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Interactive video lesson plan for: Reinventing the Wheel Qingdao, China

Activity overview:

If you're looking for a new, hip way to get around look no further. One Chinese man has invented a new bike that is sure to, well, make you laugh.

Who says the wheel is round?

Retired Chinese military officer Guan Baihua has created an edgy version of the traditional bicycle wheel.

He's even patented his new design, in case it catches on.

Guan had been mulling over the idea for years, until inspiration came quite unexpectedly.

[Guan Baihua, Bicycle Inventor]:
"I started thinking, can I invent a bike with a non-circular wheel? But I did not believe that I could actually do it until the end of 2006, one day I was watching television and rolling a triangular pencil and I discovered that though I was rolling it I couldn't feel my hand bumping up and down. So I started to work out how to put the shape and the bicycle together."

Unlike circular wheels, these wheels have no set radius. Instead they have an unchanging diameter, so as they turn, the wheels remain at a constant height.

The cyclist is protected from a bumpy ride by pivoting joints which keep the frame separate from the jolting wheels.

Pushing the triangular and pentagonal wheels along the road is hard work so its fastest speed is still only a brisk walking pace. And it can be a wobbly take-off. But that doesn't deter people from trying.

[Deng Xiuli, Qingdao Resident]:
"I thought it looked strange with these shapes and at first I couldn't handle it but then the more you ride it becomes quite smooth, its fun."

After spending 18 months perfecting this creation, Guan has no further inventions in mind.

For the moment, he is content to think of himself as the man who reinvented the wheel.

Tagged under: ntd,NTDTV,news,Reinventing,Wheel,Qingdao,China,bike,Chinese,military,officer,bicycle,wheel,television,triangular,pencilng,invention,Ride

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