‘MAMIL’ (Middle Aged Men in Lycra) documentary coming to Portland

Official poster.

I can’t believe someone made a documentary out of this. But I’m happy they did.

MAMIL’s are the oft-ridiculed cycling world sub-culture characterized by men in bright-and-tight lycra who speed around in packs chasing Strava segments and trying to recapture their glory days. Now their story has been told in a feature documentary, MAMIL, that will screen one night only in Portland. The screening is organized by Demand Film, a “cinema on demand” service that is showing MAMIL on 300 theaters across the country on the same night: February 21st. You can see it in the Portland area at: Regal Fox Tower Stadium 6, Regal Lloyd Center 10, and Regal Hilltop 9 Cinema (Oregon City).

The film is narrated by legendary Tour de France commentator Phil Liggett. Here’s the official blurb:

“MAMIL captures on film the spirit and the members of a movement that is growing throughout the world — middle-aged men taking to their cycles and biking through mountains, city streets, you name it, all in the name of CYCLING. Some do it for health, some for love, others just to clear their heads and face the world. And despite all the crashes, mega-pricey carbon fiber cycles, and wives worrying that they’ve been replaced by two wheels and a $1,200 bicycle seat, these guys wouldn’t have it any other way.

Filmed in the U.S., Australia and the U.K., MAMIL is a celebration of the love that can finally be shared – that of man for bike. You might be in an LGBT cycling club in New York or Christian in the Midwest; you might be a lawyer or a cancer survivor, you might be hauling your middle-aged belly over the next hill, or speeding along the open road, but you still thrill to the meditation of the bike.”

Here’s the official trailer:

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MAMILs unite! Who wants to get a group together and ride a screening? In lycra of course!

I’ll be 43 in a few days so that puts me in the club. And there are few things I love more than putting on the chamois-suit and riding the roads of this beautiful state. I can definitely relate to the guy in the documentary who says, “I am not going to deny it. I am absolutely a MAMIL. And I am a happy MAMIL!”

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Grab your seats and watch the trailer here.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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John Liu
John Liu
4 years ago

I’ll join a ride to the screening . . .

Ryan
Ryan
4 years ago

Awesome 😀

bikeninja
bikeninja
4 years ago

can us MAMIW’s ( middle aged men in wool) come too?

Brian
Brian
4 years ago
Reply to  bikeninja

I’ll be a MAMIBSOTL-middle aged man in baggy shorts over the lycra.

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
4 years ago

You don’t want to be a MAMIL riding alone in rural areas unless you don’t mind the whistles, catcalls, and even more serious taunts. Go as a group or stick to urban environments.

Kyle Banerjee
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Quigley

That hasn’t been true for a long time. The dynamic changed sometime in the 90’s when Lance helped make cycling cool.

Over 95% of my miles have been solo and in rural areas. I’ll take that action over urban riding any day or being in groups where you have to continuously coordinate with everyone even if pacelines can be beautiful when done right.

Of course I’ve had some unpleasant experiences in the sticks. However, despite the fact that the culture is often not cycle friendly, vehicle speeds are much higher, and cycling infrastructure nonexistent, I find the cycling experience is far superior to urban action and the stereotypes applied to drivers out there to be untrue overall.

Robert Alan Ping
Robert Alan Ping
4 years ago
Reply to  Mike Quigley

Or the rollin’ coal types! I got rolled last week out near Manzanita on a very quiet country road (I was in lycra, yes, hugging the right side). A truck came up behind, and politely waited until after a blind turn to pass me, meanwhile the three vehicles that had been tailgating right behind him then started going by, when the last one, a monster-sized pickup truck, slowed down and coal rolled me! I was blinded by the black cloud for about ten seconds, had to stop quickly. Proves ‘compensation anxiety’ theory in my mind…

Kyle Banerjee
4 years ago

The coal rollers deserve our compassion — the only way they can feel tough is to spend a crazy amount of money so they can drive something that sounds and smells like a garbage truck with mileage to match. It’s pathetic if you think about it.

