For the First Time Racer
“The Miracle isn’t that I finished, the miracle is that I had the courage to start!”
– John Bingham
What is a Time Trial Race?
Racing in a time trial is fun and one of the safest ways to race a road bike. You are not near any other racers (in fact the rules do not allow “drafting”) except when one racer passes another on the course.
You ride your bike as you would on any street, stay to your right, and watch for traffic. Course marshals will direct you for all your turns and will help control auto traffic so you can primarily concentrate on pedaling as fast as you can!
Europeans call the time trial the “Race of Truth” as it is a race in which the individual or a team race against the clock. Racers are separated by gender and age group and there is a “Retro” division in which no special aerodynamic equipment is allowed. After all racers have completed the course, then all the racers are ranked in their specific category.
Don’t be intimidated.
Don’t worry about entering a race wearing a plain jersey and riding a well-used road bike. There is surprisingly little correlation between a cyclist’s ability and his or her appearance, physical or otherwise. Everyone of all ages is out to just have fun and challenge themselves.
How do I get started?
Bicycle racing is open to all levels of ability.
If you own a road bike, you are about set! You will need a CPSC Standard bicycle helmet (any bicycle helmet purchased since 1999 will qualify, however you really want one that is only a few years old and is in good condition for your own safety.) And that’s it for the basics!
Don’t worry about aero bars, TT bikes, and other special equipment to start out with. Enter a few races and decide for yourself what type of racing you enjoy best and what you are willing to invest to gain a few seconds during the race.
Racing does not have to be expensive or require a lot of special equipment to have fun.
Do I have to have a license to race?
To be able to race, you must have a USA Cycling (USAC) license. The USAC license provides you with insurance in the event something does happen while you are racing, the cost of the recording keeping of all your races and helps promote bicycle racing in the U.S.
What does all this cost?
Your cost for racing the first time is only $20. This includes your entry fee and a one-day USAC license. The $20 is paid in advance, and you can race any week that you want. The payment is not refundable.
What should I bring to the race?
- Your road bike
- A helmet
- Sunglasses to protect your eyes
- Food and water (with protein and carbohydrates) for after your race
- A friend to cheer for you is always nice
What do I do next?
First, if you have questions, email us at [email protected] and we will do our best to answer your questions as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to one of us, then just tell us in your email, along with your phone number and when would be a suitable time for us to give you a call.
Next, complete the form below, then you will sign a standard USAC waiver, and finally pay the $20 First Timer Race fee.
On race day, come to the registration table behind the Smoky Hill parking area early (4:00 PM) if you can, but if you can’t any time between 4:00 and 5:30 PM would work, and just tell one of the volunteers there that you are a first-time racer.
They will assign you a start time, give you a bib (it’s your racing number so the starter and the timer at the finish line know who you are). They will help you pin your bib to your shirt or jersey and point you to the start line. You need to be at the start line at least three minutes before your start time.
There will be a start marshal there and let that person know you are a first timer, and volunteer will let you know what you need to do to start.
It’s that simple!