Time Trial Turn-arounds

It is common in time trials to use an "out and back" course. Competitors ride out on a road to a turnaround point, then return on the same route. These turn-arounds typically require an 180-degree turn. The best riders do this with a minimum loss of speed and time.

There are two basic styles of turnarounds:

  1. The first is to follow a simple curve, using all of the available lane. Here you use the cone as the apex for the turn. It is simple and easy to practice. (Figure 1)
  2. In another method, you ride just to the right of the cone, hit the brakes hard, turn to the left, and return to pedaling as soon as possible. The advantage is that speed is maintained longer. Hard braking means that the bike spends less time in the corner. (Figure 2)
  3. When there is much room to negotiate a turn, the first method works well. With a narrow lane, the second method can be faster. However, timing is very important - if you brake too late or not hard enough, you will overshoot the cone.
  4. Practice both skills in a safe, low traffic venue.
  5. At first, practice these skills at a pace much slower than race pace. Gradually increase your speed until you feel fluid at race-like speeds.

Figure 1.

Figure 2.