The procedure of entering a cycling time trial in the UK is straightforward, but there are several things you need to know. This guide explains how to enter open events; entering club events is much more informal and usually just involves turning up at the club-house or road-side in plenty of time.
There are lots of cycling clubs across the UK, and you need to join one to enter CTT time trials. The best place to start is the CTT clubs list (www.cyclingtimetrials.co.uk/Clubs) where you should filter by district to show clubs in your area.
Go to www.cyclingtimetrials.co.uk/Events-List, select the district nearest you, and events will automatically appear. Note that you need to enter the event around 2 weeks before the date of the event. Click on the course code links to find out where they are. Click on the event names to get the organiser details and the entry fee (including the CTT levy).
There may be two options for entering a time trial: online or by post. Online entry is offered at the discretion of the organiser, and will only be possible if there is an 'Enter' link for that event on the CTT website; with this option you will also pay electronically, and there's a 70p admin fee.
If you want to print and post your entry, go to the CTT forms page and download an entry form (Word format) from the 'Riders' section. You can either just print out the form and fill it in by hand, or save it to your computer and complete most of the fields by opening the document and typing in your details. Don't forget to sign and date your form by hand!
Write your cheque (usually payable to the organising club) for the amount specified in the event details page on the CTT website, attach it to the entry form, stuff both into a stamped envelope addressed to the event organiser, and post it! Make sure that you post it at least two weeks before the event.
Note that, after you've ridden events, you'll need to keep track of your best performance (date, time, your position), at various distances. The form distinguishes between events you've ridden during the current and past three seasons, and ones you've ridden since 1st January of last year. For national championships, you can't put down times from club events.
If your entry has been accepted, you will receive a start sheet around a week before the event. Check what time you're off, and plan the day to make sure you're at the HQ in plenty of time to collect your pin-on number and sign on. You will not be allowed to ride if you miss your start time, unless the time-keeper decides to allow you a later start.
Entering the event doesn't mean that you'll get a ride. The event may be over-subscribed, or may even be cancelled after your entry was accepted. You shouldn't make too many plans before you know for sure that you're at least on the start sheet.
For a broader introduction to time trialling and how to get the most out of it, CTT has published an excellent Cycling Plus article: Your first time trial.