Simply put, solo TT racing is the idea of individuals riding “against the clock” – ignoring any other rider who they catch or who catches them. N.B. Drafting is prohibited unless stated as a draft legal race.
Events are typically held on flattish road and follow and “out and back” route. However, with increased traffic, some routes are circuits to encourage the route to include only left hand turns, keeping riders safe. All routes are marked and/or marshalled.
The format is such riders are set off at 1 minute intervals. Before Covid, there would be a “starter” holding your bike (with the rider clipped in) but since covid, typically, you push off yourself at your specific start time. Then you ride as hard and as fast as you can until the finish.
At the finish you shout your number to the marshalls and your time is calculated. Pretty simple really.
Common distances are 10 miles, 40 km, 50 miles and 100 miles. But there are other distances depending on the course and club organizing.
TT racing can seem intimidating because of all the flashy gear, and it being quite male dominated, but they are, in my experience, very friendly events. It really is just about you and the clock – because of the seeded nature of the start times, you don’t know your overall position until well after the race.
“Come & Try” Events:
No TT restrictions apply i.e. newcomers are welcome (as always) and do not have to be a member of an affiliated club, they can ride in any clothing, and on a road worthy bike, these events will typically be 10 miles, will be well marshalled and very low key, and quite often are held during the week in the evening. Usually, you email the organizer in advance (found on the CTT website under club events) state your interest in participating, provide key info within the email (date of birth, emergency contact etc), they will reply with the details, you turn up on the specific day and time, collect your number and ride.
Other styles of TT racing:
There are other types of events like 2-up / 3-up / 4-up
These are team style events where drafting each other is legal and advised, and the time is based on both riders and the last rider of the team crossing the line.
- You must have a working rear light on your bike to ride.
- You can ride a road bike or a TT bike – unless it is a “road bike only” event.
- Collect your number at race HQ well before your ride time (typically 1 hr before your own start time).
- Allow enough time to cycle from race HQ to start location, usually a lay-by.
- Historically, you were allowed to warm up on rollers or a turbo in the car park, but due to covid this has been discouraged. Riders usually use other, nearby roads, to warm up.
- Get to the start location, queue in your number order (a couple of minutes before your start time).
- The starter will check your number and usually will count you down to your start time from 5 seconds to go.
Your start time is critical – if you miss your start time, depending on the hosting you club, the rule is you can’t race – so make sure you are on time. However, most organisers will encourage riders to ride, so if there is a free slot (i.e. someone hasn’t turned up) they will allocate you a new start time – but you WILL get a time penalty for the number of minutes you missed your start by, which is subsequently added to your overall time.
- The CTT do not enforce helmet wearing – however, as a club, we do. So no helmet – no ride.
- Being aero is best – Official rules
Proposed Events for Oxford Tri Club to participate in:
- 20th March – Oxonian CC – 10am start time – 36 miles – £7.50 pay on the day https://www.oxoniancc.co.uk/club-racing/race-calendar/
- 27th March – Oxonian CC – 10am start time – 16.7 miles – £7.50 pay on the day https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/club-events/view/6381#anchor
- 3rd April – Didcot Phoenix “Come and Try” – 10am start time – 31 miles – £5.00 https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/club-events/view/6884
- 19th June – Oxonian CC – 8am start time – 38 miles – £5.00 https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/club-events/view/6394
Open Events: (Entry available for any member of an affiliated club)
- 15th May – Reading CC Solo – 50 miles – £14.00 https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-details/23115
- 10th July – Oxonian CC Solo – 50 miles – £12.00 https://www.cyclingtimetrials.org.uk/race-details/23466
Club Events: (Entry is restricted to members of the promoting club and their guests)
- Every Wednesday night – Oxonian 10 mile TT (for those who live in that direction)
- · Every Thursday night – maidenhead 10 mile TT (for those who live in that direction)