Cycling Time Trials (TT) are a great way of dipping your toe into competitive cycling, and then taking your cycling one step further!
The UK TT scene is a very friendly and inclusive one. TTs are organised by local cycling clubs, regional and national organisations. All you need to do to take part is be a member of the club!
The club is affiliated to the Cycling Time Trials association (CTT) which means that all club members are insured to ride in events run under the banner of the CTT. Clubs running TTs approved by the CTT do so in accordance with the law and the highway code.
All TTs are run on approved routes which have been checked for safety as well as other standards to make sure the courses fall within specific boundaries. The police are aware of all scheduled events, so you can rest assured that taking part in a competition on public roads is fully authorized and insured.
Who Can Take Part?
If you have a road bike and you're 12 years old or older, you can participate in Time Trialing! Ok, so if its your first TT its best to select a TT run by a local club. Some clubs will specify that 'no aero kit' is used for some events, or that the TT is for road bikes only. This will provide newcomers with a TT which feels less serious.
Be warned though, time trialing can become addictive. Once you have completed your first, you will be thinking 'I could have done that faster...'. This will soon lead to an n+1 desire for another bike.
Club Time Trials
Time trialing is not just for the ultra fit cyclists equipped with the latest aerodynamic kit! If you want a personal challenge, or have a competitive streak then you should consider giving it a go.
This year the club will be jointly running time trials throughout the year with the Monmouthshire Wheelers. The schedule can be seen here, sign on starts at 1830, with the first rider departing at 1900.
The courses are held on A roads, B roads and dual carriageways. Dual carriageways are popular as the are often flatter, smoother (less potholes), provide a run off area to the inside and they also provide drivers with a second lane for overtaking. Although the thought can be intimidating, once you are riding on a TT, the traffic becomes a secondary consideration. The TTs are usually held in evenings or early on a weekend day, so the roads are quieter.
So, give it a try! Nobody will laugh at your time, everybody riding started somewhere. The environment is very friendly, and the challenge is addictive.
National Time Trials
If you fancy spreading your wings further afield, you can view TT on the CTT events web page. A good starting point is the Celtic Series of TTs located in South Wales. Again, these are very friendly events attracting a wide range of ability.