The English word is said in some dictionaries to be probably not from French, but the 1868 citations are in a French context: The velocipedes, about which the Parisians have run mad at the present moment, are of various kinds. ... The two wheel velocipedes, the bicycles as they are styled, are intended for the male sex only, and are by far the swiftest machines. ["Supplement to the Courant," Hartford, Conn., Dec. 16, 1868]. Pierre Lallement, employee of a French carriage works, improved Macmillan's 1839 pedal velocipede in 1865 and took the invention to America. See also pennyfarthing. As a verb, from 1869.
The velocipede of 1869 was worked by treadles operating cranks on the axle oi the front wheel. This was modified in the earliest form of the bicycle by greatly increasing the relative size of the driving-wheel and bringing the rider directly over it. Later the "safety" bicycle was introduced, in which the wheels were made of equal or nearly equal size, and for the direct action upon the front wheel was substituted indirect action upon the rear wheel, by means of a chain and sprocket-wheels .... [Century Dictionary]
1819, "wheeled vehicle propelled by alternate thrusts of each foot on the ground," 1819, from French vélocipède (19c.), from Latin velox (genitive velocis) "swift, speedy" (see velocity) + pedem, accusative of pes "foot" (from PIE root *ped- "foot"). The mechanical ancestor of the bicycle, it was tinkered with and improved; the name continued for some time and was applied to an early kind of modern bicycle or tricycle from 1849. See bicycle (n.).
The Velocipede has been introduced into England, under letters patent, by Mr. Johnson, a coachmaker in Long-Acre, by whom it has been greatly improved, both in lightness and strength. "The road from Ipswich to Whitton," says the Bury paper, "is travelled every evening by several pedestrian hobby-horses; no less than six are seen at a time, and the distance, which is 3 miles, is performed in 15 minutes." [The Athenaeum, May 1, 1819]
late 14c., cicle, "perpetual circulating period of time, on the completion of which certain phenomena return in the same order," especially and originally in reference to astronomical phenomena, from Old French cicle and directly from Late Latin cyclus, from Greek kyklos "circle, wheel, any circular body," also "circular motion, cycle of events," from PIE kw(e)-kwl-o-, a suffixed, reduplicated form of the root *kwel- (1) "to revolve, move round."
From 1660s as "any recurring round of operations or events" (as in life cycle). From 1821 as "single complete period in a cycle." Extended by 1842 to "any long period of years, an age." In literary use, "the aggregate of the legends or traditions around some real or mythical event or character" (1835).
By 1884 as "recurring series of oscillations or operations in an engine, etc." From 1870 as short for motorcycle; by 1881 as short for bicycle or tricycle.