Automobiles were the toys of the rich before they ever became serious transportation for the masses. It's no small wonder the same occured for bicycles.
Originally posted by velocipedio
The interesting thing is that cycling appears to have been a sport before it evolved into a means of transportation. The first bicycles and velocipedes were useed as amusements and pastimes, and not as practical means of getting from one point to another. In fact, the bicycle's popularity in Europe as a means of transportation is due, in large part, to the road and velodrome racing craze that swept the continent in the 1870s-1890s.
No offense LBM, but I think you have it backward. :)