I’m not the first to address the issue of MAMILs [that honour goes to the BBC] and doubt I’ll be the last. The UK cycling scene, particularly urban cycling is suffering from a recent glut of MAMILS. They’re so prevalent that the word’s made it into the latest update to the Collins Dictionary .
I can’t take credit for the acronym, but I’ve sat behind enough straining seams to be an expert in the subject. The genus has two species; the urban MAMIL and the road MAMIL. They’re not to be confused. The road MAMIL is mainly a pack creature and limited to two habitats; the road and the café. Urban MAMILs are more solitary and adventure into office receptions, trains, parks even supermarkets.
Cycling’s still a statement for many in the UK and what better way to make that statement than to vacuum pack yourself in figure hugging lycra. The urban middle-aged male commuter is at the extreme of this line of the species. These are often “born again” having rediscovered cycling through a combination of a company medical assessment, a bike-to-work discount scheme and the fact that their seven-year-old daughter leaves them for dead on the hills.
Age-wise I fall into the category and I cycle to work wearing lycra (a journey of more than 15 to 30 miles depending on the route). After cycling to work and
freaking out bumping into a female colleague in our reception once, I always carry a pair of cotton shorts to slip over my cycling shorts. It saves embarrassement all round.