Friday, May 06, 2016

MAMILs: Middle-Aged Men In Lycra

Let’s fill London with cars

From Spiked:

...Last week, around 100 green activists staged a die-in outside the Department of Transport in central London. The protesters, all cyclists, were calling for cleaner air and demanding that the new mayor do something about it. As protesters brandishing ‘stop killing cyclists’ placards wandered around in their high-vis jackets and panniers, it was hard not to be a little sceptical. The new green fanaticism, which hates everything mechanised and embraces all things natural, is intolerant. Rather than putting forward better ideas for how London could expand and accommodate both cyclists and drivers, these greens demand that London drivers be curtailed. ‘The drivers should stay indoors’ one MAMIL (middle-aged man in lycra) told Spiked...

That's the first I've heard of the "MAMIL" term, which apparently originated in this 2010 BBC story (Rise of the Mamils: middle-aged men in lycra):

Every weekend, across the nation's rolling countryside, watch out for the Mamils: middle-aged men in lycra.

And ladies, if you have a man at home taking an unusual interest in how you shave your legs, you may have a Mamil in the making too.

Research conducted by the retail analyst Mintel suggests there has been a surge in the number of middle-aged men choosing to get on two wheels. Given the number of men aged 35-44 who are buying fancy-pants road racing machines, is this a 21st Century mid-life crisis? Has the silence of skinny tyres and carbon fibre framesets replaced the thunderous noise of motorbikes?

...The past three years have seen the rise of the uber-techno, super-flashy, full-carbon fibre, bobby-dazzler road bike. The market for these bikes has expanded faster than a 45-year-old's waistline, partly thanks to the success of the British cycling stars at the Beijing Olympics. Marketing departments have produced smart advertising messages that encourage a bit of freedom, elite performance and memories of teenage derring-do.

And the result can be seen on Saturday and Sunday mornings as middle-aged blokes polish the rear derailleur, lower the mirrored shades and pedal into the hills. Every couple of weeks, you'll see a girth of Mamils gathering to race a "Sportive", a form of amateur competing that has taken the British cycling world by storm...

Rob's comment:
You see them here in Progressive Land, too, the old guys on bikes trying to be with-it, their grey ponytails blowing in the breeze.

But if the aging, would-be cool bike guy is going to work, he has to settle for this look:

Gabriel Metcalf

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