Anthony Bourdain (I'm not sure if it was his old "No Reservations" show or his newer CNN show) went to Myanmar where there were human-powered Ferris wheels. People paid for the ride, then enjoyed it while a crew of young athletic men got it to spin up by leaping up, letting gravity drag them down, and then running with the wheel to accelerate it, letting go as their grip began to ascend. Some of them went leaping about in the spokes to similar effect, like highly athletic human hamsters. It was somewhat frightening to watch but very effective.
Hey, I found a YouTube video of it, though not of the Bourdain footage: