This blog has stemmed out of curiosity. The seeds of this blog were sown when my supervisor Dr. Dorina Pojani posed a series of questions to inspire students to write a blog. The question that fueled my curiosity was “Have you been called a MAMIL?”.
I had come across this term for the first time and to calm my information thirsty mind I carried out some research.
I found that a MAMIL is a Middle Aged Man In Lycra AKA bicycle riders!
As I tried to find more I came across a blog, which a wife had written about her MAMIL husband. She was very proud of her husband who took up cycling as a form of exercise to fight his multiple sclerosis.
Soon I receives a golden opportunity to meet Doug and Sue on Goodwill Bridge near Merlo Coffee.
Doug and Sue were very friendly and happily posed for a photo for me and shared their views and experiences as well. These are some of the excerpts from the rendezvous.
Renuka: How do you feel about being called a MAMIL?
Doug: No issue with it at all. I am well past being middle-aged.
Renuka: What do you think are the benefits of being a MAMIL?
Doug: Staying healthy, being social and getting up early.
Renuka: In your opinion which are the hotspots for MAMIL to enjoy in the city?
Doug: Anywhere there’s a bike path or easy access with little traffic. The River Loop is a favourite for many riders.
Renuka: Would you like the Council to provide more facilities for MAMIL? What would those facilities be?
Doug: Safer riding, dedicated bike paths and better traffic management to avoid proximity to fast moving motor traffic.
Renuka: How friendly or hostile are car drivers and pedestrians towards MAMILs?
Doug: I have rarely had any cause for complaint. Most motorists and pedestrians are mindful of the vulnerability of bike riders and bike riders in general are respectful of other road and footpath users. There are idiots out there too – in all three categories, but that’s getting better, I think, with understanding and mutual respect.
Renuka: How proud are you about being a MAMIL and why?
Doug: I just love riding and being with like-minded people from all walks of life. From tradies to heart surgeons – it’s a great leveller. MAMILs come in all shapes and sizes and I’m just happy to see people out enjoying Brisbane’s fabulous climate.
Renuka: In your opinion what is the biggest contribution of a MAMIL towards society?
Doug: It gets them out and keeps them healthy and by doing that there is less congestion on the roads and there are fewer hospital admissions due to heart disease and obesity. They are also a role model to young people, getting them away from electronic distractions and out into the great outdoors!
Renuka: Any words for non-MAMILs.
Doug: Be tolerant, or better still, come and join us.
I loved my little adventure with MAMILs.
The images and material of the interview has been used by participants’ permission.
And coincidentally this was the google image when this blog was first written!