Archive for February, 2016

March 2016

Ellen writes… Not the greatest weather in February! We ended up having to cancel one ride due to high winds and rain and shorten a second one. Our long ride to Tackley did go ahead as planned with 6 riders braving wind, rain and mud! They were rewarded with a great selection of hearty and warming food at the community café. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this month we have some warmer (less cold?) and calmer conditions so that we can concentrate on enjoying our riding? We’ll see!

Be sure to read to the bottom of this newsletter because there are details of cycling related activities organised by Broken Spoke and Cyclox plus news of another yoga workshop.

The Isis Cyclists leaders’ group will be meeting in the middle of March to sort out the programme for the summer. As usual, we will be running our ‘short and steady’ and medium length rides. Our long rides will be building up for our 50-mile challenge ride in early September. Our midweek ‘Stop & Stare’ rides will be getting under way again in April, exploring within the ring road. We’ll also be including some summer evening rides. If you have any ideas for a new destination or would like to return to an old favourite, please do email me and we’ll try to fit it in the schedule (

In the meantime I hope the sun shines and the wind stops blowing and that you’ll join us on one of our March rides.


Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad Street, Oxford at 10:15 am for a 10:30 am start. This slow and gentle trip to Sandford on Thames and back is an ideal way of getting back into the saddle after winter, or venturing out on your first Isis ride. Mostly flat all the way, we will head out of the centre down St Ebbes, using the footbridge to cross the Thames and dropping onto the riverside path. From there we follow the river all the way to Sandford via Iffley. We might encounter a few puddles so mudgards and thicker tyres recommended! We’ll return via Rose Hill and Donnington Bridge and the Iffley Road. The coffee stop is at the farmers market in Sandford Village Hall. The ride is fairly flat and 9 miles long. We will arrive back in the centre of town 1pm at the latest. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson tel: 0771520 7784

Note: For an ideal warm down and stretch after the ride, Lucy will be leading a yoga and tai chi workshop for cyclists in Oxford from 2-5pm afterwards in East Oxford (see bottom of this newsletter for more details)


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). Our destination is Liz’s home in Cumnor for a bring-and-share lunch. 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 more or less flat and is approximately 16 miles long to Liz’s house. This is a mixed social ride, so male friends and partners are welcome. The ride leader is Liz Matthews.

Note from Liz about catering: I will provide home-made soup for all, and we ask each person to bring a contribution to share: bread (eg rolls or a baguette), a salad, or cake. The ride passes my house after about 5 miles, so we’ll stop briefly to offload the food.

To help with the planning, please can you contact me during the week before the ride to let me know you what you’d like to bring: or 07961 028262. Also, if you think you might be peckish en route, bring a snack and we can linger at one of the regrouping points for people to replenish their energy reserves.

SATURDAY 19h MARCH: LONG RIDE ** Change of meeting point **

Meet in Marston, outside the Co-op store (in the  row of shops in the slip road opposite the BP garage by the small roundabouts) at 9.45am ready to set off at 10am. We’ll be looking out for the first signs of spring on this circular route around the pretty villages of Otmoor, which is popular with many local cycling clubs. We won’t be racing round however, but going at a steady pace, allowing time for the hills (only a couple) as many of us will be lacking strength in our legs at this time of year (me included!). We will cycle out of the city through Marston towards Islip, and then head off through Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor, Fencott, Murcott and Horton-cum-Studley, with a break for coffee and snacks at the Panshill Wood Fishery. The ride length 22 miles. The ride leader will be Lucy Tennyson tel: 0771 520 7784.


Meet in Broad St near Oxford Campus Stores for a prompt 9:30am departure for Aston Pottery. The route to Aston will lie south of the Thames, going up Cumnor Hill and taking the back road through the villages to Hinton Waldrist, then crossing the A420 to continue through Pusey. We’ll then turn north to re-cross the A420 and ride through Buckland, down the hill to Tadpole Bridge; thence to Cote and Aston. Return will be via a the more familiar route through Stanton Harcourt and Eynsham. This will be a very long ride by Isis standards: 20 miles to Aston and 15 miles back to Oxford, but it will take in some pretty lanes that we don’t normally get to explore. Cumnor Hill is the only substantial climb on the outward route. (If the weather forecast is breezy, the outward route may go via Standlake instead.) The ride leader is Liz Matthews (


Team Beryl invites women and trans folk into the Broken Spoke workshop on the first Thursday of every month from 6-9pm. Please join us to take part in a FREE mini-class on our monthly theme, work on your own bike in a safe space, and enjoy plenty of tea, biscuits and good company!

For information about this month’s event, visit the Beryl’s Night page of the Broken Spoke website.

Stop, Stretch and Go! Saturday 5 March

Isis ride leader Lucy Tennyson will be joined by fellow cyclists Alison Partridge and Ann Furtado (one of the co-founders of Isis) for a Stop, Stretch and Go! Yoga and tai chi workshop. The aim is to help cyclists learn how to stretch out fully after their chosen activity. This helps boost recovery, and tones up muscles ready for the next ride or activity. Ann will lead an introductory session on how tai chi can help maintain flexibility. The workshop will begin with a gentle warm up and stretching using yoga postures. This will be followed by a contrasting session of stronge vinyasa flow yoga, with gentler alternative stretches as an option.

