Testing, Testing…

Suzz has stood down as Club Time Trial Secretary – many thanks for you work over the past few years, Suzz – and I was selected as his replacement at the AGM.

When the season starts I will be badgering riders to ride the West London Combine events, encouraging them to enter open and club time trials, and trying to correlate results. Oh, and racing.

If you’ve not ridden a time trial before, I’d be happy to offer advice. The CTT Web site has a good section for beginners. Current issues are discussed on the Time Trialling forum who also boast a terrfic and growing archive of old TT reports. Cycling Weekly has a little TT coverage and Bike Radar have a weekly round up during the season. Planet X publish the periodical Testing Times online and there’s a new weekly TT mag coming out next year: TT Weekly.

You don’t need special equipment – many riders ride TTs on their road bike. Tri-bars, funny hats, skin suits, lo-pro frames and disc wheels offer an aerodynamic advantage, but they’re not a requirement to take part. If you do want a funny hat, mind, that one in the photo is for sale!

Why should you ride a TT? Well, you’re immediately competitive (you’ll be chasing your own personal best in only your second race!). ‘Testing’ offers a great way to get into cycle racing and it will help the established rider improve stamina and sustain speed. Most of the great riders have been excellent time triallists – Anquetil, Merckx, Lemond, Armstrong, Contador, Boardman, Wiggins, Obree and Richardson to name but a few.

The club has many time trialling trophies – spread over a range of distances and categories (schoolperson, junior, senior, veteran, male and female). There are handicap and novice trophies for improvers and newbie. There are also club records to aim at.

On the wider front there are national competitions – championships at all the standard distances from 10 miles to 24 hours, The British Time Trial Championship, a team time trial and a hill climb. There are the season long British Best All-Rounder competitions and a sporting course series (The Rudy Project) based on points.

If you are a veteran (over 40), many time trials have special prize lists for you. The VTTA run their own national championships – the ’50’  is local in 2010. Vets prizes and VTTA events are usually judged against the VTTA standards to give vets of all ages a chance (though they do seem to be biased towards the older rider!).

If you’re worried about racing on the open road, the Westerley CC run fortnightly Wednesday evening 10 milers (11 laps) at Hillingdon during the Summer.

To be kept up to date with TT news and opportunities, please email me your email address. You can contact me at lance (at) lancewoodman.co.uk (replace the ‘ (a) ‘ with an @ sign).

Best wishes, Lance Woodman

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