Getting into Time Trialling

Time trials remain one of the most popular competitive forms of cycle racing due to the number of events accessibility and simple nature of racing against the clock.

The minimum distance for a time trial is generally 10 miles but shorter races are permitted. Most races are at fixed distances (10. 25, 50 and 100 miles) or fixed time (12 and 24 hours). Riders start at one-minute intervals, or sometimes more, and cover the course alone and without taking pace from other competitors or vehicles. If one competitor is caught by another, the CTT regulations require the overtaken rider to fall back behind the other to a distance where they are getting no shelter or help from the faster rider. At least 50 yards/metres is suggested.


When time trial courses are designed, safety is a major consideration. However, a competitor’s safety remains entirely his or her own responsibility. Events are held on open roads, and competitors must obey the relevant laws and the Highway Code before, during and after a race. Competitors must avoid creating situations that are unsafe for other road users.

There are a number of other points that will help everyone to enjoy safer racing:
Cyclists are less visible than most other road users. You should remember this when approaching junctions.

To improve visibility from the rear, race numbers are printed on a bright, reflective background. The number must be placed on your shorts from the waistband downwards, and must not be covered by other clothing. Your number cannot be positioned in the middle of your back, as with a runner’s number, because it would then face upwards when you’re in a riding position.

You should avoid doing U-turns in the road, both while warming up for an event, and after you’ve passed the finish. Drivers do not normally expect other road users to make this manoeuvre, which means it can be dangerous. It is CTT policy to eliminate U-turns from courses, and to reduce their use where they cannot be avoided.

You must avoid riding with your head down. Even on a Clearway, cars may stop for a variety of reasons, and the responsibility for avoiding them rests with the rider. In the event of a collision, the fact that the car was contravening the Clearway regulations will not be an excuse. A rider can expect a suspension from competition for any failure to watch where they are going.

Any road junction or roundabout can constitute a hazard in a race. You will often be approaching much faster than drivers expect of a cyclist, which can lead to errors of judgement on their part. Be ready for this. Care is particularly necessary at slip roads joining and leaving dual carriageways and other major roads, due to the long period when a cyclist can be between two lanes of merging traffic or exposed to vehicles leaving the main carriageway at high speed.

Minimum Age

The minimum age for competitors is 12 years. It is essential that competitors under 18 know the law and the Highway Code, and are competent to ride on public roads alone. They must have the authorisation of their parents to compete.


There are a large number of clubs competing in Time trials in the local area. You can almost guarantee an event every Saturday or Sunday, also Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights mainly during the summer.

Early season events usually incorporate “hilly” events to blow out the cobwebs. Distances increase as the season progresses

Check out our events page to find out when the next event is occurring. Courses are coded (from the days of secret racing in black) details can be found on the South District site

Age is only in the mind…. Terry Icke still racing at 69 ++ and regularly beats the majority of the field.

Cycling is not impactive and as a result much kinder on the knees than running and other sports.

If you want to try a time trial come along and use the “try it out scheme” you don’t need to be a member, once you have done it you’ll be hooked.