The 25 TT Bucket List
An Idiot Abroad: The 25 TT Bucket List
By Stephen Campbell
Liam Maybank wrote a great piece for the club website about how
to tackle time trials, and this is just a little adjunct to that piece.
I hate time trials! Always have done and always will do. Like Karl
Pilkington, they are outside my comfort zone which is road races and
crits. However, one of my objectives this year was to improve all my
times from my youth, and to do some other distances.
I get the sense there are a few people in the club who would like to
get under the hour for a 25 next year or improve their PB
substantially. Not an easy task, when there are so many other factors
to come into the equation (wind, bikes, training / family etc). When I
started doing a few TTs earlier this year, beating the hour was my
main objective. As it turned out, I did it on my first 25, but that
was because I had carefully selected the event. After that, I was then
careful to select the events which would allow me to access the
fastest courses, by entering the middlemarkers (MM) events, with the
aim of really getting my 25 time down. The middle marker events are
intended to stop the fastest guys hogging the fast courses, but there
are a limited number of such events each year on the fastest courses.
Here are some courses and events for everyone to consider for next
year. You will need to look at the CTT website early next year to
ensure the events are still on. There are fast local courses, which I
have listed below, but this is about giving yourself every opportunity
to either (a) beat the hour (b) get your best time.
Real Team Middle Markers 25 (R25/3L, Neath, August) – The fastest
course in the country. This event allows 240 middle ranking riders to
get onto this course through 2 events run concurrently. Normally, you
would need a 54.00 personal best to get onto it, so entering the MM
event is the best way. About 2.5 hours from Twickenham
Shaftesbury Middle Markers 25 (E2/25 Newmarket, June) – This is a
super fast dual carriageway (DC) course, but very exposed to the wind.
On a calm / good day, it is good. On a windy day, you will struggle.
About 1.5 hours from Twickenham.
Other fast courses within easy reach are as follows, and all you have
to do is search the CTT website for an event on them:-
F1/25 – there are a few events on this A1 based course near St. Neots.
Early morning start, with a 1.5 hour drive. Again, can be exposed, but
on the right day, this is a great course to ride.
H25/2 – Marlow. Good ski-slope start, then a mix of DC and single
carriageway. Due to traffic flows on the A404, this can now only be
used on certain days. Mike and Duncan rode this course at the August
bank holiday. 30 minutes drive from Twickenham.
Q25/8 – Ashford, Kent. Big, fast ski slope start, but the next 22
miles are tough and lumpy and not the fastest. 1 hour drive from
P885/25 or P881/25 – Liss, Hampshire. The 885 is the quicker of the
two with a big ski slope start, and all based on the A3. This is one
of the closest real quick 25s, approx 40 minutes from Twickenham.
H25/8 Bentley, Hampshire. – A decent course, but not the fastest.
Definitely lumpy in my book. I have ridden the club 10 a few times
this year, as has Steve Legg and it is not super fast. Liam and Tina
have both ridden the 25 this year. 30 minutes from Twickenham
U46B – Cirencester. Not ridden this one, but with the right
conditions, can be very fast.
J25/8 and A25/11 – Again, not ridden, but fast courses up north.
There may be others which I have missed out, but hopefully this helps.
If there is demand for a similar list on 10 mile TTs, just let me know.