How do I start time trialling?

Written by: Tim Costello, 3 July 2008 Last updated: 29 May 2010

Who should read this?

This article is intended for anyone who is interested in trying time trialling for the first time.

How old do I have to be?

To ride a time trial organised by Cycling Time Trials (the CTT, or sometimes referred to by their old name RTTC) you have to be at least 12 years old. If you are under 18 years old your parents or guardian must sign a parental consent form.

Where can I race?

Throughout the summer there are at least two local time trials every week. The Bognor Regis Cycling Club promote a Thursday evening race at Fontwell and the Hampshire Road Club promote on a Tuesday evening at Funtington (signing on at West Stoke Village Hall). Both of these are ten mile time trials.

Additionally, there are weekend time trials, but unless there is a local one you will have to travel a bit further to, for example, Bournemouth, Surrey or Brighton area.

You can find a list of local time trials on the South District (of the CTT) website, which covers from Weymouth in the west, to Worthing in the east, as far north as Andover, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands.

How do I enter and how much will it cost?

There are two types of time trials: club events and open events. Club events are easy to enter. You pitch up before the start with your money (about £4) sign the signing on sheet and take your number. If you are under 18 you will also need to supply a signed parental consent form.

You start in the order you signed on, i.e. the first person to sign on goes first.

Open events require you to enter in advance using a CTT entry form If you are under 18 you must get your parents or guardian to complete the consent section. To obtain the details of whom to send your entry to and how much it costs you need to have a CTT hand book. You might think that nowadays that's a bit archaic. The closing date for events is normally about two weeks beforehand. The organiser will send you a program a couple of days before the start which will tell you what time you are going to start. On the day you just sign on and pick up your race number.

Do I have to belong to a club?

To ride an open time trial you must belong to a club affiliated to the CTT (such as Southdown Velo, Hampshire Road Club or Bognor Regis CC) or join the CTT directly as a private member. Why anyone would want to do the latter is beyond me.

The Hampshire Road club will let you ride a couple of their club time trials on a "come and try it" basis without being a member of an affiliated club.