New Aussie documentary explores what it means to be a MAMIL – Bike Magazine Australia

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or you’re new to the sport, there’s a good chance you’ve come across MAMILs.

The term, short for “middle-aged men in Lycra,” doesn’t refer to career cyclists; rather, it refers to men of various skill and experience levels who seem like career cyclists. They have all the top gear, the flashiest clothes, and fully loaded bikes.

They’re out early in the morning and late at night. Some fly solo while others ride in large groups. And they all tend to don the eye-catching elastic uniform behind the acronym.

Countless films have explored cycling as a professional sport, and the athletes that excel within it. But MAMIL, a new documentary from Melbourne-based directors Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe, offers a fresh perspective by introducing us to the everyday dads (and other men) who happen to be cycling diehards. In the process, it examines masculinity and male bonding in the context of the sport, and shows why people may come together to proudly embrace the label.

“We know we look bloody stupid,” one interviewee says in the film’s trailer. “We’re just weekend warriors trying to set our own best times and challenge each other.”

MAMIL – Official Trailer from Demand Film on Vimeo.

The film follows different men from the UK, USA and Australia, all of whom have found cycling through a unique – or difficult – set of circumstances. Richard, for example, took up cycling after he was diagnosed with MS. Best friends Craig and Franko started to raise money for cancer research. Carlos established a bike club in Los Angeles to help his community fight obesity.

But these are just a few examples. The documentary is loaded with stories that show how the MAMIL is so much more than a stereotype in a colourful, tight-fitting outfit. It also offers a peek into the world of MAMIL cycling clubs, like the Adelaide Fat Boys (Australia), the Altoona Road Riders (Des Moines, Iowa), and MAMIL Sports (UK).

MAMIL premiered this month at the 2017 Adelaide Film Festival.

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