Archive for December, 2014

January 2015

Saturday, 3rd January: Wolvercote and North Hinksey (short & steady)

Meet at 9.45am in front of the steps at the Said Business School, Frideswide Sq, near the bike racks to the right as you face the building, for a 10:00am departure. We will join the canal tow path going North to Wolvercote Green and then through to Wytham. We will return along the road to Botley. Our refreshment stop will be at the Fishes pub in North Hinksey for coffee. Our way back to the centre of town will be via Willow Walk and the Thames tow path. The ride is flat and 8 miles long and will be taken at the pace of the slowest rider. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

Saturday 10th January: Cumnor-Besselsleigh-Cothill-Fyfield circular (medium)

Meet by the statue of the ox opposite the entrance to Oxford station at 9.45am for a 10.00am start. We will pedal up Cumnor Hill in a leisurely manner and into the village. From there, we will take a circular route through Besselsleigh, Cothill, Tubney, Fyfield, and Appleton (or maybe the other way round, depending on the wind direction). Our destination is Liz’s home in Cumnor for (home-made) soup. Once you’re refreshed, it’s an easy ride downhill back into Oxford. The ride will inevitably involve climbing Cumnor Hill, but apart from that is not too hilly and is approximately 16 miles long. The ride leader is Liz Matthews.

It would help me to plan the catering if people could email me during the week before the ride to let me know they’re planning to take part: liz.masterman@gmail.com. Also, if you think you might be peckish before we get to my house, do bring a snack and we can linger at one of the regrouping points for people to replenish their energy reserves. The ride will inevitably involve climbing Cumnor Hill, but apart from that is not too hilly and is approximately 16 miles long.

Saturday 17th January: Long Ride – Blow away the cobwebs on the Otmoor circuit!

Our first long ride of 2015 is the keen cyclist’s favourite early Sunday morning training run, the 23 mile route around Otmoor. We’ll give you a little more time to pump up your tyres and have breakfast (and allow the pubs to open) by setting off at 11am, aiming to get back to Oxford at 2.30pm or soon after. We will cycle out of Oxford through Marston towards Islip, and then head off  round the “Seven Towns” of Otmoor: Beckley, Noke, Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Fencott, Murcott and Horton-cum-Studley. Bring a snack, as, although we will stop for coffee, bar food may not be available. There are a couple of hills, and we will take it at a steady, not fast, speed.  Bring lights just in case we get back later than expected. Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 10.45am. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson tel: 0771 520 7784.

Sunday 25th January: Joint ISIS/City CTC ride to coffee at Aston Pottery

Meet at 9.15 for a prompt 9.30 am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford.  We will cycle up Cumnor Hill and through the villages to Aston Pottery for our coffee stop.  We will then cycle home via Eynsham and back down towards the Botley Road.  The round trip is approximately 30 miles.  The ride leader is Natasha Williams (nlwilliams70@gmail.com).

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30 December 2014 at 3:50 pm

Welcome to Winter! Top Tips for Seasonal Cycling

The December rides list is here – but remember to come back to this post afterwards for some cool advice for cool days!

Ellen Lee writes:

It’s definitely winter now, so we thought we’d put our heads together and bring you our top tips for enjoyable winter cycling. Being properly kitted out and prepared for what the winter can through at you is the key to getting the best out of winter riding. How can you enjoy the buildings of Oxford illuminated by the low winter sun or the colours in the hedgerows when you have cold feet and are worried in case you get caught out without lights?

So here goes with the tips!

  • Make sure your tyres are in good condition because they are more likely to pick up flints and glass from the wet winter roads and this leads to punctures. If your tyres look worn, now is a good time to replace them. Many tyres are available with Kevlar linings to reduce punctures.
  • You might feel cold as you start out riding, but don’t fall for the temptation of putting on too many layers because you’ll soon warm up. It’s much better to carry a spare layer that you can put on if you need to stop and take off again when you start. Layering your clothing allows more precise temperature control.
  • If the air temperature is at or below freezing, take care not to wear water based face cream because it will freeze to your face when you start cycling. Instead, choose an oil-based cream.
  • For peace of mind, it’s a good idea to carry lights, even if you have no plans to actually cycle after dark. You never know when you may be delayed. These days you can buy tiny LED lights for both the front and back of your bike which don’t need special mounting brackets and can be strapped on when needed. Pop them in your bag and they’ll be there if you need them.

