In 1890 bicycle racing was banned. The ban resulted in the birth of the secret Time Trial – The Race of Truth – rider and bike against the clock.
What is a time trial
Time trialling is cycle racing at it’s simplest. Rider against the clock over a set course. At the finish, fast or slow, the rider's time is recorded enabling them to judge their performance and set a benchmark against which they can gauge their times in other events that they ride. Events are split between Club time trials, and Open time trials. The majority of time trials are run on flat or undulating circuits, with the aim of achieving the fastest possible time over standard distances of 10, 25 or 50 miles. Other events like 12 or 24 hr TT's, require a rider to set the furthest possible distance within the set time. Hill Climbs form another discipline, but are essentially the same as timed events, but using an A to B course up a steep climb.
Who organises time trials
Time trials are regulated nationally by Cycling Time Trials (CTT). The CTT is divided into a number of smaller regions that look after the sport at a more local level. Southborough run it's club events over two regions, London South and South East. The CTT website has some good information for beginners here.
How to enter and some rules
To ride either club or open TT's, it's compulsory for all riders to be a member of a club affiliated to the CTT. Club Membership and membership of either the CTC or British Cycling provides riders with the necessary insurance protection whilst competing. Southborough affiliates to the CTT and a number of other organisations each year. However, to cater for riders not in a club who'd like to have a go at a time trial before committing themselves to membership, the CTT introduced ‘Come and Try It’ events. These events give riders all the protection and insurance cover that comes with riding an event under the CTT banner. Southborough runs four such events through the year on the Ladies Mile circuit.
The minimum age for anyone - male or female - to take part in a time trial is 12 years of age. Riders aged under 18 are required to get a parent or guardian to complete a Parental Consent Form and bring it to the event. This form is only required to be signed once each year for club events but each and every time for an open event. Riders under 18 MUST wear a helmet and the club recommends that ALL riders taking part in our club events have a working rear light on their bike.
The CTT has made it compulsory for ALL competitors to wear a helmet and have a working rear light on their bike for events held on the A21 Tonbridge Bypass (Q10/19). The club currently runs two events on the bypass in September.
Finally, it's not necessary to have the latest equipment to ride our events. So don’t be put off by others who have spent many hundreds or in some cases thousands of pounds on their bike. Simply join, turn up and ride.