How many times have you contentedly ambled through a beautiful lakeside town, hand in hand with your other half, when they’ve turned to ask, ‘Fancy a quick Twiz?’ Not many, I’d imagine. And if you’re now looking quizzically at the screen, please let me explain.
During a weekend away with the other half I had the good fortune to stay in a few Best Westerns. While we had a fantastic stay at Best Western Shap Wells Hotel and Best Western Grasmere Red Lion Hotel – where we saw red squirrels at point whisker range and swam, sauna-ed, steamed and dined five-course style (though not all at the same time) – it was actually a wander past Best Western Ambleside Salutation Hotel that led me to discover this most electrifying of pastimes. (I’m sorry; I couldn’t resist that.) It was at this point that my other half asked that aforementioned, fateful question and I began to unravel the definition of ‘twizzing’.
‘To Twiz’ is to hire and drive, nay, whizz around in a Twizy car – a two-seater electric vehicle. And, if like me, when confronted with this two-man electric car you’re keen know more about how to Twiz, then let me enlighten you.
Welcome to Twiz Club. These are the rules of Twiz Club:
- 1.Don’t think that because it doesn’t have windows and it’s raining horizontally that you won’t have fun. You will.
- 2.Decide how long you want it for, then times that by three. No, seriously, take my word for it, you’ll want it longer than you think and doing this simple calculation means you don’t have to bribe the other half to ring the lovely ladies at the hotel and ask to extend the hire again, because you’ve already called them up twice to extend and now it’s getting embarrassing.
- 3.Try to put your excitement aside and pay attention when the lovely man runs you through all the buttons. I later pressed one that I couldn’t recall what it was for, paralysing the Twizy and blocking an entire entrance to an NCP car park, despite it being about a third of the size of a normal car. Which leads me naturally on to…
- 4.Road presence. Be aware that you are literally the smallest thing on the road, and that it’s great!
- 5.Don’t be alarmed by the silence – it is on, I promise. Perhaps that’s obvious, but, seriously, electric cars make ZERO noise – weird. Even more reason to…
- 6.Try the horn. It’s hilarious. But use sparingly (though not entirely certain this uses any charge, we did curtail use based on a fear of having to give ‘excessive horn use’ as our reason for breakdown, should we be stranded).
- 7.Practice your waving. You get a lot of looks so you may as well acknowledge them. Plus all the gawping does mean your fellow drivers are far more courteous and happy to let you out. Be warned, this is not the case with pedestrians. Owing to the quietness, they never hear you coming. This may simply be a localised problem; here in the Lakes, the rambling bipeds have become accustomed to the idea that because this is walking country that’s licence to wander freely, cattle-like in the middle of the road. Waving –for safety reasons, please get your passenger to do this – may alleviate this traffic issue. Or better still, use the horn.
- 8.Do squeal like a schoolgirl. In fact try to stop yourself. I defy anybody not to be utterly flabbergasted at the notion and experience of whizzing 1489ft up onto Kirkstone Pass, driving through the clouds once on it, before dropping into a valley where Ullswater can just be seen, glinting away, through a small v-shaped portal formed between cloud and two mountain sides. And all in something that resembles an egg carton.
- 9.Parallel park in a conventional drive-in/reverse-in parking bay. Just because you can.
- 10.Know your speed – top speed, that is. Probably didn’t need to say that one. Pretty much the first thing anyone would do, isn’t it? Oh, and 43mph.
So, how d’you fancy a quick Twiz?
Twizy cars are available in a number of locations across Great Britain, the Lake District being just one. To find your nearest Twizy hire point, contact Best Western or ask in any of the Best Western hotel receptions. Every one we asked was more than happy to help.