First TT - What is a "ride-in"?

Hi All,

I’m adding some race events into my training and did my first TT today. It was a KISS 10 mile TT. Very fun/bit confusing. The “race” (TT) started on the pier, but did not count down from 10 miles. The banner said it was a 3 and a bit mile “ride-in”. When that ended, the banner counted down from only 7 miles. I slackened off the hammer after the initial confusion as I thought the proper 10 miles would have a starting point. So ended up doing a 8ish mile TT. No biggy, but can anyone explain how this works, please? 


So you Race from the Start, you do your warm up in the Pen, timer goes down  to 0:00 you race. it full gas all the time, seen  a lot of guys head of you, right off the start right?

Thanks Salts. Perhaps this separate ride-in segment is to get riders to a finish banner in exactly 10 miles?  Yes, there was a mix of guys taking off, but others (like me) who also went hard out of the gate but then slackened off when we thought the 10 miles hadn’t started yet. Won’t do that again! 

Hey Brad, 

I did the same race for the first time last night - I had the same confusion… I started hard, then thought oh this must be a warm up section. I ending up slaking till the end of the “ride in” and then had to put the hammer down. 

Still not sure what the “ride in” period is for, during these TT races, and why it exists. Eg. I did TT race last week. Advertised as a 14.4 mile TT race. The race started and most people hammered down - some didn’t. The actual race distance countdown graphic did not start until about 4 miles in, with the first 4 miles being a “ride in”. I rode hard for the entire 18.5 miles but the race was supposed to be 14.4 miles .  I won’t make the mistake again, of thinking its some sort of warmup, but I can see why it catches out new people.

Are ride-ins a part of real world cycling? Is it just an arbitrary zwift thing?