May 2015

29 April 2015 at 5:47 pm

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!


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