Frequently asked questions
What is time trialling?
A cycling time trial is sometimes called the 'race of truth' because it is the simplest purest race against the clock. Each rider sets off on their own and covers the specified course in the fastest time they can, alone and unpaced. It is you against the clock. No tactics, no teamwork, no game-plan other than to finish in the shortest possible time.
Riders usually set off at minute intervals, counted down by the timekeeper. You ride at your own pace and may be overtaken by other riders, or you may overtake others. Whatever happens you must never shelter in the slipstream of another rider and you should not take pace from anyone else.
The beauty of time trialling is that anyone can do it. Fast or slow, young or old, experienced or inexperienced.
What kind of bike do I need?
Do I need to be a member of a cycling club?
Are the series registration and the event registration the same thing?
How are courses chosen?
For safety reasons and for the standardisation of distances, time trialling is only done on roads which have been approved for use by the local CTT district committee. Factors which are taken into account in the risk assessment include the safety of the start and finish points, the volume of traffic, the width and surface of the road and the safety of junctions. Obviously courses need to be free of traffic lights or junctions where stopping is likely to be a necessity. They are often of a standard distance such as 10, 25 or 50 miles, but this is not always the case.
Why do courses have code names?
In time trialling, each approved course is represented by a course code. This is a left-over from earlier years when the authorities were not keen on time trialling taking place on public roads. Times have changed, but the code names have stuck, unfortunately, as this can seem a bit bewildering, but it is just easy shorthand.
In the Midlands District all the courses start with a ‘K’. We also sometimes use "A" courses. You can find the details of all Midlands courses here.
When should I arrive at the event?
Will there be any changing facilities?
What do I need to bring with me?
- Your bike and all equipment for riding it (helmet, shoes etc).
- A working rear light - this is a compulsory requirement for all open time trials. No light = no ride.
- A track pump if you have one.
- Tools, allen keys and spare inner tube.
What should I wear?
Do I have to wear a helmet?
Where does the number go?
You should pin your number on your lower back, in the middle, so it is visible to drivers, marshals and other competitors when you are tucked over your handlebars or on your aero bars. Putting the number higher on your back (between your shoulders) will mean it cannot be easily seen, so make sure you position it low enough to be visible. You may need to ask someone to help you with this.
Some skinsuits will have tags to attach the number, but otherwise make sure all four pins are through the fabric and the number is firmly attached.
*Note that under COVID-19 rules, numbers are disposable and no safety pins are provided.*