Adventure Word of the Week: Mamil

Oct 24, 2010
Outside Magazine

Mamils: A term used in London for triathletes pushing middle-age, which stands for middle-aged men in Lycra.

A little context for those looking to use the word in conversation:

Research conducted by the retail analyst Mintel suggests there has been a surge in the number of middle-aged men choosing to get on two wheels. Given the number of men aged 35-44 who are buying fancy-pants road racing machines, is this a 21st Century mid-life crisis? Has the silence of skinny tyres and carbon fibre framesets replaced the thunderous noise of motorbikes?
--Rise of the Mamils, BBC, Dominic Casciani

The sport has exploded by 51 percent since 2007, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association, and men in their 40s are one of the fastest growing segments in the sport, accounting for one-third of the 1.2 million triathletes.
--Triathletes, 40-Somethings, Going for Youth, NYT, Ann Marie Gardner

In 2000, there were 50 USA Triathlon clubs. Now there are 831 through the country. In 2000, there were 229 USA Triatlon-certified coaches; now there are 1,800 according to USA Triathlon.
--Triathletes, 40-Somethings, Going for Youth, NYT, Ann Marie Gardner

"Triathlons are much better for the body than long-distance running," Dr. Neely said. "With triathlons, when you are injured, you can still swim and bike."
--Triathletes, 40-Somethings, Going for Youth, NYT, Ann Marie Gardner

"Triathletes are a discerning group of alpha consumers, with $175,000 average salaries," said Erik Vervloet, vice president for sports marketing at K-Swiss, which jumped into the tri-market three years ago. "The average Ironman spends $22,000 a year on the sport."
--Triathletes, 40-Somethings, Going for Youth, NYT, Ann Marie Gardner

Why I enjoy cycling so much is that aswell as being a way of getting fitter, it does appeal to my gadgety bloke nature too. Poring over bikes, specs, latest stuff and statistics is right up my street. I confess to buying mags and admiring bikes, thinking of new wheels, new bikes and all that comes with it, like an expensive car (with perhaps one less nought on the cost)....In conclusion, I think I am a MAMIL as far as the basic definition goes. I'm in the age group, I wear lycra, I have a carbon bike, do sportives but have not (yet) ridden Mont Ventoux. So, I'm now firmly in my box, defined by the marketeers and now waiting for the hoards of marketing material that is no doubt going to arrive. I can feel a T-Shirt coming on, a magazine and a support group.
--Phil's Road Biking Blog, Phil Jones

--Joe Spring


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