The Membership Process
Any child aged between 5 and 16 is invited to join the club once they have attended an induction and initial assessment. This is the first stage of a Hillingdon Slipstreamers’ Member journey and no child may join the club without having attended an induction. However, there are a few steps to follow first – we are not a walk-in club, although you are very welcome to visit the club during a Saturday session as an observer to see what we do in action if you are considering joining.
Step 1: Keep an Eye on our News Hub and Twitter Feed
As of 15 May 2017, any openings in Slipstreamers Membership and details of induction dates will be announced online and offered to the general public. A certain number of places will be made available to book online on a first-come-first-served basis, and we will no longer be operating a waiting list. Do be sure to follow us on Twitter and our News Hub for details of the next planned induction, which we will share online when we have capacity and volunteers.
Step 2: Induction Day
Every child’s journey starts with the Induction Programme. This is when you will find out more about us as well as us understanding a bit more about you and your cycling needs. You will be welcomed by the volunteer staff that will help you adjust to being a Slipstreamer, shown around our excellent facility, and taken through an assessment on your bike so our Coaches can see for themselves where your skills lie.
Some of you may be young riders wanting to get off of your training wheels. Some of you may be seasoned riders coming from another cycling discipline or club. Some of you may just be looking to extend or improve your cycling skills. To us, you will all be welcomed in the same way, and given the opportunity to join one of the greatest youth cycling organisations in the country.
During the induction morning, your cycling skills will be assessed by our Induction Team. During this time, some basic concepts of cycling will be introduced to the rider to ensure they have the very minimum understanding of safety within our environment. All riders, no matter how good you believe you are, are expected to complete an induction under the instruction of our Coaches. This is where we get to know you and vice versa. No inductee is permitted to ride on the circuit during the main sessions until they have completed their induction and have passed the Bronze assessment (once becoming Members); or unless accompanied and/ or signed off by a Coach to do so.
Our aim is to ensure your first experience at the club is friendly and without any hiccups, but we will need you to pay attention to a few very specific matters, as noted below.
What to bring along:
- Appropriate cycling kit – please ensure you are dressed appropriately to suit the weather, and that you are not wearing any loose fitting clothes that may get caught up in spokes or wheels. We don’t expect you to be wearing full race gear but your clothing does need to be safe!
- A helmet – if you are cycling, you must wear a helmet. No exceptions.
- Gloves – if it’s cold, wear fingered and thermal; if it’s warm, wear fingerless. Either way, you need gloves!
- A drink and a snack for after the session. We also have a canteen with refreshments available to buy during the morning if preferred.
- A bike with which you are familiar, however if you do not have a bike we do have a few for hire if required. Visit the Mechanics Hut page for more info on what we have available.
Do visit the Rider Resources safety section for a bit more information and guidance regarding the above.
On arrival at the Clubhouse:
- Once you’ve parked safely, please make your way to the clubhouse. Ask for the Induction Desk and you will be navigated to the right team.
- Registration times will be provided once your date has been chosen. Please don’t be late.
- You will be provided with a welcome pack and asked to complete a few forms – these need to be completed and signed by a parent/ guardian with parental responsibility for the child.
- Children (even the young ones!), not parents, will sign themselves on.
- After sign-on, you will be asked to wait inside the Clubhouse until all inductees have arrived. Please do not wander off.
- All children will then be gathered and personally welcomed with an introduction and overview of the club, as well as a safety briefing.
- There is no payment required for the induction session.
After your welcome and briefing:
- Riders are then handed over to the assessment coaches, who will first of all do a bike and clothing check to make sure you are safe and cycle-worthy. If in doubt, do check out the Rider Resources bike safety section for what we expect.
- The Induction coaches will then run a selection of skills based activities to assess rider proficiency.
What you can expect during your assessment:
- During the session, the coaches will decide on the best progression route for each rider. Once we understand your needs and your skills have been assessed, riders are directed to the various groups accordingly. Some will remain where they are if they need to gain more confidence and skills away from the bigger groups, whilst the majority will join our bronze development programme where they will learn the foundation skills for riding on the circuit or becoming a mountain biker.
- This is all done at the discretion of our highly experienced coaches, who will ensure each child is guided according to their skills and ability, and what the children are comfortable with. Every one of our coaching team are British Cycling trained and certified, so all cycling is done under the care and guidance of individuals who really enjoy what they do and are here to ensure children are taught how to cycle safely in a comfortable environment; and equally important, enjoying themselves.
What we expect from you:
- You have come prepared and have read the resources and information provided to you, including what is on this page – we have taken the time to provide you with all the necessary information you need, and in return we expect you to kindly read these.
- Both children and parents have read the relevant Codes of Conduct – this is what you are signing up to when you participate in a club session, and as such we expect you to pay careful attention to the contents. You will be asked to leave the club if you do not abide by these.
- A keen desire to join in, learn, and have some fun – read more about how we help you on this journey here.
Step 3: Trial Period
- Once a rider has had an induction, they are invited to trial the club for a further 3 weeks after the induction before taking up full membership. They do not need to decide on the day of the induction if this is what they want. There is no charge for the induction session, but subsequent session attendance will be charged at the weekly session fee of £5.
- The rider will need to attend for a minimum of 2 weeks after the induction during the trial period before being able to take up membership. This is important to ensure we get to know the rider and vice versa.
- If after 3 weeks have passed and they do not return or have not taken up membership, their details will be removed from our records.
- During the trial period, riders are expected to observe the same processes as a regular member. Please see the Rider Resources section for further details on the Code of Conduct and Session Rules. As a reminder, to reiterate, you will be asked to leave the club if you do not abide by these.
Step 4: Making the Most of Your Membership
Membership runs from January to December. Once a rider has signed up as a Member, you are issued with a membership number, a passport, and will start to enjoy various additional member only benefits, including progression through the development programme, claiming of race expenses, receipt of the club newsletter, as well as a chance to join the British Cycling for free.
After completion of the induction, and subsequently taking up Slipstreamers membership, new riders will progress through the development programme at a pace to suit the individual. Please do look around our site and familiarise yourself with the aims and demands of Slipstreamers membership.