Archive for April, 2015

May 2015

This month is jam-packed with an amazing variety of rides from a gentle potter visiting Art Week venues in North Oxford to an opportunity to hone your hill climbing technique and a chance to catch up on calories at the Dorchester Abbey Tea Rooms. Whatever sort of cycling appeals to you, we hope you find a ride for you.

Saturday 2nd May: A Short Trip to Narnia (and Back!)

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 mile slow and gentle wander to a variety of places in Headington associated with the author, C.S. Lewis. We will cycle through University Parks before ‘doing’ the inevitable hill – a gradual climb along tree-lined Harberton Mead, which is by far the easiest route to Headington! For those who want to meet us in Headington, we will be at 10 Old High Street (opposite Jacobs & Field café) at about 10.15 – the first place of interest…

We will see CS Lewis’ unusual place of marriage, his parish church (with the Narnia Window) and his grave in Headington Quarry. We will then cross the ring road to Risinghurst to find “The Kilns”, his home from 1930-1963, and to discover the adjacent CS Lewis Nature Reserve thought to be the inspiration behind the Narnia classic. This tranquil woodland and pond, that once belonged to CS Lewis, is now managed by BBOWT. We will pause for coffee and a Portuguese egg tart (pastel de nata) or cake at the Madeira café in Risinghurst before returning to either ‘downtown’ Headington or the starting point in town, depending on the group.  The ride leader is Lucy Wright, her email is in case of queries

Saturday 9th May: Medium Ride – Hill Technique Practice

We will meet in Radcliffe Square by the railings opposite the Church / Vault Cafe at Noon for a prompt 12.15pm departure and set off to practise different methods for tackling hills.  Our first challenge will be to climb the long and reasonably steep Headington Hill and then Bayswater Road.  We will then loop around Horton-cum-Studley and move onto Beckley, where there’s a lovely hill that if you carry on pedalling whilst going down, your momentum will take you almost to the top of the next hill – with hardly any effort.  Loops can be repeated if wished!  We will then return to Headington and Jacobs and Field for well-earned coffee and cake and where the ride will end.  The ride is 17 miles long and has an elevation gain of 988ft.  All hills will be taken at your own pace – it is simply a chance to try different techniques on different types of hills with the aim of using the least effort to climb a hill.  The ride leader is Natasha Williams (01865 723 760 or

Wednesday 13th May: Evening Social Ride to Cuddesdon

Meet at the Manzil Way Park (just in front of the children’s play area) on Cowley Road, Oxford at 6pm from where we will pedal up Barracks Lane, cross the ring road and head out through Horspath and on through Wheatley and approach Cuddesdon via the river and mill. We will stop for refreshments/supper at the Bat and Ball.

We will return to Oxford through Garsington and Blackbird Leys. This is an Isis Social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome to join us. Don’t forget to bring lights for the return journey. The ride has several hills and is around 13 miles long. The ride leader will be Clare Farley.

Friday 15th May: Art Week Stop and Stare Ride

About our Stop and Stare rides

An afternoon ride heading north out of the city to take in a good range of Artweek exhibitions in Jericho, Summertown, Wolvercote and Wytham. Meet outside the Sheldonian at 1.45 to set off at 2pm. We’ll aim to stop for refreshments at Wytham Village shop tea garden, although we may well have already found tea on offer at one of the Artweeks sites! The return to Oxford will be via Botley. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson tel: 07715207784.

Sunday 17th May: Art Week In South Oxfordshire

As part of our summer build up to the annual 50 mile ride in September, an outing to boost our energy levels with the delicious cakes at Dorchester Abbey tea rooms is not to be missed. A round trip of just over 30 miles. Meet 11am outside the Sheldonian to leave at 11.15am. We will head out of Oxford along the river towpath, taking the Sustrans route to Abingdon, where we will stop for coffee (and a chance to buy a sandwich for lunch/or bring a snack). We will take a mixture of minor and main roads through Appleford and Clifton Hampden to Dorchester, with the option of stopping at a couple of Artweek exhibitions en route. We will aim to get to Dorchester when the tea rooms open at 2.30pm. Afterwards, it’s a flat and level ride home for tired legs via Stadhampton riding back into the city through Cowley, arriving back into the centre 4.30/5pm. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson tel: 07715207784.

Saturday 30th May: A Longish Medium Ride to the Sculpture Exhibition in the Bothy Vineyard

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.45 for a 10am departure to the Bothy Vineyard at Frilford Heath, which once again is hosting Oxfordshire’s largest outdoor sculpture exhibition: see We’ll ride out via the South Oxford cycle route, Kennington, Sunningwell and Boars Hill and back via Dry Sandford, Besselsleigh, Cumnor and North Hinksey, steering clear of the roadworks by Oxford station to end the ride at Folly Bridge. Altitude-wise, there’ll be a sedate ascent up the Bagley Wood Road and a very short but steep climb out of Sunningwell (getting off and pushing is of course permitted!). The total distance will be just over 20 miles, and depending on how long we spend among the sculptures, we should be back in Oxford by 1.30. The ride leader is Liz Matthews (

You may also like to leave room in your panniers for some Oxford Pink or Doctor’s Bacchus!


