“MAMIL” is a new cycling documentary that will be screening one night only throughout the US at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, February 21.
“MAMIL,” an acronym familiar to many cycling enthusiasts, stands for “Middle Aged Men in Lycra.” MAMILs are a manifestation of the mid-life crisis phenomenon, except instead of buying red sports cars (although they might also do that), they spend their money on the coolest bikes and cycling gear.
My wife and I watched a preview version of the film. We both found it amusing, and I could relate to many of the characters.
The film profiles several MAMILs and their cycling teams from Australia, the UK, New York, and Los Angeles. The “inventor” of the “MAMIL” concept is also interviewed, and he describes the distinguishing qualities of MAMILs: their obsession with cycling gear, fitness at the expense of other aspects of their lives such as family, and a strong sense of camaraderie with their cycling mates.
Given their obsession with gear, MAMIL’s are perhaps the most profitable demographic in the cycling industry. And, unfortunately, MAMILs are representative of recreational cycling in general, which is that it’s a predominantly white activity.
The story lines I found most compelling included one about a team in Australia actually called “Team MAMIL” that cycles to raise funds for a cancer charity. There is a short profile of gay MAMILs in NY City who lament the dearth of gays in cycling because, after all, “the lycra is so fabulous.” Another short profile focuses on a hispanic group ride in LA led by an overweight guy who found that cycling is the best way for him to regain his health and fitness.
Alas, the movie makers missed out on the abundance of MAMILs in the Pacific Northwest.
Tickets must be ordered ONLINE, and during the ordering process you select the screening you’d like to attend.
For all you Zwifters out there, consider attending the film with your MAMIL buddies as an alternative to another night of virtual racing for bragging rights.