Friday 7 February 2014

Boys on bikes, men in lycra

I  had the kids at home all day with me yesterday. I'm getting used to these surprise days off as they've been happening a bit. On Wednesday night we got a text from the school saying they'd decided to close for the Dubai Tour (a cycle race) as they were worried about students being caught up in the traffic. So we stayed at home and waited for the boys on their bikes to scoot past.

We heard the sirens of the police first and we gathered on our balcony in wait. And we waited and we waited.

Lil-lil shouted: "They're here!"

"Sorry, Lil. That's just the mini-mart guy doing some deliveries," I replied.

Then finally a group flew past, a helicopter hovered over our heads and before we knew they were all gone. That was it. I don't know what I expected, but it was a bit of a disappointment really.

When Skip returned home that night, I assured him that I never wanted to see the Tour de France. France, yes. Bikes in France, no.

Cycling is a funny thing. I don't know if it's a new phenomenon but it seems to be the current choice of middle-aged males for their mid-life crisis. Sure, I know some young guys into it and some women, but there seems to be a lot of men who reach a certain age and the start to don some lycra and spend a lot of money and early hours on all things with two wheels.

More and more of my friends talk about their husbands foregoing an end-of-week glass of wine for getting up early and hitting the road on their new bikes (which can cost as much as a car). Then that night they're too tired from their crack-of-dawn ride, so retire early leaving a whole bottle for their wives to drink on their lonesome. My friends lament their husbands secretly spending up big at the cycling shop and spending all their free time dressed like 80s one-hit wonder Collette.

I had a friend who used worked in TV on the Tour de France and nick-named it "boys on bikes". It used to make me giggle. For a month every year she wouldn't be able to come out as 'the boys on bikes are back'. I have that someone who takes up cycling as their mid-life crisis is called a Mamil (middle-aged man in lycra) – a name I adore.

It seems the Mamil likes to take a big bike ride on a weekend morning and then clog up a trendy cafe afterwards, blinding poor unsuspecting coffee shop patrons with their lurid lycra. It's the same in Dubai as it is in Sydney. I had hoped that the lycra might be flouting some decency law here in the Middle East, but apparently they manage to slip past any such rules.

So, it seems the Mamil is here to stay. I can only hope when the time comes, that Skip chooses a sports car over a bicycle. Let's face it, a sports car makes for a lot more fun on a weekend!

Let's face it the only man who looks good lycra is Freddie Mercury!

Do you have a Mamil? Are you a Mamil? Am I missing something with competitive cycling?


  1. I've already recommended the place to a friend (they had a Hello Kitty cruiser!) and will make this my go-to bike shop. volto

  2. hahahaha.... thats Andrew! He is totally a Mamil!
    brilliant!! xxx


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