Let Time trials Commence!

Let Time Trials Commence- Chris Dines

So, this weekend we had our first Inter Club Time Trial event since Autumn 2019 – with the necessary COVID protocols. I tasked myself with scripting a lengthy piece about Time Trialling at Avanti, gathering together pictures, records, highlights etc from the past 12 years or so.

I’m not there yet with the lengthy piece, so this a shorter note to celebrate the start of the season (last minute road works permitting).

Until Covid, Time Trialling has been a big part of my life – I got the bug many years ago, and still have it. I’m looking forward to competing again (tomorrow I am marshalling).

There is something special about Time Trialling – it’s a proper competition, but it’s all about your own improvement over time. It really doesn’t matter what your starting point is, and it certainly doesn’t matter what kit you have. It’s very different to improving on your Strava segments or gaming on Zwift for that matter…………and I say that as a recent disciple of the latter.

Time Trialling is all about improving on so many different aspects, not least how you shape your body into the wind and convert power efficiently. Time Trialling is also fun, and get’s lot’s people together for a sporting event in the outdoors. It’s surprisingly social (well, post ride10!).

As to this year, all the Inter Club Events are on the website (over 20 of them – most on a Thursday evening). We have to marshal and organise 7 of them  – Sevenoaks and Sydenham look after the others. Everyone at Avanti is encouraged to take part. If you have any questions, even if you think they are daft ones, just post on the relevant whatsapp group – or ask a regular.

It’s also a trophy laden activity! I will write up more detailed notes over the next week, but there are actually 5 competitions that run through the season. Three are four just for Avanti:

  • A “Scratch” league – simply down to who is quickest
  • A “Handicap” league – your time gets adjusted for your age, meaning fit oldies really can win
  • A Ladies only scratch league
  • A Roadbike league (a new one!). You only qualify in each even if you are on a standard drop bar road bike and no TT helmet. You can wear what you like though 😊

And for each of the above, there are trophies for first, second and third. The leagues are decided by your best 8 results over the whole season. You don’t have to attend every event – which means you can avoid courses you don’t like.

In addition to the club only stuff, the Inter Club league gives the whole club a chance to win something – and we have in the past. Just making it from start to finish of an event wins the club points. Avanti has won the league in the past through sheer numbers. I stand corrected, but our peak event was getting nearly  50 club members into teams at the initial 4-up team trial at Brands Hatch a few years back.

This has turned into a long piece than intended – but look out for further articles from me, looking at different aspects of the sport and our past successes at Avanti.

So – do have a think about participating if you haven’t before!



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