The workshop is on Saturday 5 March, at St Alban’s Hall, Charles St, East Oxford from 2-5pm. Cost £20/£15 students. Email to book a place.

Cyclox Short Film Competition

Cyclox Cycling Shorts. Wednesday 9th March, Short film competition screening!: FREE!, 6.45pm (for 7.00pm start) to 8.00pm, Keble College, O’Reilly Theatre, Oxford OX1 3PG – please enter via Blackhall Road. Screening of all 24 film entries, prize giving, and commentary and feedback by BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz and Chair of Cyclox Simon Hunt. You can link to all the entries from our short film competition page. Please note: entry is free, and the venue capacity is 181 people, so please arrive promptly to ensure you get a seat!



28 February 2016 at 9:40 pm

February 2016

Ellen writes… Well, we managed to make it through this January without needing to cancel any rides: quite an achievement, I feel! My highlight of the January rides was definitely the medium ride on the 16th: a cold but bright Saturday morning. As we stopped to recover our breath at the top of the hill out of Barton, we looked up and saw a “smile in the sky” a rare circumzenithial arc that looks like a bright upside-down rainbow, high in the sky. It’s caused by light scattered off ice crystals and is only seen occasionally in cold and bright conditions. Here’s a picture of it:


Photo by Liz Matthews

The Oxford Civic Society has a talk this month, which looks as if it will be of interest to many of us, especially those who have cycled in Cambridge recently and discovered that far more people use cycles there! See bottom of this newsletter.


Meet at 9.45am at Bonn Square at the end of Queen Street for a prompt 10am departure. We will ride down St Ebbes to the river Thames towpath south to beyond the ring road and then onto the cycle path by the railway to Sandford Lock. On the other side of the river, we will take refreshments at Sandford Village Hall where we can enjoy their new bigger cafe area and the weekly food market. Check out the Talking Shop project website below.

You can order food online to collect on the day if you wish. See website below.

From there we will return to Oxford via Littlemore, Rose Hill, Iffley village and Meadow Lane. This flat ride is 9 miles long and will be taken at the pace of the slowest rider, so please don’t be shy if you’ve not been on a bike for a while. The ride leader is Clare Farley.


This mixed social ride will feature romantic memories for Isis riders, as well as a couple of famous/fictional proposals of marriage. Bring your partner and relive those heady days. The ride will be between 12 and 15 miles long and taken at a moderate pace. There is one hill, up to Headington. We’ll stop briefly at various locations, to recall the stories associated with them.

Meet at the Sheldonian Theatre at 10.45am, for a departure at 11am. We will stop for a lunchtime snack at the Fishes at North Hinksey, or if people prefer, at the Vaults and Gardens café at the end of the ride. The route will be as flexible as possible, to accommodate the weather and ground conditions, and also to include any more nominations received by the leader, Jane Carlton Smith ( .

Please contact Jane with your romantic memories – it’s not too late – or to find out more, if you need to.  You can ring me on 07833 731253 if you’re running late and need to meet up with us.


Meet in Broad Street in front of the Tourist Information Office at 11am for an 11.15am start. The ride will leave Oxford using Sustrans routes 5 and 51. It will continue through Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon and onto Kirtlington then onto the track down to Pigeon Lock. We will continue on the Sustrans route off-road to Tackley where we will stop for refreshments at the village shop.

The return journey is via Woodstock, returning to Oxford down the A44 cycle track. This route includes several sections of off-road tracks. Most have a good surface (in the dry) but there is one section just before Tackley Station that is probably 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 (mobile 07890 731542, email

If you would like to shorten the ride to the outward journey only, there are trains back to Oxford from Tackley at 13.26, 15.26 and 17.26.


Meet at 9.15am for a prompt 9:30am departure from outside the Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will leave through the University Parks and Headington and take the back roads route to Waterperry via Stanton St John and Worminghall. The return journey to Oxford will follow country roads searching for spring flowers in Great Milton and Cuddesdon and we will continue traveling along country roads and cycle paths as much as possible. The entire trip will be approximately 24 miles, will be taken at a steady pace and has several hills or ‘undulations’ which will be taken at a gentle pace or can be walked. The ride leader to coffee and back will be Lucy Wright (


Team Beryl

Team Beryl invites women and trans folk into the Broken Spoke workshop on the first Thursday of every month from 6-9pm. Please join us to take part in a FREE mini-class on our monthly theme, work on your own bike in a safe space, and enjoy plenty of tea, biscuits and good company!

For information about this month’s Beryl’s Night, please visi:

Oxford Civic Society: Restoring Oxford as the UK’s Cycling Capital

Thursday 11 February
Speaker: Professor Danny Dorling
Ship Street Centre (The Bastion), Ship Street
Coffee/tea 7.30pm, talk 8pm (free to all)

By 2011 Oxford had dropped to third place in terms of the proportion of its population travelling by cycle each day. So what would it take to restore Oxford to its rightful place as the capital of everyday cycling in the UK? This talk by Danny Dorling, Professor of Geography at Oxford University, takes a somewhat irreverent look at the recent history of planning in the city and at ways to counter the jams. Danny is a very entertaining speaker.


3 February 2016 at 10:21 pm


February 2016
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