John Liu
John Liu
4 years ago

MAWIL and MAWIW too!

My experience differs from Mike’s comment. I have found drivers in rural areas to be considerate. Those roads often have no shoulders but the drivers are used to maneuvering around tractors and other slow farm equipment.

m
m
4 years ago

The term MAMIL is sexist and body-shames men.

just one skip remount
just one skip remount
4 years ago
Reply to  m

Same reason I boycotted Superman v Batman

Marshall James Habermann-Guthrie

Can’t think of a good acronym for female-identified cyclists, but ladies, get out there too, regardless of age.

Sukho Goff
Sukho Goff
4 years ago

Actually I might use this as an “educational” opportunity and take my wife. Hoping the movie is actually worth watching and that we can both come away with some life lessons and perspective lol. Oh, and maybe it’ll lead to her letting me get another bike.

Fred
Fred
4 years ago
Reply to  Sukho Goff

Be careful with that line of logic, it could back fire on you. 🙂

El Biciclero
El Biciclero
4 years ago

“…men in bright-and-tight lycra who speed around in packs chasing Strava segments and trying to recapture their glory days.”

Oh. So, if I only wear black lycra and ride to work, I won’t be ridiculed for my choice in activewear? Oops, but then black isn’t visible enough, so I would be castigated for having a deathwish and posing a threat to motorists. Oh, and I forgot that lycra of any color paints bicycling as an extreme sport and discourages new riders. I’m really confused—somebody tell me what to wear.

pengo
pengo
4 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Rain cape, pogies and pith helmet on your bakfiets with a floodlight strapped to the bars like a normal person who understands practicality.

John Liu
John Liu
4 years ago
Reply to  pengo

No leather. No wool unless it is consent wool (sheep consented to shearing). No non natural dyes. No GMO cotton. No synthetic petroleum based fabric. No plastics.

I’m thinking hemp clothing and bamboo helmet?

Dan A
Dan A
4 years ago
Reply to  El Biciclero

Naked on your Zwift.

Jd
Jd
4 years ago

Finally, a documentary that champions white male privledge!

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
4 years ago
Reply to  Jd

Anyone can be middle aged, paunchy and wear spandex.

John Liu
John Liu
4 years ago
Reply to  Jd

I didn’t know privilege, whiteness, or maleness was required to be middle aged and ride a bike.

Johnny
Johnny
4 years ago

Be careful parking your bikes after that group ride. Perfect opportunity for a thief to get a collection of $1,200 seats!

rachel b
rachel b
4 years ago

Way better than going for the Harley. I applaud them!

Dan A
Dan A
4 years ago
Reply to  rachel b

No kidding. Everyone has a dorky hobby to keep them occupied when they’re not working. Ham radio. Muscle cars and monster trucks. Model building. Bird watching.
Sitting in a bar and drinking all afternoon. Somehow riding a bike for recreation is the one that draws the sideways glances.

Pat Lowell
Pat Lowell
4 years ago
Reply to  rachel b

Exactly. If we’re talking mid-life crisis, I’ll take a douche on an S-works Tarmac over a douche in a Camaro any day.

Tim
Tim
4 years ago

I tell my wife, as mid-life purchases go, bikes are a lot cheaper than sports cars and younger woman. Besides, she is usually riding with me.

q
q
4 years ago

I was talking to a friend of mine who was a competitive masters swimmer who’d switched over to cycling. I told him what I liked about swimming vs. running was that to run faster, you had to improve your conditioning, which was hard work, whereas in swimming you could get faster through improving technique, which was easier.

He said, “You ought to try biking. All you have to do to improve is buy better gear.”

Andy K
Andy K
4 years ago

Proud MAMIL here….I know I’m privileged to even be out here on the roads but I never take it for granted.