Ampler Commuter Stories: Alexandra’s 40 km ride with Stellar
Alexandra is a doctor, a nature lover and a mother of two daughters. She cycles 40 km every day to work and back as she believes in green energy, being kind to nature and wants to leave a clean planet for her children. We met up with Alexandra to talk about cycling and follow her journey on Ampler Stellar through the streets and suburbs of Berlin.
About her history with cycling:
My first bike was a red girl’s bike. I was very proud of it and rode it safely for 10 years.
At the age of 16, I moved from city to village, and my daily commute became a lot longer. Every day, I had to ride 5 km to school and back on a dirty, unpaved road. It was very hard and I lost my joy of cycling.
Once I moved to Münster for studies, the bike slowly became my preferred means of transportation again. Münster has a great bike infrastructure so I did all my daily commuter by bike. There is a great cycle path leading around the city centre and drivers are used to sharing the roads with cyclists, so cycling feels safe.
About cycling in big cities:
When I first came to Hamburg and later to Berlin, cycling was suddenly not so easy for me. Big cities seemed to be pure car cities where cyclists were always in danger of being overlooked.
In the first years in Berlin I tried to use various means of transport — car, scooter, subway — but nothing worked properly so I returned to my bicycle. But unfortunately cycling was too difficult for me because of the long distances and the lack of safe bike paths in Berlin.
Until I discovered Ampler in 2018. The advantage of riding an e-bike in a big city like Berlin is that I now have the power to commute 20 km because cycling is now just fun and not so exhausting.
My friend persuaded me to try an e-bike, just so I could get the feeling of it and better understand the benefits of electric bikes. We rented some e-bikes and rode around the city for a day.
I was surprised how enjoyable riding an e-bike felt! All the disadvantages of cycling such as heavy pedalling, strong headwinds and riding so slowly that the drivers behind you start to honk were no longer there. No distances felt too long and none of the hills felt too steep.
From then on, I went in search of a suitable e-bike. That wasn’t easy, because all the heavy city e-bike were out of the question for me. I wanted an e-bike that would look good and also be a sign of my personal attitude towards modern commerce and the sustainable use of resources.
After I raved about my ‘dream red e-bike’, my friend sent me a photo of the red Stellar. I went to Ampler’s website and read about the company’s story: Bike mechanics and cycling enthusiasts from Estonia make an e-bike that looks sporty and sleek, and has nothing to do with those heavy, chunky wheels you normally see with e-bikes.
I immediately thought it was super cool! I also really valued Ampler’s direct-to-consumer distribution without intermediaries.
About her Ampler Stellar:
Ever since I started commuting on my Stellar in 2018, my car and the metro are no longer alternatives for me. I just can’t imagine being stuck in a traffic jam daily or relying on the metro in Berlin any more.
Half of my commute to work leads through the city, the other half through dirt roads.
My Stellar is reliable and can cope with any terrain.
The only drawback is that I don’t want to park my bike on the streets, so every morning and evening I carry it up to my apartment. Altogether it takes around 5 minutes to do that, but that’s okay — for drivers, it takes up to 30 minutes just to find a parking space!
About the importance of green commuting:
Now, after a year with my Ampler I dream of a very long journey by bike — riding from Berlin to another country, or perhaps even a journey around the world on my Ampler. That would certainly take at least 2 years, but it would be a nice experience. Slow traveling, so you can really see everything and experience it properly. I haven’t used an airplane for already 8 years.
I often think what the world would be like if everyone in cities were cycling — if all drivers would switch their car for a bike. It would be nice if Berlin took an example of cycling cities like Münster, Amsterdam or Copenhagen. Our everyday life in Berlin would be much more pleasant, cleaner and less stressful. I wish that for myself and for my children.