The forecast light rain had already passed over and it was good to see three other riders waiting by King Alfred. After a warm up loop through Childrey we made our way up Hackpen Hill to survey the greyness of the vale, probably the theme of this Christmas. Nevertheless the riding was good, the roads quiet, the air very mild with a slight SW wind. Jon left us at Lambourn for other duties as we continued Eastwards along the valley to Boxford. We added a couple of wiggles through Peasemore and Brightwalton on the return leg before the descent of Chain Hill where we found the cross wind slightly stronger than expected. Uneventful but a thoroughly pleasant and relaxed outing - topped off by a coffee and hot chocolate in Marmalade (cheers Louis!).