The riders started gathering in Wantage Market Place from a quarter to nine, noting the cold north westerly wind and wondering whether they were dressed warmly enough. By two minutes to nine there were twelve of us - two bubbles - and then John Groves appeared. No problem!
Chris led the first bubble, including Oscar, who joined us for the first time - welcome Oscar - and Fiona, coming on her second ride with the club. John Talbot led the second bubble and I brought up the rear with the third bubble.
The ride through the lanes of Lockinge and Ginge was sheltered from the wind. The road from Steventon to Drayton less so, but the three bubbles made their way along the newly laid Peep O'Day cycle lane to Abingdon Market Place. We stayed in our bubbles, sitting outside chatting while consuming our drinks and snacks.
Heading straight into the stiff north-westerly out of Abingdon was draining, particularly for the person at the front. We turned out of the wind into Fyfield tunnel which has clearly been maintained and ran along the Corallian ridge past Longworth.
By now, well warmed up and benefitting from the emerging sun, we had the wind at our tail. Somehow the last bubble become the first and the first last. Back in Wantage the King Alfred's Head called and one bubble, i.e. six, sat in the sun-drenched sheltered beer garden enjoying a quiet drink. Now we were overdressed.