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  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Can you just quote the main bits? Kitten block keeps me off that s**t.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 23,201
    Oh the shame of being married to a MAMIL (that's a Middle Aged Man In Lycra)
    Jennie Price from Surrey is a cycling widow
    Her husband Richard's transformation began five years ago
    To get fit, he bought a road bike but soon became obsessed
    Now he spends hours in the saddle
    He has also spent a fortune on bikes, cycling clothing and gadgets
    By JENNIE PRICE FOR THE DAILY MAIL
    PUBLISHED: 00:19 GMT, 11 December 2014 | UPDATED: 07:19 GMT, 11 December 2014

    Standing in the sunshine, chatting with my friends in the park on a lovely Saturday morning, I could not have been more content.
    Then I caught a glimpse of garish pink and DayGlo yellow. In an instant, my mood was shattered as a voice gasped: 'Dear God, Jennie. Is that your husband?'
    And there he was, walking towards us in an outfit even Daniel Craig would struggle to pull off. In fact waddling would be a more apt description, as his cycling shoes made walking all but impossible.



    Yet, as I stood there mortified, Richard had a smile as broad as the Thames. For my darling husband is a MAMIL, and had just returned from his ritual Saturday bike ride.


    'What is a MAMIL?' I hear you cry. Well, as of last week you need look no further than the Oxford Dictionary to find out. It stands for a Middle Aged Man In Lycra.
    The definition is 'a middle-aged man who is a very keen road cyclist, typically one who rides an expensive bike and wears the type of clothing associated with professional cyclists'.
    Crisis: Richard's mid-life crisis is entirely his choice, says Jennie who says it has turned her into a weekend widow rapidly turning grey as she watches money drain from their joint account
    +8
    Crisis: Richard's mid-life crisis is entirely his choice, says Jennie who says it has turned her into a weekend widow rapidly turning grey as she watches money drain from their joint account
    You will have seen them. Their numbers are swelling at an alarming rate, thanks to Tour de France winners Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome — men I would admire but for my husband's desire to emulate them.
    As professional sportsmen, it is their job to dress in ridiculous clothes and spend endless hours in the saddle. But Richard's mid-life crisis is entirely his choice, and has turned me into a weekend widow rapidly turning grey as I watch money drain from our joint account more quickly than a Mark Cavendish sprint.
    For those fortunate enough to have normal husbands, allow me to elaborate. Being a MAMIL is about much more than squeezing your ample frame into tight lycra.
    MAMIL hero: The men all want to be like Tour De France winner Bradley Wiggins



    This means boring dinner parties into silence with endless chat about bikes, spending long hours of family time out 'training', embarrassing your children walking around the house in bib shorts (think a mankini with padding around the nether regions) and paying eye-watering sums for obscure items of kit.
    Richard's transformation into a MAMIL began five years ago when, to get fit, he bought a road bike. At first, he wore a sensible pair of shorts and a loose-fitting jersey.
    But then the buying began in earnest. New wheels (the old ones were slowing him down, apparently), a pair of cycling shoes, then another pair, then a 'quicker' helmet, then a personal trainer to help him shed the pounds and improve his 'power to weight ratio'.
    Transformation: Richard's evolution into a MAMIL began five years ago when, to get fit, he bought a road bike

    The clothes grew tighter, the cost escalated as he bought a cycling computer (a glorified satnav), which at £500 cost almost as much as his bike, and £250 sunglasses (they have gaps in the lenses to stop them steaming up — but if you sweat as much as Richard, they steam up anyway).
    Now our weekends have been taken over by cycling. For MAMILs do not simply go on an hour-long run out. Rides regularly last three hours or more, while in the spring and summer they disappear for days to ride in 'sportive' events.
    My husband, like so many of his friends, is a fanatic. He buys an average of one bike a year, each more expensive than the last. His first was a relatively meagre £800, that he sold two years on for £200.
    Emulating their idols: Jennie's husband and his friends go on cycling trips abroad so they can cycle routes taken by professionals like Chris Froome, pictured right



    Today, he has three: a day-to-day 'workhorse' (£1,000), a steel 'winter trainer' (£850) and a custom-built, red, white and blue road bike (£2,000 — his name is painted on the frame).
    Then there are the clothes, gadgets and 'sports nutrition'. Tools, inner tubes, tyres, wheels, hats, gloves (summer, autumn, winter and spring versions), shoes (waterproof for the winter, lightweight for the summer), overshoes, arm warmers, leg warmers, lights, pumps, pedals and saddles... the list is endless.
    Every week another mysterious package arrives, with the latest waterproof jersey or a vintage cycling cap of a type once worn by one of his increasingly obscure heroes.
    Spending: Jennie says every week another mysterious package arrives, with the latest waterproof jersey or a vintage cycling cap of a type once worn by one of his increasingly obscure heroes


