By far the most popular form of cycle racing in this country is time trialling. Each year many thousands of competitive rides are performed. Many of these races are held early in the mornings and members of the public are often not aware that a race has taken place near them.
One of the main advantages of time trialling is that all abilities are catered for because the races are not head to head but a true test of each person’s strength skill and fitness against the watch. The rules do not permit any rider to take shelter from any other competitor or vehicle.
All competitors must be at least twelve years old and must have written authorisation from their parents until their eighteenth birthday. Riders on the back seat of a tandem can be younger than twelve provided that the “steersman” is at least eighteen. Every competitor must obey the law of the road and must have an appropriate knowledge of the Highway Code. Additionally there are other rules which are designed to avoid causing hazards and accidents such as not making “U” turns in the road or crowding round the start or finish timekeepers. In general however the sport is very friendly and relaxed with no complicated rules to learn.
There are two categories of time trials, all known as ‘events’. They are classified as either ‘Club’ or ‘Open’. Club events can be entered ‘on the line’ by signing the appropriate entry sheet and paying a modest fee, usually £2. This means that you can just turn up for an event and race. Most club events are held in the evenings and the most popular distance covered is 10 miles.
Open events require a bit more planning as entries must be submitted in advance using the prescribed entry form. The fee for these races is normally about £7.
Competitors do not need a racing licence but must be a member of a club which is affiliated to the CTT. Visitors can be made temporary honorary members of a club so that they can try out the sport in a club event before joining. You don’t need to be a highly experienced rider to give it a try, so do come along and have a go at one of our club events!
All competitors must wear the appropriate clothing for both Club and Open events (this tends to be your own club’s kit). Clothing carrying “advertising” cannot be worn in open events unless the rider is professional or a member of a sponsored club, in which cases special rules apply.
The Governing Body which rules the sport is “CYCLING TIME TRIALS” (CTT). The sport is legally permitted on the public highway provided that all regulations are followed, this includes notifying the appropriate Police Authorities.