What is a Time Trial?
Time trialling is the simplest of competitive racing: a race against the clock, with riders starting a minute apart. It’s known as the ‘race of truth’ because there’s nowhere to hide, no one to draft behind.
BMCC host a Time Trial each Tuesday night from April to September. These take place at Weston on the Green Airfield. Signing on for the Time Trials finish at 6:45pm with the first rider off at 7pm. The Time Trials cost £3 for Club Members and £5 for non-club members. Weston on the Green is the ideal place to try out a Time Trial with the event taking place off the highway on a tarmac route forming a 2.5mile loop, our Time Trials take place over 10 miles (4 laps) and 25 miles (10 laps). This also ensures that if a rider does have a problem then they are never too far from help. Having no cars, trucks or other traffic however, is the main bonus, making the time trial events a lot safer for those taking part and wishing to try out TT’s
As well as an individual discipline time trials can also be run as team events – ‘Two-Up’ or ‘Four-Up’ denoting teams of two or four, for instance. The ultimate team time trial is run with nine-person teams, and BMCC hold just such an event at Silverstone Race Circuit every summer, with teams coming from all over the country to compete.
Getting into Time Trialling
What do you need to take part?
Anyone can try a Time Trial, you do not need to be a member of BMCC, you don’t need to have come out on a ride with us. In fact Weston on the Green because of the lack of traffic is the ideal place to get back on your bike. All you need is a roadworthy bike and a helmet. This includes mountain bikes and hybrids, you do not need a road bike or special Time Trial bike.
No one will laugh or be condescending if your time is slow but everyone will be happy that you have taken the trouble to come along and do your best. Whatever time it takes you to complete the distance, you will then have a PB (personal best). That time then exists for you to better in a future time trial. All of us had our first Time Trial and know how hard it is. Everyone who is there will normally have some helpful hints and tips, so please ask for help or advice if you are unsure of anything or want help with something.
What to expect when you turn up:
Come along to Weston on the Green before 6:45pm. Upon entering the airfield turn left and then left into the car park. The organiser of the Time Trial will be there, likely to be stood with a large bag, clipboard and a pile of race numbers. Approach the organiser and introduce yourself, if it is your first time please let them know so they can explain the course. The organiser will ask you to sign in. This is where you are designated a number provide your name and address, age, emergency contact telephone number and sign on and pay the fees (£3 for Club Members and £5 for non-club members). Once this has been completed you will be given a race number, this will let you know approximately when you will start – the first rider will set off at 7pm and the other riders will set off in order at 1 minute interviews.
Ask another rider or helper to pin your race numbers on. The larger number goes in the middle of your back, the smaller number goes on your right arm (unless the Time Trial is on the reverse course). After this make sure that your bike is ready to ride and make your way over to the start line (please de careful of other riders especially if the Time Trial has started), the start line is near the small brick structure. Next to the start line is a helipad which can be used as a warm up area. Please be at the start area in plenty of time before you are due to set off. At the start line the electronic timer will count the time down for riders to start. The “pusher”, who is a club help who will aid riders starting will call out the next number will approximately one minute before the start time, when your number is called proceed to the line. The pusher will hold your bike up and allow you to “clip in” if you have clip less pedals or get settled on your bike. When the timer counts down to zero you will start. For the first section you will ride slightly up hill to the finish line. Once you have crossed the line marked on the ground you have the set number of laps until you finish.
Tips for your first Time Trial
- Don’t slaughter yourself in the first few miles.
- You need to get into the ride – find a rhythm for your breathing and pedalling that’s hard but sustainable.
- Other riders will come past you. Don’t worry about it.
- When you can see the finish, give it everything.
- Keep riding straight past the finish
What to do when you finish your Time Trial:
When you have passed the finish line wait until it is safe and turn left and return to the car park. Warm down, get a drink and food if you have some and put an extra layer of clothing to make sure you do not cool down too quickly. Have a chat with other riders. Once all the riders have finished the timekeeper will return to the car park and allow you to see the results. Please then hand your numbers back in to the organiser. Race results will be posted to the clubs website within 24 hours.
We hope you will have had a good time and hope that you will come back for another go.