The thunder and lightning currently blasting my neighbourhood of Edinburgh into submission is pretty scary, but none will ever be as scary (I hope!) as that which nearly welded me onto the tarmac of the Col d’Aubisque:

Whilst I clung onto Drew’s back wheel and chuckled at what I saw as an irrational fear, the lightning caught up and cracked directly overhead. That explosion of noise was the loudest thing I have ever heard, hopefully the loudest thing I will ever hear. The air turned bright blue as its water content sizzled to the boil. The hairs on our necks stood on end as if we’d stuck our fingers into a electric socket; those power lines I had so recently joked about hissed, buzzed and visibly jerked on their pylon mounts like a sack full of body-popping snakes — the danger I had dismissed suddenly all too real. I shifted up a gear and raced passed Drew, no longer as brave nor as forthcoming with suggestions as to what the lightning might do next. It was all too bloody obvious: we were about to be cooked alive!

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