UK time trials 2020

Here in the UK, I’m doing a series of national masters time trials, run by the Veteran Time Trial Association (VTTA). I, or should I say, we, are entering the 10, 15, 25 and 30 miles VTTA national championship races. “We” because I’m on the rear of a tandem with my club mate Richard up front piloting. I’ll post more later, especially to encourage @Nate_Pearson and @Chad who have mooted doing a tandem time trial.

Above you see the bike in 2019 mode, it’s has had a few upgrades in the off season, including aero TT bars at front, aero stoker bars rear and a 58T chainring.

Interested to know what races others are doing, how they are training, intel on courses, etc.


This is the highlight of the TTing season.

Interesting course, good cakes, and on the re-scheduled bank holiday too. The fact that the organiser’s name is the same as mine is total and utter coincidence.


Interesting course - 18.6 miles - which guarantees a PB. I have entered 20 events so far, so it would be a squeeze. I will keep it in mind. Quality end of race cakes are a draw.

Here’s the upgraded tandem with new Enve TT cockpit and matching stoker bars, Aerocoach 58/44 chainrings, black Middleburn tandem cranks (to match the chainrings), Di2 TT brake levers and a new chain. Plus, most importantly, a much more aggressive position. The bike is ready for the season, now for the body…


Very nice! Do both riders have power meters and their own head unit so you can check afterwards who wasn’t pulling their weight?

Kudos for you booking so many races though. Great commitment.

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I can foresee one problem, well 2 in fact…Rachael Elliott and Ian Greenstreet :joy: :joy: :joy:

@martinheadon Yes, we both have pedal-based PMs and individual head units. No live tracking of each other’s powers though, we have to wait for post-race analysis to see if the other had an off-day. As stoker, I take the lead on pacing, which I do watching average speed.

@ValeCyclist the problem you hint at, which I think can guess, prevented us from fitting extension for the stoker (me). There was an “overlap” between riders…

One thing we need to improve this year is our warm up. Planning to take a dumb fold up trainer to races. What kind warm up sessions do you do? I’d love some ideas and options.

I built up a warm up based on Team Sky’s TT warm up. It’s pretty much the same on used by British Cycling and is easy to find via Google. Takes 20mins, which I find is enough plus the ride to the start line.

What iwas getting it as you may come up against quite possibly the fastest mixed tandom partnership the UK has ever known.

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Look forward to that! Who be they?

Cool rig, very jealous! Always liked the idea of some tandem racing, my wife isn’t keen but my eldest daughter is showing some good aerobic ability so maybe in a few years time we’ll get a father daughter combo out.

How’s the stopping power on the rim brakes with the extra weight? Can’t see a brake in the back, is it hidden rim brake or is it a drum?

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The people mentioned above - Greenstreet and Elliot - the lady concerned road 1:00:34 for 30 miles in the Leo 30 before a medical condition caused her to curtail her rather stellar tt career.

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Impressive. Shannon and May will do our best to keep up.

@cartsman the front brake is rim and the rear disc. I’m the stoker, but I have not felt there has been an issue. In fact, I sometimes wish the pilot would lay off them.

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Oh this looks so cool! Chad would hate it so much, lol!

If someone has a tandem we can ride at nationals and it doesn’t interfere with the individual TT then I bet we can get Chad to do it.


You’ve matched your shoe covers to the frame so well that all the other upgrades are academic.

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@Nate_Pearson - tandems are a kind of “human EPO.” As long as you stick to flattish courses, a tandem will (legally) make you a faster cyclist. IMO @chad should be the stoker, as he is the smaller rider. How much does he trust you to pilot though?


I love seeing Tandems and tricycles at the various TTs I do. Cracking looking bike. Good luck with it. I look forward to seeing you somewhere.

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I’ve consider entering a couple of 10 milers this season on my road bike. I noticed the record on K33/10d is 19:23. I wondered what I might be able to achieve, popped the course into BBS: with my current FTP, and standard CDA, it reckons about ~25 minutes. In the little comparison tool, I increased my FTP by 50%, and reduced my CDA to around 0.02 (as if I was on a TT bike…), and I was still at 22 minutes. :open_mouth:

I don’t think I’m cut out for it :rofl:

Keep in mind that the course record was most likely done on a full TT bike. Why don’t you enter and, er, race yourself? If riders only raced TTs if they were in contention for a course records, there wouldn’t be many in the field! 22 mins would be an excellent target.

You can make several quick (and some cheap) upgrades to improve your CdA. Aero is more important than power for time trials. (Some power useful though). Shoe covers can save you 30 secs on a 25, 12 secs in a 10 for a few quid. Here’s a list:

Bar extensions can be bought for far less than the listed $200. A $50 set will still put you in a better position.

Lots of series have a road bike category. I think that they called it a “Merckx TT” on the podcast. That way, you don’t need to spend money on fancy kit and can compete on a level playing field with your current bike. Fundamentally though, whatever bike and kit you are wearing, you are only competing against yourself - try a few, see if you like it and go from there. Relatively few people will get under 20 minutes for a 10 - my best 10 is a 25:42. If I get to race next year (currently injured), under 25 is the first target.
Don’t worry about course records, they are often set by people who are close to the pros (if not pro themselves). Charlie Quarterman set a course record in a race I did last year - he did a 19 something and I did 27:02. That was a PB for me at the time and I was quite chuffed. NB he’s now riding for Trek Segafredo!