Time Trial Fact Sheet

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If you are new to time trialling, it is important to familiarise yourself with some of the basic rules and regulations, particularly if you are from a different discipline as certain key differences in the rules and conduct of events can affect your enjoyment and safety.

A safe ride is more important than a fast one

This cannot be emphasised too strongly. As long as you get round safely, you can always come back next week and try to go faster. You will be riding on public roads open to normal motor traffic, so it is vitally important that you take the same care as you would on any normal cycle ride. Time trialling is generally safe, but among the infrequent accidents two particular types recur: 

1: Riders being struck from behind by vehicles. Rider visibility may help to reduce the incidence of this. Your race number is the only piece of mandatory safety equipment in time trials, and it needs to be visible from the rear when you are in your racing position. For most people, this will mean that the top of your number will lie along the waist band of your clothing. Do not use any non-standard attachment methods for the number, and do not fold it in any way. If you wear a separate jersey and shorts, it will probably be necessary to attach your number to both to ensure that it doesn't get covered up. If in doubt, ask one of the more experienced riders to help you with placement and attachment. You may also wish to consider whether bright/light clothing and/or a rear light attached to your bicycle could enhance your visibility. Time trials are frequently run early in the morning or late in the evening, when the light can be poor especially in shaded sections of the course.

2: Riders striking stationary or slow moving vehicles from behind. This occurs when riders have their eyes on their front wheel, not on the road ahead. Riding with your head down is dangerous. If you are seen riding with your head down, you may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

Don't ruin somebody else's ride

Everybody deserves an equal chance at having a good ride. It is important to remember that there will be other riders racing before you start and after you finish, as well as on the course at the same time as you. Look out for other riders and do not obstruct them. In particular, District regulations prohibit riders from executing a U-turn on any part of the course or within sight of the start or finish. Riders observed performing a U-turn may be subject to disciplinary proceedings. If you need to cross the road, stop on the left, get off and walk across, paying careful attention to traffic including other riders.

You will almost certainly be passed by faster riders at some point during a time trial, or you may pass a slower rider. It is prohibited to follow another rider and benefit from the 'draft'. If you are overtaken, it is incumbent upon you to drop back far enough that you are not gaining any benefit from the faster rider. If you are the one doing the overtaking, go straight past without pausing to take shelter, give the other rider plenty of room (they may be surprised to see you) and don't pull back in until you are well clear in front.

After you pass the finish, continue riding back to the head quarters area by a safe route. Do not stop at the finish, and do not try to talk to the finish timekeepers. They have an important job to do, and will not be helped by a crowd gathering around them pestering them for times. Your time, and everybody else's, will be shown on the result sheet after all riders have finished racing.

Special equipment regulations

Generally, any road legal bicycle is suitable for time trialling. For riders coming to time trialling from triathlons, it is important to note that some very deep section front wheel designs permitted in triathlons are not permitted in time trials. If you want to ride a modified track bike in time trials, your brake lever must be operable while you are holding the handlebars at their widest point, and you must have a lock ring or equivalent device on the rear hub if you are relying on your fixed wheel as the rear brake.

Next Steps

After completing a few 10 mile time trials, you might want to test yourself over the longer distances. There are a few 25 mile races run on the same basis as the evening 10s, but the majority, and the greater distances, are run as Open events which you will need to enter in advance using the CTT Standard Entry Form.

MDCC club events for non-members

In order to ride club time trials as a guest, you need to provide us with certain information on the start sheet when signing on. The information we need is:

Name - first and last names

Club - must be a CTT affiliated club except for 'Come and Try It' participants

Address - an address to which we can send correspondence related to the event. This almost never happens, but we are obliged to collect it just in case there is a traffic or disciplinary matter which needs post-race investigation.

Emergency contact phone number - the telephone number of a friend or relative who we can contact in case of emergency.

This information will be collected and used only for the above purposes. If you send it to us, you will be able to pre-register for a start time in club events, and you will only need to sign the form at the event when you collect your race number.