Zen or not zen?

I’ve done quite a few miles on the NIU now and decided that there’s a mindset needed if I’m going to enjoy riding it.

28mph is a good speed on an empty road, and often it’s plenty fast enough to keep up with urban traffic which is crawling from one set of traffic lights to the next.

On an empty road it’s quite pleasant to set the cruise control and enjoy the ride (while keeping a look out for hazards) – certainly zen.

In urban traffic it’s Ok to pootle behind the car in front, and occasionally leapfrog a couple. Possibly zen.

On a quite road where the limit is 30mph or higher, that’s where there is no zen. I’ve been overtaken on quiet 30mph roads – once quite dangerously – by impatient drivers (who I generally catch up at the next junction!). There is a mindset of some drivers that cyclists will be familiar with – it’s called MGIF or Must Get In Front.

The NIU doesn’t cope particularly well with hills, or even inclines – it’ll keep up a speed on a long incline, but not top speed. This can be a particular problem if starting from zero at the bottom of a hill. It’s even more of a problem in traffic. The machine needs more torque.

Zen? Sometimes.