Advice on getting involved in other clubs'
time trial is a race in which individual riders (or sometimes
small teams of riders) set off at intervals to try and complete
a set course in the shortest possible time. Time trials usually
take place on open public roads, which are sometimes quite
Almost all time trialling in the UK is organised under the
rules of Cycling Time Trials (CTT). CTT rules recognise two
basic types of time trial: club time trials and open time
trials. A club time trial is only for members and guests of
the organising club. It is usually a fairly low-key affair,
which you can enter 'on the line' for a small fee. There are
not normally any marshals or direction signs, or any facilities
at the start or finish. By contrast, an open time trial is
much more formal. With a few provisos, anyone who belongs
to a CTT-affiliated club can ride. You have to enter in advance
using a special form, the entry fee is typically £6 or more,
there are marshals and signs to guide you round, and you can
expect changing facilities and catering at the event HQ.
As a Beacon member, you are generally entitled to take part
in other clubs' open TTs (although sometimes special restrictions
apply). If you fancy riding an open time trial, we advise
you to do the following:
- Read the information for beginners on the CTT
- If you're not already familiar with them, read CTT's
- Get advice on preparation from a club coach and/or experienced
club members: see the Training
section of this site.
- Check out the calendar of events on the CTT
website, or in CTT's printed handbook. Pick an event
that appeals and is at least two weeks away. The event should
be within your capabilities in terms of terrain and distance
(if you are new to racing, start with a 10-mile or 25-mile
event) and in terms of any performance requirements that
may apply (some events stipulate entry requirements and
oversubscribed events usually take entries only from the
fastest entrants). You may assume that a course is reasonably
flat unless the organiser specifies otherwise. Courses are
coded by region. Midland courses have code numbers that
begin with the letter K.
- Download an entry
form, either from this site or the CTT site. Fill it
in and send it off with your entry fee. Unless another date
is specified in the calendar, the closing date for entering
an event that takes place on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday
or Monday is the Tuesday nearly two weeks before the event.
For a midweek event, it is the Saturday nearly two weeks
before. CTT has a slightly unusual policy on the publication
of organisers' addresses: in the run up to an event, the
organiser's address isn't available from the CTT website,
but only from the printed handbook. If you don't have a
handbook, please contact
us for the information.
- Sit back and wait for start details from the organiser.
You will find that many people riding open time trials have
some very fancy special TT equipment (clothing, performance
monitoring gear, warm-up equipment and, of course, bikes).
Such things do make a difference, but they are by no means
essential. Don't forget that a) the money might turn out
to be wasted if you don't take to the discipline, and b)
good training will bring much bigger improvement gains than
Provided you're a first-claim (i.e. full) member, you don't
need to get any sort of clearance from the Beacon to represent
the club in an open time trial. However, you may find it helpful
and more fun to go to an event with one or more club-mates.
So check on the message
board and/or chat to people at Beacon
club TTs to see what others are planning.
As a Beacon member, you can also ride as a guest in club
TTs organised by other clubs in the area. Another club has
no obligation to let you ride as a guest, but it is very unusual
for a rider to be refused. Details of club time trials taking
place near Birmingham are available from the website of CTT's
Midland District Council.