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Isis Cyclists have a new website!

Bicycle cappuccinoThe Isis Cyclists website has moved. You are very welcome to browse the posts below to find out where we have been to during the past few years.

For up-to-date information, please visit us in our new location:


1 January 2017 at 6:15 pm

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

October 2016

50-mile-challenge-2016Ellen writes… Welcome to the October 2016 rides list. I was going to refrain from obsessing about September’s weather, but I can’t! It all started with the 50-mile challenge. The previous two years we enjoyed lovely late summer warmth and sunshine, but this year our luck definitely changed as you can see in the photo opposite!

The Oxford Open Doors ride the following week didn’t fare any better. The visit to Jane’s Enchanted Tea Gardens was dry although not particularly warm, and on our return from Waterperry Gardens on the joint ride with the Oxford Cycling Group on Sunday 25th, we got caught in rain and an unexpected hail shower! However, to redress the balance, it was warm and pleasant for both the last evening social ride and the Stop & Stare ride.

October features the final Stop & Stare ride of the year, which has the theme of Apples. We will also be counting bridges in Oxford, paying a visit to Wheatley Windmill, ambling to Abingdon and joining the Oxford Cycling UK group on a ride to The Milk Shed at Weston-on-the-Green. It might start to feel a bit colder, but it’s still a great time of year to be out and about on a bike!


This virtually flat, slow paced ride will explore as many bridges in Oxford as time permits and we will see if we can agree on how many we have crossed.  We’ll meet at 9.30am on Magdalen Bridge, ready for a 9.45am start.  The ride is just under 10 miles if you complete it and will finish in Radcliffe Square in central Oxford.  We’ll have refreshments in Walton Street and should finish by 12.30 at the latest.  The ride incorporates a lot of tow paths, as you might expect, so road tyres are not the best option.  The ride leader will be Jane Carlton Smith –  If running late, ring me on 07833 731253.


This last stop and stare ride of the year will celebrate the arrival of autumn with an apple themed ride. Meet from 9:45am outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad St, Oxford (opposite Blackwells Bookshop) for a prompt 10am start. The ride will take the Sustrans cycle route past the University Parks and leafy North Oxford and travel on to the Wolvercote community orchard. Whilst permission is yet to be confirmed we are hoping for a bit of apple scrumping!

We will return along the canal towpath. Hopefully we will be able to spot plenty of other apple trees as we ride. The ride will be 8 miles long and will be taken at a steady pace. Please bring your own drink and snack. The ride leader is Sarah Twine.


A chance to visit to one of Oxford’s last working windmills. Meet outside Jacob and Field deli, close to Waitrose in Headington, at 12.15 for a 12:30 departure.

Wheatley Windmill dates from the 18th century and has been restored to full working order by volunteers, who now mill flour and bake a delicious range of cakes. It opens to the public seven Sundays a year, and we will join them for the start of their last opening of 2016. We will cycle out of the city via Marston towards Beckley, and then drop down to Wheatley to tour the windmill (entrance free, donations taken) and have a well-deserved tea. We return to Oxford via Horspath, coming back through Cowley using cycle tracks as much as possible. The ride is 15 miles with a few short hills. We’ll go as slow as we need to enjoy the autumn scenery. Ride leader Lucy Tennyson.

Please note that the Oxford Half Marathon takes place on Sunday morning, so if you are coming from north Oxford or Marston it’s best to avoid Banbury Road and Marston Ferry Road – please allow a little extra time to get to the start of the ride.


Meet in Radcliffe Square for a 10am departure to Abingdon via Kennington, Boars Hill and Cothill. We’ll have coffee at Throwing Buns and will probably return via Radley and Kennington. There should only be one serious hill: the short but steep climb up the ‘Cote de Bayworth’, but you’re very welcome to get off and wheel your bike up instead. The exact route is to be confirmed, but the total distance should be 21-23 miles. The ride leader is Liz Matthews:


Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure for Weston on the Green. The route will take us out of Oxford via Marston and onto The Milk Shed via Woodeaton, Islip and the Otmoor villages of Oddington, Charlton-on-Otmoor and Merton. Just beyond Merton we will turn towards Langford and Wendlebury along a well surfaced bridle track. The return route will be via Bletchingdon, Hampton Poyle and Kidlington. The route to coffee is 17.5 miles and includes one climb just before Islip and a section of well surfaced track after Merton. The return journey also include a single hill (up to Bletchingdon). The return route will be about 30 miles long and the leader is Liz Weekes.


