Who says its only the Basques and Eddy Merckx that rides in orange.

Top Photograph – Front of the bike show jersey.

Next Down- Reverse of the jersey , there is a little black radio hidden behind the back middle pocket

Next Down – Bike show artwork and my Dundee Cycling Club Calendar

Next down , Thought someone had sent me a bottle of whiskey , no its was Milltag’s way of sending their jerseys to customers , very smart indeed.

Cycling Memrobelia from the Laidlaw

Its always good to obay the Two Johns Law


This week has been special , taking part and finishing the Ken Laidlaw , Young FRR achieves good GCSE results, the graphics students at my school do well, , one week left of the holiday , the cycling gods have looked kindly on me this week. I went to pick up young FRR up from his friends in St Albans. Parking my car a young gentleman stops me for help, his car won’t start and he is travelling back to Nottingham. I said give me 15 min , I will go home and get my jump leads , returning we got his Audi going. We exchanged pleasantries then he give me a card, he is the new manager for one of the top Italian restaurants in St Albans, he said I start in the middle of next month , give me a call and come for a meal. The Two Johns Podcast  boys [Cycling]  always say [2 Johns Law] always give something back if life has been good, it worked for FRR with surprising results. I said to Satchin[The Manager] if I was stuck I would hope someone would do the same for me. FRR 

Lord Sugar “Lets Roll” He is setting off on a 110m ride from San Remo to the south of France

A gathering of the “Armstrong Clan”

http://lockerz.com/s/132546936      A great shot of the Armstrong Clan Kirsty and Larry Langholm






Riding the Ken Laidlaw Sportive

All year this event has been the goal , to ride an event in my home town Hawick which had giving me a love for sport , through the Boy’s Brigade 6th Hawick Co and Teviotdale Harriers.

When I lived in Hawick I did use my bike , not for racing but to commute to work or going to the Trinity Church Youth Club, I think I can say that I was the last message boy for John Millar the Grocers, riding a big black single speed was fun and i was paid £2 for doing the Job.

What a thrill at the start , to ride in a peloton 500 strong was something to see , my brother was there riding the white shiny Pinerello , my running friend from school 100+ marathon man Willie Salkeld, and boys from the Velo club Don Logan @BMFW and @stumpyrider .

I knew the first 5 miles , on the route of my favorite run Roberton , then the climbing started, the hills so different from the ones in Hertfordshire, Riding in a back up car , 2 old training partners , both class athletes in different disciplines. Stewie Bennett or as I like to call him “Doc Cole” [ Look up Flanigan Run on the net]. Stewie a 2h36 min marathon man, ultra distance runner , at one point in time Stewie held the Scottish record for running 24 hours round a 400 meter track, a regular training partner and the Best Man at my wedding back in 1987.

Kenny Fraser the other gentleman ,10 times  Scottish Champion white water canoe champion , British team canonist, A man who could bench press 100kg and make it look easy.

What a thrill to see both the above Gentlemen , who were on duty helping the riders with punctures or other problems.

I started to get into the rhythm after the first climb out of Roberton , At the top of the hill i saw my old History Teacher at Hawick High School Mr Ian Landles.

Going downhill into Ashkirk my first puncture occurred , the rims getting to hot on the long downhill descents, my riding in the Hertfordshire countryside had not prepared me for this type of bike riding , also being a bit chicken going down hill does not help.  The next big climb was the Swire   for a minute I thought I was in the Alps , and I remember saying to myself  “Bloody Hell look at that”

Still with the Shram Apex I was able to battle up the 2 mile climb, it struck me that Mt Ventoux is 3 times the size of the  Swire , It made me appreciate  how superhuman those TDF riders are. On the decent another pucture , due to the heat in the rims , no spares left now. At this point I knew that the 100 was out of the question , the goal now was to battle round the 52 .

The next climb was from  The Gordon Arms to Tuishelaw , going up the climb in a gear that was comfortable , I enjoyed this part of the course , all the running , cycling had helped ,I knew at this point Roberton was 15 , miles away then it was a good run into hawick , just keep that Trek moving . I enjojed the run into Tushielaw ,short sharp braking using front and back was the trick ,I just thought , think like Alberto Contador , use all of the road , the pain of the climbing had gone I was enjoying the event.

Climbing past Acerknowe  Water  I saw a sign Hawick 7 miles , yep the climbing was all done keep it going 7 miles . I thought how many times have I ran 7 miles one last effort to get my Laidlaw medal.

Just passed the sign after Roberton I felt the back wheel going down , quite a spot as in my running days my Monday night run was to Roberton and back to Hawick [10 miles] i would always make sure i touched the sign , It did occur to me to leave the bike and run into Hawick , however a true Gentleman of Glasgow rode past and give me his tube. Wheel repaired I flew through Harden Glen, Highchesters Farm , part of the Teviotdale Harriers Club Championship course , next stop Martins Bridge then into Hawick

I flew into Hawick as if I was going to win the Tour Of Flanders , then overcooked the roundabout at the Sandbed  , however stayed on the bike, now it was  Commercial Road then Mansfield and the finish at Hawick Rugby club.

Wow i had finished , the 100 was just too far today , however chapeau to @bmfw and the wee brother for doing the long route, and i salute my running mate Willie Salkeld and @stumpyrider for their time on the 52

And next year , well Willie Salkeld says I have to be down to 14 stone so it gives me a fighting chance to complete the 100 , So “Lets Roll” and prepare for those climbs next year.

