CHRIS HOY won’t be going full circle. Inspired by the film ET, it was a BMX that first got the future six-times Olympic champion into cycling, channelling his inner Elliott on the streets of Edinburgh before eventually graduating to mountain and then the track bikes that would bring him worldwide success and make him a household name.

Announced as an ambassador for the first ever combined UCI world championships to be held next year in Scotland, Hoy returned yesterday to the velodrome in Glasgow that bears his name, still as enthusiastic about cycling and the notion of bringing 13 different disciplines to the one place at the one time, something that didn’t happen when he was at the peak of his own personal powers.

“The only time [the different disciplines usually mix] would be the Olympics and even then it’s just mountain biking, BMX, track and road,” said the 45 year-old. “You’ve also got the para-athletes all competing at the same time and indoor cycling with all its different disciplines which is quite a niche thing. I’ve seen little clips of it and it almost looks like a different sport entirely on two wheels.

“But now they’re going to feel part of this bigger cycling family. It’s going to bring all the cycling communities together so it’s going to be such a big deal to win a world title next year. Of course it’s always important but this will be the one you want to win, the first combined championships.

“Not only will it be the biggest cycling event ever seen, it is a unique opportunity to unite the global cycling family and to showcase the incredible breadth of our sport.”

Even in the spirit of arms across the cycling divide, Hoy draws the line at getting back on a BMX for old time’s sake.

“You’ll have more chance of seeing me back in a velodrome then you will on a BMX bike, that’s for sure,” he laughs. “I’ve got a few friends who did BMX back in the day and then got back into it.

“The trouble is you have the memory of what you used to be able to do and now you’re about twice the weight! So when you fall off you land heavily. There are a few broken bones among pals who thought it would be fun to get back into it.”

Hoy has been retired for nine years now, transferring the obsessive pursuit of cycling greatness into an equally enthusiastic approach towards a number of other projects. He has successfully made the transition from two wheels to four and will be competing again this year in the Revolution A-One Sports Prototype Cup that starts in Zandvoort.

“You’re very aware of where you stand in the overall scheme of things, competing against true pros who have been driving since they were five or six,” he adds.

“But it’s about me. You are competing with yourself. You’re on track with other people but it’s about your own development, your own enjoyment, being in that moment. The feeling of being on the grid at the start, the adrenaline, is incredible.

“I’m a big believer in doing things that scare you a little bit. Whether it’s scaring you literally, like being in a car racing round the track, or standing up on stage talking to a room full of people.

“When I first started doing public speaking, I was terrified. Being pushed out of your comfort zone and doing something that you’re a little bit uncomfortable with, and then learning how to overcome that, is quite a nice way to be. If you get too comfortable, if life is too steady, you can miss out on a lot.”

The importance of cherishing every single day came crashing home recently for Hoy with the news that John Paul, a former cycling team-mate and a junior world champion, had died at the age of 28.

“I think when people die so young, it’s so much more shocking, because it feels like it goes against the natural order of life,” he says.

“For his family, for his parents to have to bury their son. As a parent now, that makes it even more shocking. It also makes you think: 'Right, I’ve got to make the most of every day.'

“You don’t know what your last day is going to be. John certainly gave it his all. He lived a very exciting life, he lived his passion and followed his dream. At least that’s one thing, that he did what he loved.”