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On Line Ride Route Asks:
My old club actually posted the exact ride with a link to the route sheet. Do the FreeWheelers have such capability?

InfoGuy Says:
Our leaders have favorite routes and riders who regularly attend learn them quickly. That said, they also like to have flexibility so the listings reflect that. Most leaders have a clear plan for the next ride they are going to do. Those who lead infrequently will often post particulars in the ridelist. Those who lead more frequently may figure it out only that day but they will usually have an idea between one or more choices that they can work with on a given day. Either way, a contact is listed for all leaders and those interested are welcome to use it to find out more. More than one leader posts info ahead of the ride either to a blog or an email list with everyone who has indicated interest. Part of the reason it is done this way is that there are so many good ways to ride the roads in this area that detailed pre-ride ideas are more about where to go than exactly how to get there - there are always multiple ways and sometimes the leader delites in making choices on the fly. It is also a potential technique for keeping larger groups together as riders who go on ahead may get off route if the leader takes a turn and they are not close enuf to be aware. One of our mantras is: If you ride ahead you are on your own.
New Rider Asks:
I have never ridden in a group before and do not want to drag the group down if I do not have the same capabilities as the group. How do I know which pace category to start in?

InfoGuy Says:
There is a basic rule about our rides that seems to transcend the pace category: Our rides are typically about 2 to 2.5 hour affairs. You can thus expect a ride to go about double the pace for distance. In other words, a C ride will often go about 20-25 miles since the average speed is 11-12 mph. You'll need to think about how far and fast you are traveling alone in order to judge your readiness. Remember, tho, that if you're riding more often and especially with a group, your capacity for both speed and distance will improve quickly. And don't overlook the fact that we wait for stragglers [a ride essential] and provide helpful hints [a basic tenet of group riding]. Lastly - good luck!! and let us know how you are doing. It can be a little intimidating getting started but worry not, we've all been there and we understand.
Going Clipless Asks:
Do you have any tips for someone new to clipless pedals and bike shoes?

InfoGuy Says:

YES! Get used to them on your own before joining a ride - nothing more embarrassing than falling over at a stop because you have trouble getting out of them!! ;-] Actually, if they are not easy to get into and out of, you should have a bikeshop loosen them up. [You can tell Jason at Halter's I said to!!] Actually, it's easy enuf that you may well be capable yourself. Check the instructions that came with them, if you still have 'em. I set mine so loose that I almost don't stay in them - you don't need much tension for them to do their job - just the right allen wrench.
Planning Ahead Asks:
One of my goals this bike season is to do the century ride at the Free Wheelers Event. I've read that you should train with the same food/drinks that will be available at the event. Can you tell me what food and drink is typically available at your rest stops?
InfoGuy Says:
Your questions reflect an intelligent way to look forward to having a good time at our Annual Event - even tho it won't get here until August! You can count on several items at all our rest stops, typically at about 25 mile intervals on all the longer routesand closer on the shorter ones. Bananas and watermelon have been mainstays. Granola bars and peanut butter and jelly on white bread are also frequent favorites we will likely repeat. We have even had Snickers Marathon Energy bars as well. That was great for me cause their my favorite anyway. But we won't know for a while yet if that donations like that will happen again. There is no way we could run an event and not have Gatorade as at least one choice. Orange is the most likely flavor. Lemon-lime is an occasional alternate. However, water is ALWAYS a choice and if you bring your own powder, you'll never have to worry if you'll like what/how we serve the sweeter stuff. I use Cytomax so I'm used to packing my own. I put a bottle's worth of powder in a plastic sandwich baggie and apply a twist tie to the top. Repeat for at least one more bottle's worth than you think you'll need. Doesn't take up much room in the jersey pocket or a handle bar bag.
Family Guy Asks:
I would like to know if any rides are appropriate for my 8 year old son. I'd like to join and ride with him.
InfoGuy Says:
The policy of Princeton Free Wheelers is riders under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. The rides in our monthly grouped ride listings are based on distance, speed and usually some mention of terrain. A rider should be prepared with a bike in good working order with spare tube, water, cash for rest stop etc. Every rider should be able to ride at least 20 miles before he/she attends a ride. Once you select a ride it would be best to call the listed Ride Leader to get an idea of what to expect.
Just an Amateur Asks:
I came across the PFW's in a NJ discover adventure pamphlet and am very interested in joining a biking club. I enjoy biking very much but am a bit intimidated about just signing up due to the fact that I am an amateur. Can you ease my mind a bit?

InfoGuy Says:
Your description of yourself makes you the perfect candidate for membership. We are ALL amateurs. The best way to get over your initial fear is to join us for an adventure or two! Send an email to with a phone number and we'll work with you to find a good one.
Visiting Rider Asks:
I will be visiting the Princeton area soon. Is there someplace I can find route maps for interesting rides in the area? Club rides? etc.? I am used to riding in some traffic, but we really don't have much traffic to speak off around here.
InfoGuy Says:
Welcome to the Princeton scene! When you know what days you'll want to ride, send an email to with a phone number and we'll discuss your desired pace and distance to find good club rides to try. You'll also want to check out a map resource for a good local route to ride on your own. This one is probably the best: Just type in "Princeton, NJ" and you'll find quite a resource. Don't see something that suits your fancy? Or, simply more adventurous? A second resource will allow you to design your own route: [put together by a member of our club] will do the trick. There you'll see that many of the local roads in our area are fine to ride during the day, and especially if you stay away from rush hour and downtown[s]. Well, that said, of course if you want, we certainly can supply alternatives that will offer you plenty of opportunities to hone your traffic skills ... This is after all, New Jersey!! Just one more piece of advice: Bike friendly crossings of US1 are probably the biggest issue we have as a club. Stay on one side or the other and you'll be fine and not have to deal with it. Hills are to the north/west of it and flats are to the south/east.

Our original Infoguy, John Powers, is gone... but if you have questions, feel free to drop an email to the PFW Webguy.

Please patronize our PFW Sponsors. Clicking on the ad will bring you to their site:

7 Route 31
Pennington, NJ 08534
Mon-Fri 10-6
Sat 930-430
Sun 12-4

Jay's Cycles
249 Nassau St
Princeton, NJ 08540
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri 11am-6pm
Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm
Closed Wednesdays

683 Mercer Street 

Hightstown, NJ 08520

Mon, Wed, Fri: 10-6
Tu, Thu: 10-7
Sat: 10-5
Sun: 11-3

Sourland Cycles
53 E Broad St
Hopewell, NJ 08525
Sun: 11am - 4pm
Mon: Closed
Sat: 10am - 5pm

Halter's Cycles
1325 US 206
Skillman, NJ 08558
Mon-Fri 11-7
Sat 10-5
Sun 12-4

RoadMaestro Bicycle Service
Mobile Bicycle repair based in
Hightstown, NJ
Click on the logo for info.

Ramblin' Wrench
Bike maintenance comes to you!
Discounts to FreeWheeler Members

Firehouse Cycles

37 South Delaware Ave, Suite 3
Yardley, PA 19067
(215) 321-7171
Sunday 9-1
Tues-Fri 10-6
Saturday 9-5
Closed Mondays

Updated 6/3/2024