Is there a MAMIL - Middle-Aged Man in Lycra - in your life? Help is at hand
PUBLISHED: 21:15 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 21:15 09 May 2019
And suddenly they were everywhere. Chris McGuire has some advice is you have a MAMIL in your home
Is there a MAMIL in your house?
It used to be golf.
Men would hit a certain age (usually within spitting distance of 40) and they'd suddenly become obsessed with teeing off, plus fours and the 'perfect' set of clubs. There's something intrinsic, it would seem, in the average bloke's make-up that means when they reach an age when they can no longer be considered 'young' they begin to obsess about something that makes them feel youthful. It happens to us all.
These days golf is out and the age of the MAMIL has dawned.
What's a MAMIL? I hear you cry!
A Middle-Aged Man in Lycra.
Still no clearer?
Luckily, as a MAMIL myself, I'm in a position to elucidate.
MAMILs are cyclists, very keen (yet often not 'naturally gifted'), cyclists. And, in case you hadn't noticed, MAMILs are everywhere!
Still not sure? Here are some tell-tale signs to look out for, if you think you might have spotted a MAMIL:
1 Is he in Lycra?
A MAMIL, as the name suggests, all MAMILs will be dressed in this stretchy (and frankly unforgiving) material. Clad in cycling shorts, tights or (God help us) full 'skinsuits', we MAMILS are notable for our attempts to emulate the dress of our professional cyclist heroes. Seriously, Lycra leaves nothing to the imagination, especially in cold weather - if you catch my drift. In every MAMIL's head we're all convinced we look like Chris Froome or Bradley Wiggins in their 'oh-so-tight body suit'. The reality is most look like they've been shrink wrapped.
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2 Has he shaved his legs?
Male pro cyclists shave their legs. Why they do this is disputed, but it's just something they do. So MAMILs, obsessed with looking like professional cyclists, shave their legs too - often with mixed results. The first time I shaved my legs the bathroom looked like a scene from a slasher movie. Let's leave it there.
3 Does he have a VERY expensive bike?
This may seem like an odd thing to say, but many MAMILs will tell you just how expensive their bike was at the drop of a hat. Merely walking past one is often enough to have the price shouted at you. Sadly my bike wasn't vastly expensive, but I wouldn't tell you that!
4 Is he seated outside a coffee shop (in full cycling gear)?
The coffee shop is the natural habitat of us MAMILs - somewhere we can sit and show off our bikes, Lycra and newly shaved legs. Personally I much prefer looking like I've just been for a ride than actually doing the ride itself. Cycling is HARD work! It's much more fun having a latte and getting a tan.
5 Is he riding a bike?
Sometimes MAMILs are also seen actually riding their vastly expensive bikes. Sometimes.
So, is there a MAMIL in your house? I'd suspect someone you know is part of this ever-growing movement.
Do you find your razors are becoming blunt for no good reason?
Does your fella lock himself in the bedroom for hours 'trying on' items of clothing that arrived in post?
Did a mortgage-sized lump of cash leave your joint bank account at roughly the same time as a bike that looks like it was designed by NASA arrived in your garage?
If you do know a MAMIL, please let me recommend my new book, The Modern MAMIL: How to look pro, illustrated by another MAMIL - the amazing Spencer Wilson. This book gives a funny look at MAMIL culture and the desire of portly middle-aged riders to be mistaken for international cycling champs. Published by Ice House Books, it's sure to go down well with any MAMIL - not as well as a new pair of ill-fitting cycling tights, but still pretty well!