It’s an early summer Sunday night, warm and rather humid. I’m heading out of London, in mellow mood, just watching the miles slide under my wheels on an empty A3. Past the M25, the stars all vanish. Somewhere near Guildford, the rain starts, and gets heavier and heavier, until I’m doing a good impression of a sea slug — at least it’s warm. Then the lightning starts up with a really good display of heavenly angst. I’m rather enjoying it, and just cruising along at a steady 80mph or so, with warm rain trickling down the back of my neck.

Then the world turned into a photographic negative — the black of the night replaced by an all-consuming whiteness. I felt a massive shock travel up from my fingers, down through my body and out through my toes (some people pay good money for that sort of thing). For a moment I actually felt that I was riding through a tunnel of light – Hallelujah! and all that. It was all over so quickly that I didn’t even have a chance to react, which was probably no bad thing.

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