How It All Began
The Slipstreamers were formed in 1998. This was around the time when a tarmacked section of the Hayes Bypass was under construction and detached from the local road network, and which is where Brian Wright and Ray Kelly started to run coaching sessions for children. Initially it was during the Summer holidays of 1997. After a successful summer of coaching, coaches from the West Thames division then started a Saturday morning session for children to learn to ride in a safe environment, and it was decided to set up a full time club. Lessons were initially run from two containers near the main entrance from Springfield Road where the “Goals” car park is now. Their aim was to encourage more young people into the sport of cycling , making it fun whilst teaching them how to ride and race correctly and safely. That aim continues today. There is an interesting article on the history of the Hillingdon Cycle Circuit website here.
The club started with approximately 20 children, and it was the members who chose the name “ Slipstreamers”, as their coaches were always telling them to slipstream each other. In January 1998, the design of the Slipstreamer clothing was chosen. It took the form of a competition which was won by Peter Why. Hasbro UK donated prizes as well as the cost of our first order for club kit. In August 1998 the constitution of the club was formally adopted, and on 22nd January 1999 The Slipstreamers became a registered charity. In 2004 the Hillingdon Slipstreamers became part of British Cycling’s “Go-Ride” scheme and in 2006 the club gained Sport England’s prestigious Clubmark status.
Bill Bannister was invited to be our Club President in 1999, which is also when Sir Bradley Wiggins CBE became our first Vice-President. In 2000 Dave Doel became our second vice-president but sadly passed away in 2001 after a long battle with cancer. A memorial trophy was inaugurated in his memory. Jenny Copnall, 5 time national ladies MTB champion, became our second vice-president in November 2007. Brian Wright continued as Head Coach and later as President of the club until he sadly passed away in April 2012.
And each year, as we grow, the archives of our history book becomes richer with the amazing achievements of our riders and the incredible dedication of our volunteer workforce, many of whom have won numerous awards over the years. The Slipstreamers have continued to meet every Saturday morning at 10.00am since they started , whatever the weather, unless Christmas day falls on a Saturday.