And many thanks to the guy who gave me the tube , I offered to send him a replacement , he would not here of it , another little gesture that made the Laidlaw a special day

Monday 22/8/11 Picture below a view from the Swire Climb

Cyclecross Magazine Interviews John G of the Two Johns Cycling Podcast

In The Saddle With John Gatch, Race Announcer Extraordinaire


John Gatch is a staple at races. John Gatch is a staple at races. Photo courtesy of Judy LoPresti

by Judi LoPresti

John Gatch is a do-it-all-er when it comes to cycling. A long time racer, both in road and cyclocross. Announcer for some of the biggest races held here in Cincinnati. Promoter and organizer for the OVCX race, Gun Club CX. He even has a podcast. I was excited to have the opportunity to interview him. Despite his busy schedule, John took the time to answer some of the questions I have always been curious about. He is somewhat of a legend around the cycling community and I hope you enjoy his answers as much as I did.

Judi LoPresti: You are a roadie. How did you get into Cyclocross?

John Gatch: I started ’crossing a long time ago when I was a Junior as a wintertime diversion/training option. My first cyclocross race was in Colorado Springs, Colorado in January, in the deep snow with USCF Coach Eddie B. screaming at me to keep going.

JL: Tell me about how you got roped into organizing an event like Gun Club?

JG: This will be my tenth year promoting and producing a cyclocross race. I started because it’s a heck of a lot less hassle putting on a ’cross race than a road race or criterium. I was burned out on the road race promotion front.

JL: How did Gun Club become the venue for this race?

JG: As participation grew I started to look for a venue with multiple course options, parking and a building for registration, food, etc. The Gun Club fits the bill with its massive lodge, fireplace, kitchen, bathrooms and over 100 acres. It’s owned by some brothers who I know from church.

JL: What’s up with the skirt?

JG: Skirt? What are you talking about? I did wear lederhosen at the race last year. [see picture above] I figured the promoter should be easy to spot. This year I’m looking for a matador’s outfit.

JL: How do you go about setting the course up each year? It is always so brutal, but my personal favorite of the OVCX series.

JG: I do a lot of riding out there leading up to the event. My ’cross training buddy, Mikey, and I tweak it every year. I am especially proud of the “valley of death” section we came up with last year where riders could choose one of two ways across a creek before a steep-ass hill.

John GatchGatch in action on the cyclocross course. Photo courtesy of John Gatch.

JL: Tell me about what all it takes to organize an event like Gun Club CX, how far in advance do you start?

JG: I actually start the day after the race. I’ll sit down and make a list of what worked, what didn’t work, course notes, total the receipts, list ideas for next year, etc. I then put all that away until mid-August when I’ll pull a race permit, solicit sponsors, design a new logo, inventory my equipment, and start to get my volunteer crew assembled.

JL: Does it get in the way of your own training? How do you get it all done?

JG: Not really. I try to stay organized. As long as I don’t procrastinate I can stay on top of it OK.

JL: The race is set for early October this year. How do you think the race will differ from years past when it’s usually in November?

JG: Other than starting the planning earlier I don’t think so. I suppose it could be a bit warmer. Also, we gain a little daylight in the morning. That will help with set up.

JL: Which do you like better, announcing at a race or organizing a race?

JG: I like racing a race best. This year I’ve been able to double up and announce and race some crits. I am super psyched to announce the UCI3 Cincinnati Cyclocross Festival with Dave Towle. I’ve know Dave for a long time but have never announced with him. The organizing bit is a big job but the payoff is race day when everyone arrives, registration is humming, events start on time, the grill is fired up, the marching band is playing, and the crowd is pumped.

JL: Would you consider racing the event anytime soon? I think you’d kick ass at cyclocross.

JG: The Gun Club is getting too big for me to take the time to race it. The last time I raced it was three or four years ago. I did get fifth in the A race, but guys are getting faster and I’m getting older and slower!

JL: Tell me about your podcast. How did you come up with it?

JG: It was my wife’s idea. I’d just come back home from a weekend of racing and immediately got on the phone with one of my teammates (the other John) to re-hash the events. She was like, “Lord! You guys just spent the weekend together racing and your still talking about it. Do a podcast or something!” And so it was born. She even came up with name. We like to think the podcast is the kind of conversation you’d have in a car with a bunch of buddies driving home from a race.

JL: How did you get the announcing gig? You do such a good job! You make us all feel like rockstars.

JG: Thank you. I’ve never met a microphone I didn’t like and I have no fear of speaking in front of large crowds. I love the challenge of educating and entertaining a crowd at a bike race no matter what the category. Plus, I know the feeling of being in a race and hearing your name over the PA. It’s pretty cool. I like to recognize who’s putting out the effort regardless of age or experience level.

John Gatch
Gatch with a second place trophy and some seriously muddy bikes. Photo courtesy of John Gatch

JL:  You won the Tandem Championship Nationals last year. Do you plan to go to Bend to compete again next month?

JG: Sadly no plans at this point. My tandem partner’s wife had a kid recently. I don’t think it would go over too well. Life always intervenes in bike racing.

JL: Name your favorite belgium beer.

Wow, now that’s a good question. I’d have to say Westmalle Abbey – Tripel, but for an American Belgie-style beer the Ommegang Abbey Ale is an excellent Dubbel at an awesome price.


Mizuno WavePhantom’s my favorite pair of running shoes

A great Canadian bike for the Rasta Roadie , Orange a classic colour for a champion like you Steve

A classic Marinoni road bike [Below]  Samuel Sanchez in Orange, Eddy Merckx also in orange


As the Two John’s say its always a good day for a ride , however a better ride if you ride with the 2 Johns supporters badge on your bike.