    Spending: Jennie says every week another mysterious package arrives, with the latest waterproof jersey or a vintage cycling cap of a type once worn by one of his increasingly obscure heroes
    At night in bed, he reads Cycling Weekly or autobiographies of surly-looking Belgians. He has also been agonising over whether to shave his legs or not, although the only reason he can give me for doing so is 'the pros do it'.
    Even when it rains we get no respite. Rather than miss a ride he sets up rollers (a treadmill for bikes) in the kitchen and scares the dog witless by riding on the spot for a noisy hour.
    Then there are the foreign trips. We live in the Surrey Hills — one of the best cycling spots in the country. Box Hill, where the Olympic road race was held, is a local climb and the Tour of Britain passes through every year.
    All the gear, no idea: Jennie's husband as much kit as Mark Cavendish but cycling is not his career


    All the gear, no idea: Jennie's husband as much kit as Mark Cavendish but cycling is not his career
    The one thing we don't have is a mountain. So a couple of times a year Richard and his MAMIL pals pack their bikes into protective boxes (£500) and fly to the Pyrenees or the Alps, for a weekend emulating their professional cycling idols.
    It may drive me to distraction, but I must admit I admire his dedication. Our son, James, six, certainly looks up to him and wants a road bike, too.
    Even Jessica, eight-going-on-18, was genuinely interested in racing a bike until recently, when she started to prefer my Zumba and dance classes.
    For a man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ten years ago, Richard is impressively active


    For a man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ten years ago, Richard is impressively active
    Both ride well and have picked up a love of exercise from Richard and me.
    For a man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis ten years ago, Richard is impressively active. Within a year of taking up cycling he rode from London to Paris and this summer did the Etape du Tour — a mountain stage of the Tour de France, in appalling weather.
    As mid-life crises go it could be a lot worse. I am far happier my 41-year-old husband is out riding a pushbike with a bunch of other men than zooming around on a Harley-Davidson and chasing girls half his age.
    I also take comfort from the fact I am not alone. In our circle of friends, six of the husbands have taken up cycling .
    They are putting this passion to good use, too. Next May they will take part in a charity cycle ride from Guildford to Bordeaux in aid of The Fountain Centre, a local cancer charity.
    Being a MAMIL, like all mid-life crises means acting like little boys. As 11-year-olds do, they have their in-jokes, asserting the perfect number of bikes to own is N + 1 (N is the number of bikes you have already).
    Another formula, which shows they are not entirely stupid, is S – 1 (S is the number of bikes that will prompt your wife to demand a separation).
    In Richard's case, he seems to have taken heed to the latter — he used to have two more than now (a mountain bike and a Brompton folding cycle).
    Of course, he hankers for more. Recently, he has been wittering on about carbon and titanium frames, in the hope of boring me into submission.
    I humour him up to a point, but on one issue I will not budge. Since that day in the park Richard is banned from attending any social occasion dressed in lycra — on pain of his bike being sent to the tip.
    Would I really follow through with the threat? Just try me.

    Throw in some pics of Messers Wiggins, Froome and Cav, plus a few of her in a red dress next to him in lycra pulling faces...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • That's appalling. Northwave Arctic boots with shorts? FFS
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  • iPeteiPete Posts: 6,076
    Jennie needs a hobby.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    iPete wrote:
    Jennie needs a hobby.
    She already has one; she goes to Zumba classes...
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  • I have some sympathy. Because I commute I can rack up the training miles really easily and it doesn't interfere with home life. So the odd weekend 3 hour ride or sportive, or even day away, is fine.

    Were I racking up training miles each weekend then doing regular sportives and going abroad I'd be toast.

    There's a balance. Fortunately they have old(er) children so the looking after burden isn't as high. I have 4 between 2 and 13. My balls would be cut off if I pushed it (this may not be a bad thing).
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  • ShandyHShandyH Posts: 555
    Sounds like Richard has been lying about the price of his bikes too. Custom built bike for £2000? Really?
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,126
    Not that bad for a DM article. I suspect my wife would have a lot of sympathy for the author.

    Of course, I'm a proper racer and actually almost "pro" so none of the MAMIL baiting applies to me... :oops:
  • ShandyH wrote:
    Sounds like Richard has been lying about the price of his bikes too. Custom built bike for £2000? Really?

    http://www.wyndymilla.com/bike/lightnin ... aluminium/

    £1175 for frame. He has aksiums and, at most, Ultegra. If he built it up with components won't be far off.
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  • Does not appear to be made up and as it is her first article for DM will probably be her last. Checking out the WindyMilla website he does not want his wife selling that bike for what he told her he bought it for
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Good article really, clearly a slight tongue in cheek element.

    Just to put it on record though - I would.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    So, instead of applauding her husband for getting off his censored and getting himself fit she attempts to ridicule him ...
    Ok - so the DM article is probably a work of fiction - but just assuming it's not ...

    Do you know what I think would make Richard happy? If Jenny got on one of his spare bikes and rode with him - then she might appreciate why cycling isn't just about getting fit and spending lots of money on new clothing and spangly things.

    Q for all you lot ... how many of your wives (you have more than one?! :o ) or other halves cycle? I don't mean just ride the bike as transport, but really ride the bike for pleasure?

