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Middle Aged Man In Lycra

Mamil[1] or MAMIL[2] (an acronym standing for "middle-aged man in lycra"[3]) is a pejorative, potentially sexist and ageist term used to ridicule men who ride an expensive racing bicycle[1] for leisure, wearing endurance- and performance-enhancing body-hugging jerseys and/or shorts which are worn to provide padding in the seat for long rides in a bicycle saddle.[2] However, the definition of what is an "expensive" bicycle has not been firmly established in this social satire, which is sometimes projected by those who lack direct experience in long distance or race cycling. And while cycling has a growing enthusiast base amongst women[4] an equivalent term to "Mamil" has not been popularized.

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 UCI World Championships victory in recent years have also spurred interest.[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] playing into the long-established trope about middle class male "middle age crisis."

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 Dominic Casciani (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. ^
  5. ^ a b Matt Seaton (11 September 2012). "The humble Mamil: why we need 'middle-aged men in Lycra'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-02-03. Retrieved 2014-01-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ Verity Edwards (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. ^ Jennifer Parker (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. ^ "Mamil at the crack of dawn". The Brunei Times. 19 October 2013. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Middle aged man in lycra takes his issues to the road". Stuff.
  12. ^ "New Documentary Explores the MAMIL Mindset". 17 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Mamil - Demand.Film United States". 24 February 2018.

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