My gut reaction was right, another week in Jamaica was exactly what I needed: after another day in Kingston. I got a trim from my barber Mark the guy I go to when I am at camp here and then I decided to drive to Montego Bay to do a little bit of the tourist thing.

I am sometimes guilty of being over focused and could easily spend all day training and thinking about training. This can be dangerous for athletes as we must remember it’s only sport, and as important as it is to us, we have to switch off sometimes.

After a 160km drive I arrive in Montego Bay. Desperate to stretch my body I jump into the sea for a cooling 1000m swim, Sea swimming is definitely more interesting than going back and forward in the pool. The coral reef beneath me was alive with fish, small barracudas and stingrays. I was in good company.

I don’t like to stay in hotels when I’m not with the cycling team. At dinner time, I like to venture outside to see what I can find locally. On this particular night, I bumped into a kid called Russell Small. Russell is a cyclist who has recently taken part in the Jamaican national road championships. He is known as the lizard because of the way he attacks on a bike.

As I was casually walking along the street I heard this voice say: “Hey man what’s happened to your leg?”

I spotted his bike and decided to stop and chat with him. It’s not often you see a carbon road bike in Jamaica.

I said I was very impressed with it and he told me that he had won last year’s national championships riding the bike. He had repeated the feat the previous weekend.

Before I knew it Russell had his phone out showing me the photos of him racing, he had gone all out on a 40-mile breakaway on his own, no power meter or heart-rate monitor, just riding on feel. He reminded me of Graham Obree.

I asked him why he didn’t ride with monitors, he said: “David [actually he was calling me ‘the general’ by now], I can’t afford it.”

The next photo was one of his bedroom, Russell sleeps next to his bike, this guy loves cycling and lives for it.

I told him I was going to send him a Garmin set up when I get home to the UK. There was just one problem – he doesn’t have a postbox. It turned out we were staying at the same hotel so I decided I was going to try to find out if I coult post it there.

As we chatted he told me he worked at the hotel as a porter. He cared for his wife who is deaf and young baby while training for, and winning, the national titles. In return she taught him sign language.

It was humbling when I considerd the support we get in the UK from the national lottery to see this guy racing his bike while supporting his family.

The next morning as the lift door opened I was greeted by the biggest smile I had ever experienced. Russell was so happy that I was going to send him a heart-rate monitor he had changed his shift so that he could say goodbye to me and talk more cycling.

It was a great example of the power of sport, how it breaks down barriers and creates friendships.

What I wasn’t aware was that there was a Glasgow connection between us, as we chatted about cycling he said there was a guy in Jamaica who had an injured arm like mine who straps it on to the bike. Russell told me his name was Marloe Rodman.

Marloe actually raced in Glasgow back in 2014 as an able-bodied athlete for Jamaica in the Commonwealth Games, unfortunately in 2017 he was involved in a motor bike accident and lost the function of his left arm. My first thought was this guy could be racing in para-cycling. As a GB cyclist I wasn’t so sure I should be talentspotting for other countries but I love to see people do well in life and even more so when they don’t have the opportunities we have through sport here in the UK.

I needed to chat to this guy, but I couldn’t just message him saying ‘hey you want to race in para cycling’?

I managed to make a few calls and eventually spoke to the head of Jamaican cycling to see whether he could help.

The next day I get a FaceTime call from a number I didn’t recognise. It was Marloe, the first thing he noticed was that we had the same injured arm, then he told me he was really keen to race on the para cycling circuit. I had accidently discovered Jamaica’s first ever para cyclist. The next step will be helping him to discover this dream.

I told him he might be able to race in Glasgow again as the city has been awarded the inaugural UCI world championship where para cycling will be integrated into the able-bodied championships.

It was like I had just handed him a winning lottery ticket. As we shared the dream of both racing in Glasgow in 2023 it was a reminder of how lucky us athletes are and that we should never take our time in sport for granted. It was a good job I left the hotel that evening.