In the last days and weeks a lot blogs or generally transport-related sites were writing about the Trondheim Cyclo Cable or Trampe. As it turns this installation isn’t a new thing. In fact it has been around for over 20 years, so why does it pop up now? Well, one reason might be, that they redesigned it. Another, that they teamed up with a ski lift company to patent the technology. So, they are ready to finally market the product and needed some well-deserved attention.
So what’s all the fuzz about. Basically they upgraded a sidewalk in Trondheim to be some ind of bike-escalator. There s a track with some kind of subterranean conveyor belt, that every 20 metres or so has a pushplate attached to it. You ust step on the plate with your right foot, keep the left on your bike pedal and let yourself be pushed uphill. As it turns out, it works just as fine for strollers, rollers and balance practice.
Luckily for us Berlin cyclists we will probably never need something like that, unless the 30-odd metres of elevation between Alexanderplatz and our bike-depot. Prenzlauer Berg (Berg ~ mountain) is not the only district with a misleading name. It seems like everything that’s remotely higher than the average sidewalk gets a „Berg“ attached to its‘ name. Just imagine how empty and rural Berlin must have been like to call something like the tiny hills south of the city „Schöneberg“. But rest assured, in over 10 years of bike tours in Berlin, no one ever didn’t manage to climb these hills. Maybe the Kreuzberg/Viktoriapark is a challenge for some, but that doesn’t really count, since it is at least partyl artificial .
Ok back to topic: In flat cities like Berlin, something like that would just be an excuse to lazy people to be even more lazy. But in hilly surroundings – think of San Francisco or a place like Genoa – I think technology like that could be a huge push towards more bike-commuting and therefore less traffic, less pollution and more fun on your daily runs. Do you have that special hill that made you use the car instead of a bike? Where would you put one of these?