MDLCA – Time Trials for Women – the Original Girl Power

If you’ve seen my recent articles, you will know that I am trying to encourage women with their first steps into racing.  Well this article is about an organisation that has been doing that since 1949 – Manchester & District Ladies Cycling Association (“M&DLCA”).  And the good news for women starting out in cycling who may not yet be certain which club they want to join but still want to have a bash at time trialling, well you can join the  M&DLCA as an individual, which will then enable you to ride time trials as an M&DLCA member – good, eh?

M&DLCA Best All Rounder Competition

The organisation runs a number of events, including a Best All Rounder (“BAR”) competition, which is based on performances at events run at 10 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles with the performances being calculated in m.p.h. and the average taken of the resultant speeds.  When choosing your counting events, the 10 mile time trial must be one of the events promoted by the M&DLCA (see below).  For counting events at 25 and 50 miles, there is no restriction except that it must be on any “J” course (the Cycling Time Trials Manchester division, which are all courses based in Cheshire).  Once you have completed your counting events, you just need to submit a copy of the entry form and result sheet to the BAR Secretary before 1st October of the current season.

This BAR competition is a great way to try out time trialling, as the women’s British BAR uses 25 mile, 50 mile and 100 mile events as counting events, which could be a step too far for people new to time trialling.

The winner of the M&DLCA BAR holds the B.S.A. Best All-Rounder Trophy for one year and receives a medal. Medals are also awarded for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places and certificates to remaining qualifiers.  There is also a team event, with the winning Team holding the B.A.R. Team Shield for one year and each member of the winning Team also receiving a medal.
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Handicaps
Yes, this is a genuine phrase for use in time trials.  The M&DLCA are keen to encourage riders, and all of their events are “handicapped”.  This means that if you have a time for whatever distance you have entered, you will be allocated a handicap time, with the fastest lady being put as “scratch”.  For a 10 mile time trial, the scratch time is 17.00 minutes, and the organiser will work out what your handicap time is based on your previous results (for example, I entered one of the M&DLCA 10s in 2011 and my previous best was 28:50 and I was given a handicap of 11:03 minutes, which meant that when I completed the distance in 28:36, my time based on handicap was 17:33, which meant that I was third on handicap).
There is also a Handicap Championship, which is based on your handicap times over the 10, 25 and 50 mile events.
What about age categories?
This is where the M&DLCA is extremely useful – not only is there a championship for schoolgirls (under-16s), there is a BAR championship for Juniors (under-18), which yours truly has won in the past, as well as a Handicap Championship for Juniors and there is a Veterans Championship for ladies aged 40 and over.  The Schoolgirl Championship is over 10 miles only, whereas the Junior and Veterans Championships are over 10 miles and 25 miles.
When are the events held?
Hopefully, this is making you think, I could have a crack at that AND win a certificate.  With that in mind, you’ll want to know what events are available no doubt.  Many thanks to Carol Pardoe for providing this information:
  • 27 April – Invitation “10″
  • 4th May – “10″
  • 1st June – “25″
  • 22nd June – Invitation “10″ again, and GHS (School age) heat
  • 29th June – Open “50″
  • 13th July – “25″

These events are only open to women however at the “Invitation 10″ events you can invite a man, but you still ride on your own. Your combined times count for the prize.  If you don’t know a man to invite, don’t worry as the M&DLCA will pair you up with somebody.

The overall vibe at these events is for everybody to have a go, do their best and then celebrate at the end with a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  Everybody is friendly and welcoming and if you are thinking of doing a time trial and you are based near Manchester, I would seriously recommend the M&DLCA events for one of your first.  Just remember that you have to enter in advance for time trials, there’s no entry on the day, with the closing date generally two weeks before the event.

For more information, please visit http://www.mdlca.org.uk

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