ARTHUR AUGUST ZIMMERMAN was the third child born to Theodore and Anna Zimmerman in Camden's Central Ward on June 11, 1870. Theodore Zimmerman was employed as a U.S. Postal Agent in Camden. By 1880 the family had moved to Wall Township in Monmouth County NJ, where Theodore Zimmerman operated a hotel.
Long before Lance Armstrong was born, Arthur Zimmerman dominated the sport of cycling as no man ever had previously. Between 1889 and 1905 he rode as both an amateur and professional bicycle racer. At his peak he was without question the world's champion in that sport. He won 1400 races during his career and at one time or another set the world record in every cycling distance from one-quarter to 10 miles.
Known to his fans as "Zimmy", Arthur A. Zimmerman had moved to Freehold NJ, in the 1880s. He had been a law student, but gave that career up for cycling. In Freehold he started racing, as an amateur in 1889. In those days racers used the high wheel bike. Arthur Zimmerman rode competitively in Europe and the United States. His dominance of competitive cycling in 1892, when he started 100 races, winning 75, coming in second in 10 races, and third in five, ensured his world wide fame. Zimmerman was the first American named as World Champion Amateur cyclist when he won both the one mile and ten mile events in Chicago, Illinois in 1893.
David Metz, who operates the Metz Bicycle Museum at 54 W. Main St. in Freehold, said "Arthur Zimmerman was the world's first bicycle racing champion in the 1880s. When he retired in 1895, he opened the Arthur A. Zimmerman Cycle Co. on Elm Street in Freehold. From 1895 to 1900 he manufactured several models of the 'Zimmy' bicycle, including the one I have on display."
Arthur A. Zimmerman settled in Asbury Park NJ around 1916. He passed away in Atlanta GA on Wednesday, October 21, 1936 while visiting his daughter.
Today the Century Road Association sponsors a race in New York where the Lou Maltese Memorial & Arthur Zimmerman Cup are awarded.
|Boston Sunday Globe - October 20, 1895|
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