the way.  We will leave Oxford to the north via the A44 cycle track, Yarnton, Long Hanborough, Eynsham and South Leigh. Refreshments will be taken in Witney (probably Church Green café) and the homeward route will start out along Tar Lane before turning onto the B4449 and re-entering Oxford through Farmoor and Botley. If the weather is unpleasant we may have to adapt the route on the fly. The distance will be a little over 30 miles, and the ride leader will be Liz Matthews.



January 2017

Ellen writes… I hope you all had a fantastic and restful Christmas and New Year break. 2017 should be full of cycling fun! Make sure you check the starting times of rides this month because some are later than usual to give us the best chance of avoiding ice and cold.


A murmuration of starlings sighted on our ride to Otmoor in November


Meet at 9.45 am for a 10.00 departure, by the statue of the ox opposite the main entrance to Oxford Railway Station. We will ride up the canal towards Wolvercote, then on through Wytham. We’ll then continue south to Botley and North Hinksey, where we’ll stop for refreshments at The Fishes, then return to Oxford via Willow Walk. The ride is 10 miles in length and is more or less flat. The ride leader is Clare Farley.


Meet from 10.45 am in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church) for an 11.00 am departure for Sunningwell. We will leave Oxford using quiet roads and tracks to join Sustrans route 5 through South Oxford, Kennington, and Radley to the outskirts of Abingdon. Here we will turn west to pick up Penn Lane, a bridle track, which will take us to Sunningwell where we will have refreshments at The Flowing Well PH. We will return more directly via Bagley Wood and Kennington. The ride is 16 miles long and largely flat. It includes a couple of sections of bridle track, so mudguards are a good idea and narrow tyres a bad idea! Please also remember to bring lights, especially if it is a dull day because it may be dusk by the time we return to Oxford. The ride leader will be Liz Weekes.


Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad Street at 10.15 for a 10.30 start. Our intended route is sausage-shaped, going north along Sustains route 1 via Water Eaton, Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon to Enslow. From there we turn south through Shipton-on-Cherwell and along a short section of the Oxford Canal to Annie’s Tea Room at Thrupp. Depending on the time of our arrival, you can opt for a late coffee or an early lunch. The return route is shorter and takes us south to Kidlington and across to Yarnton. We’ll join the cycle path alongside the A44; thence to Summertown.

Depending on the weather, the itinerary may change slightly once we’re beyond the ring road on the outward leg. So you can meet us anywhere between our starting-point and Cutteslowe. The maximum distance should be 22-23 miles, and the leader is Liz Matthews.


Meet outside Campus Stores in Broad Street at 9.15am for a prompt 9.30am departure to wend our way out of Oxford and head off to Waterperry for coffee.  The route back will be a pretty meander via Great Milton.  The total ride distance is 27 miles and if the weather is particularly unpleasant there are plenty of options for a quicker ride home.  Ride leader is Natasha Williams.


Monthly Programme

home-page-bannerWelcome to Isis Cyclists, an informal member group of Oxford Cycling UK. We publish details of our rides month by month, and you’ll find the current month’s rides below this introduction. To see an outline programme for up to four months ahead, visit the Looking Ahead page.

We aim to start each ride promptly, and so we encourage people to meet 15 minutes before the advertised start time in order to welcome new riders, catch up with familiar faces and sign the riders’ list. We don’t publish the ride leaders’ contact details on this site, but if you have any queries about a particular ride, please get in touch through the Contact Us page at least a couple of days beforehand.

If you’re new to cycling with a large number of other people, you may find our Tips for Cycling in a Group page helpful.

cyclinguk_web-logo-no-strap-2col-cmykIsis Cyclists and Oxford Cycling UK are part of Cycling UK.

‘Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.’ – Susan B. Anthony, 1896