The joy of wearing lycra is at the forefront of this irreverent, Aussie jolly about the joys of dealing with middle age-dom by getting on yer' bike.

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.

That’s the official Oxford English Dictionary definition of ‘MAMIL’, or middle aged men in lycra. It’s been in the OED since 2014, and has become a widely used acronym for the groups of slightly overweight, past their prime but still probably better than you cyclists who work during the week, but on the weekend stretch on their lycra mask and take up their secret life as a cycling aficionado.

Written by Nickolas Bird and Eleanor Sharpe, MAMIL celebrates the love between man and bike, focussing on groups of cyclists including the Adelaide-based ‘Fat Boys’ and the queer New York cycling group, ‘Fast ‘n Fabulous’ . Narrated by professional cycling and Tour De France commentator, Phil Liggett, the film casts its net amongst cycling obsessives far and wide, from lawyers to cancer survivors, Christian cycling enthusiasts and those battling the bulge through a quick spin.

Along the way, we get a truly heartwarming look at the camaraderie involved in the world of cycling clubs, dipping between the USA, UK and Australia. Whatever the purpose of a group, there’s something genuinely uplifting about seeing a group of middle aged, mid-life crisisers donning their spandex, saddling up and throwing themselves off a hill.

There are plenty of laughs, a large proportion of which come from the self-styled road police vigilantes in London filming everything and anything they can, alerting those around them to their presence by the use of amplifiers on their horns; there are no bells on these bicycles. However, there are also a good deal of nail-biting moments as cyclists recall the moments that they thought might be their last on the road. Watching wives recount the horrors of their loved ones’ crashes and near-misses is truly heart-breaking to watch. But equally heart-warming is the response of those who have been injured through their love of being on the road, and haven’t given up. Vern, a paraplegic who lost the use of his legs in a bicycle accident, continues to ride to this day on a hand cycle.

MAMIL is a delight to watch, a truly heard-rending and uplifting depiction of the love affair between a man and his bike. No matter whether your bike costs £50 or £5,000, the openheartedness of the cycling groups depicted is inspirational, and reminds us that no matter what your age, your health or your bank balance, cycling can help you get through what might just be a bump in the long road of life.


MAMIL is in cinemas nation-wide on April 9. Tickets available here. Click here for more films about sport