We are frequently asked if it is possible to just turn up and ride without being a member. The answer is yes, just sign-on as a private entry, pay the entry fee and ride. Often people are apprehensive about their ability, enquiring as to the "standard". No problem here, as we cater for all abilities and no one will be critical. Sympathy and advice is always available.
How do time trials work?
Massed start cycle racing is not permitted on public roads, except with special provisions, so time trialling is the only competitive cycling event generally available. Even so police approval has to be obtained and certain procedures have to be followed. Riders start at one minute intervals and their start time is taken into account when calculating the actual time taken. Riders are issued with a number and this should be pinned to their clothing at the back, ideally below waist level. If you wear it too high (like a footballer) it can't be seen when you're bent over the bars. Riders should keep well apart as 'drafting' is against the rules. When being overtaken allow the faster rider to get away, even drop back if necessary. At the finish continue past the timekeeper for a short distance. It also helps to call out your number as you cross the finish line.
We accept new members from the age of 12. We are aware of child protection issues and therefore insist that children be accompanied by an adult. That adult should decide whether to accompany the child on a ride, or whether the child is competent enough to ride alone. We suggest the adult rides with them, ideally just behind, but not pacing him/her. The adult doesn't have to enter as part of the event. It is also necessary for a parent or guardian to sign a "Parental Consent" form which is available at the start, or can be downloaded from our website.
Keep well to the left unless making a U-turn or right-turn at a roundabout, in which case move across with care without obstructing traffic. Try not to drift into the middle of the road when making a big effort, eg. when approaching the finish.
Ignore any abuse from other road users - remember you are riding in an officially sanctioned event and avoid bringing the club into disrepute.
In 2018 we introduced a
club rule that a hard shell helmet to an approved standard should be worn, together
with a rear light. In shady or poor conditions motorists can sometimes miss
seeing a cyclist. Nowadays a red LED light, whether flashing or constant, is
inexpensive, weighs only a few grammes and could save your life.
If you travel to the event by car please consider local residents and through traffic when parking. Complaints could lead to us losing courses. Also please don't park your car at the finish where the timekeepers need to be. The timekeepers have to synchronise watches at the start and then move to the finish, which is where riders expect to find them.
Many of our events use sections of the A45 dual carriageway. Contrary to common opinion this is relatively safe since it has no oncoming traffic and as the road is straight motorists can see riders a long way ahead. With riders spaced every few hundred yards or so motorists are aware that an event is taking place. Winding country lanes are not ideal for time trialling as they are used increasingly by motorists as short cuts.
We rarely cancel an event due to bad weather. However, we would cancel in the event of gale force winds, or heavy rain over a sustained period causing standing water. This is the most serious hazard, since it can cause instability and aquaplaning, while spray from heavy vehicles can make it impossible to see a cyclist. Ultimately, under CTT rules riders are responsible for their own safety, so the final decision as to compete rests with the rider.
We have a club rule which states that riders should not congregate at the finish. This is in the interests of safety as few finish locations have sufficient space. It also reduces opportunities for the timekeepers to be obstructed or distracted, which is in everyone's interest.
Private entries pay £3 per ride, members £2.50. Of this fee £2 per rider goes to our national association, the CTT, mainly covering 3rd party insurance. We charge juniors £1 per ride as we effectively subsidise youngsters in order to encourage them. All riders are required to sign-on before each event. Rugby RCC has a booking system where members can reserve a number for each event through our club website.
Membership of Rugby RCC costs £10 per year, non-waged (students, unemployed, retireees, OAPs, etc.) £5 and under-18s still in education pay £1. Fees are due in January, but for anyone joining in September onwards we have a rule where this also covers the following year's membership. A membership form can be downloaded from our website.
After riding club events you may want to try open events. These are usually held at weekends, have larger entry lists, often up to or exceeding 120, and can be entered by anyone in the UK, providing they are a member of a club affiliated to the CTT (Cycling Time Trials). You can usually enter these events via the CTT website, or by post. Normally entries close 10 days before the event.. A start list is published, as is a full results list after the event with details of prizes. Whereas most club events involve local riders arriving near the start where they sign-on and ride, competitors in open events travel longer distances, requiring the organising club to provide an HQ, usually a village hall or a school, where refreshments are available. Because competitors in an open time trial are less likely to be familiar with the course these events tend to have more marshals and are well signed to indicate the route and warn other road users.