Here's an 1879 letter published in Washington's Evening Star entitled "In Praise of Bicycling." Much of it sounds like it could be written today.
I do not know anything that compares with bicycle riding as a healthful, invigorating, and fascinating exercise; healthful because it brings into energetic, but not excessive, action so very many muscles; invigorating on account of the fresh air, the rapid motion and the constant change of scene which are it's accompaniments; fascinating, because - how shall I express it or how can I convey to anyone not a bicyclists any accurate idea of the ever increasing delight to the rider of "the silent steed." ...The bicycle is a steed that always can be depended on; one does not need to learn it's gaits, it's tricks, every time a new steed is tried nor incur annual expenses of $200 to $500 for board and shoeing.
The whole thing is at the top of the far right column.