Trampe Bicycle Lift



Cable Propelled Bicycle?

Trampe Bicycle Lift, Image From

One of the things I genuinely love about Cable Propelled Transit, is its near constant ability to surprise me. The moment I begin to think I’ve seen it all, then something else lands on my desk.

The Trampe bicycle lift system is a fifteen year old invention by Norwegian Engineer, Jarle Wanvik. It operates in Trondheim, Norway and it is the only lift of its kind in the world, though rumour has it that Vancouver, Seattle, Quebec City and Ithaca are all interested in the technology.

It’s a simple and logical concept: For casual cyclists, hills are a major barrier to increased bicycle use. The Trampe makes riding uphill simple.

Cyclists pay a nominal fee to use the lift through the use of pre-paid key cards. Moving cables below the road surface propel a small foot pad that cyclists use to speed up the hill. Up to 5 cyclists can use the device at a time.

Trampe Bicycle Lift in Use

The Trampe website claims that 20-30,000 people use the lift per year and there has not been a single accident. The site also claims that the existence of the Trampe has increased bicycle usage by 41%. (I highly doubt the number to be that high as it’s almost impossible to prove clear cause-and-effect, but I digress.)

What fascinates me is that the Trampe is nothing more than a play on the old San Francisco cable cars. For those who don’t know, the San Francisco cable cars operate in almost the exact same manner as the Trampe. The vehicles were propelled from below by underground cables. The vehicles above can detach and attach at will.

Stuff like the Trampe isn’t just a curiosity or an oddity. It shows once again, that cable is not a niche technology and is limited purely by your imagination.

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