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Middle-aged men in lycra

Mamil[1] (or MAMIL[2]) is an acronym and a pejorative term for a "middle-aged man in lycra"[3][4] – that is, men who ride an expensive racing bicycle[1] for leisure, while wearing body-hugging jerseys and bicycle shorts.[2]

The word was reportedly coined by British marketing research firm Mintel in 2010.[5] It gained further popularity in the United Kingdom with the success of Bradley Wiggins in the 2012 Tour de France and at the 2012 Summer Olympics,[5] held in London. The British UCI World Championships victories in recent years have also spurred interest in cycling in the UK.[6]

In Australia the popularity of this sort of cycling has been associated with the Tour Down Under and the 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.[7] Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been described as a "mamil".[8]

And in Slovakia, for example, the popularity of racing cycling and wearing colorful Lycra on the roads rose after Peter Sagan begun winning in Tour de France and World championships.

Buying an expensive road bicycle has been described as a more healthy and affordable response to a midlife crisis than buying an expensive sports car.[9][10]

There are documentaries investigating this cycling culture. MAMIL is the title of a one-man play by New Zealand playwright Greg Cooper, written for actor Mark Hadlow.[11] It is also the title of a feature-length documentary directed by Nickolas Bird and produced by Bird, Eleanor Sharpe and Mark Bird.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b Casciani, Dominic (14 August 2010). "Rise of the Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra)". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b Wallace, Wade (2 September 2012). "Middle Aged Men In Lycra". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Mamil". Collins English Dictionary. HarperCollins. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  4. ^ "MAMIL". Lexico. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 13 April 2020.
  5. ^ a b Seaton, Matt (11 September 2012). "The humble Mamil: why we need 'middle-aged men in Lycra'". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  6. ^ Wolff, Alex (3 August 2012). "Olympics further sparking British cycling boom, but concerns remain". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  7. ^ Edwards, Verity (21 January 2012). "A new species of mamil hits the road". The Australian. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  8. ^ Huynh, Kim (16 October 2013). "Pest or indigenous species, the mamil abounds". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  9. ^ Parker, Jennifer (16 November 2013). "In the Land of the Mamils: Where Men Are Men and Bikes Are a Semester at Yale". Bloomberg Television. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  10. ^ GoodEgg, Emma (19 October 2013). "Mamil at the crack of dawn". The Brunei Times. Bandar Seri Begawan. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  11. ^ Anderson, Charles (4 June 2015). "Middle aged man in lycra takes his issues to the road". Stuff.
  12. ^ "New Documentary Explores the MAMIL Mindset". Bicycling. Hearst. 17 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Mamil". Demand.Film. 24 February 2018.

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