When I was growing up, being fanatical about cycling was seen as something of an eccentricity. Now millions have the bug and I think we are a better country for it. Whether track or road, the appreciation of the sport is now at an all-time high, and I am very proud of the role that British Cycling, Sky and Team Sky have played in that. The massive crowds at the Grand Depart last year not only showed off the best of Yorkshire to the world, but were proof that the UK is now a true cycling nation.
Meeting the champions was a thrill for child and adult alike throughout England this week, and led to television commentators declaring that "the spirit that made the Olympics such a success two years ago is still very much alive today in Britain"...
I spent the three days 'tour chasing' and I am confident that this triumphant spectacle can leave a lasting legacy if we let it... until now the next generation of cyclists has been "let down" by a lack of safe roads... now we just need to see the representative Government investment to ensure this passion has a deep and lasting impact.
Should I wax them, now there's a thought? Either way, I reckon it would focus the mind and I'd feel like a professional, for five minutes at least. So here we go on the next level, what ever that maybe and wherever it may take me.
After Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitsteadt's exciting rerun of their epic Olympic road race showdown on the boards of the Manchester Velodrome last week, women's cycling is again enjoying a high profile in the UK.
While Bradley Wiggins sits at home convalescing after his recent road accident, and no doubt putting in the hours on the turbo trainer despite his broken rib and dislocated finger, the management at Team Sky are already turning their attention away from their recent staff clear-out and towards the 2013 season.
Team Sky's zero-tolerance approach is neither encouraging truth nor facilitating reconciliation, and therefore hampers the opportunity for cycling to not only learn the full lessons of its past but also the prospect of recovering its reputation as a sport of integrity and fair play.
Admirable though the team's sentiments undoubtedly are, they are losing experienced staff such as Bobby Julich and Steven De Jong - who have brought nothing but hard work and good knowledge to the British set-up - over misdemeanours that lie well in the past.
From start to finish The Tour of Britain has felt like one massive celebration of British sport and cycling. And it got even better on the last stage in Guildford with Jonathan Tiernan-Locke taking the overall win and Mark Cavendish winning the stage.
Somewhat overshadowed by the end of the Olympics, the best Grand Tour racer of his generation returned to the professional peloton last week. And now Alberto Contador has his sights set on winning the third Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España, that starts this weekend.
We are in the middle of a celebrity endorsement tsunami; never in the field of brand marketing has so much been endorsed to so many by so few. To walk London's streets right now is to be introduced to a bewildering array of sports and sports stars; Sunday magazines display their chiseled bodies and ghost-written autobiographies sit in their millions waiting to be shipped.
There was an unpleasant sense of déjà-vu at the start of stage 16. Frank Schleck's positive drug test continued a dishonourable Tour de France tradition of rest day drug busts. Schleck himself denies taking any banned substance and withdrew from the race awaiting the result of his 'B' sample. But it was a reminder of cycling's darker days ahead of this year's showpiece. A punishing 197 km stage combining four substantial climbs, including the Col du Tourmalet, one of professional cycling's great arenas. If there was ever a stage to truly test Bradley Wiggins this was it.