I’m married to a MAMIL

The onset was roughly around the time of the arrival of the children we were adopting. We’d hit our early 40s and with the additional chaos the children brought in to our lives there was a need to seek solace, on two wheels. This is how my husband became a MAMIL.

A MAMIL, is the term given to middle-aged men, who indulge themselves with the purchase of an expensive bike and acquire lots of lycra cycling gear. The cycling bit is possibly optional.

It’s said to be the new healthy response to the ‘mid-life’ crisis – at least it’s not a flashy car or a leather jacket.

The full conversion happened in preparation or a charity bike ride for a school friend who sadly died from Motor Neurone Disease. As part of team Bike for Mike the challenge, was to cycle, 130 miles from Aberdeen to Edinburgh. This raised in excess of £23,000 – a tremendous effort, and the biking bug, had been well and truly caught.

Post challenge, we were now running a full on fever, and the only course of action was to, along with the new bike,  get more new clothes, accessories, shoes, and those really, really special sunglasses.

Sunday mornings were spent hurtling down Box Hill in the North Surrey Downs and racing through Richmond Park, trying not to collide with deer. On occasions joining fellow MAMILs to participate in Sportives. Not a race, but cycling 50, 60, 70 or more miles, competing against oneself. It’s all about the time.

The week days necessitated negotiating the wild roads of London, weaving through traffic, dodging buses, lorries and taxis and surviving the Elephant and Castle roundabout.

Since moving to Paris, this particular MAMIL has adopted the Velib habit, the original free city cycle scheme. Popping all over Paris on this handy, free bike.

Other signs of the MAMIL affliction have been:

  • Finding our house littered with cycling weekly magazines
  • More than a slight addiction to ‘Wiggle‘ (website for biking gear)
  • Wiggle packets arriving at regular intervals at our home
  • There’s always the need to just pop into Decathlon on the way home from work (and there’s one in Paris too!)
  • The number of lycra garments has increased – and they aren’t mine!
  • Strange protein bars, energy shakes and gels have appeared in the kitchen cupboard
  • The washing basket is filled with strange stretchy getups – cycling bib shorts, with padding!
  • For some reason a part of our home has turned into a bike workshop

And you can’t just have one bike

Why just stop at one? The bike count has since risen to two and there’s the urge for a third. We need the right bike for the right terrain and we’re in desperate need of a single speed bike to potter around the city.

Well, I’d love the Mulberry Freya, in black, essential city equipment and perfect for the school run. Some how I think that won’t be coming my way!

Well, it’s not all bad news

According to British Cycling, cycling is a no brainer when it comes to health benefits, not only does it reduce stress, it can burn up to 500 calories in an hour, it’s better for the joints as it’s a low impact exercise. And a person who cycles regularly will have the general health of someone ten years younger.

Oh and then there’s the Tour

The Tour de France is sporting highlight in any MAMIL’s calendar, hours spent glued to the TV watching elite men in lycra cycle through France and occasionally straying into other countries.

The 2014 Tour’s Grand Depart was in Leeds. And our summer holiday that year was to the Dordogne, coincidently, to watch part of the tour in Bergerac.

The Tour de France is the oldest and most prestigious of all the cycling races. The final leg of the Tour de France reaches Paris on Sunday 24th July, you’ll find us, somewhere along the Champs Elysee cheering on our fellow Brit, Chris Froome from Team Sky.

Photo credit, Josh Hallett, courtesy of Flickr

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ethannevelyn

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32 Comments

  1. I have no idea that there is a name for this kind – “Mamil”. Very interesting. I know actually what you mean – once upon a time before children I was a mad cyclist too! But I didn’t have that excess of money to spend on bikes so I had children instead! lol! Thank you very much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost
    Su {Ethan & Evelyn} recently posted…#ExplorerKids – Round Up #18My Profile

    • Hi there, thanks, they would create a name for this wouldn’t they just to sell more kit and gear. Maybe when the kids get bit older you can back out on your bike, delighted to be part of #FabFridayPost

  2. Haha this is fab – I don’t have a MAMIL but my best friend has a cycling MAMIL who often drives from South London to Brighton and back in a day and complains about his chaffing thighs…hmm lovely. Great to discover your blog as a previous Tooting-ite (?) who misses Meza and that frozen yoghurt place opposite Lidl. #fabfridaypost

    • These MAMILs do crazy things! They they have a word for Tootingites “Tootopians!’ I haven’t seen the frozen yoghurt place. will check it out when I’m next back.

