Bradley Wiggins has been shocked and overwhelmed by the praise and recognition he has received following his phenomenal summer of success.
The 32-year-old cyclist previously may have been well known within the sporting world but his public profile has soared since becoming Britain's first Tour de France winner and adding Olympic time-trial gold in London.
"I left home on June 22 and nobody knew who I was, in the village even, bar a couple," Wiggins said. "And then I came back to this overwhelming adulation everywhere I go."
This new-found celebrity status is something that has taken Wiggins, who is now a seven-time Olympic medallist with four golds, aback.
"It is fantastic, brilliant, it really is - but I wasn't quite expecting the reaction," he added.
"After the Tour de France half the world's media were camped at the end of my lane for two days, which was bizarre to say the least."
Wiggins, who is married with two children, had hoped to spend some private time with his family after his arduous training schedule culminated with the Tour and London 2012.
But he said: "It didn't really happen. A lot changed - we couldn't even go for a pizza in London any more.
"It was difficult trying to integrate back into what you normally do, always being watched. 'Sorry to disturb your dinner, can I just have a photo?' - it's difficult.
"I think the kids struggled. They just wanted to see me. They hadn't seen me for the best part of seven months."