Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Parkour spin-off?

Impressed as I am by Le Parkour, this post on Drijfzand immediately drew my attention. Take parkour, add a wheelbarrow and freestyle wheelbarrowing is born. Check out this little video.

The wheelbarrow is usually traced to China, where there are a number of competing claims. Invented around the 2nd century CE it is usually credited to Zhuge Liang, advisor to the Shu-Han Dynasty from 197 to 234 CE, who had it developed as a transport for military supplies. The design was with a large single central wheel around which a wooden box was constructed but it was soon adapted to a design with two handles for pulling.

The first indications of wheelbarrows in Europe are from illustrations in the 13th century. It was in Europe that the design was reversed with the wheel moving from the centre to the front of the box and the motive power to the rear.