Time trialling is the “grass roots” of competitive bike racing in the UK and has been for over a century. Dozens of Chorley CC members take part in at least one TT event every season, with some of them entering many, many more than that. So what’s it all about?
Time trialling is the simplest of competitive formats: a race against the clock, with riders starting a minute apart. It's known as the 'race of truth' because there's nowhere to hide, no one to draft behind; just you and the bike and the thumping of your heart. Oh, and a clock ticking.
Most events are fixed distance, being 10,25,50 or 100 miles. There are also fixed time events -12 and 24 hours -with the objective being to ride the furthest you can. Courses are on public roads and are either 'out and back', using a roundabout to turn halfway, or circuits with consecutive left turns. You can take part on any roadworthy bike except a recumbent. Normally you need to be a member of a Cycling Time Trials-affiliated cycling club (or a UCI-registered Pro team). Any member over 12 can enter, though under-18s must submit a Parental Consent form to the organising club. (http://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/Forms)
As well as competing for the overall fastest time, those over 40 also have a set of ‘standards’ against which to compare their times, meaning that age need not be a barrier to competition.
There are 2 classifications of events, ‘Open’ and ‘Club’. Club events mostly take part on weekday evenings, and are ‘pay on the line’ entry. If too many riders turn up then priority will be given to members of the organising club. Open events usually take place on weekends, and have to be entered in advance, usually a couple of weeks prior to the event. Only times recorded at Open events qualify for PBs and for club BAR (Best All Rounder) and other cumulative competitions.
We affiliate to the North Lancs Time Trials Association, commonly known as the NLTTA. The NLTTA organises various events and competitions for clubs who race in the Lancashire and Cumbria areas. You may hear people talk about the NLTTA 'Combined Clubs' events; these are great events to give time trialling a try. Details are regularly posted on the Club's website and Facebook forum. You can find out more about the NLTTA on their website, http://www.nltta.org, on their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @NLTTA1928.
There are Club events every Tuesday and Wednesday evening at Bickerstaffe (near Rainford) and every Thursday evening at Tarleton. These generally run April to September. Most of these are run over 10 miles with a small number of 25 mile events in the summer. Any CCC Committee member will be able to point you in the right direction for more information about these Club events.
There’s loads of additional information on the Cycling Time Trials website at http://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/Beginners/Your-First-Time-Trial , as well as a wealth of knowledge among the experienced Time-triallers in the club which they would be more than happy to share.