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“When I’m on my bike, I feel a sense of freedom.”

Carla Suárez Navarro is a world-ranked Spanish tennis player – and an enthusiastic rider of a Riese & Müller Tinker. She lives in Barcelona where its "superblocks" are regarded as a clever measure for rapid traffic flows. They also serve as a model for traffic projects in this country ("#Kiezblocks"). Carla talked to us and Esteve Ripoll from the Spanish magazine 'Mountain Biker' about mobility in Barcelona and the benefits of a compact e-bike in everyday life.

Carla, you are riding a Riese & Müller Tinker. Can I ask you what you use this bike for and what you like most about it?
Yeah, I mean this bike is amazing, you know. And when I ride my bike to tennis practice, I feel a real sense of freedom. I also ride it with my friends as it is not too heavy, you know? In my opinion, it’s perfect for the city. I mean I really like it, in fact I am in love with this bike.

Do you use it for commuting? Do you ride it to the tennis club?
I ride it whenever I can. I don't live too far from the tennis court, so it’s really good. You know, when I’m on my bike, I feel a real sense of freedom. I like that feeling so much. You know, the traffic here in Barcelona can sometimes be difficult, but you don't have that problem with the bike, which I really love.

  • "Superblocks" - Barcelona's gridlock remedy.

    Up to nine residential blocks are combined and closed to through traffic. The space gained will be redistributed among road users, so that pedestrians and cyclists in particular will benefit. Outside this superblock, traffic will continue to flow as usual. Thus, new green spaces, places to stay and meeting areas will be created on former parking lots.

  • Carla, have you ever explored one of Barcelona's "superblocks" with the Tinker?

    Yes, I have had the opportunity to ride my bike through some superblocks and it is a great experience. Knowing that there are fewer cars and that pedestrians and bikes have priority, it's safer and I really like that. Less pollution and less noise increase the quality of life and make the city quieter and more pleasant.
    For those of us who live in Barcelona and like to travel by bike, it's the best thing that could happen to us. I am very happy with this project.

Swing. Carla. Tinker. Photos: © Ezequiel Sánchez

Barcelona is not a flat city! Parts of it are actually very steep. But I understand that this is really easy with the Tinker.
Yeah, it's much easier because it's electric and the bike gives you the boost you need when the streets go up and down. And yeah, I am really happy. I love that bike – it’s one of my favourite bikes.

And do you also use it when you go out? I mean either on trips or with friends?
Sometimes I head into the mountains with friends. You know, it’s perfect for relaxing. I need that from time to time to disconnect from the city and this bike is just so comfortable. You can use it in the city as well as in the mountains. That's the really positive aspect of this bike. So, I am so happy whenever I can use it. I ride it and really feel great.

Can you describe this bike in just one sentence?
Amazing! (laughs.)