(…and was as elitist as expected back then…)
New Orleans jumped onto the bandwagon, forming the New Orleans Bicycle Club (NOBC) in 1880. The NOBC’s evolution mirrored the changing times. Born first as a ‘gentleman’s club,’ they initially described themselves as “men of affairs of relatively high standing.” The less affluent were kept from membership by default, as they wouldn’t be likely to afford the expensive bicycles.
… Issues of race arose because the Northern cycling groups accepted applicants regardless of color, while the NOBC wasn’t ready to do that.