Try the 'Race of Truth': Your invite to ride a time trial

Just how fast can you ride a bike? Do you want to find out? That's what a time trial is for - it's the purest possible test of your riding ability. Setting off one at a time, and riding on their own, riders get to see exactly what they can do.

But that's not the best thing about it - the best thing is that it's also the most personal test of riding ability, because for most of the riders the challenge isn't to win; it's to see how they measure up against their own previous rides.

There is nothing else in cycling that's as exciting as flying towards the finishing line, fighting your screaming muscles to set a new personal best and give yourself a grin that will last for weeks.

Time trialling is easy to fit in with the rest of your riding and the rest of your life - there are hundreds of events all over the country in a season that lasts from February till October.

There are events over 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles, as well as the tougher test (if you fancy it) of setting your best distance over 12 or 24 hours.

Ride time trials for a personal challenge; use them to give your riding more focus and motivation. It's up to you.

But remember, if you haven't ridden a time trial, you don't know how good you are. Getting into time trialling is easy. Just contact the Old Portlians and we'll be happy to tell you all you need to know.

Just turn up and ride.

Time trialling is easy to take up. All you need is a roadworthy bike.Then contact the Old Portlians to find out about our "come and try it" rides.

These are very informal events, normally held on Thursday evenings in the summer months and usually over a simple two-lap course to give a total distance of 12 miles. You can just turn up and ride, usually for a small fee.

You'll get a number to put on your jersey, and a start time. When your time comes, someone will hold you up on your bike, and the timekeeper will countdown to your start. Then it's up to you.

And afterwards you'll be most welcome to join us for "refreshments" at a local hostelry !

Things you need to know

  • Time Trials are organised by cycling clubs affliated to Cycling Time Trials (CTT). Sometimes they are also organised by local associations of clubs with our own Southern Counties CU being an example.
  • TTs can either be "Club" events or "Open" events.
  • Open events are the races most riders ride most of the time. They take place usually early on a Sunday morning but with Saturday morning and afternoon races possible too. Weekday open TTs are less common.
  • Open events are usually open to all-comers as long as you belong to a club although association events are sometimes limited to (members of) clubs in that association. You do not need any license.
  • Race and entry details are found in the CTT handbook published at the start of each season. The club will make a bulk order after Christmas each year.
  • Club members will be happy to help any new members with the completion of this form - just ask ! Note for time trials, only the first page needs to be completed and posted. Don't forget to sign and date it.
  • Entries should be sent so that they arrive before the normal closing date/time for events. This is 18:00hrs on the Tuesday 10 to 13 days prior to the event for event being held on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday. In practice, event organisers can show some flexibility especially with a phone call or email to explain the delay !
  • Cheques in virtually all cases are payable to the organising club, not the event organiser in person.
  • No member riding for the Old Portlians CC can have any advertising showing.
  • Open TTs are limited normally to a maximum of 120 riders. If the maximum is reached the fastest 120 get in so it is possible for a new or slower rider to miss out. However, it is very unusual for an event to be full and anyway once you have ridden a few races and have some times recorded there will be no problem.
  • You will receive an event start sheet usually at least a week before race day, either by email or sometimes by post.
  • Then, turn-up on race day in time for your designated start. Again club members will be happy to advise.
  • You will need to sign-on at the event HQ and collect your number - to be pinned clearly visible from behind.
  • Club events are a bit more informal and there is no national listing.
  • Club events are mainly for members of the promoting clubs but guests are usually welcome. Local knowledge and club web sites are the key here to find out what is running and when.
  • Some clubs expect advance notice of guest riders so don't expect to always be able to just pitch-up and get a ride.
  • There will be a signing-on process, a number to pin on and a small fee to pay.
So, that's it.   Get entered and get riding !   Any problems or questions, just ask.

For more information, don't forget the CTT website maybe starting at this page.

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