Archive for November, 2016

December 2016

Ellen writes… Welcome to the final blog post of 2016. What a busy year it’s been for Isis Cyclists! The AGM season has been upon us, which means gathering statistics on our activities during the past year (Oct 2015- end Sept 2016) for our annual report. So I can tell you that during that time there were 58 Isis Cyclists rides, plus a weekend away. A further four rides were cancelled due to the weather. What an energetic and hardy lot we are! Of course, I’d like to be able to tell you how many miles were ridden, the weight of cake consumed and the number of cups of coffee and tea drunk, but alas, such information is beyond me. We can only speculate!


Riding back from Aston Pottery on  November’s joint ride with Oxford City Cycling UK (photo by Liz M on the back of her tandem)

Although we’ve got fewer than usual rides this month, I hope you’ll be able to find the time to join us out on your bike. If it’s any help, you can combine cycling and Christmas shopping on all of them!

windrush-projectI’d like to bring your attention to the Christmas Bike Café which is at Fairspear House, Leafield (near Witney) on 11th December (see advert on the right). This raises funds for the Windrush Bike Project. I notice that they too organise women’s rides!

For January dates, see our Looking ahead page. And, even further in the future, I’d like to confirm that our weekend away in 2017 will take place in Lechlade from 9th-11th June. More information next month!


We will meet at the statue of the Ox opposite the entrance to Oxford Railway station at 9.45 for a 10.00 departure.

This is a short and gentle Winter cycle ride in the now much colder weather with a half way coffee stop at the farmers market at Sandford village hall, finishing at the Annual Oxford Green fair.

This will be a flat ride of about 8 miles which will take us straight onto the towpath alongside the Thames. It will use Sustrans paths, and will involve navigating both Osney and Sandford locks so wide tyres and mudguards are recommended.

After a stop at the Sandford on Thames Farmers’ market for coffee and shopping, we will return back to the town centre via Rosehill and  Iffley Fields. The anticipated finish time is   approximately 12.30 (depending on how long we spend at the farmers’ market).

We can then visit the Oxford Green fair at the Town Hall. It’s a good opportunity to buy green/ethical Christmas gifts! The ride leader is Sarah Twine.


It’s an 18-mile return trip, a little longer than usual, but no hills and we’ll take it nice and slow using cycle lanes, quiet roads and the canal towpath to make it a pleasant winter ride out to Woodstock. We’ll head for the Museum which is hosting Oxfordshire Craft Guild’s Christmas exhibition, which usually offers a range of reasonably affordable gifts and cards.

Meet at the junction of Norham Gardens and Parks Road, by the NW entrance to University Parks at 10.30 to set off at 10.45. You can also meet us 10 minutes or so later at the pedestrian bridge over the ring road, by Wren Road school, Cutteslowe. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson: 0771520 7784.


Meet at 10.15 for a prompt 10.30 departure from outside the corner shop in Woodin’s Way (OX1 1HD). We will head off up Cumnor Hill and wind our way to Bothy Vineyard, which is having an open day. So you might find some last minute stocking fillers. Once people have finished browsing, we will move on a mile or so to the Merry Miller at Cothill for lunch and then head back to Oxford via Sunningwell and Kennington. We will probably get back to Oxford around 2.30pm.  You can see the route at


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, visit


30 November 2016 at 9:11 pm

November 2016

img_1237Ellen writes… Welcome to the November 2016 edition of the Isis Cyclists Newsletter. I hope you’ve been able to get out and about enjoying the autumn colours. In fact, the weather has been so settled and the trees are looking so nice that Jane Carlton Smith has been inspired to re-run her “Interesting trees of Oxford” ride that was rather washed out in the spring, so if you’re free on Fri 4th November, why not join her?

We’ve now reached the end of our four months of planned rides and so the leaders are getting together in the middle of the month to plan ahead for December 2016 to March 2017. We hope to be able to produce another attractive mixture of the familiar and the new. If there’s anywhere you would particularly like to visit (or revisit) or you have an idea for a ride theme (especially for the short rides) do get in touch with me.

I know we’re reaching that time of year when we get swept up in the great rush to Christmas. However, I hope you’ll be able to spare some time to join us on a ride. There’s nothing better than escaping on your bike for a few hours!

Happy pedalling!


We thought it would be worth repeating this ride if the weather is nice, as the trees will all be wearing different raiment from that in April.  Jane will send out an email first thing in the morning, when the weather forecast is clearer.  Please check your email if you are thinking of joining us, or ring Jane on 01865 423741 (will be at Pilates until 10.30am).

Meet on Magdalen Bridge, on the left hand pavement heading into Oxford, at 1.45 pm for a 2 pm start. This slow and gentle ride will focus on interesting trees in the grounds of colleges and will be based on Sophie Huxley’s book “Oxford Trees”.  We will visit at least four different college gardens and Holywell Cemetery, if time. There will be no entry fees for local residents, however if you have an Oxford University or Alumnus card, it will do no harm to bring it with you.

The ride will be less than 5 miles long and will take around 2 ½ hours. We will have tea in Walton Street, or the Vaults and Gardens café, depending on where we end up. The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith: 07833 731253; email


Meet at the junction of Norham Gardens and Parks Road, by the north-west entrance to University Parks at 10.15 for a 10.30 departureWe will set off through north Oxford and Summertown before heading across to Wolvercote. We then continue on through Wytham before cutting down to the Botley Road which we cross, then ride along North Hinksey Lane to The Fishes for refreshments. We will return to the city centre by way of Willow Walk. The ride is 10 miles in length with no real hills and consists mostly of quiet lanes. The ride leader is Karen Wolff


This ride starts and ends in Summertown. Meet outside Costa Coffee at 9.45 for a 10am start. Our route is sausage-shaped, going north through 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 our coffee stop: Annie’s Tea Room at Thrupp ( The return route continues south to Kidlington and across to Yarnton. If the weather is dry-ish, we’ll pick up the canal towpath for a traffic-free run to Wolvercote; otherwise, we’ll have to ride on the cycle path alongside the A44 and thence to Summertown. The total distance is about 18.5 miles, and the leader is Liz Matthews:


Meet outside Costa Coffee in Summertown at 12.45pm to leave at 1pm. We will head first to Islip via Kidlington then loop round the Otmoor villages, aiming to reach the RSPB reserve before dusk around 4pm. This is the best time to watch the starling display as they fly acrobatically in huge flocks to roost for the night. We are lucky to see this so close to Oxford – the starling population has fallen by over 80% in recent years, meaning they are now on the critical list of UK birds most at risk.

Please note we need to keep to our long ride pace for this 22 mile ride in order to get to the reserve in time. There are a couple of hills en route. Bring a snack and hot drink if you can, and warm clothes for the short walk onto the reserve. Lights are essential, and we will aim to be back in Oxford by 5.30pm at the latest. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson tel: 07715207784


Meet in Broad Street (near Oxford Campus Stores) at 9.15am for a prompt 9.30am departure.  We will head out of Oxford up Cumnor Hill, through the quiet villages of Cumnor and Appleton, and on to Standlake, before reaching Aston and stopping for coffee and cake at Aston Pottery.  The return route will be via quiet lanes, taking in the pretty estate at Buckland, Kingston Bagpuize, Cothill, and then heading back to Oxford, through Sunningwell and Kennington.  The ride will be 39 miles back to the city centre.  As well as Cumnor Hill, there are a couple of other short, steep hills, which can be taken at your own pace.  The ride leader will be Natasha Williams (  You can download the route here:


Mark the date in your diary now: full details in the December newsletter published towards the end of this month.


 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 visit:


1 November 2016 at 9:05 pm


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