Among other things, Trondheim is known for being Norway’s third largest city, for its jazz scene, and as the butt of several Monty Python jokes (the “Trondheim Hammer Dance” involved old ladies striking each other with clubs). And now for something else: as the site of an unusual form of transport.
Set on a particularly steep hill, the Trampe is a motorized aid for cyclists. It’s pretty simple, working much like a nursery slope ski lift. While sitting in the saddle, you stick out a foot, resting it on a steel plate. The cable loop starts whirring, and you and the bike start traveling upwards, no effort required.
See a video here:
The Trampe, which moves at a sedate five feet per second, originally opened in the 1990s, before falling into disrepair. It reopened last summer, now running at no charge to the user. Its makers, who want to sell the idea to other cities, say it has a maximum capacity of 360 cyclists an hour, and can extend up to 1,640 feet.
You might say a lift is a wimp’s way out and a loss of potential exercise. But as Treehugger points out, the hill is exceptionally steep (18% grade), and Trondheimers claim that it encourages cycling. I bet San Franciscans would love it.