While everyone loves cycling downhill, pedaling uphill is never a particularly enjoyable experience. And for that particular reason, a French company, POMA Group, designed a lift that would help cyclists travel upwards. The city of Trondheim in Norway is the only city to have this lift commonly called ‘Trampe’ and it is famous among cyclists throughout the world. Built in 1993, Trampe lets you travel uphill on a bicycle with practically no effort on your part at all. This is the exact reason why Trondhein is such a renowned tourist destination for cycling fanatics around the globe. With 200,000 cyclists having used the lift to go 130 meters uphill, no accidents have been reported so far.
In 2013, Trampe was remodeled into a more state-of-the-art version of the original lift and was given the name ‘CycloCable’. In terms of function, the new model is similar to a ski lift. The device is embedded into the road, with the placement of the design structure exactly below the surface of the street. Using the CycloCable is easy with the cyclist being required to only punch in a keycard into a designated slot and press the green button at the start station. The device does the rest. On the footplate, the cyclists is supposed to stand up on his bike, put his right foot on the plate and shift his body weight to his right side.
Once the position is set, the launching pad at the start station gives the cyclist a subtle nudge to increase his speed to 1.5 meters per second or at the most 2 meters per second. It has the capacity to handle at large, 300 cyclists per hour, can extend in length to about 1640 ft. and is engineered to sustain inclines of up to 18 percent grade.
With the success of the CycloCable, POMA Group has revealed plans to extend the project to other parts of the world as well. Several cities in Asia, North America and Europe have expressed great interest in the contraption but the manufacturers desire to test the stability of the machine for one more season before they introduce the rest of the world to the CycloCable. While on one hand, some die hard cycling fanatics may argue that the system is a shortcut and ruins the essence of the original sport, on the other hand, this system has led to a massive increase in the people who have taken up cycling as a sport recently. A 2007 survey in Trondheim suggested that the lift has caused 41% of residents to have been biking more often. Installation the CycloCable in another city, however is not as easy a task as it may sound. It required extensive engineering analysis, pilot demos and other legislative steps, not to mention the tedious task of securing funding because it costs almost as much as a new bike lane.
Meanwhile, Trondheim still retains its position as the biggest tourist attraction for cyclists with bicycle and key-cards available on rent. The CycloCable ride may seem a bit uncomfortable, the fact still remains that it saves you the effort of pedaling uphill which is what attracts other cities around the world to get this facility.