Time Trials can be a rather hectice event to make sure you're at the right place at the right time and when you're riding it that you know what to do. For that reason we've put together some guidelines to help you know what to expect.
Club Time Trial (TT) events are run on Tuesday evenings from April until end of August each year, on courses located between Leamington Spa and Rugby. RLSCC share the running of the Time Trial season with neighbouring club, Rugby Velo.
The routes are generally 10 miles long however include a few 25 mile course. There are several different championship honours to compete for each year which all club members are welcome to participate.
There in an annual inter-club challenge event against Rugby Velo
A Cycling Time Trial is simply a test of yourself against the stopwatch, and is often called 'the race of truth'.Riders set off on their own, usually at minute intervals, counted down by a timekeeper.
Your aim is to ride the set course in the fastest time you can, trying to pace your efforts over the distance.You may find yourself overtaken, similarly you may overtake others. You mustn't shelter in a competitor's slipstream & risk disqualification.
Time trials are a great way to measure fitness improvement, as you do more and more.Anyone can participate in Time trials, young/ old, fast/ slow, experienced or new to the sport.Any roadworthy bike is suitable, road bikes are common. You do not need a specific Time Trial bike to participate, but being aerodynamic is part of it.
First and foremost, you're racing against yourself so it doesn't matter what time anyone else got.
TTs are mostly situated near Princethorpe & Ryton, incorporating the A45.
Most TTs start from 6:45pm or 7pm on Tuesdays April-Aug, with signing-on 30mins before
All RLS CC (& RV) members can ride for £2 per event (please not however that members of both clubs have priority sign on). Non members are also welcome at £3 per event and can sign on 15 minutes after others.
You can now sign on in advance of an event by clicking here.
Upon signing on you will be asked for an emergency contact number upon which you will recieve a race number to pin onto your jersey. Please ensure you return this at the end of the event.
RLSCC will run 3 different categorised championships throughout the 2015 season:
All Championships (except Veterans) will be points based upon event finishing order. The fastest timed rider coming 1st is awarded 20pts, reducing by a point per placing, down to 1pt for 20th position or lower.
Each championship is decided by the total points from a rider's 10 best scores only (eg. 15 event finishes means you drop your 5 worst scores). A maximum number of points a rider can achieve is 200. Remember there are 22 events per season, so even those joining mid season can accumulate enough point scoring finishes.
The Veterans Championship (combining Males & Females 40 & over) will be awarded to the rider with the greatest total 'plus' time (from your fastest 5 results) when each finishing time is compared with the 'standard' time for their age & sex, making it fairer to compete equally.
The total 'plus' time will be taken from a combination of one 25-mile and four 10-mile time trials. People often get quicker over a season, so an early season 'slow' time will commonly be replaced by a faster time towards season end.
Each riders fastest times for any 10 & 25 mile TT events are listed below in a rankings table for men & women.To qualify for the rankings, a time must be in a CTT sanctioned, organised TT event, and when the rider is a current member of RLSCC. Click here to view them
To help introduce you to the discipline we've put together some guidance?. First off, all club members are welcome to try time trials. Many RLSCC members tried it for the first time in 2015, and now regularly participate.
You can use any type of bike, as long as it's roadworthy and not a recumbent machine. TT specific bikes will be more aerodynamic but most people ride normal road bikes. Some might add tri bars or aerobars to get into a more aerodynamic pose on the bike, but it isn't a necessity, as your aim is to do your best effort, regardless of equipment and to challenge yourself. Clip on tri bars offer the easiest./ cheapest way of converting a roadbike to get you into a more aerodynamic riding position.Some people might have aero wheels. Some have aero helmets.
Track pumps are useful to pump your tyres to 120psi or more for tubular tyres (heed their stated maximum limit though) to decrease rolling resistance. As usual, lower the pressure if the road is slippery or wet. Rear Flashing lights are highly recommended too (again not a necessity) but it is important for yourself and other road users to be visible from a greater distance as most club courses use the A45 dual carriageway, which does offer plenty of room for cars to pass safely but closing speeds are higher. Drinks & snacks are a must to keep you hydrated, especially for afterwards. Just don't eat too soon before your start time.
You must ensure you can comfortably cover the distance & be reasonably fit. However, your fitness level doesn't stop you from competing. As everyone is individually timed, it's your time that matters & one main challenge is to improve, become faster with the more TT's you do. Seasoned Riders all started their first TT once.You'll hear riders talk of their PB's and it is a good feeling when you have slashed seconds or even minutes of your personal best!
The CTT organisation has many rules but the main useful ones to note are:
Full regulations can be found here.
Our club time trials, like most events, take place on mainly A roads & Dual Carriageways, without traffic lights. but at evening times (post rush hour when traffic is lighter) & during lighter months, April through to August.
However, any passing traffic might be doing speeds between 30-70 mph. Therefore, it is important that you are confident riding on such roads, keep a steady line, and obey the rules of the road, using hand signals as you would normally when riding. Unsafe riding won't be tolerated!
