Anyone who has ridden their bike in a city for any amount of time has run across that steep hill which looks like it would be impossible to surmount, but in the case of Trondheim, Norway’s Brubakken Hill, riders have nothing to fear thanks to the city’s unique CycloCable.
First introduced in 1993 as the “Trampe,” the bike escalator was invented by a Trondheim cyclist who was simply tired of exhausting himself climbing the hill to work each morning. To fix this issue, he developed a system by which, at the push of a button, a footplate emerges from a track in the ground to push riders up the hill. A cyclist, staying on their bike, places their right foot on the plate and it ferries both the cyclist and their ride all the way up before disappearing back into the track.
The first version of the lift was taken out in 2012 and replaced with an updated version in 2013 going by the sleek new name of “CycloCable.” The new escalator included a number of safety improvements and a promotional push to increase interest in cycling in the city. The system is also being shopped to other major cities around the world so the strange lift may become more commonplace in the future. However, the prohibitive cost of the rail system (between $2,400 and $3,200 a yard) might keep the system limited to Trondheim.
Each day the lift is used as a commuter transportation by travelers on bikes, riding their strollers or scooters, really anything with wheels that can support a rider. However, the question remains: why they didn’t simply install an escalator?