Becoming a cycling MAMIL

With all the maintenance being done around here things are a little behind.  Today’s guest article was Mondays but the site wasn’t ready.  The writer comes from Graham Moore I guy I enjoy cycling with. I love the humour Graham holds and writes with so enjoy as you dry out from the drenching you got from the last two days weather… Take it away sir…

Like me everyone has owned or ridden a bike. My first one had stabilisers. Later I had a Raleigh Chopper, then a couple of mountain type bikes followed by hybrids etc. Nothing too serious until, fuelled by years of watching the Tour de France, I delved into the world of cycling road bikes. Proper bikes with drop handlebars and uncomfortable seats.

As is normal for me I researched and reviewed everything. Bought every cycling magazine available and eventually got myself a Cannondale. I even got a helmet.

Next came the dreaded Lycra (still not a fan) but it’s part of the uniform. Later I upgraded the bike to a carbon fibre Trek. Lighter weight with more gears. I need all the help I can get.

Officially I became a MAMIL, a Middle Aged Man In Lycra. Our motto is ‘All the gear, no idea’ which gives you some idea of our status in the cycling world.

Last year I completed four Sportives; cycling challenges ranging from 35 to 96 miles (others are longer). The organisers always emphasis these are NOT races, which they’re not, but cyclists can be a competitive bunch. I however am not.

I soon discovered that as a MAMIL I am stuck between two other cycling groups. The Racing Snake and the Retired Greyhound.

The Racing Snake is tall and lean and weights about nine stone soaking wet. His bike is top of the range carbon fibre, extremely fast and probably Italian with an unpronounceable name. It has many gears and is usually matt black. The snake himself may be in his cycle club colours or those of the latest winner of the Giro d’Italia. He will not speak to the MAMIL, they are not worthy.

On the other side of the MAMIL is the Retired Greyhound. He is short, but taut from many years on the roads throughout the UK and Ireland. He reluctantly wears a helmet and thinks carbon fibre is for girls. His bike is steel, Reynolds steel (Google it). He has had it for many years and will not change. He does not carry energy gels. He carries sandwiches his wife made and his water bottle is filled with diluted orange cordial from the Spar.

The greyhound will speak to anyone and is worth his weight (8 st) in gold. He has decades of advice for everyone, including the MAMIL.

Lately I actually acquired a steel bicycle from a friend. It’s made from Reynolds steel, a yellow and white 1991 Falcon Team Banana (seriously) racer. I’ve already got the Marco Pantani 90’s haircut, aka shaved head. All I have to do now is shed six stone and I too could maybe, just maybe become an honorary Retired Greyhound. Or I could just carry their sandwiches.

Graham Moore bio:  Husband, father, road cyclist, outdoor swimmer, bbq’er and dog owner. I’ve been known to read books and drink wine.

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