South Pennine Road Club


If you are new to time-trialling these answers to frequently asked questions may be helpful.

What kind of bike can I use? 
You can do a time-trial on any type of road bike as long as it is road-worthy. Don't be put off if you think your bike might not be good enough, it doesn’t make any difference to any other rider what bike you ride. People regularly ride trikes and fixed wheel bikes in TTs

Do I need any other special equipment?
No, a straightforward bike is fine. In our events it is a requirement to use a rear light.

How fit do I need to be?
You need to be sure you can comfortably complete the distance. Everyone has to start somewhere even National Champions. It will make no difference to any other rider how fit you are as it’s just you against the clock and most people give novices nothing but encouragement and support.

Do I need to be a member of a cycling club?

  • Club Events: Yes, this is to cover insurance stipulations but you can cheaply and easily join on the night.
  • Open Events: If you are not a member of a cycling club which is affiliated to Cycling Time Trials then unfortunately you cannot an open event. 

What is the entry fee?

Club Events: The entry fee is £3, paid on the day to club officials when you sign-on and collect your race number.
Open Events: The entry fee is usually around £8-£9 which must be sent with your entry or paid as you enter online.

When should I arrive at the event?

  • Club Events: Arrive at the signing on point with plenty of time to spare before the race. Most riders allow a minimum of 45 minutes before the event start time to sign-on, prepare their bike, themselves, pin on numbers and get warmed up without rushing.
  • Open Events: Prior to an open event you will have received a start sheet giving your start time. The only requirement is that you are ready to start, at the start line at your allotted time. In reality this normally means riders arrive at the HQ about an hour before their start time, to sign on, collect numbers and get warmed up without rushing.

Will there be any changing facilities?

  • Club Events: Our 10 mile events normally use Frank Wickham Hall in Etwall as the HQ; it has all the usual facilities for a village hall plus great tea & cake afterwards.
  • For our 25 mile events, the meeting point from the Silver Wheel layby on the A516, where there are no facilities. Most competitors travel to the event in cycling kit, or get changed in their car or find a discreet way to change behind a hedge. Note there are no toilet facilities.
  • For our lanes courses, again there are no facilities available as above.
  • Open Events: Open events have a HQ at a village hall (our events use Frank Wickham Hall in Etwall). There is space to change, toilet facilities, results board and some parking (overflow parking is usually in the school nearby), with refreshments served afterwards.

What do I need to bring with me?
Club Events:

  • Your bike and all equipment for riding it (helmet, shoes etc.)
  • A working rear light
  • A pump to inflate your tyres.
  • Tools, Allen keys and spare inner tube.
  • Money to cover the entry fee
  • A drink

Open Events: As above for club events except that refreshments are provided after the event. Normally you get a free cup of tea when for returning your race number (and signing out).

What happens at the start?

  • Club events: When you sign on and get your number, find out your start time and where the start line is. It is your responsibility to arrive at the start line on time. Ideally arrive at least a minute before your start time. When it is your turn, the timekeeper will call your number and you can go to the start line and wait for the timekeeper to count you down. You can opt to be held at the start so you are clipped into the pedals but it is not compulsory.
  • Open Events: As all riders must pre-enter an Open Event, the start order is published in advance a few days beforehand. This tells you your start time. On the day collect your number etc. and arrive at the start line at least 1 minute before your start time.

Can I leave my kit somewhere safe while I race?
Cyclists often ride out to events as a warm up. At club events one of the officials is normally willing to let riders leave a few valuables or clothes in their car during the race. At open events you can leave kit at the HQ (take care with valuables as you would elsewhere).

Is the traffic on the roads likely to be heavy?
The safety of riders is the priority. Time trials are held when traffic counts indicate the lightest traffic. Some of our events use the A50 dual carriageway. If you are particularly concerned about this, please look at the course descriptions carefully before entering. Some other local events are held on ‘lanes’ courses where the road surface can leave a lot to be desired and narrow roads plus bends require extra caution to be exercised.

What happens if the weather is bad?
The safety of riders is the priority. Events can and will be cancelled at short notice if the weather is bad. This is normally decided by the official in charge often with input from regular riders of the course.  Events on dual carriageways or trunk roads maybe cancelled if the spray if judged to be too bad even after the rain has stopped beforehand. Events held on ‘lanes’ courses will require even more caution to be exercised if the weather has been wet even a few hours before the before the start

What do I wear?
The CTT has some rules about what can be worn. Basically, ordinary cycling shorts to mid-thigh, and an ordinary cycling jersey with sleeves (or any other clothing which covers the body in the same way) are acceptable. Bare-shouldered cycling attire as worn by triathletes is not allowed. Also, you should not wear clothing showing commercial sponsorship unless your club is a sponsored club.

Where can I get details of the route?
Courses are described in detail on the CTT website,  local courses are found here.

Do I have to wear a helmet?
No for adults, although you are strongly advised to do so. However, Cycling Time Trials regulations state that all juniors and youth riders (anyone under the age of 18) are required to wear a safety helmet.

Do I have to be ‘held-up’ at the start?
No, you have the choice but it can be faster once mastered. If it is your first time being held just warn the official.

Will there be marshals to direct me?

In club events it is not normal to have marshals. In open events there will be marshals (and signage). Please note it is NOT the marshal’s job to stop the traffic or to tell you where to go. Researching the course before hand is a good idea.

What happens if I get a puncture during the race?
Punctures happen, usually at the most inconvenient time. You should be able to fix a puncture roadside and carry the necessary kit to do so. An alternative solution is to agree with a friend to rescue each other should the need arise. Whilst most organisers won’t leave you stranded on a remote road, don’t rely on it.

What happens if someone overtakes me?
Don’t worry about it firstly; it happens to all but the very best at some point. The overtaking rider will pull ahead of you steadily. Ensure you don’t take a ‘drafting’ advantage from them by sitting on their wheel as not only it is considered bad form you will be disqualified.

What if I come last?
Again don’t worry about it; it all depends on who else turned up on the day and many of those racing will have spent years training and probably a small fortune on go faster kit and bikes. Also you are really racing yourself against the clock… come back the next week and see if you can beat your time.

What do I do at the finish line?
When you pass the timekeeper at the finish line it is traditional to shout your number in case it’s not easily visible. Continue to ride down the road, slowing and riding easily to warm down. Please don’t distract the timekeeper as they have an important job to do. 

How will I find out my result for the race?

  • Club Events: Return to the meeting point. After all riders have finished the timekeeper will come back and let everyone know their time.
  • Open Events: The results are displayed back at the HQ on a result board. You may also receive a formal results sheet in the post a few weeks later (including any prize money) and most results are published online within a couple of weeks. Occasionally at open events a prize presentation is made at the HQ after the event.

Will refreshments be provided at the event?

  • Club Events: At our 10 mile evening events tea coffee and great cake are available at the HQ. For our evening 25 mile events or any lanes course events, bring your own drink and snacks.
  • Open Events: It is usual for the organisers to provide hot drinks and some of the best cakes known to man after an open event.