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The rise of a new species, the Australian Mamil (middle aged man in lyrca)



  • Middle-aged men in Lycra (Mamils) are often described in the media, but little is known about the magnitude of the phenomenon.
  • Now scientists at the University of Sydney say they have evidence of middle-aged men riding at least weekly
  • But they say that regular cycling and commuting to cycling did not increase.

Science says that the number of middle-aged men cycling on weekends, now considered by many to be a new sub-species of Australian urban dwellers, has doubled in recent years.

But the rise of Mamils ​​(middle-aged men in lyrca) is confined to richer suburbs, according to research published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The authors of the University of Sydney who conducted the research state that Mamil's study was suggested by the media's attention to the representation and satire of this group and the importance of the study. physical activity to prevent lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular diseases.

The research results are reported in the Christmas edition of the Medical Journal of Australia, traditionally a 'edition dedicated to humor and satire. The editor of the magazine says that this article on Mamils ​​uses serious data with a non-serious turn.

Data on media monitoring show a marked increase in reports on Mamils ​​since 201

0, peaking in 2014.

Overall, there are about 150 references to Mamils ​​each year in major print media , mainly in the United Kingdom (60% of mentions) or Australia (31%).

"We have found that middle-aged men's cycling has increased since 2002-04, supporting the news on the growth of the Mamil species," says Professor Adrian Bauman, lead author, of the University of Sydney.

"However, most are weekend superheroes who do not ride a bicycle to work during the week.

" Mamil's habitats are rich urban environments, often near water, where the mamil meet in groups to channel their inner (Ex Australian professional cyclist) Cadel Evans. "

Among the research results:

  • The number of men aged 45 to 65 who have cycled at least once in the previous year almost doubled to 20.8% in 2016 from 11% in 2002-04.
  • Those who cycled at least once a week more than doubled, reaching 13.2% in 2016 from 6.2% in 2002-04.
  • The number of men aged between 40-59 years of cycling to work has not changed between 2006 (1.1%) and 2016 (1.3%)
  • Previously published data show the percentage of middle-aged men from high income outskirts who has cycled at least weekly more than doubled in a 14-year study period to 17.4% (2016) from 7.5% (2002-04)

Researchers describe the middle age in Lycra, or Mamil, as an emerging species.

"Parade along the walks in its weekend plumage (indoor cycling), having rediscovered to the bicycle ", they write.

Usually seen in urban settings, these creatures are particularly notable in Australia and England.

"They have recently become the subject of much publicity by the media, with numerous books, documentaries and even a film, and have been woven into the contemporary social fabric," the researchers say.

"Much is made of their re-engagement with the exercise, their masculine bond and mutual support, as well as their tribalism and their talismanic lycra.

" The origins of the Mamil species are not clear, but the first descriptions, from about 2010, have been characterized by middle-aged men who want to free themselves from middle-aged crises and get a new outlook on life by buying an extravagant, smooth and highly equipped bicycle with a design suitable for the Champs- Élysées.

"Mamil prefers expensive carbon fiber velocipedes – Bianchi, Colnago, Pinarello, Cervélo – and likes to feel holistically integrated, one with their own cadence technology and GPS devices.

" In Australia , middle-aged cycling is considered "The new golf", a symbol of identity and language in the corporate world. "

The term Mamil entered the Oxford English Dictionary in mid-2015: a" middle-aged man (especially an avid street cyclist) who exercises very seriously and wears the type of clothing (in Lycra) associated to professional sportsmen. "

In the same year, the Oxford dictionary listed several other new words that resonated with the Mamil species, including eating" arancini "(stuffed rice balls) and" at the desk ", as well as economic terms such as" flash crash "and "network marketing".

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