When I sat down to write this article, I didn't think I knew what I wanted to write about. Yet I had the overwhelming urge to write something. Inspiration can come from the most unexpected places, and it came to me in many different ways these past couple of weeks. On realising this, a somewhat meta blog was inspired... on inspiration itself, at least where cycling is concerned.

One of the most idiotic and pathetic phrases in cycling is ‘all the gear and no idea’. Who gives a shit what others do or why they do it? Why does it matter? Why do people buy Ferraris to sit next to me in traffic on the M25? They go the same speed. It’s because it inspires them, it makes them feel great - they embody a little piece of Ayrton Senna or Nigel Mansell. And that is why cycling continues to inspire me - because I can dress up in lycra, ride a shockingly orange bike and pretend to be this or that pro. Because why not - you’re never too old. As they say, age is just a number.

In my case it starts with a 5 and ends with a 0. That is indeed a number, not one that I particularly enjoy hearing and it's a tad on the high side for my liking. But here’s the thing:

I only feel 50 in the morning, afternoon and evening. In the remaining 25 minutes before I fall asleep I could be 20 again! But what a 25 minutes they are, because they give me the reflection I need to really forge ahead with my goals. Not in an Instagram, feel the inner power, look at my tanned muscles kind of way - but more of a ‘what the hell have I done this week’ way. It gives me the clean time to reflect on those little things that we all overlook sometimes but need to hold on to - have I eaten well, did I get to exercise, was I happy or grumpy, what have I achieved? In many ways it gives me the incentive and inspiration to crack on with the next day or week or maybe reflect on improving things. These are the micro moments that are the drumbeat of my journey.

And if my last two articles haven’t shown you already - it really doesn’t take much to knock me off kilter, so finding inspiration daily and checking in is important. Because things along the way do have an impact - like work and life, feeling rubbish and eating badly, and we mustn’t beat ourselves up about that. Because too many of us do. However, before I eulogise too much, I have a bone to pick with March - because it has screwed my routine up and it is the perfect example of one of those ‘things’. 

Easter: who on earth thought it was a good idea to have a two week school holiday, children at home and then stick chocolate everywhere. Cue diet failure, mindfulness sponsored by Dairy Milk, and a need to sample chocolate brands I would never buy in Tesco. Who eats Kinder Easter eggs? But I am back, and inspired to commit myself for the next few months. And I only had one McDonalds at the weekend so that inspiration is working. And what a weekend it was. 

I had the incredible pleasure of driving up the A1(M) in the pouring rain to attend the CiCLE Classic with Saint Piran. I was also lucky enough to have the company of Anna McEwen of @AnnaMacB Twitter legend status who ensured three hours of entertaining discussion about cycling, rain and murders. Now the day didn’t exactly go to plan for anyone there (see Anna's account of the day here), but meeting up with our Saint Piran riders is a constant reminder of their energy, focus and dedication, whatever the circumstances. So despite sitting for three hours in a soaking wet car park in Rutland, I came away feeling a need to really push on, to rekindle that 20-year-old self.

But can they do it on a rainy Sunday in Rutland?

This was also timed perfectly with two other significant and entirely different moments. Number one: after plucking up the courage to see the doctor and months of concern over my health, I found out I had nothing really to worry about after all. Just a few 50-year-old parts wearing out and a hernia - but that’s fine. I now know I can get on a bike and crack on for a while yet. And then there is number two: the Giro d'Italia.

It is here ladies and gentlemen - the only Grand Tour that matters (until July). The most stunning race in the world, the Grand Tour of Grand Tours - the Roubaix of three-week racing. The Giro. No offence to the Tour of Turkey but I need the Giro right now, with an absence of 'cross and classics.

I find the Giro the most inspiring sporting event of the year, not just for its racing and views but in a more practical way. I know I can use the passion and energy it inspires to drive me for the next three weeks - going to the gym four times a week and watching each stage on a gym bike, feeling the pain as I pretend to climb the same mountain or win the same sprint as that pro cyclist. 

Now, I know what you are thinking - it’s a little embarrassing for a bloke in a gym, riding a static bike in full pink lycra, Oakleys, and an aero helmet, with his arms in the air as he crosses the virtual line. And you would be right, it is embarrassing.

But really who cares (aside from the gym security)? It’s fun. And if there is one thing I can embed or instil in my little lad, it will be this: take inspiration from anywhere you can find it - never define what it must be or where it must come from. People, place, product or pink tight aero skinsuit - it can come from anywhere at any time. 

The important thing is to grab it and use it, whether it's for five minutes, five hours or five days. And there is absolutely no shame in buying a Ferrari and driving it at 56 miles an hour on the M25 if it makes you feel great. When I grow up, I will too.

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