by Spencer Wilson & Joel Rickett
No big secret this pocket book is aimed at MAMILs aka the middle aged men in lycra. Still the witty lexicon and catchy illustrations would entertain anyone who shares a faintest interest in cycling. Full of observations of MAMIL’s tendencies, behaviour traits and riding ethics. The book picks on MAMIL’s alarming obsession for aerodynamics, marginal gains and anything made out of carbon… or a good cup of coffee matter of factly.
The book is very much an illustrated Velominati, (unofficial MAMIL’s #95 rules, who coincidentally boasts even broader lexicon page) in a concise and illustrated form. Without too much scrutiny The Modern MAMIL comes across softer in it’s criticism but abundant of British humour, so beware of what to take literally.
The book is structured in alphabetical order with a double-page spread dedicated to each letter. Every other page contains a “dictionary”, alternated with a full page of cycling illustration. The pictorials are two dimensional, popping with bold colours, and curiously narrative. My personal favourite fell on letter “R”, with a hint at The Tortoise and the Hare fable, which reminded me of what my boyfriend thinks of my riding…
So with the alphabet letters times two, preface and publisher’s notes the book brandishes just 60 pages long. Making it a swift read, over a grande cappuccino or two venti macchiatos.
That is to say, The Modern MAMIL would make a perfect office companion, providing much needed respite for your eyes from the screen. Or just to look up the meaning of “criterium”, especially since your desk buddy is doing one next month. Now you find out – it’s time to “attack”. Reading the book, I imagined it was designed to serve as a good excuse for a healthy banter with your work colleagues. The entertaining structure of an illustrated vernacular, gives a freedom to pick it up at any page and drop as soon as it’s time to join the boardmeeting.
As I was reading on, I also noted a few tips which I decided to research for my personal gain and training. Check out the term “juice”.
Some other words I found repetitive, especially the emphasis on drinking coffee and glorification of ale drinking.
To my disappointment The Modern MAMIL didn’t list any commentary on other road sharers, which I am sure a true MAMIL wouldn’t spare a chance to spill a few. I was definitely expecting a total diss on pushbike couriers, fixed gear riders and any other two-wheelers who do not abide by the MAMIL’s unwritten rules.
Coming with the hardback pocket book, is The Modern MAMIL – A Cyclist’s Journal which can be used as a training log, a place to record race dates, targets and route notes. Though I can’t comment on that since we didn’t receive one, but I believe would be a good accompaniment to the book.
Each publication comes at £8.99 which seem to be a bit dear for such a short read. May be I wouldn’t necessarily go out and buy one, only because the lexicon was all too familiar and part of my everyday life anyway. Though for somebody reaching their 40ty and just stepping into their first pair of bibs, all that “chamoi”ing in between their legs can only get marrier if a book like this is provided.
My verdict, perfect Christmas stocking filler or an office gift.
You can purchase The Modern MAMIL here
About the authors: