Such excitement this week. I was about to stand up to give a talk, when I received a text message. I’d been hoping for a lift back from London to Oxford, but the motorway had been closed by an accident. Normally, I’d have cycled on my folding bike to the station, then hopped on the train. But I had not expected to need my lights and cycling after dark without them seemed ill-advised.

So I flagged down a black cab, first checking that it took credit cards because I didn’t have cash. Alas, the card machine went on the blink. I sat outside the station as the minutes ticked away while the cabby kept turning the thing off and on again. Sprinting the length of Marylebone station in a suit and tie, with a Brompton bike under one arm, was not how I had envisaged the evening unfolding.

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