It was around this time last year that the seed was being planted that I wanted to try some competitive cycling. I wanted to race but didn’t really know where to start but a ten mile time trial seemed like the best place. I have now ridden a few ten mile time trials and feel I have a little bit of a love hate relationship with time trialling. It starts off really positive I tell myself how good I’m feeling today. Then somewhere between 5-7 miles in I start telling myself how much I really don’t like this and convince myself that after this I’m never riding another TT again. However by that stage I’m committed and wouldn’t want to put any good effort to waste, so I keep going. The more positive mentality resumes around 8.5-9 miles as the end is in sight, but im still never riding another TT again. Then when I finish I think what a better job I could have done and then want to try again to beat that time.
Anyway, I’m far from an expert but here are just a few things to think about if your starting to feel you would like to try a ten mile time trial.
If you’re thinking about it, just try it!
If you can ride ten miles then you can ride a time trial. Local events are really friendly and you get a mix of abilities entering. Times vary massively by average speeds that totally baffle me right up to 40 minutes. The time doesn’t really matter its having a go and knowing you have given it your best attempt.
Look up the course you’re going to be riding
Where are the hills / drag sections? Are there many corners and bends or slightly more technical sections? Most events will be marshalled but have some idea of where you are going too for peace of mind. If you can ride the course before, even better.
Know your way from HQ to the start
On some courses the sign isn’t directly at the start of the course. Just have some idea on how far it is and how long it might take you to ride to the start.
Check the weather
The wind plays a large part in most cycling activities. You don’t want to put all of your effort into the first section to then turn around and realise you have a 20mph head wind to ride back into. Look up the weather before your ride and then have a ride around to get a feel for the wind direction and speed and take it from there.
Have a working rear light
Some events will require you to have a rear light, but do what you can to be safe and seen anyway.
Talk to people
I turned up to my first event feeling pretty nervous. I wanted to do it and so dragged along three of my fellow cycling buddies to have a go with me for the first time! So the female numbers obviously had been lacking at previous events as people were commenting on where all these girls had come from on this particular week! However it’s at these events I have made some great friends and it’s a great chance to meet some local riders as the local time trial events tend to be pretty sociable with a little tea and cake afterwards. Use these opportunities to make some new contacts and friends and get some good tips.
Rest a little before the event
E.G don’t go out on a lung busting ride the evening before to win some QOMs/KOMs, give yourself a chance.
Yes it will be hard work, but the hard work is usually always worth it in my opinion, with a sweet sense of satisfaction when you’re pleased with your effort and beat your time.
Love Velo cc