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:

28 September 2016 at 9:03 pm

September 2016

Ellen writes… It’s been wonderful to have a prolonged spell of settled summer weather. All our rides (I think!) enjoyed good weather in August, even the ride to cream tea at Coombe which was extremely soggy last year!

It’s also been great to see so many new faces taking part in our rides, so a special welcome to you all and I hope that you’ve enjoyed the rides as much as we have. One thing I should mention is that we do our very best not to lose anyone that comes out on our rides. However, should you find yourself on your own, with no sign of any other riders, don’t panic: just make your way back to where you were definitely part of the group and someone will come back and find you.

In September we are going into the great unknown (well into Northamptonshire!) on our annual 50-mile challenge ride, learning about some of Oxford’s many towers, visiting Open Doors venues, eating cakes in Jane’s Enchanted Tearooms and riding to Waterperry Gardens with riders from Oxford City Cycling (formerly Oxford City CTC, they’ve been rebranded!). This month is also your last chance of the year to join us on one of our summer evening social rides, this time to Hampton Poyle.

Check out our photo site for all the latest pictures taken on our rides


Meet at 9.30am for a prompt 9.45am start in Radcliffe Square (at the back of the University Church), Oxford. We will be leaving via North Oxford and Kidlington. The first 6 miles are mainly urban cycling, to get us on our way quickly. Coffee will be at The Milk Shed, Weston on the Green. We will then continue northwards, initially on the B430 but soon onto small country lanes to the west of Bicester. There will be a short picnic stop in the pleasant village of Hethe before we cross into Northamptonshire and the villages of Mixbury and Evenley where we will have lunch at the Red Lion. Alternatively, if you would prefer to bring your own packed lunch, there is a large village green where you can sit and eat. Our route back to Oxford will use small lanes to the east of Bicester, and we will approach Oxford via Merton, Charlton on Otmoor and Islip and enter Oxford via Marston. The route is approximately 52 miles return from the city centre and is relatively flat. There is one hill (up to Bletchingdon) in the morning and one more (out of Islip) in the afternoon.

The pub has been booked for 1.45pm and if the weather is good, we’ll sit outside in the spacious garden. They have asked us to pre-book our meals, so it would be very helpful if you could check out their menu ( so that you know what you want. I’ll collect orders at coffee and phone them in. I’ll also have a printed menu with me. Please also bring some food to snack on during the ride and plenty of liquid. We’ll have a 10-15 minute stop in the morning and a slightly longer break in the afternoon as there is no suitable tea stop. My best guess is that we will get back to Oxford at around 6pm. The pace will be moderate and steady. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee ( Do get in contact if you are from North Oxford or Kidlington and would like to meet the ride en route, rather than going into the centre of town.


Once again, we will celebrate this weekend by visiting up to 10 venues, many of which are not normally open to the public.  The ride is 5 miles long, with plenty of stops, and we will stop for coffee and cake either during the ride, or at the end, whichever is most convenient (and desired!).

We’ll start earlier than usual, to experience a particular event, and will meet at 9.30am outside the Botanic Garden.  We can get into it free of charge before 9.45am, but we won’t be staying very long, before making our way to the next venue.  We should finish by 1pm.  The ride leader will be Jane Carlton Smith –  If running late, ring me on 07833 731253.


Meet at the junction of Parks Road and Norham Gardens, by the entrance to University Parks, at 5.45pm for a 6.00pm departure. We will head off through the back streets of North Oxford, through Cutteslowe Park, then across the fields on concrete farm tracks to Water Eaton. From there we continue along quiet roads to ‘The Bell’ pub in Hampton Poyle where a good 2 course meal can be had for £10 if ordered before 7.30. We’ll return home by the cycle track through Richard Branson’s land to old Kidlington, then back by the Oxford road. The ride is 16 miles altogether and there are no hills. Please remember to bring bike lights as it will be dark on our return. Male friends are welcome on this ride. The leader is Karen Wolff


Meet in Broad Street in front of the Tourist Information Office at 10.45am for an 11.00am start. The ride will leave Oxford using Sustrans routes 5/51. It will continue through Hampton Poyle and Bletchingdon and onto Kirtlington then onto the track down to Jane’s Enchanted Tea Gardens near Pigeon Lock.

Medium Ride:  from Pigeon Lock it’s a bumpy unpaved road to Tackley train station (1 mile approx.); trains from Tackley to Oxford take 10 minutes and cost    £3.60. Times 13.28 -15.28 -17.42. If you return by train, the cycle ride will be approximately 15 miles long.

