At 44 the illusion of becoming a professional cyclist long ago ceased to be a motivating factor of riding my bike.

And despite the fact I’m never going to be as fast as I was 20 years ago, there are a bunch of factors that get me on the bike.

A key one is the discovery element of cycling. I still love exploring areas on my bike. And for me, this year’s L’Étape Australia is a chance to finally ride the Snowy mountains.

When the AIS road squad established, in 1991, they regularly had training camps in the Snowy’s, based at Charlottes Pass. As I wasn’t part of the AIS, I was always envious of that group. It made those mountains seem like a mythical place to ride.

“Form is found in the hills”, I often heard Sun Tour winner Peter “Bulldog” Besanko say.

So this year I’ll finally get to ride there. I’ll be on the microphone for the start of the Race, then I’ll do the Ride.

Given L’Étape is moving to Kiama in 2020, I’m really looking forward to riding in the Snowy mountains on closed roads.

Having been without my bike for the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España I haven’t done much riding since the end of June. To make the most of my limited preparation time, I’m using ZWIFT, for interval sessions, and spending some time on the road to build a little endurance.

This, however, is currently being interrupted being in China, for the Tour of Taihu Lake, so I’m attempting to run as a substitute. Not ideal but I’m sure plenty of you have bigger training challenges than I do.

Another motivating factor is, “how time flies”.

As everyone knows, with the ageing process, each year seems to go faster than the one before. This motivates me to try and fit as much of the fun stuff as I can. Riding is high on that list, so too is tennis, running (kind of) and HIIT sessions at a local gym (Hustle & Thrive).

Plus I’ve always had a long term goal of doing what was my favorite rides, when I was seriously training, around Kinglake on my 60th birthday. Maybe I should push it a little and aim to do it on my 70th too.

I also simply love the feeling of being reasonably fit and healthy, even without a specific performance goal.

I’ll see you on the start line!

Being one of the most recognizable voices of cycling, Matthew Keenan regularly forms part of the international commentary team at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, broadcast around the world from Europe, USA, Africa, New Zealand and on SBS in Australia.