MAMIL (Abrev: Middle aged Man in Lycra)
I used to ride my bike everywhere as a kid, to school, to my mates, as I got older to work collecting deckchairs on the beach, to Sea Cadets. Then I discovered a car and it was quite a few years until I discovered the joys of 2 wheel travel again when I was at RAF Brize Norton. I started cycling again on the roads around Brize and used to take my lad to the childminders in a baby seat on the back of my mountain bike on my way to work! I started to watch a bit of road cycling on the TV too mostly because my folks were in France and Le Tour finished in Bordeaux one year. I got immediately hooked on watching road cycling, mostly on the tactics but also sheer admiration for the way the pro cyclists can ride up mountains faster than I could ride on the flat! It was only when I signed up for Help for Heroes Big Battlefield Bike Ride in 2010 that I even considered getting off of a mountain bike and back onto what i’d always referred to as a “racer”. The reason i’m rambling about all this is that it was this terminology that caught my eye in a blog by Sensisuperstar about choosing a “road” bike. Well worth a read if you are thinking about getting in to cycling whether for a charity challenge, for fitness (both applied to me in 2009) or just for fun.
I still love watching cycling on TV and the successes of the GB team in recent years makes this much more rewarding that watching our national football team. It’s great that there is so much more (but still not enough) cycling on TV now on the back of Wiggo, David Miller, Mark Cavendish, Team Sky, Victoria Pendelton, Chris Hoy et al and the whole Lance Armstrong scandal has done nothing to diminish my love of watching road cycling but I’ve also discovered (watching not trying) cyclocross and if like me you don’t know much about it then there is an explanation here by AllSeasonCyclist‘s blog .
While I’m talking cycling Jon Allen Butterworth won 3 Cycling medals at the Paralympics last year. Jon is one of 6 individuals & groups who have been nominated as unsung heroes in Soldiering On awards to be awarded on March 23rd. You can read more about the nominees and vote here.
So back to being a MAMIL it’s partly as the article says about “becoming a happier and healthier person rather than sliding towards mediocre oblivion at the bottom of a pint glass”, but for me it’s about enjoying the fresh air, getting some exercise, commuting to work more cheaply (and some days quicker) than by car, its about setting and breaking personal bests (and my work colleagues) on Strava and it’s about meeting a great group of like minded people and having a great experience while raising money for a great charity.