First TT tomorrow - any advice?

by joemmo   May 22, 2012  

I'm having a crack at a 10 mile TT tomorrow evening, put some 2nd hand aero bars on my road bike and done some riding and tweaking to the setup and saddle on the way to and from work to try and get a comfortable position.

So apart from just going out and riding as fast as possible for the distance, any words of wisdom or advice?
I was going to aim for a sub 30 ride as my first goal and hopefully surprise myself.

14 user comments

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Hi Joemmo,
firstly, good luck.
My little 'gem' to ensure you have a good time (both yourself and timed) is to know the route. If you are not familier with the route you will not be going at your best as you will be semi-consentrating on not only how fast you are going but where the hell am I going.
Just an old pearl of wisdom as this usually ends up the bain (or excuse for some) of your ride.
Again, good luck and let us know your experiences.

Trikeman. Wink

Grunt, puff, pant and groan goes the old man - but he gets there in the end. ;o)

trikeman's picture

posted by trikeman [390 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 10:33


Don't be intimdated by the others.

Essentially it's a race against yourself, so it don't matter what time they get.

Finish with nothing, ignore that deep BURN in your legs at about 2 to go, just ride through it, it'll be worth it when you're done.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1734 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 10:55


Is this the barnesbury cc ride? I'm thinking about giving this a go soon, I also just got some clip on bars ;x

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 10:58


Keep your head up & eyes peeled!
Control your breathing
It wil hurt & be uncomfortable - you will be riding harder than normal (a clock is ticking...)
You will enjoy it (but you won't realise until you have recovered!)
It is addictive...

Currently going slower than I'd like...

posted by stealth [258 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 11:24


Don't go out too hard ... a bit of adrenline will feel good at the start but you'll pay later.

Pump your tyres up - reduce drag.

posted by veseunr [290 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 11:34


30 minutes (20 mph) is a good target for your first attempt.

- Don't over-inflate your tyres. Try 1 bar (15psi) for every 10kg.

- Don't eat or drink too much beforehand. Warm up adequately and get to the start line 2 or 3 minutes before your turn.

- Make sure you know where the course goes.

- Don't go off too hard or you'll be dying after 5 miles and it's only half way. Try to ride hard but controlled then wind up the effort towards the end. Pacing takes experience so don't expect to crack it on your first run.

- Although you'll want to be 'aero', keep your head up, ride safely and enjoy yourself.

Hopefully once you've caught your breath and found out your time you'll be hooked and want to come back next week and set a new PB. Let us know how you get on. Smile

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2411 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 12:11

1 Like

cool, thanks for the tips. I tend to start slower and wind up rather than going full steam anyway but I'm going to try being a slave to the average speed on my computer then empty the tank near the end, as suggested.

re: the route - it's basically a couple of laps of a stretch of quiet dual carriageway so hopefully I wont get lost... not impossible though!

SammyG - yes it's the Barnesbury 10 in Cramlington. Apparently it's been oversubscribed the last 2 weeks so get there early to sign on. Keep an eye out for me if you go and say hello - black and white racelight with bright orange bar tape, I'll probably have a red jersey on & blue helmet.

Thanks for the encouragement, I'll track my ride on Endomondo and post it here so you can have a laugh.


joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1111 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 12:19


Just tell us your time and, if you want, any interesting details - such as how bad you felt at the finish Wink

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2411 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 15:17


Read this:

Don't worry about the technical bits (power etc) but what is really useful is to divide the race into quarters. 2.5 miles just fly by so it's useful to look at the route on google maps (streetview is really good for picking out landmarks) and spot where the markers will be. Going out really steady keeps you stronger for longer, focus on breathing levels - the last quarter you can really wind the pace up (gradually) and as said above finish with nothing in the tank. It feels really odd as it is a perception that you need to hammer it around the whole way. Dont be a slave to the computer - go entirely on how if feels. Warming up properly will help get off to a good start as well.

I started TT'ing last year as a 'have a go', a year on and I am absolutely loving it.


jezzer's picture

posted by jezzer [66 posts]
22nd May 2012 - 19:53


jezzer, good point.

Our club '10' course is lumpy and has 3 LH turns. I was advised to break the ride up into chunks (start to 1st village, from there to first turn etc). It's easier than working with distances, people relate to and remember it more easily.

Whichever way you do it, this helps you focus on the section you are on and not getting distracted by how far it is to the finish and so on.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2411 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 13:54


I like the idea of splitting the course in quarters, probably help psychologically rather than counting miles.

Did 15 mins on the turbo last night checking my position on the aero bars and I think I'll manage to hold it together.. we'll see.

Just in my final fuelling up stage now and going to head off and register in about 45 mins.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1111 posts]
23rd May 2012 - 16:40


Well that went ok for a first go I think - managed 27m24s which was under my 30 min target so fairly pleased. Conditions probably couldn't have been better with light wind but I think I could have been faster as I still had some energy at the end despite going full pelt for the last 2 miles or so. Was also held up on roundabouts twice by traffic! Bloody motorists causing delays Smile

Also discovered the difference between how the aero position feels over a mile or so to how it feels about 7 miles in pushing hard - my thighs were burning and to put it bluntly, I was getting numb nuts so was alternating between the drops and the clip ons to get some relief. In terms of speed it was probably a toss up between being more aerodynamic on the bars or being able to create more power riding on the drops and hoods - basically the setup needs a lot more tweaking.

Still, quite enjoyed it and will do another although I don't think I'm going to shell out for a pointy hat and TT bike just yet. Friendly low key atmosphere which was nice, good job by the stewards and timers who got the results through really quickly.

Probably about 2/3rs of the riders were on TT/Tri bikes and the ones who passed me seemed to turning really big gears at a slower cadence. Not sure if this is the 'right technique' or just a personal thing. I tried a bigger gear than felt natural but just found my legs burning up.

So, a good experience in all, maybe give another one a shot in a couple of weeks.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1111 posts]
24th May 2012 - 10:06


Well done, that's good going for your first attempt.

THe burning legs thing? I'd better break this to you now - that doesn't go away when you get fitter, you just go faster. Seriously, practising in TT position will help you race in TT position, as it's a little different but don't let it bother you.

What you need now is another target. I also like using other riders who are a little quicker than me as a benchmark & target. If they go slower too I know it's a slow night and not just me. When I get to beat them I know I'm improving. Good luck.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2411 posts]
24th May 2012 - 22:13


Cheers Simon. Yes, probably just using different muscle groups when in the aero position but I'm going to try flipping the stem to lift the bars a tad and see if that helps. I just feel too crunched up to get the best power out. May also try getting a zero layback seatpost and put a spare saddle on to get a bit more forward.
Goal for the next one (providing conditions are similar) is to be a minute+ faster - or at least closer to the next faster riders. Average time seemed to be about 25 mins so if I can get to 26 that would feel like progress.

joemmo's picture

posted by joemmo [1111 posts]
25th May 2012 - 10:55