If you’re a cyclist in San Francisco I’m guessing you will be massively jealous of the Trampe Bicycle Lift, located in Trondheim, Norway. It’s nothing new (operating since 1993) but the system invented by Jarle Wanwik remains the first and only bike lift in the world. Here’s a quick explanation of its operation from Wikipedia:
“Use of Trampe is free. When using the lift, the right foot is placed on the starting point (the left foot stays on the bicycle pedal). After pushing the start button, the user is pushed forward and a footplate emerges. A common mistake among tourists and other first-time users is that they don’t keep their right leg outstretched and their body tilted forward. This makes it hard to maintain balance on the footplate, and can result in falling off. In the summer months, Trampe is used extensively by both commuting inhabitants of Trondheim and tourists.“
Trondheim, Norway, boasts a unique and innovative piece of urban infrastructure known as the Trampe Bicycle Lift, or “Trampe Sykkelheisen” in Norwegian. This pedal-powered marvel, inaugurated in 1993, is the world’s first and, at the time of its creation, the only bicycle lift of its kind.
Situated in the hilly heart of Trondheim, the Trampe Bicycle Lift offers cyclists a helping hand, or rather, foot, in conquering the city’s challenging terrain. It consists of a series of metal tracks embedded in the pavement and a footplate attached to a cable system. Cyclists place their right foot on the footplate, push off, and the lift mechanism propels them uphill at a leisurely 2.5 meters per second.
The Trampe Bicycle Lift not only promotes cycling as an eco-friendly mode of transportation but also encourages physical activity. This sustainable solution has become an iconic feature of Trondheim’s urban landscape, showcasing the city’s commitment to green mobility and innovation. As a testament to its success, similar bicycle lifts have since been introduced in other cities worldwide, but Trondheim remains the birthplace of this ingenious invention, reminding us that creative thinking can make urban cycling both practical and enjoyable.