Membership of the Willow Wheelers is open to members of the greater Willow Park School and Blackrock College community. The eligibility criteria for membership of the Willow Wheelers is as follows:
- Current pupils of Willow Park Junior School (5th form and above), Willow Park First Year and Blackrock College.
- Past pupils of Blackrock College;
- Parents of a current Willow Park or Blackrock College student;
- Parents of a past pupil of Blackrock College;
- Siblings of a current pupil of Willow Park or Blackrock College;
- Siblings of a past pupil of Blackrock College;
- A spouse of a past pupil of Blackrock College;
- Members of Willow Park and Blackrock College Staff and
- Members of the Blackrock College religious community.
From the 2018/2019 season annual club membership will run with the schools academic year from September to August each year. Memberships will be accepted from July for the subsequent club membership season.
For active cycling members it is a condition of membership that cyclists must also maintain an appropriate membership of Cycling Ireland (“CI”). Cycling Ireland membership provides insurance cover for accidents and incidents as set out on the CI website whilst taking part in organised club cycling events and is essential. Advice and more information on this is available here.
It is also a requirement that all adult Club members who cycle with student groups, on Sunday cycles or other Club events, complete the child protection vetting process (commonly known as Garda Vetting) for both Willow Park School and Blackrock College. Information and ‘vetting invitation’ forms are available here.
Junior members are welcome to join at any time, but usually join the Club in fifth form. Junior cyclists in Willow Park School 5th form complete a safe cycling course in the school before going on their first group cycle.
Members need to apply for, or renew, Willow Wheelers Club membership at the start of each club year. The annual subscription for both Junior and Adult members is payable online by credit/debit card using the payment buttons below. The current club subscription is €35 per adult member and €35 per student member and is open for application now.
Once you purchase a suitable bicycle and cycling gear, the ongoing cost is modest compared with many other sporting activities. Willow Wheeler Sunday cycling and events are all included in the membership cost, but each trip is managed separately and costed accordingly.
More detail on the first few months after joining the Willow Wheelers is provided on our Students’ Joining page.
Safety: All cyclists must wear a helmet, and should wear cycling gloves to prevent cuts and bruises in case of a tumble. We also recommend cycling glasses to protect your eyes. When the weather is sunny, sun cream is also essential along with a drinking bottle attached to the bike with a bottle cage. Ideally, each cyclist should have a mobile telephone and all contact numbers with the group leaders. We recommend that all cyclists read the RSA cycle safety booklet.
Bike: Road bikes are recommended in preference to hybrids (which would be fine for initial years) or mountain bikes (which are much harder work over long distances). Bikes should be properly serviced, in a good state of repair, gears/chain oiled and with functioning brakes. Tyres should be pumped to proper pressure before each cycle to help avoid punctures. Carry a lock, two spare tubes, a pump, tyre levers, a multi-tool and water. Of course, a clean bike makes you look good and go faster, so give it a good wash from time to time!
Clothing: Proper cycling gear is recommended, including padded cycling shorts and a rain jacket. In addition to cycling tops and shorts available in shops, the Club sources cycling gear once a year.
You can also keep an eye on our page with secondhand bikes and gear.