Most importantly of all, don’t be put off by the winter weather. Winter cycling can be very enjoyable and uplifting. We try to continue our programme of rides all through the winter. However, occasionally when we feel that cycling may not be safe, we do cancel rides. Cancellations are always announced via an email to the Google Group, so if you are in any doubt, do check this before you leave for a ride.

Whatever happens, have a safe and enjoyable time cycling this winter!

3 December 2014 at 8:30 pm

December 2014

SATURDAY 6th DECEMBER: SHORT & STEADY: SOUTH-WEST TO SANDFORD LOCK

Meet in Bonn Square, Oxford from 10:45 am for an 11am departure on a 9 mile gentle ride to coffee at The Kings Arms at Sandford Lock and back. Our route will take us out of Oxford along the South Oxford Cycle Route to Kennington where we will meander along minor roads before heading down Sandford Lane to the lock. Our return route will take us through Littlemore and into the back of Iffley Village before returning to Oxford via Meadow Lane and the Iffley Road. As it’s December, this route will shun muddy cycle tracks, instead using minor roads and surfaced tracks. There is one steady climb in each half of the ride which will be taken at a very gentle pace. We expect to get back to the city centre around 2pm, but if it’s a dark day it’s a good plan to bring lights just in case. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee (ellen@133.me.uk)

SATURDAY 13TH DECEMBER: MEDIUM RIDE: EXPLORING LANES EAST OF OXFORD

Meet underneath the silver birch trees on the corner of Osler Road and London Road, Headington at 9.45 for a 10.00am start. We will head off through the back of Headington, cross the ring-road via the subway then ride past the crematorium to Stanton St. John. From there we follow quiet country lanes, criss-crossing the motorway below us and cycling past three woods (Holly, Boarstall and Oakley). We return to Stanton St. John for refreshments at the ‘Talkhouse’ pub then it’s a short ride back to Oxford. The ride is approx 15 miles long and there will be a couple of hills. It will be led by Karen Wolff karen@wolffs.info

SATURDAY 20TH DECEMBER: LONG RIDE: BRUNCH AT THE MILK SHED

Meet at 9:30am in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the rear of the University Church) for a 9:45am departure for brunch at The Milk Shed, Weston on the Green. We will take a direct route on the outward journey, through Woodeaton and Islip. After refuelling on brunch, we will return by a more circuitous route, through Wendlebury and Merton before entering Oxford once again through Islip and Woodeaton. The route is mainly flat. However Islip Hill will be tackled from both directions. It will also involve one off road track (with a good, hard surface). The entire trip will be approximately 25 miles long and the ride leader will be Natasha Williams (nlwilliams70@gmail.com or 07704 590 134).

TUESDAY 16TH DECEMBER: STOP & STARE RIDE: CHRISTMAS LIGHTS 2014

Our almost annual foray to investigate all that is tacky in the realm of Christmas lights.  Meet from 6:15pm (6:30pm departure) on Magdalen Bridge – the pavement on the left as you go out of town – for a potter around some of the highlights (or low lights?) of Christmas festive illuminations.  Your leader will be doing her research and planning the itinerary, but if you know of a particularly impressive display, please contact her at janecs@phonecoop.coop. The ride will be 5-10 miles long (depending on the weather) and may include the odd hill and will definitely include time to stop and stare, so please make sure you wrap up warm. We will end our ride at a suitably welcoming hostelry for a drink and a chat. The ride leader will be Jane Carlton Smith.  Telephone 07833 731253 if wanting to come but running a bit late.

SATURDAY 27TH DECEMBER: WORK OFF THE CHRISTMAS PUD RIDE

Why not join Lucy Tennyson (0771 520 7784)for a ride to help banish the Christmas pudding and clear the head after the festivities? Meet from 10:45am outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad Street, Oxford for an 11am departure on a 15 mile gentle and mainly flat pootle to coffee at Annie’s Tearoom, Thrupp, near Kidlington.

3 December 2014 at 8:20 pm


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