This FAQ sets out to show what a Time Trial is, the different types available and how to go about entering a time trial for the first time.
The basic idea is to cover a set course against the clock on your own; it is also know as “the race of truth”. This is possibly the easiest form of racing to enter for a novice as there are all sorts of abilities in time trials, but the person you are racing against is yourself. For this reason we encourage beginners to try time trials first if they want to see how fast they can go. They are often pleasantly surprised!
There are 2 levels of TT’s, club and open:
A club TT is for club members only, i.e. you must be a first or second claim member of the club to enter. These are generally run in the evening during the week: ours are most Tuesdays from April through to September at RAF Weston on the Green.
An Open TT is for anyone to enter. These are generally run at the weekend and details can be found in the CTT handbook or on the CTT website.
There are various types of TT:
Standard or traditional distances: these are over 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles or 12/24 hours. These are usually run on flattish and fast courses, be aware that some of these fast courses use major dual carriageways, i.e. A34, A1 and A43, etc.
Circuit TTs are run over a circuit of public roads for a number of laps. The circuits are not usually on main roads and generally include a hill.
Hilly/hard riders TTs are run over courses that are deliberately hard and/or hilly, again they are generally run on quieter roads but mainly at the start of the season.
Hill climbs vary between the very steep and short to long less steep hills, are run from September through October.
What do you need and how do I enter?
You only need a bike, you can ride any bike but a road bike is going to be the easiest/fastest option. Unless you are under 18 you don’t need a crash helmet. A word of warning: there is a rule that outlaws trade kit, i.e. replica kit. For both club and open TT’s you may not be allowed to ride if do wear trade it, it depends on the timekeeper(s). So if in doubt, wear either club kit or plain kit.
To enter a club event you just need to turn up 15 minutes or so before the race is due to start, sign-on (enter Name & details) and pick up your race number. The number should be attached in the middle of your shirt at the bottom, unless you are told otherwise. The number will also denote when you start, or when the clock is started. Now warm up and arrive at the start 2 or so minutes before you are due to start. At the start you may be held upright with your shoes clipped in to the pedals. As the start time approaches the timekeeper will count down to the off. Once finished hand your number back and wait for the race to finish and then get your time from the timekeeper.
For an Open event, you will have to fill in an entry form and send it to the organiser along with your entrance fee. The form is available on the CTT site and should you need any help then ask any of the experienced racers. You should then receive a start sheet in the post; this can arrive anytime before the race. On this will be your number and your start time, along with details of the event HQ. On race day make your way to the HQ aiming to arriving about 20-30 minutes before your start time. You need to sign-on, usually at a table in the HQ with a form taped to the table. Sign next to your name and pick up your race number(s). From here on it’s the same as for a club event, although be careful not warm-up on the course or do u-turns in sight of the timekeeper. Once finished your time will be entered on a big board and generally you get a cup of tea and a cake when you hand your number(s) back. Also sometime after the event you will receive a finish sheet in the post.