Dual carriageway Time Trials

I’m looking at entering some TTs this year and have found that a lot are on dual carriageways. I’ve driven past people doing these TTs in the past and though ‘you must be mad’, now I’m thinking ‘I want a go, am I mad?’. Any opinions from people who have done them welcome. Thanks!

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Mad. But you don’t hear of many being hurt so I think it looks more mad than it is.


I used to cycle to work along a dual carriageway. Scary at first but this was during the week. Get yourself a very good flashing light like the Bontrager Ion. As disruptive a pattern as possible.

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what on earth is a dual carriageway


2 lane highway


Most TTers think that it is actually safer, because cars have more space to pass you than smaller roads.

Obviously there is quite a range of dual carriageways out there, some are fine and some are more like motorways. Worth talking to someone who knows the course and find out.


In the UK, a dual carriageway is a road with a central reservation. Typically there are two lanes in each direction.


Yes, that makes sense. I guess an A road would still have people driving at 60mph with more chance of bends and less space to pass.

It also really depends on the day and time of the race - for example, a dual carriageway in an industrial estate might be nearly empty on Sunday mornings.


TTs on DCs are bread and butter for lots of testers. It seems counterintuitive but they are actually very safe. Any event will require you to run a rear light to increase visibility. The roads are typically long and straight giving drivers plenty of time to overtake. Some races are held on Saturday afternoons, but there are usually some held at specific times when traffic is usually below a certain level as found through a risk assessment. E.g. 7am Sunday morning.

I would always opt for a DC course over A or B road. They’re typically safer and faster. No brainer for me.


Yep - do plenty on them - E2/25 at Newmarket - sounds dangerous - isn’t really - as mentioned with a big LED there is plenty of space for cars to pull out to overtake. Only issue is sliproads where you come under the bridge and across traffic joining over your left shoulder and petrol stations where people just pull out. I find the single lane road where we run our club races more worrying as cars try and squeeze past you.

One piece of advice - stay on your TT bars and ride straight - don’t look around as you will veer to one side if you move your head…you can’t control the traffic you can only ride straight…plus if you want an easy intro pick a Sunday morning race…yes they start at stupid o clock but there is less traffic than Saturday afternoon :grinning:


Would something like a Varia radar be comforting or distracting?

I generally prefer sporting courses but have done the E2/25 twice and you are right it isn’t really as bad as perceived. I wouldn’t like to be first rider off on a DC but after a few riders they sometimes feel safer than a sporting one :+1:


yeah - I like a good sporting course as well - especially the 2 lap F14/25 down near Bassingbourn or the B25/33 at Fincham…E2 courses are quite near me though :grinning:


More distracting I would think - it will just keep beeping to tell you what you already know … namely that there are vehicles approaching you rapidly from behind.

It’s a bit odd at first but feels very safe, as people say the ones round here are when traffic is quiet and there’s plenty of room for people to pass you safely.


So someone asked what a dual carriageway is … but no one has yet bitten and asked what on earth the Brit TT course codes mean… :joy:


Example – ‘Q10/19’

The letter is the race organiser’s zodiac sign, then followed by their favourite number, a forward slash to adhere to UCI rules, and the last number is how many pints of beer they drink per week on average. Simple.


Still a mystery…

I think if I was the first rider off I wouldn’t be the first rider for too long anyway :joy: