Norway has commissioned world’s first bike escalator that will assist cyclists tackle the country’s steeper climbs.
Cycling is a great mode of urban transport. It is a great cardiovascular exercise, it is eco-friendly, and it costs next to nothing. However, the urban commuter’s worst possible nightmare, besides the speed-hungry motorists, is going uphill. These steep climbs take a severe toll on the cyclists, leaving them drained and exhausted, sometimes making them question their choice of transport.
To ensure cyclists have faith in their human-powered two-wheelers and continue commuting on these environment-friendly zero-carbon-emission machines, the government of Norway has deployed the world’s first escalator meant to send these cyclists zooming uphill with minimal effort, reported the Daily Mail.
Known as the bike capital of Norway, Trondheim residents can now comfortably ditch their gas-guzzling vehicles for bikes without worrying about pedaling up a steep hill. Though only deployed on a big-scale now, the concept is quite old. Way back in 1992, Jarle Wanvik, a cyclist commuter himself, invented the Trampe lift to help him get to work each day without showing up soaked in sweat and exhausted.
Needless to say, his unique vision for a bike lift that could pull cyclists uphill has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Trondheim. Though the escalator is a strong crowd-puller for its novelty factor, it is helping throngs of bicyclists get to work without feeling deterred about taking their bike, reported Most Epic Stuff.
The same bike escalator, envisioned by Jarle and which has been used by more than 200,000 bicyclists over the last 15 years, has been given a facelift along with some major modifications and upgrades. It is officially referred to as CycloCable.
Surprisingly, the CycloCable borrows heavily from the traditional ski lift found near most resorts that are located alongside mountain slopes. While a majority of the components are located just beneath the ground, a simple footrest is all that is seen. Since the bike lift is made for crowded urban areas, it was designed to be concealed and discrete so that it does not dominate the environment or present any dangers to people and property.
Though meant primarily for cyclists, citizens have been using it in multiple circumstances, too. The CycloCable takes bike riders up a harsh incline that stretches just over 426 feet. Every 65 feet, the CycloCable has the capacity to carry another cyclist, giving a maximum of 360 bike riders a lift each hour. Five people with bikes in tow can ride up the escalator at one time.
Though the bike escalator is the need of every town, it is quite expensive at $2,000-3,000 just to build a single meter of this unique elevator system.
[Image Credit: Trampe]