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Rise of the Mamils (middle-aged men in lycra)

Wed, Aug  18, 2010 - By Dominic Casciani, BBC News

Thanks for skier Fran Upton for finding this little gem. Fran, does this mean we should be seeing more Mamils in the Michigan Cup ski ranks this season???

Flashy sports cars are out, now no mid-life crisis is complete without a souped-up road bike. Why?

Every weekend, across the nation's rolling countryside, watch out for the Mamils: middle-aged men in lycra.

And ladies, if you have a man at home taking an unusual interest in how you shave your legs, you may have a Mamil in the making too.

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?

Back in the day, when some men with a bit of disposable income reached a certain age, they did some strange things. The grind of the office and home life convinced some that the answer to an expanding midriff lay in a pair of designer jeans and a flashy but cheap Japanese sports car. Teenage daughters ran away screaming. Sons were deprived of the role models seen in adverts for shaving products.

Gents, our womenfolk were right all along. It wasn't a good look. And did it do anything for the beer belly?

But then came a confluence of coincidences that gave a man an option other than looking like a gigolo cruising Italy's glitzy Lake Como.

Read the rest of this amusing story on the BBC's web site...