Tuesday, 14 December 2010
'MAMILS' IN THE MEDIA.
I've seen a lot in the media recently about 'MAMILs'. This is an acronym for'Middle Aged Men In Lycra'. Apparently the middle aged man these days is not bothering to buy a sports car as an outward sign of a mid-life crisis. No what mid-life crisis men are doing now is buying high end road bikes- putting on lycra and zipping along our highways and byways.
Market research and other studies have been carried out that show one of the main reasons people cycle is to keep fit and burn off the fat (41%). These reports also claim that those aged 45 - 54 enjoy cycling the most - the younger riders tend to view commuting as the number one reason to ride a bike.(The accepted age for MAMILs is 35 - 54)
Now the thing with middle aged men is that for them to really enjoy their hobby and sport they feel that they have to spend lots of money on it. Hence the top end bikes - top of the range everything...! Shoes - socks - mitts - helmet- and the lycra.
I suppose that all these extra people riding bikes can only be a good thing - the more cyclists about on the roads can only help but change attitudes to cyclists in general as well as making the roads safer. According to the latest reports 42% of the population now see cycling as a 'cool' activity to be involved in so you would think that being a 'MAMIL' would also be seen as cool. However the term tends to be used more as a form of that good old British trait of laughing at ourselves.
If you mention to someone that your a keen cyclist one of the first things that you seem to get asked is 'do you wear lycra'? Now I would agree that wearing lycra is not going to be very flattering if you are a middle-aged man with a paunch.
However, because cycling is such a good way of keeping fit and maintaining a good trim well shaped body it follows that you won't see many lycra clad paunches around. Most of the MAMILS that I see look in pretty good shape.
Now as far as I am concerned I have been a lycra wearer for years. Because I am one of those riders who likes to 'go fast' on whatever bike I am riding be that a tourer -sportive - trainer etc - I've found it to be the most comfortable thing to wear on a bike.
I have tried other things such as 'proper' touring shorts and loose fit jerseys but these styles of cycling kit don't cut it for me - they tend to flap around in the wind and just feel uncomfortable.
Whether I fit into the MAMIL grouping is debatable - the age group the report quoted of 35 - 54 means that I am too old . In about five weeks time I will be 63 years young so I don't really think that I fit comfortably into the group although I do seem to fit quite comfortably into my lycra.
This means that I will have to come up with my own acronym. I have had my thinking helmet on and I have come up with.......GOGIL.... Yes I must be a GOGIL.
GRUMPY OLD GIT IN LYCRA...............!!!
Yes I am a grumpy old git in the stretchy stuff.