Taking the trial out of TTs: We tried to master the 'race of truth' without getting obsessive about it

Time trialling need not require an all-consuming, slavish commitment to lonely intervals and geeky aero gains

Alex B

CW's Alex Ballinger attempts to master the 'race of truth' without getting obsessive about it

My fledgling time trial career started with a crash. Since that first mildly disastrous attempt in January, my TT path has taken many turns (and missed a few too) — I have turned up at the wrong start line, set off in a race two minutes after my start time, taken the wrong exit on a roundabout during an event, and somewhere amid all the chaos have managed to take a win.

Before we get into all that, let’s start at the beginning. Viewed from the passing distance of a car on an anonymous Hampshire dual carriageway, time trialling looks like a cultish existence. To the normal person, a gaggle of skinsuited pedallers congregating in a layby wearing funny-shaped helmets at 7pm on a Thursday seems at best eccentric, but to those inside it, it can be so much more.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.