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.

Hans-Erhard Lessing (Drais' biographer) found from circumstantial evidence that Drais' interest in finding an alternative to the horse was the starvation and death of horses caused by crop failure in 1816, the Year Without a Summer following the volcanic eruption of Tambora in 1815).

The dandies, the Corinthians of the Regency, adopted it, and therefore the poet John Keats referred to it as "the nothing" of the day.

Riders wore out their boots surprisingly rapidly, and the fashion ended within the year, after riders on pavements (sidewalks) were fined two pounds.

The earliest comes from a sketch said to be from 1534 and attributed to Gian Giacomo Caprotti, a pupil of Leonardo da Vinci.

In 1998 Hans-Erhard Lessing described this as a purposeful fraud.

Johnson's machine was an improvement on Drais's, being notably more elegant: his wooden frame had a serpentine shape instead of Drais's straight one, allowing the use of larger wheels without raising the rider's seat.

During the summer of 1819, the "hobby-horse", thanks in part to Johnson's marketing skills and better patent protection, became the craze and fashion in London society.The first verifiable claim for a practically used bicycle belongs to German Baron Karl von Drais, a civil servant to the Grand Duke of Baden in Germany.Drais invented his Laufmaschine (German for "running machine") in 1817, that was called Draisine (English) or draisienne (French) by the press.However, in 1866 Paris a Chinese visitor named Bin Chun could still observe foot-pushed velocipedes.New names were introduced when Johnson patented his machine “pedestrian curricle” or “velocipede,” but the public preferred nicknames like “hobby-horse,” after the children’s toy or, worse still, “dandyhorse,” after the foppish men who often rode them.The first mechanically propelled two-wheel vehicle is believed by some to have been built by Kirkpatrick Mac Millan, a Scottish blacksmith, in 1839.