A5 Rangers

Club Time Trial FAQs

What is a Time Trial?

A time trial is a bike race where each competitor races alone against the clock over the same course. Riders are started at one minute intervals. It’s one of the simplest forms of bike racing and a great test of strength and endurance.

When are the club Time Trials?

Every Wednesday evening from when the clocks go forward in spring to the end of August. The schedule is here. There are also an end of season hill climb and a hilly TT on a Sunday morning in September.

What distances are used?

Distances are 5, 10, or 25 miles, with one 30 mile TT planned this year. At the end of the season there is also a 1 mile hill climb and a 17 mile hilly TT.

What courses are used?

Various courses are used, as listed here, including the meeting points.

How and where do I enter?

Just turn up at the meeting point, as shown on the course info, fill in the entry form and pay your entry fee. Sign on at least 15 minutes before the start time.

Do I have to be a member?

You don’t need to be a member of A5 Rangers, but you should be a member of a cycling club. The exception is 5 mile events which are ‘come and try’ events to encourage novices and non-members.

How much does it cost?

Entries are £4 for members and £5 for non-members. £2 of each entry goes to CTT (the national governing body for time trials), the rest to club funds.

Do I need a racing license?

No. Racing licenses are for bunch races not time trials.

Can children do them?

Yes, the  minimum age is 12. Riders under 18 need a parental consent form signed (once per year) by a parent / guardian and witnessed by a club official. The form can be downloaded here. Riders should be competent riding solo on the road and know the Highway Code.

Do I need a TT bike?

No, any bike will do. There will be riders on all sort of machines from full TT bikes to normal road bikes and everything in between.

Do I need to be a ‘fast’ rider to do a TT?

No. You just need to be able to comfortably ride the distance and be up for the challenge.

I’m never going to win, what’s the point?

Racing yourself for a PB, or trying to get closer to those who beat you last time is all part of the challenge. The more you do the better you’ll get and they’re a great way to improve fitness for your other rides. Steady improvements will stand you in good stead for the handicap competitions.

What if I don't know the course?

Course routes are here. Try and familiarise yourself with the course before the event. There will also be signs at the turns.

Do I need to wear a helmet?

Helmets are recommended, but not a requirement. Helmets are mandatory for junior riders.

When do I start?

You’ll be given a number once entries close (15 minutes before the first rider starts), which should be pinned to your back.  Riders start at one-minute intervals in the order of their numbers.

What happens at the start?

Riders are set off at one-minute intervals. You should turn up at the start a few minutes before your time and queue up in order behind the other riders. There will probably be two helpers at the start: a timekeeper and a ‘pusher’. The timekeeper will call 30s before your start, and the pusher will hold your bike while you get on and clip in your feet. You’ll be counted down 5-4-3-2-1 and you’ll be off. Just ride away from the pusher and you may get a gentle shove. If you’d prefer not be held/pushed at the start that’s fine. A useful video of what happens at the start is here.

Do I need to be pushed off?

No, you can start yourself with your feet on the ground. Just tell the pusher you’d rather not be held / pushed.

What happens at the finish?

As you cross the finish line the timekeeper will record your time. It’s useful to shout your number as you pass. You should keep going and make your way back to the meeting point where you’ll get the results.

When do I get results?

Riders congregate at the meeting point after the race and the timekeeper will show the results. They’ll also be published on the web site afterwards.

What if I puncture or fail to finish?

You should consider taking a spare tube as you would on any ride. There’s no official sweep vehicle, but if you don’t get to the finish someone is likely to come looking for you! You can also tell other riders as they pass.

Are there marshals on the roadside?

Yes, Marshalls are placed at designated points to help indicate the course. There won’t be a marshal at every turn though.

What do the marshals do?

Marshals are there to indicate the route to the riders, and to be a visible presence to warn other road users. They don’t stop or direct the traffic.

Do I need to marshal?

You’ll be expected to marshal or help push-off if you intend to ride the TTs. There’s a club rule that you can’t win a trophy unless you’ve done your fair share, usually 2 or 3 times in a season (at Wednesday TTs or other TTs organised by the club).

Are there any prizes?

There aren’t prizes every week, but there are club competitions / championships which get awarded at the annual dinner.

Are there season-long competitions?

Yes, there are ‘handicap’ competitions, where points are awarded based on your improvements relative to other riders improvements.

Are there other TTs I can enter, and what is an ‘Open Time Trial?

As an A5 Rangers member, you can enter TTs organised by CTT (national governing body for time trials) or by other clubs. ‘Open’ TTs are organised by CTT and have a few differences to club events: You race in the same way, but they tend to be bigger events, generally at weekends, with more entrants coming from far and wide and usually with a village hall headquarters where you sign-in and pick up your number.  There are hundreds of events throughout the year, with local clubs hosting and organising. A variety of course types are used, including fast dual carriageways. They need to be entered in advance, with a closing date usually around two weeks before. You can enter Open events through the CTT website.

Sometimes results are noted as ‘road bike’. What is a ‘road bike’?

To distinguish from riders with aero-style TT kit, and those on ‘normal’ road bikes, the results will try and note whether a rider was on a road bike. There are rules that apply to the bike and the rider:

Bike:

• Drop handlebars

• No aero bars fitted

• No Discs or Tri/Quad spoke wheels; disc brakes are allowed (Road Race legal deep section wheels allowed)

Rider:

• Must wear a helmet that is legal in a road race i.e. no pointy TT helmet

• Skinsuits are permitted

• Shoe covers are permitted

Riders should note ‘road-bike’ on the sign-on sheet.