    • Thanks for the comment, the third bike’s on the wish-list, may turn into a reality in which case I’m heading straight down to Mulberry!

  3. What a fantastic amount of money raised! My parents are both in to cycling, (my mum recently did 100 mile time trial in under 4 and a half hours – which is amazing as she turned 50 earlier this year).

    • Wow that is so amazing, well done to your mum! Great that your parents are into cycling, brilliant they can share and enjoy this together and keep fit at the same time!

    • I know it was a huge achievement by Team Bike for Mike. Dead proud of him!

    • That would drive me crazy! I hope she is getting herself some nice treats too!

    • I can just about ride a bike, terrified of riding on London’s streets, but Paris seems to be a little bit calmer! Will give it a try here and who knows. You should check out the free bike scheme that teach people to ride, they’re really good, that’s if you want ride!

  4. My husband has developed a love of gardening so no MAMILs round here…I do know a MAWIL though!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

    • Gardening is pretty cool too, I haven’t been converted to a MAWIL, but who knows after watching the tour! Thanks for letting me be part of #coolmumclub

    • Happy to #SharetheBlogLove. It was a great way to raise money and a brilliant achievement by Team Bike For Mike, I have every sympathy for wives of MAMILS – but hey at least they are staying fit!

  5. Haha, I’m not married to a MAMIL but I do know one! I believe he now owns 4 bikes and a wardrobe full of lycra. Luckily he’s managed to convert his wife into a bike lover too!!

    What a fantastic amount of money for them all to raise though – that’s a huge achievement! Also – I think you definitely deserve a Mulberry, your justifications made perfect sense to me! Thanks so much for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove
    Katy – Hot Pink Wellingtons recently posted…A visit to Mottisfont National TrustMy Profile

    • Four bikes – like my husband says you can never have enough bikes! I’m not a bike convert yet but I did potter about on my sky-blue Pendleton last week.

      The charity ride was an amazing achievement Team Bike For Mike did an awesome job there. Loving the #SharetheBlogLove – some amazing blogs out there!

  6. Ive never heard of a MAMIL before lol. At least he is indulging in a healthy hobby. There are lots of things that he could be doing that would drive you even more insane 🙂

    • I know you’re right, it could be a whole lot worse, he’s keeping fit and healthy adding another 10 years to his life!!

  7. I’ve never heard of the term “Mamil” made me giggle! I don’t think I know any Mamil’s among our friends. One dad I know also cycles, but he is way younger than us (also in my 40s), so he probably doesn’t count 😉
    Dean of Little Steps recently posted…Where has the sun gone?My Profile

  8. Sympathies to you ! whilst my husband is not quite a MAMIL , he is now about to purchase his 3rd bike in two years for his commute to work, and is also about to sign up to run a marathon. Did someone say midlife crisis? #brillblogposts

    • Wow! Third bike in two years, that’s a lot. Now a marathon….Hmmm, possible midlife crisis – at least he’ll be fit coming through it!

  9. Haha my husband is the same but he’s into mountain biking and has a disgustingly expensive bike! No lycra involved though. Definite addiction to wiggle.com too x #Brilliantblogposts

    • I know the wiggle addiction very well, glad I’m not the only one!

  10. Wow he might be a MAMIL but at least his putting it to good use; fab amount raised for very worthy causes! #sharingthebloglove

    • Thanks! He and some friends raised that money, I think only he has turned into a Mamil though! At least he’s keeping fit!

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