Long Ride: the return journey is via Tackley and 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 07890731542, email

PLEASE NOTE: If you are coming on this ride, please let Lilia know by 14th September as the tearoom is very popular and she will need to book to avoid disappointment.


The ride will meet at 09.45hrs for a 10.00hrs departure from the Ox Statue opposite the entrance to the Oxford Central railway station. The ride is approximately 5 miles and will take between 1 and 1 ½  hrs including coffee. The ride will be taken at a leisurely pace, at the speed of the slowest cyclist and is mainly along back roads of Oxford suburbs and City (plus one pebbled section of Merton Street, which can be walked if needed), some Thames towpath and Sustrans routes. The ride will stop to look at three Towers , one new and two old, and learn about their history.

There is an optional coffee stop at the end of the ride at Saint Marys Church. The ride leader is Sarah Twine.


Meet outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad St, Oxford for a prompt 9.30am departure for Waterperry. We will leave Oxford via the University Parks before making our way up the hill to Headington. We will then ride to Waterperry via Barton, Stanton St John and Worminghall. After coffee we will return to Wheatley. We will then decide whether to ride up the back of Shotover Hill, over the Shotover Plain and back into Headington or to return via Littleworth and Horspath. The former route will involve some off-road track, so whether we tackle this will depend on how dry the weather has been in the preceding days. Whichever route we take, there will be a couple of hills going and one coming back and the ride will be 24 miles maximum. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee (

Looking ahead: October dates for your diary:

Saturday October 1st: Short and Steady Ride
Sunday October 9th: Medium ride to Wheatley Windmill


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 visit

 Cycling Picnic and Treasure Hunt

Sunday, 18 September 2016, from 9:30am at Standlake Village Hall – with rides there from several locations.

A picnic and rides to celebrate a great summer of cycling. Many CTC/Cycling UK groups across the county will be organising a ride to and from the picnic.  Check your local group for details.

10:00 – gentle ride from Standlake (1* about 16 miles)
12:30 – Picnic time! On the field, or if wet in the hall
14:00 – Treasure Hunt (about 10 miles, family-friendly)

CTC Oxfordshire will provide drinks (tea, coffee, squash)

Organised by: CTC Oxfordshire. For more information, please contact Steve Swanton (

31 August 2016 at 8:45 pm

August 2016

Ellen writes… Last month’s rides all had good weather which was fantastic. Hopefully the trend will continue into August where we have some more great rides including a new short ride route visiting 9.5 parks and open spaces in Headington and Marston! That must be the highest park to mile ratio we’ve ever managed. Our team of ride leaders have been busy because there’s a new stop and stare ride on offer too; an exploration of Oxford’s working past. Old favourites such as Abingdon, Otmoor and cream tea at Coombe haven’t been forgotten though.

At our last Isis leaders’ get together we discussed the observation that numbers on our short and steady rides have been declining. As we haven’t carried out any active publicity for a while, we’ll be getting going on that again. If you have any thoughts and comments on the short and steady rides do let me know as we do really value your input. Let us know whether you think occasional Sunday short rides are a good idea or perhaps you would you prefer a greater variety of start times etc.

Two other events in which you might be interested in are:

  • Tour de Potholes on Sunday 14th August, , organised by Cyclox. The idea is to record as many of Oxford’s potholes as possible (they shouldn’t be stumped for lack of raw material!). You can either join the main event or record potholes individually: visit the Cyclox website for more information. I’m sure we’ve all got our particular “favourites”!
  • Cycling Picnic and Treasure Hunt on Sunday 18th September, organised by Oxfordshire CTC. The event is based at the village of Standlake, south of Oxford. More information is on the Oxfordshire CTC website.

Happy pedalling!

Check our photo site for all the latest pictures taken on our rides! 


Meet from 10am for a prompt 10.15am start outside The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road). (Note the slightly later start to accommodate the pub opening time).

Join us on this slow and gentle 8 mile ride to discover the green and leafy spaces of Headington and Marston. – some have manor houses, some have secrets and others you may have passed many times and not even realised that they were there. The challenge will be to name all of the parks during our coffee break at the Victoria Arms in Old Marston, while relaxing by the banks of the River Cherwell – hopefully in the sunshine!

The other lesser challenge will be the hill that has to be climbed to get us to Headington. Of course, our route will be green and leafy, and as always, this can be taken at a gentle pace or walked if you prefer. We will always wait.

After coffee, we will return to the starting point in town or disperse from Old Marston, depending on the group. The ride leader is Lucy Wright, her email is in case of queries.