Signs are put out at the start & finish to alert motorists of the 'cycle event' taking place.
The A45 is wide, offers decent lines of sight for motorists, and offers a wide meter wide left of the inside white line on which to ride at most places. Be aware that you may be travelling at higher speeds to which motorists might not expect so caution is needed at junctions where they misjudge your speed.
RLSCC & RV run their club events on Tuesday evenings when the lighter spring & summer evenings offer better visibility. However, the sun can get low in the sky, causing long shadows, low light & dazzle drivers, making it hard for them to spot a rider. Therefore it is important to make yourself visible to motorists.
There's lights & then there's LIGHTS. It is worth getting a decent rear LED light to make yourself visible. Older 'bulb lights don't illuminate well, and that can be said of some small, single LED lights which aren’t very bright when seen from a distance. A car travelling at 60 mph will need longer distance and time to see & react to pass you. Therefore a multi LED light with a larger surface area will be seen further away. There are so many lights to choose from, some which are quite aerodynamic too. A front light can be similarly handy for those courses which feature junctions and roundabouts.
You may wish to consider wearing clothing which offers some visibility to motorists too.
To help you plan & know what is in store, this is what normally happens before, during & after at a Time Trial Event:
Do a kit check the day before (especially if you're doing a full days work before an evening TT). Check your bike, bring a track pump (if you have one), bring or attach lights, get your clothing, shoes and helmet ready.
Everyone has taken a wrong turn at some point, but you don't want to ruin a possible PB by wasting time with a detour. Google maps & streetview are good for knowing the route & landmarks. See the course maps section (link to new page).
Allow a good half hour before the stated start time. Some people ride up to the sign on location (sometimes referred to as the HQ), others drive and park up. There won't be changing facilities or toilets. People are often dressed in their kit beforehand. Please respect the countryside, and neighbouring residents by not urinating or dropping litter.
You will need to sign on prior to riding. Sign on often starts 30 mins before the start time. At our club time trials on tuesday evenings, RLSCC & Rugby Velo host clubs have equal priority sign on for the first 15 minutes. Thereafter, non club members and members of other clubs can sign on too.
Please don't queue jump! Even if your mate is there that you want to natter with, you'll just annoy people.
Slower riders often get an earlier start time, faster ones later. Be honest if asked what you expect to complete the course in. if you're last out & slower than expected, you meet with a grumpy tmiekeeper who's been waiting around for you way after everyone else finishes!
For the signing on sheet, you'll need an emergency contact number to put down, your age, and consent if 18 or under.
You'll be given a bright flourescent number panel (approx 20cm square) with pins to pin centrally to your rear lower shirt. You'll probably need help to pin it on.
A warm up prior to your start works best for most. Be mindful of other riders doing the same thing and traffic, particularly near the start line. If you have a later start time, don't get in the way of riders on their timed ride. Be safe if doing U-turns when warming up too.
If the stated start time line is 7pm, rider #1 will go off at 7.01, #2 at 7.02 etc. Several minutes before you start time, line up in number order and await to be called forward once the rider in front of you has started.
Make sure you're in a comfortable gear in which to start off in.
Sometimes, there will be a 'pusher' to hold the bike steady so you can start with both feet on the pedals. It's up to you if you want to do this. Other times, you start by yourself. The starter will say 30 seconds, 10 seconds, then countdown 5,4,3,2,1 go!
If you are late for your allotted time, you may get the chance to start at the rear of the field.
A major part of a time Trial is learning how to best pace your effort over the distance. Some riders start out too hard, then fatigue towards the end. Other may start too cautiously, then find themselves unable to make up for lost time over the rest of the distance.
You may find yourself overtaken, similarly you may overtake others. You mustn't shelter in a competitor's slipstream & risk disqualification.
At a club event, you won't get any marshals pointing the way at junctions as happens at 'open' events. Therefore it's time to remember the course ahead.
Ride within your limits at all times and respect other road users
Shout your number as you pass the finish line, to help the timekeeper record your time. You number panel might have come lose or adrift, or unreadable. The finish line is often marked with some form of signage to help you spot it.
After passing the finish line, it's best to warm down gently by riding back to the sign on location. Please don't go back to the finish line to chat & distract the timekeeper. Times will be given out after everyone has finished.
Please remember to hand your number back in, back at the sign on location.
Everyone is eager to know their time. The timekeeper will show the result times back at the sign on location.
If you can't complete the course for whatever reason, always notify one of the officials so they know that you are a DNF. If you have a irreparable puncture, try to get back, and notify. The officials won't drive round to pick you up afterwards, so best arrange with someone else you know & agree a plan if this occurs.
It's hard work on a TT but it's good knowing your times are improving with some gentle competition and plenty of encouragement & camaraderie between riders too.
And remember, It doesn't matter what time anyone else got - first and foremost, you're racing against yourself. Enjoy it!
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