You may have seem a time trial rider cycling down a dual carriageway at 6am on summers morning, wearing a bizarre looking helmet, and thought to yourself ‘why would anyone do that’?
But not all time trials take place on major roads at the crack of dawn, and you don’t have to be a speed demon to enter.
A time trial is a race where individuals set off, usually at one minute intervals, to complete the course as quickly as they can. For most people the focus is on being as fast as they can be, with a few individuals at the sharp end of things battling it out for placing.
This year, double Olympic World Champion Joanna Rowsell Shand is organising the West Pennine Road Club Hilly Time Trial, alongside her husband Daniel Shand. And she wants as many women as possible to sign up.
The event takes place on Saturday 18 March, and covers 14.6 hilly miles on the ‘L142’ (time trial code for a loop round these B roads). The first rider will take off at 11.01am, and Rowsell Shand has ensured that prize money is equal across men and women.
“I came last in my first ever bike race. We were all beginners once!”
You can check out the course and enter on the Cycling Time Trials website, here. Entry closes on Tuesday 7 March (and you really don’t want to be THAT person calling the organiser to ask if you can submit a late entry on Wednesday).
Rowsell Shand has taken to Twitter to encourage more women – of all levels to have a go. Sending virtual ‘go on and do it’ vibes via the Twittersphere, she said: “For anyone worried about entering a race because they might come last.. 1. You are beating everyone who didn’t enter! 2. I came last in my first ever bike race. Even when others crashed, they got up & still finished before me. We were all beginners once!”
Oh – and if you’re already that pointy helmet wearing cyclist on the dual carriageway at 6am we mentioned at the start – then you better enter, too!
If that’s not reassurance, we don’t know what is! If you’re up for the challenge but feel you need to know more about time trials before signing up, check out: