Vehicles for human transport that have two wheels and require balancing by the rider date back to the early 19th century. The first means of transport making use of two wheels arranged consecutively, and thus the archetype of the bicycle, was the German draisine dating back to 1817. The term bicycle was coined in France in the 1860s.
The earliest comes from a sketch said to be from 1493 and attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci. In 1998 Hans-Erhard Lessing described this as a purposeful fraud. However, the authenticity of the bicycle sketch is still vigorously maintained by followers of Prof. Augusto Marinoni, a lexicographer and philologist, who was entrusted by the Commissione Vinciana of Rome with the transcription of da Vinci's Codex Atlanticus.
Later, and equally unverified, is the contention that Comte de Sivrac developed a célérifère in 1791, demonstrating it at the Palais-Royal in France.