Not every cyclist has monster thighs or an electric bike (or access to switchbacks, for that matter). Trondheim, Norway, has a solution for those of us with Gumby legs: the Trampe CycloCable.
The city built “the world’s first bicycle lift intended for urban areas” in 1993, and over the next 15 years it ferried some 200,000 cyclists up the 426-foot Brubakken hill. The way it works is that you stand on your bike with your left foot and rest your right on a foot plate that looks like a track-and-field starting block; the plate runs on a recessed cable that winches you up the hill.
Last year, Trondheim made safety upgrades, and now the CycloCable is functional again:
The lift is meant to be low-profile, with the majority of its structure underground — no cables or wires to trip up pedestrians. Six cyclists can ride it at once, and it will work on up to 20-degree inclines. The Trampe website says that “cities in Europe, USA, Canada and Far East countries like South Korea … all have plans for installing bicycle lifts in the coming years.” Can hilly Seattle please be next?!