The club held a meeting of interested time trialists on Tuesday 10 May at the Chippenham Sports and Social Club. This news item gives the record of the meeting and the outcomes/decisions taken.
Owen Burgess – submitted comments
Paul introduced time trialing within the club covering organisations with which club is affiliated, some of the administrative requirements of running time trials as a club and a history of the last 10 years.
People should refer to: https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/How_To_Time_Trial.pdf for some background to time trials
- Open – The club supports a number of Open (Type A) events and presently runs:
- U601 WTTA Hardriders (Feb/Mar)
- U41 10 Mile Time Trial (Apr/May)
- U86/25 (Jul)
- UH80 Hill Climb (Oct)
- U41 10 Mile Time Trial (Oct), replaced the 3-Up
Entries run between 30 and 40 riders and break even. In 2021 we had 188 entries. Club has good HQs. Event organisation has been managed by Paul W, Paul F and Ian P for last 2 seasons. Administratively putting on events is reasonably simple, the stress comes from getting assistants (always alright on the night) and having to lay out courses reasonably early due to traffic counts;
- Seek people to support event organisers with activities such as setting up HQ and laying out / recovering signage.
- Find a new organiser for U601.
Club -The club (Type B) events run through out the season from March till September ) https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/CDW_2022_Time_Trials.pdf) and support a number of competitions. Competition details can be seen at: https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/racing/club-time-trial-competitions/ . Paul was concerned that the events had become “static” and needed a refresh but meeting agreed that the range of events a) supported the competitions well b) had pretty good variety but that with the loss of Lyneham Banks the non-competition rides needed adjustment. (Note: Course changes due to roadworks have meant that we have not run any hilly events this year.) The club is lucky to have a large number of course options open to it and Paul registers reserve courses to take account of roadworks. The closure of Lyneham Banks has impacted the intent to potentially explore new courses.
- Revamp scheduling to spread events more evenly but maintain order which grows to the 50 mile event.
- Introduce a second 2-Up Time Trial where riders can select their partner prior to the lottery 2-Up. This would probably be on same evening as the tandem event which has not run for the last 2 years.
- Advertise the CATI events more clearly.
Paul discussed the range of awards / prizes for clarification and briefly explained handicapping. The prize list is at: https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/racing/club-time-trial-competitions/. The club also provides “keepsake” trophies as a moment for riders. At present club uses an engraver in Devizes, since Colborne Trophies in Trowbridge closed during the pandemic. The range of trophies from most engravers is limited as they all use the same “handbooks”. The club has a large number of historic trophies which time trialing has a responsibility for maintaining and Paul has been getting them refurbished recently as necessary.
There is a general perception in the wider time trialing community that field entries are down from pre-COVID numbers. My own analysis of West DC would say that we are perhaps 20 – 30% down but a number of events have been cancelled and in the West we perhaps have too many events on a Saturday and Sunday, as most riders do not race 2 events in a weekend. Within the club we have had a fall off
2022 – 22 riders / 46 rides (so far)
2021 – 24 riders / 143 rides (delayed season, did not start till end of March)
2020 – 31 riders / 114 rides (shortened season due to COVID)
2019 – 181 rides
2018 – 220 rides
2017 – 345 rides
2016 – 380 rides
The meeting discussed at length participation and agreed that this was not due to online platforms such as Zwift as club riders have returned to road time trials and agreed in general that as club size reduced after 2012 “bubble” that a fall off would be logical. The perception that time trials are “elite” and you need special kit is persuasive but all said they had started on road bikes, added clip on tri-bars and then made the jump to time trial bikes. The appearance of road bikes in the winning positions shows it is not all about the bike! The meeting agreed that the lack of women and youth participation was a weakness within the club (noting that several years ago we had a good female participation). It was not felt that the entry fee of £4 for club riders was off putting.
Club is very lucky to have Sue Edwards as a timekeeper but we do need more timekeepers. In general we get sufficient support for Open Events, although can feel a bit “last minute dot com”.
- Introduce a road bike competition from 1 June in the remaining Jack Nunn 10 mile time trial events. Rules to be determined but winner likely to be based on fastest time for this year.
- Emphasize that the Steel Is Real / Medium Gear Event is also a Road Bike night.
- Design a generic time trial advertising poster that can be displayed at Castle Combe on Tuesday evenings.
- Approach local triathlon clubs (Chippenham Tri and Flying Monk, Malmesbury) to offer them entry at £4 and remind them that we provide a good training event for their riders.
- Promote CATI events more clearly and explain purpose.
- Encourage riders to “bring a friend”. The suggestion of penalising “billy, no mates” was not taken!
- Approach current women riders in club to encourage participation.
- Ensure route cards are available for new riders and clarify location of Queen’s Field. For those present Queen’s Field is: GR 94988 78284. It is correctly pin posted in the club calendar. The What 3 Words references is: ///annotated.greed.jousting.
All club routes are posted at: https://www.chippenhamwheelers.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Club_Time_Trial_Course.pdf
- Meet at a Sutton Benger pub after time trial on pre-agree evenings so that all know that it is happening.
- Encourage more participation in supporting events.
- Afternote: Time Trial riders to attend Castle Combe and advertise presence (in club colours, on time trial bikes) to introduce club members to 2/3/4- Up Time Trialling.
Some feared this was a retirement item on the agenda, which it isn’t. Paul confirmed that much of the administration is relatively simple and role involves:
- Date fixing for Open Events
- Schedule of races for club events
- Police Notification Forms
- Membership of organisation
- Finding organisers for events
- Maintaining Risk Assessments and course codes
- Trophy maintenance and engraving
Paul confirmed that whilst he is a “control freak” finding it hard to let go he did feel that he needed more formal support at open events, such as an HQ Administrator and a signage assistant.
Paul did indicate that he would like to find a successor by his 65th birthday in September 2025!
Communications: It was generally agreed that communications did not work relying on social media and that the channels available were limited. The existence of 2 Facebook Groups is severely distracting and the purpose of the chat group should be reviewed so that members only get one feed from FB. A greater use of email, mail shots, should be considered. The use of FB messenger has worked well for those involved in Virtual Time Trials and has provided some direct communication with active riders. Meeting agreed that a WhatsApp group for club time trialists and those involved in time trialing would allow instant notification of course changes, event cancellations, etc.
Action: Set up club time trial WhatsApp group. (This has been done and if you wish to be a member please contact Paul.)
Website: The website works as matter of record but is not something people visit naturally for information. This may be in part due to the irregularity of news articles and the absence of pages such as a photo page
Action: Review layout of club time trialing information to make it more navigable.