Did you know your Tyne Tri membership makes you eligible to take part in time trials across the UK? They’re a great, inexpensive way to build confidence, speed and skills on the bike in a friendly environment. To encourage you to take part, I’ve tried to answer the most pressing questions that pop up whenever I talk about it.

What is time trialling?

Time trialling is almost exactly like the bike leg of a triathlon: a non-drafting, solo bike race against the clock. It’s a great way to improve your bike strength and handling skills without the risk of crashing that comes with road races.

Isn’t that on dual carriageways?

No! Not all races are on fast dual carriageways. There’s a number of what’s called “sporting courses” that cover most of the country roads that we already ride on!

Don’t I need a TT bike?

Absolutely not! There’s a specific road bike category that bars TT bikes, aero bars and aero helmets, so you’re not at an equipment disadvantage. Just tick the box on sign-in.

How much does it cost?

Most races go between £6 and £20 per entry. CTT National events are £14 for most courses, £16 for long (40+ miles) courses, plus a processing fee to pay through the CTT website. Club events usually cost £6-10 which you pay cash on the night.

How do I take part?

Sign up at the Cycling Time Trials website, list yourself with Tyne Tri and find open events. Also, reach out to me and I’ll invite you to the regional cycling association where Sharon Dyson posts the club events, where you just pay on the night, with no prior sign-up.

What happens in a time trial?

It’s pretty simple: the event organiser sends a startsheet with the sign-on address. Once you’re signed on, you collect a number and ride to the designated start line before your start time (leave about 15 minutes spare!) The timekeeper sets you off and you race to the finish line. Afterwards, for open events, you sign out, eat cake and go home. For club events, you usually just ride home straight from the finish line.

What if I get lost on the time trial? 

There are marshals at the main junctions to keep you on-track. They can’t stop traffic for you but they’ll usually let you know to stop or if the road is clear as well. Marshals communicate with each other throughout and after the race, so they’ll know if you go missing on the route.

Does it matter if I am a slower cyclist?

Not at all! CTT events cater for cyclists of all abilities! Just don’t stop and take a 30 minute lunch break part way through your race 😛(this actually happened!)

What events are good for beginners?

The list of open events on good courses are below. Remember, just because they’re good for beginners they’re not necessarily “easy” 😉

Hilly 2121M1st April
Kirkley 1010M22nd April
Metro 2626M29th April
Derwent40M7th May
Mountain TT47M21st May
Clarion 2525M28th MayOn the A696
Blaydon (Road Bikes)12M2nd JuneRoad bikes only
Houghton 2525M13th JuneOn the A696
Vector 88M1st July
Barnesbury 1010M5th JulyOn a reasonably quiet dual carriageway
Regional 10 mile champs10M9th July
Stamfordham 1212M30th July
Rothbury 2727M20th August

Sign me up!

If you are thinking about doing any, let me know on the Facebook Members Group so we can coordinate, see which club members are taking part and add it to the Tyne Triathlon group calendar.