    Mine does - she's nearly got to 2k miles this year, which considering she did about 1k last year is pretty good - she's occasionally commuted to/from work which isn't the most pleasant of rides and is about 20 miles each way, done a week long cycling holiday, completed Etap Loch Ness, ridden in numerous sportives, had 2 new bikes this year (road and mtb) and organises local rides for women who just want to get out on their bike.
    She's no Laura Trott or Vic P - but she's a lot fitter than she used to be and enjoys getting out on her bike - she's not been able to for a few weeks and been saying that she's missing it!
    I'm proud of what she's done for herself and I don't care that she now has 4 bikes - in fact, if buying another 4 would get her to ride 4k miles a year then it would be worth it, but it won't as the main limiting factor is time ...
  • dhopedhope Posts: 6,699
    Slowbike wrote:
    So, instead of applauding her husband for getting off his ars* and getting himself fit she attempts to ridicule him ...
    That wasn't the tone I got at all. It seemed more that she was light heartedly poking fun at him but appreciating that it's improved his and their children's health. There was the nod to N+1 etc that made sure the tone was firmly on the cyclist's side rather than 'lycra clad idiot' stance.

    Seemed more of a 'what have the Romans ever done for us' style rant.
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  • I actually thought it was pretty well researched and, actually, fairly balanced - the MS bit, the no Harley bit and the charity bit. Let's face it, most middle-aged blokes take up a "hobby" - whether that's a fast car or bike, cycling or the lass from Accounts - at least cycling (and probably the lass) keeps you fit :wink:
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  • Yeah, for the Mail it was exceedingly well written. My hackles weren't raised at all.

    Until I got to the comments...................
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  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    The Rookie wrote:
    Good article really, clearly a slight tongue in cheek element.

    Just to put it on record though - I would.

    For its target audience, agreed.

    (Also would)
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  • Yeah, for the Mail it was exceedingly well written. My hackles weren't raised at all.

    Until I got to the comments...................

    I suspect it's a freelance piece. I've certainly read it before a few months ago. In The Times, maybe?
  • LefthookLefthook Posts: 124
    The part of the article I have the biggest problem with is this:

    'We live in the Surrey Hills — one of the best cycling spots in the country'

    Really! Might be the best near London, but would it make a top 10 of the UK if it was not within spitting distance of London?

    London centric media blah blah blah....
  • DrLex wrote:
    The Rookie wrote:
    Good article really, clearly a slight tongue in cheek element.

    Just to put it on record though - I would.

    For its target audience, agreed.

    (Also would)

    Well at least you know her husband's not around much at the weekends.
  • DrLex wrote:
    The Rookie wrote:
    Good article really, clearly a slight tongue in cheek element.

    Just to put it on record though - I would.

    For its target audience, agreed.

    (Also would)

    Well at least you know her husband's not around much at the weekends.

    You would need to drive round mind. Would be kinda off putting if you turned up in lycra.

    (That said, for such a mamil, hasn't he found a razor yet?)
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  • mattsawmattsaw Posts: 907
    This strikes me as a clever piece of PR by Windy Milla, there's too much product placement in that article for it to be a coincidence.
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  • DrLexDrLex Posts: 2,142
    Yeah, for the Mail it was exceedingly well written. My hackles weren't raised at all.

    Until I got to the comments...................

    Well, this one made me chuckle:
    mikey82, London, United Kingdom
    Don't really care about your story, lady, all I care about is that you return Pat Sharp's hair
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  • bigmonkabigmonka Posts: 361
    In general, being ashamed for reading the DM sounds about right.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Looking again at the pictures it does indeed look like a big advert for Windy Milla. And yes, looking at his hairy legs makes me wonder if he has ridden a bicycle since he hit puberty.

    And yes, would.
  • kurakokurako Posts: 1,098
    Mattsaw wrote:
    This strikes me as a clever piece of PR by Windy Milla, there's too much product placement in that article for it to be a coincidence.

    Yes indeed. He does look a lot like the Richard Price who has had other pieces published in the DM. Could he be the PR consultant listed on linkedin? Maybe he got a discount on his bike for getting their logo all over the papers.

    http://journalisted.com/richard-price
  • Kurako wrote:
    Mattsaw wrote:
    This strikes me as a clever piece of PR by Windy Milla, there's too much product placement in that article for it to be a coincidence.

    Yes indeed. He does look a lot like the Richard Price who has had other pieces published in the DM. Could he be the PR consultant listed on linkedin? Maybe he got a discount on his bike for getting their logo all over the papers.

    http://journalisted.com/richard-price


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  • It's all a tad incestuous.

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  • It's all a tad incestuous.

    https://twitter.com/priceorelli

    lol - he does seem to know the chaps at WindyMilla rather well
  • mtb-idlemtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    My wife enjoyed bringing this to my attention. Rather embarrassingly my name is Richard as well so she actually read it out loud to me. (Disclaimer: we don't get the DM, one of her friends linked to the article on Facebook)
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