Xu Quan Long has taken his…

Academic Xu Quan Long has taken his bizarre contraption to the streets of  Beijing to show people his discovery – which has raised more than a few eyebrows  with other road users.

‘It is quite slow and looks like very hard work to steer and control,’ said  one of the large, wooden device, whichrequires complicated gearing to allow it  to even move.

Xu said he stumbled across the discovery while  studying the works of legendary ancient Chinese inventor Lu Ban, who was born  more than 2,500 years ago. Lu is credited with inventing  devastating military weapons like a counterweighted ‘cloud ladder’ for storming  castle defences, and a ‘wooden bird’ that could supposedly glide for three days  without landing.

The earliest verified examples of cycle-type  devices weren’t developed until to 19th century – first in the form of the  ‘draisine’ or ‘velocipede’, a walking-powered two-wheeled device invented by  German engineer Baron Karl von Drais  in 1817, and briefly popular with  dandies.

A variety of pedal-powered devices with varying numbers of wheels appeared  over the next few decades, but it wasn’t until the invention of the metal-framed  ‘boneshakers’ in France in the 1860’s that cycling really began to achieve any  popularity. But Xu now wants to challenge the accepted history, and  is asking Chinese government officials to recognise Lu Ban as the cycle’s true  inventor.

Read more: Metro Co UK / Weird



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