Beginners Guide to Time Trials
Ever wondered just how quick you could cycle a set distance, either just to see what you were capable of or to see how you compared with your friends in the cycle club? Well if you are aged 12 or over then a time trial is the event for you.
The A5 Rangers cycle club's time trials are a perfect place to try out time trialling in a friendly and welcoming environment. So why not come along and give it a go. We even run a series of 5mile events which will allow anyone of any fitness level and ability to try it out. You are also welcome to come out and watch what goes on should you wish to. You can view details of the club time trial events in our diary or click on the time trial area of the website. (if you are under 18 please make sure you have contacted the race secretary beforehand as you will need a signed parental consent form which will be valid for a year)
So what is involved:
In a time trial each competitor sets off individually at one minute intervals to cycle around the same circuit. Once all the competitors have completed the circuit the time keeper will inform you of your individual time.
You should always arrive at your chosen event in good time to allow you to prepare and to sign on. On the course description maps see the logo ‘P’ representing the parking/signing on location. Signing on has to be completed 15mins before the start of the event in order to allow the time keeper to work out the order in which people will set off. The time keeper will give you a number which you then wear on your back so that you can be identified during the event. You can then have a warm up this helps your body to get ready for the challenge ahead.
You should make your way to the start (if you are unsure where this is just ask) When you arrive at the start you will find a group of other competitors waiting to start, you will also meet the time keeper and a person who will hold you on your bike and will push you off (you can start yourself should you not wish to be pushed off)
When it is your time to start move your bike up to the starting line, the person pushing off will then hold you as you prepare to start, the time keeper will count you down to go. At this point you will get a gentle push forward and you start your way around the course (watching out for other road users and riding within the rules of the road). At any key points there will be a marshal pointing you in the correct direction. Upon arriving at the finish area, denoted by a finish flag, you must ride right past the finish line and shout your number as you pass the time keeper. Then have a warm down and head back to the car park area where you can wait with others for your result.
Do you need a special bike:
Although you may see specialized time trial bikes at the events, it is not needed to start with, and if you get into the sport you can slowly upgrade if you see fit. In our club it is not uncommon to see people taking part on mountain bikes, road bikes or time trial bikes. If you really get into the sport of time trialing you can start to participate in open events, which usually allow anyone to compete on faster courses.
You will be asked to pay a small fee to compete in the club time trial, £3 for A5 Ranger club riders younger than 18 and £4 for riders above. Riders who are not members will have to pay a fee of £5.