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.