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How to Start Time Trialling

TT'ing is an easy way to get into racing. No bunch to keep up with, and no danger of being dropped! The beauty of time trialling is that the rider sets their own standard and then measures their effort over the course on the given day.

To get started, you don't need a fancy bike - just turn up on your normal road bike to one of our regular Thursday evening club events during the summer where you can enter on the line. You'll be given a number, told your start time and then all you have to do is ride round the course in the shortest time you can!

The next level up are the fully open events organised under the "Cycling Time Trials" (CTT) umbrella. These have to be entered two weeks in advance via a standard entry form available from the CTT web site. To enter you have to be a member of an affiliated club such as the Clifton CC. As the fields are limited to 120 riders there is a small risk that the event will be over-subscribed. In these cases the organiser takes the "best 120 riders" and so your best times over standard distances are requested on the form.

We have a club competition called the "Open Event Series" which consists of 8 carefully selected Open TT events across the season. The events are all on quiet roads and within a reasonable distance of York. The competition is based on points for places and your best 5 results count. These events are an ideal introduction to Open Events as there will be other Clifton riders at all of them.

So What Do I Then?

Do you need special time trialling kit?

No. Some riders will have TT bikes etc, some won't. You will see competitors with very expensive and fast looking bikes and equipment. Do not be intimidated by this as there is no guarantee that they will be any good!

None of the events are on 'fast' dual-carriageway-type roads, all are circuits and some are very hilly, which reduces the benift from riding time trial specific equipment anyway.

So what happens at the event? What do I do?

  • Turn up in plenty of time to sign on and have a warm up.
  • At the TLI series the race organiser on the night will decide on the starting order and hand out race numbers which you attach to the back of your jersey. For the Open series you should receive a start list in the post from the organiser about a week before the event.
  • Riders will set off at 1 minute intervals. When it's your turn, roll up to the start line, when the Timekeeper says '30 seconds', the 'Pusher Off' will take hold of your bike so that you can clip into the pedals.
  • The Timekeeper will count down from 5 seconds and you're off.
  • Then it's just a case of riding as hard as you can round the course to the finish, which will be advertised with a black-and-white chequered board. Try to remember to shout out your race number to the Timekeeper as you pass him/her.
  • The Timekeeper will then calculate all the individual times and hand the result board round, the results/points will appear later on the website.
  • Don't forget to hand back your race number once you have finished.

Happy testing!

Further Reading

Entry Forms

Entry forms and parental constent forms are available from the Cycling Time Trials site

Subpages (1): Harrogate Lanes 2004