29 April 2015 at 5:47 pm

April 2015

Ellen writes: We’ve been (mostly) lucky with the weather for our rides in March, although wind has been a bit of a feature. Indeed our return ride to coffee at Woodstock (with City CTC) was cancelled due to winds predicted to be gusting up to 47mph! You may be interested to know that the March Stop & Stare ride was greatly enjoyed by those who took part and the votes for the best building were divided, but for worst were unanimous! We obviously know what we don’t like. I won’t spill the beans about the winners and losers, because Jane will be leading the same (or very similar) ride as our regular short ride in June and so we don’t want to prejudice the outcome! Anyway, do check out our photo site to see photos of some of the buildings visited. One of our regular riders, Liz Weekes, will be taking part in a 100km (62 mile) ride through London during the night of 6th/7th June to raise money for Sustrans and the NCN network which is 20 years old this year. She says: “If you’ve enjoyed using the National Cycle Network then help me celebrate its 20th anniversary by sponsoring my all night bike ride in London this summer. It’s on 6th June, in aid of Sustrans, & is 100 kilometres (62 or so miles) through the dead of night. Please support me in this! Thank you so much!! Liz” To sponsor Liz, go to: Another of our regular leaders, Jane Carlton-Smith, will be riding the “Ride the Night Ride” on May 30th which is a women only sponsored ride from Windsor into central London and back in aid of Women V Cancer; She is starting at 10.30pm in Windsor. Apparently there are still free slots, so if you too would like to take up the challenge contact her ( as she may be able to give you and your bike a lift in her van. If you wish to sponsor Jane then go to: Finally, Lucy and Alison are running another yoga workshop for cyclists on Sunday 26th April. This workshop has the theme “injury prevention”, something that I’m sure is close to all our hearts. See below for further details. Because of the Easter weekend, there is no short ride on a Saturday in April – it’ll back again in May!

Saturday 11th April. Medium ride: One-way trip to Didcot

Meet at Bonn Square at 9.45am for a 10.00 departure. We will ride along the National Cycle Route 5 from Oxford along the Thames to begin with, via Sandford, Radley and then Abingdon where we will take a coffee break in the square. Then we will continue via Sutton Courtney to Didcot. We will take the train back to Oxford. Timing needs to be rather flexible. The ride is approximately 15 miles long and fairly flat. The ride leader is Clare Farley.

Saturday 18th April. Long ride: Coffee at Cogges

Meet in Radcliffe Square at 9.45am for a 10am departure to Cogges Farm, Witney. The route will leave via North Oxford, the Oxford Canal and the A44 cycle track to Yarnton before heading on road via Long Hanborough, North Leigh and New Yatt. The return route will be via Stanton Harcourt and Eynsham. The outward journey includes about a mile of towpath (not suitable for very thin tyres) and a gentle climb through Long Hanborough to North Leigh, but coming back the roads are flat. The return trip will be approximately 28 miles and will be led by Liz Matthews (

Wednesday 22nd April. Stop & Stare ride: Station to Station

Introduction to Stop & Stare rides. Meet from 9:45am by the statue of the Ox at Oxford Railway Station ready for a 10am departure. The route is fairly flat and approximately 8 miles long. It uses some tow paths and shared cycle lane/ bus lanes (very short)  but mainly it will make use of the North Oxford cycle path, Sustrans routes and minor roads to head north from the station. We will see what progress has been made with the new Oxford Parkway Station at Water Eaton Park and Ride. The return route will be via Jericho with a refreshment stop at The Jericho Café. The ride should take approximately two hours (including refreshments) and the ride leader is Sarah Twine.

Sunday 26th April: Joint ISIS/City CTC Ride: Coffee at Abingdon

Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford in time for a prompt 9.30am departure for Abingdon. We will leave Oxford via Cumnor Hill and ride through Appleton, Fyfield, Tubney and Gozzards Ford before entering Abingdon via Shippon for coffee at Throwing Buns. The return trip will use NCN route 5 and will therefore include a few off-road sections of reasonable quality, although bikes with extra thin tyres are not recommended. The round trip will be 23 miles long and the only hill of any significance is Cumnor Hill which will be taken gently. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee (

Sunday 26 April. Yoga for cyclists: 2-4.45pm at St Alban’s Hall, Charles Street, East Oxford

Taking self-care and injury prevention as this month’s focus, Lucy and Alison will continue the workshop series by exploring how yoga can benefit anyone who cycles, looking at the shoulders in particular, and offering two contrasting yoga sessions suitable for all levels. We are delighted that Brita Benson will join us to give a 30 minute presentation, including hands-on bodywork, Do-In (self-Shiatsu & Acupressure), self-care tips & suggestions. Cost £20, no yoga experience needed.  Email if you would like more info or to book a place.

8 April 2015 at 7:30 pm


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