Need a Lift? Road Elevator Boosts Cyclists up Steep Hills

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If there’s a particularly daunting hill on your cycling or stroller-pushing route, you may have already thought to yourself, “I wish there were some kind of magical contraption that could haul me to the top.” Like… a bicycle escalator, or something. Well, that thing actually exists: it’s called the Trampe CycloCable. This motorized aid was built into the street in Tronheim, Norway to give a little help to anyone trying to get up an 18% grade hill on wheels.

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The prototype was built in 1993, and the Trampe has pushed over 200,000 cyclists up the hill since then. The design was upgraded in 2013 to meet new safety regulations, and a new industrialized version will be introduced to the international market.

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Using it is pretty simple: you position your bicycle 10 centimeters away from and parallel to the lift rail, with your left pedal in a lower position. While standing astride your bike, put your left foot on the left bike pedal, and your right foot in the start slot of the lift. Push the green ‘start’ button and it’ll gently haul you up the hill.

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People riding scooters or pushing strollers use the lift, as well. It moves about five feet per second and can extend up to 1,640 feet. Maybe we won’t see these installed on every hill in town anytime soon, but for the steepest of the steep, it would probably be a pretty welcome addition.