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A middle-aged man 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]

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.
  5. ^ a b Seaton, Matt (11 September 2012). "The humble Mamil: why we need 'middle-aged men in Lycra'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 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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