A year-round recreational bicycle club

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Club History

Western Jersey Wheelmen

Back in May of 1981, the then president of the “Central Jersey Bicycle Club” decided that he had grown weary of all of the political undertones that existed within a very large cycling club. So he and his wife, along with three other cycling friends, decided that they had enough and would breakaway from that club and form a new club. This was the birth of the “Western Jersey Wheelmen”.

The purpose of our club was quite simple…to promote bicycling in western New Jersey, one of the most beautiful and scenic areas in the state. Our club’s initial bylaws were drafted in such a way as to keep our club from growing too large, so a “100 member limit” was stipulated within it. The idea was to have fewer members that were truly serious cyclists and would be “active” riders as opposed to having hundreds and hundreds of members, most of which would never be seen at a ride. So in the beginning, one didn’t just join the Western Jersey Wheelmen, one had to instead be accepted as a member. Over the years, the limit was raised to 200 members, and then eventually the limit was eliminated altogether. 

At the end of 1981 our club had a total of 25 members, but in keeping with the club’s concept, they were extremely active members. Events for that first year were a swim & picnic ride, a camping weekend, a night at the velodrome, a fall tour to Port Jervis and a beer and pizza bash! But no event in our club’s history was more famous than “The Jersey Double”, a 200-mile bike ride completed in one day. At its peak, “The Jersey Double” would attract nearly 100 participants, not just from New Jersey, but from Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland as well. Although our club no longer runs “The Jersey Double”, we continue to offer numerous special events throughout the year. 

Today the Western Jersey Wheelmen offer rides for all abilities, whether you are a seasoned “A” rider loving those hills and pace lines or the casual “D” rider just getting started in the sport. Road rides and off-road rides are both offered, on weekdays as well as on weekends.

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Club Events

Club Rides
  • "Round the Valley" Variant

    This is a slight variation of an area classic.  This ride starts at Pickel Park, Whitehouse, past Round Valley State Park, the Stanton General Store, to White Oak Park, Branchburg and back to Pickell Park.  There are some hills.  27.6 miles.  Pickell Park Round the Valley

  • "Oldwick Old School"

    Oldwick to Tewksbury, Califon to High Bridge.  Low traffic route, five big climbs. 3500 feet of ascent. 30 miles  http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1383219

all club rides

Autumn Riding

 

Cold.

The temperature is finally dropping, and that means cold hands; time to dig out gloves. You know yourself and what you need to protect; perhaps it is your ears or your toes; think about some earmuffs, skullcap or thicker socks. Think layers. You may start off at one temperature and finish at another!


Dark. The sun is coming up later and setting a lot earlier now visibility is not as good as it was a few weeks ago.Time to make sure that lights work, have fresh batteries, and are not obstructed by dirt. Check with your local bike shop to find out what you need; also consider adding additional reflective tape to surfaces on your bike.

Speaking of reflective, you also need reflective and fluorescent clothing: just wearing white or light colored clothes will not cut it, especially in autumn when the light is flatter. The fluorescence will pick up existing ambient light, and reflective strips will make you visible in car headlights. You can get bike-specific reflective/fluorescent clothing and enjoy wind-breaker and rain shielding properties, or grab a general hi-viz vest.

Weather. Autumn equals unpredictable. Keep an eye on the forecast for swings in temperature and the possibility of storms. They say there is no bad weather–only bad clothing. Best advice? A little preparation goes a long way!

Road Conditions. Falling leaves are beautiful and who isn’t drawn to a pile of leaves? But before you pedal through that pile, be aware that there could be a surprise under it–a pothole, a stick, an old tire, etc. Leaves also reduce your traction so be careful when cornering on a leaf-strewn road or path.

Be safe and be seen!

 

 


Member Comments

 

Diana Davis:

I LOVE riding in Hunterdon County! The plateau in Kingwood to the rolling hills in Readington. Sometimes a challenge, but always beautiful scenery!

Kurt Grabfelder:

I appreciate being a club member because it makes it much easier to get riders together for a group ride.  Riding with a group is safer and, I think, it brings out the best effort in you.  I like associating with like minded people who are interested in biking, fitness and nutrition.

The Western Jersey Wheelmen.

The Western Jersey Wheelmen is a year-round recreational bicycle club, sponsoring road and off road rides throughout the year and catering to all ability levels. Social events and special rides bring us together periodically throughout the year.


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