In less than 4 weeks time Scotland takes a huge step. Having spent the best part of the last 10 years training,racing and constantly looking at he clouds hoping it doesn't rain, we step in to the our national indoor velodrome in Glasgow, a bit of a contrast from the home of Scottish track racing till now, Meadowbank in Edinburgh.
I have a very much love hate relationship with Meadowbank. On a sunny day it's one of the nicest places I've ever raced on my track bike. However, those days have felt few and far between.
Memories of walking through the tunnel at the age of 15 and looking up at the wall of death surrounding me will remain with me forever. It was so weird to see such a structure with its steep wooden banking, not only that but It was a new way of cycling.
Meadowbank gave me a new outlet to race my bike that wasn't a dual carriage way or racing around a country park. It was also the birth place of such Scottish track stars like Eddie Alexander,Stuart Brydon, Anthony Stirrat, Craig Maclean and of course the legend that was to become Sir Chris Hoy.
Over the last decade the new generation of up and coming Scottish track riders have struggled to step into the shoes of these track greats. One of the the main reasons perhaps being our lack of a home indoor facility. Of the hundreds that have turned up to the well supported kids club at Meadowbank,only a small handful have stuck to the task of chasing the dream of being the next Chris Hoy or Bradley Wiggins.
Many however have fallen by the wayside.
It is nothing to do with lack of volunteers,structure or enthusiasm for track racing, Scottish cycling has some of the most loyal and dedicated volunteers anywhere in the sport, but you can only handle turning up to the track so often and have it rained off at the eleventh hour week after week.
Our saving grace however is the continued World and Olympic success that we see on TV and read about in the cycling and more recently mainstream press. This is the defining factor. We all now have heroes in our sport and we can all relate to them. This continues to feed the conveyor belt of new blood into our sport and helps re open the revolving door of talent that may just have had the fire rekindled inside them for track racing.
Looking back at my Meadowbank memories I can hear David Hoy on the mic calling the races with his trade mark " Power and Control" catchphrase. I still remember seeing the skinny lanky Chris Hoy going head to head with track newbie Craig Maclean and watching the famous last lap implosions of Marco Librizzi in the Kilo. A small chubby Mark Cavendish jamming his elbow into my ribs riding the Elimination and a 15 year old Ben Swift rubbing his nose on the stem of his bike trying to get more speed are just a couple of early memories of riders who've gone on to muc greater things
In a few weeks Glasgow will host the world cup giving way for a new generation to create their first cycling memories and an old generation to make new ones. Which has got me thinking...if an outdoor track can generate gold winning Olympians what can Glasgow do?
Oh to be 15 again.
James McCallum is a professional cyclist for the Rapha Condor professional cycling team and blogs exclusively for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Glasgow.