Yes, the pun was intended, it’s one of those jokes you would get if you were in with the bike crews. I spend my weekends worrying about revolutions and cadence. Two terms I never really knew the definition to before I put on a few pieces of lycra and headed out into the public roads.
I have seen the MAMIL for a while and laughed at them in public, even though I have often thought that I would have liked to have joined them. The look of a cyclist is a very different look to any other sport and with the exception of a swimmer, is the least cool look out there. Nobody would ever want to wear lycra shorts if they were given the choice.
I started out slowly in my move into cycling. I had a bike and a helmet, so I did not need to head out and buy these immediately, instead, I went straight out and bought some padded shorts to help protect the old guard. I saw all of the lycra bibs and the short shorts available to me, but I avoided these like the plague. I went for a baggy pair of mountain biking shorts which still had the padding in them.
I headed out on my bike for a short ride and really enjoyed the basic elements of it. The more effort I put in, the faster I went. The less effort I put in, the slower I went. It was a very rudimentarily simple system, but it instantly reminded me of my youth and racing around the streets of my hometown.
There was that immediate sense of freedom again. I have driven my car for decades and can go anywhere in it if I really want to, the truth is that my car knows the way to work, the shops and to the takeaway. It could almost do the journeys without me.
When I was on the bike, my freedom was not just about being able to head anywhere, but from having nowhere I needed to head to. I could just turn left when I felt like turning left and turn right if I ever felt like turning right.
When I felt tired, I could turn a couple of lefts and head roughly in the direction of home. I was never more than a few miles away from home, so would get home pretty quickly if I ever needed to.
I also got to see a lot more of my local area, going about twenty miles an hour slower than I normally would in the country lane and sitting up above the hedges, let me see everything on the sides of the roads. I saw into the fields and through the trees.
It really is a different life when you head out on your bike and I am proud to have become a member of the MAMIL community. It is a day I thought would never come, but when it does, you just need to fully embrace it.