The upright cyclist rides without concern for racing, lyrca, or the conventions of the roadie and been doing so since the 1800s. Urban, in plain-clothes, Cycle-Chic, or whatever you call it, riding for pleasure isn’t new. Just discovered by another generation of cyclists who think they invented it.

Humping in this context means “working and riding hard.”

The author of “War and Peace” took his first bicycling lesson at age 67, only a month after the death of his 7-year-old son, Vanichka. He was still grieving, and the Moscow Society of Velocipede-Lovers provided him a free bike and instruction along the garden paths on his estate. He became a devotee, taking rides after his morning chores. “Count Leo Tolstoy … now rides the wheel,” declared Scientific American in 1896, “much to the astonishment of the peasants on his estate.” A close friend noted: “Tolstoy has learned to ride a bicycle. Is this not inconsistent with Christian ideals?”

He rode the wheel with a seat raised.

Source: NYT