Cycling became extremely popular in South Wales in the 1880s and 90s and many cycling clubs were set up, some of which focused on competitive racing. Four world class cyclists came from the Aberdare Bicycle Club; three brothers - Arthur, Tom and Samuel Linton - and another cyclist called Jimmy Michael. There was intense rivalry between these men although it was Arthur Linton, who had turned professional in 1893, who defeated the French champion in 1894, racing in Paris. Given the title of ‘Champion Cyclist of the World’ he received a hero’s welcome on his return to Aberaman.
In 1896 Arthur won his greatest race, the Bordeaux to Paris Race. He died six weeks later aged just 24. At the time it was recorded that he died of Typhoid Fever, but these cyclists pushed themselves to the limit in the pursuit of success, even taking dangerous concoctions of chemicals to help improve their performance.
Jimmy Michael, Arthur's rival and fellow Aberdare Bicycle Club member, became World Champion after Arthur’s death. He also died in his twenties.
Where to Visit?
There is a Blue Plaque to Arthur in St Margaret's Church, Aberaman and also a stained glass window and lectern in his memory.
Visit the Cynon Valley Museum where, amongst other cycling exhibits, is a bust of Arthur Linton and one of his brother Sam, another well known cyclist.
28 November 1868
23 July 1896