Meet at 10.45 am for an 11am departure by the tourist information office in Broad Street, Oxford. From the town centre we will follow cycle route number 5 to Kennington then on to Sugworth Lane towards Sunningwell. There we will pick up Pen Lane which will take us off road to Abingdon where we are going to have our lunch/ refreshment stop at Throwing Buns.

We will return following route number 5 via Radley then along the river all the way to Oxford city centre.

Please note that very thin tyres are not suitable for this ride as it includes some bumpy, off road path. Please also remember to bring with you a spare inner tube that fits your bike tyre.

The ride leader will be Lilia Bonacorsi, 07890731542


On this flat ride around central Oxford, we will visit former industrial and commercial buildings that have been converted into housing.  We’ll note the shift from 19th Century industry to residential accommodation, reflecting the industrial decline that we’ve seen in our lifetimes and the huge and unmet demand for housing in the city.

We will meet in Radcliffe Square, opposite the Radcliffe Camera, outside the Vaults & Gardens Café, at 13.45hrs for a 14.00hrs departure. The ride is 5 miles long and mainly on quiet roads and cycle paths, to avoid the crowds.  It should take 1 ½ to 2 hours, with stops.  We’ll have tea at Manos Café in Walton Street.

The ride leader will be Jane Carlton Smith –  If running late, ring me on 07833 731253.


Meet at 1:15pm for a 1:30pm departure outside Costa Coffee on the main Banbury Rd in Summertown for our annual pilgrimage to Coombe for cream tea. We will head north on quiet roads and tracks to Kidlington from where we will pick up a short section of off-road track, Begbroke Lane. This brings us out on the A44 cycle track for about 3 miles before we reach Woodstock. There we pick up Sustrans route 5 for a mile or so before turning north and west towards Coombe. After our cream teas in Coombe’s historic “Reading Room” we will head back to Oxford via East End and the Hanboroughs. The approach to Oxford will be along the A40 cycle track, although if you are heading south and west of Oxford, you may prefer to divert through Eynsham. This is a mixed social ride, so male partners and friends are very welcome to join us. The ride is approximately 25 miles in length and moderately hilly, but all hills can be taken at your own paced or walked if necessary. The Begbroke Lane off-road section is suitable for all bikes. However, the off-road section north of Woodstock is probably not suitable for bikes with very narrow tyres. However an on-road alternative is available so don’t be put off. The ride leader will be Liz Weekes.


Meet at 6pm for a 6.15pm departure outside The South Lodge, University Parks (OX1 3JA, corner of South Parks Road and St Cross Road). Tonight’s ride will explore some of the villages and countryside around Otmoor. If the weather preceding the ride has been dry, then we will ride to the Otmoor RSPB Reserve via Elsfield and Beckley. Once there we will take a bridle path to the small Hamlet of Noke before returning to the Victoria Arms in Old Marston for a drink and some food. If the bridle path is not dry, we’ll ride a different on-road route ending up at the same destination. The ride will be approximately 15 miles long and will involve climbing a couple of hills, but only at your own pace. This is a mixed social ride, male partners and friends are very welcome to join us. As the nights are starting to draw in, remember to bring lights with you.

Please note that very thin tyres will not be suitable if we ride the bridle path option. I will send out a separate email a few days beforehand letting you know what I plan, so that you can choose the right bike for the ride. The ride leader is Ellen Lee (


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:

2 August 2016 at 12:04 pm

July 2016

Ellen writes… We’ve had another somewhat varied month’s weather. Given the amount of rain that’s fallen, I think we’ve done very well with only our evening social a victim of the weather. Fourteen us enjoyed the Isis weekend away, and miraculously we only had about 10 minutes of rain the whole weekend! Saturday evening turned out to be gloriously sunny and Sunday was also pretty good, with a little light rain just as we got home. The campsite outside Charlbury worked out very well with riders able to camp, glamp or B&B. Thanks to the ride leaders for some excellent routes on lovely Cotswold lanes.

This month we have another varied programme of rides including a visit to the FAI farm at Wytham, a Shakespeare ride and a ride to help Liz M & Liz W celebrate their significant birthdays in 2016. All we need is the sunshine…fingers crossed.

By the way, the Isis Cyclists leaders’ group will be getting together later this month to plan the next 4 months’ rides. So if there is somewhere you’re burning to visit or revisit, then please do get in touch with me and I’ll add it to our “suggestions” list.


Meet at 10.15 am for a 10.30 departure at the junction of Parks Road and Norham Gardens just by the entrance to University Parks. We will ride up through North Oxford towards Wolvercote, then on to Wytham where we have the opportunity to be given a short (20 – 30 mins approx) tour of the FAI farm. We will be able to see how the egg grading room works, have a look at the garden that is worked by adults with special needs, and see some of the animals that are organically reared.

