So the Olympics are done for another four years and hopefully everyone’s heart rate and sleep patterns have got back to normal after the excitement of all those medals!
For me, after being away a couple of weeks, that meant back to reality last weekend with nine hours on the bike and dashing over to Belgium this week for a series of races with the WIGGINS team.
But it’s safe to say that everyone is still buzzing about those Olympics.
For me, it was a weird experience because once I missed out on selection I decided to head away for a pre-wedding honeymoon with my partner Lauren.
We’re tying the knot in October but obviously that’s a very busy time with track races like the Revolution and Six Days, so realistically this was the best time to get away and WIGGINS were very good about giving me the time off.
Obviously, I felt the disappointment of missing out on Rio deeply so, in a way, it did me good to get away from the cycling bubble for a couple of weeks, especially because we were in Bali which is not a part of the world particularly known for its bike racing. But, I must admit, I set the alarm to make sure I could see my housemate Phil Hindes in the team sprint and the team pursuit men and women in action.
They didn’t disappoint did they. It goes without saying that I was delighted for a lot of good, close personal friends that they recorded such an amazing amount of success. Was it a surprise? If you had asked me six months ago, I would have said yes but, to be honest, I was in the Newport holding camp just before the team flew to Rio and you could see there that things were coming together and they were potentially about to do something special.
The team pursuits, especially, I felt would be brilliant and that’s exactly what they were, men and women. Their success - and that of everyone else involved - was exceptional and can only be good for the sport in this country for years to come.
Not that I was thinking about that too much in Bali, which was everything you would expect it to be. I tried surfing for the first time - and Lauren reckoned she had found a sport she was better than me at for the first time until I got used to it and was suddenly way better than her!
We also did some snorkelling, and saw some turtles, white water rafting and had a trip out to a neighbouring island which involved the boat ride to and from hell but which was worth it once we got there. I also managed to get an infected foot and a spectacular bout of food poisoning for the journey home!
So, all in all, a nice break from it all, a honeymoon to remember, and a chance for me to focus on the rest of the year which still didn’t make it any easier to get back on the bike at the weekend. I did five hours on Saturday and was absolutely shattered afterwards, my legs were throbbing, although I suspect that food poisoning had not helped.
I now have three races on the continent this week - the Druiverskores Overijse on Wednesday, the Omloop Mandel Leie-Schelde on Saturday and, on Sunday, the Schaal Sefs - and I fully expect to be creeping round those courses. But, hopefully, it’ll be the sort of shock to the system that I need to kick start the rest of the year.
And it looks like being quite an exciting end to 2016 for me. Jon Dibben, my team pursuit mate, and I are riding the London Six Day and possibly doing another Six Day or two in Europe. We have the Revolution meetings coming up, starting in Manchester, and also I’d quite like to ride the first World Cup meeting in Glasgow later this year, if I’m selected.