We’ll then continue on to North Hinksey where we’ll stop for refreshments at The Fishes, then return to Oxford via Willow Walk. The ride is 11 miles in length and is more or less flat. The ride leader is Karen Wolff –


This month we have a Shakespeare themed ride to mark the occasion of the bard’s death 400 years ago. It will give cyclists the opportunity, after the ride, to view a major exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries and share any memorable quotes or comments about the bard with one another.

We will meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre in Broad Street at 09.45hrs for a 10.00hrs departure. It is envisaged that the ride will be approximately 6 miles long and about an hour duration, taking a route along the cycle-paths and the Thames towpath in Oxford City. The ride will end where we started to allow riders to enjoy the ‘Shakespeare’s Dead’ exhibition at the Weston Library.

Coffee or early lunch can be taken in the Weston library cafe. Please bring any Shakespeare quotes, verses or stories if you would like to ‘stop and share’.

The ride leader will be Sarah Twine.


Meet in Radcliffe Square, Oxford (at the back of the University Church) from 9.45am for a 10.00am departure. We’ll leave Oxford along the Cowley Rd and Barracks Lane. We’ll then head to Horspath and Wheatley before riding a short section of the A40 cycle track and turning up the B4027 through Forest Hill to Stanton St John and the Rectory Farm PYO. We can enjoy tea at the Country Café, browse the farm shop and pick some soft fruit. Strawberries will definitely be available and hopefully also raspberries. We’ll return home via Elsfield and enter Oxford through Marston. The ride is 15 miles long and will include a couple of hills which can be taken at your own pace or walked. The ride leader will be Ellen Lee (


Come and help Liz & Liz celebrate their significant birthdays this year. Their age is related to the length of the ride, but alas, not in miles, in kilometres!

Meet outside the Sheldonian Theatre on Broad St, Oxford from 9.45am for a 10am start. The route ( takes us out via Cumnor, Charney Bassett and Goosey to the very foot of the Berkshire Downs and villages such as Uffington, Kingston Lisle and Sparsholt. The return route will take riders through Stanford in the Vale, Pusey and Hinton Waldrist before returning to Oxford through Cumnor, stopping for tea at Liz M’s house. Cunningly, the ride is also the last in our series of long rides preparing for the 50 mile challenge on September 3rd.

The mid-morning coffee stop will be al fresco, with the opportunity to purchase snacks in Kingston Bagpuize (or bring your own). Lunch will be taken at a pub in one of the Vale villages (which one will probably depend on timing, but is likely to be in Uffington). The ride is mainly flat once Cumnor Hill has been conquered. There is just one other notable hill in the vicinity of Kingston Lisle and the whole ride is just under 40 miles long.

The joint leaders and birthday girls are Liz Matthews ( and Liz Weekes.


After our June ride washout we’re hoping for better luck this month! We will cross the river and a lake, ride across meadows, through the fields and back to the river, finishing at the Perch pub for refreshments.  Starting from Radcliffe Square (outside the Vaults & Gardens Café), we will cross Hinksey Lake and the railway line, before heading through South Hinksey Village and up towards Boars Hill on the bridleway.  The track can be a bit rough and is not ideal for road tyres, but it can easily be walked.  We’ll then traverse the Chilswell Farm track before descending to Willow Walk and making our way to the Perch.  We’ll return via Port Meadow and the canal towpath and the ride is just over 11 miles (see the route at  Partners are welcome on this ride and, as mentioned, it’s not suitable bikes with thin road tyres.

Meet at 6.15pm, for a getaway at 6.30pm.  The ride leader is Jane Carlton Smith.  Any queries to or ring me on the day if wanting to join, but running late.  07833 731253. N.B.  We will need to carry our bikes over the railway bridge, but can help each other if necessary.


Meet at 9.15 for a prompt 9.30 am departure from outside Oxford Campus Stores in Broad Street, Oxford. We will explore the countryside to the west and south-west of Oxford. The route will be mainly flat, but be prepared for the odd hill along the way.  We will leave Oxford to the north via the Canal, Yarnton, Long Hanborough and Eynsham. Refreshments will be taken in Witney (Cogges Farm, hopefully) and the route back may feature some off-road riding depending on the weather and the preference of the group. The ride leader will be Liz Matthews ( The ride will be a little over 30 miles.


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

26 June 2016 at 12:00 pm

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