Mamils in, golf out as Lycra lads hit the road

Bradley Wiggins may be the role model for the army of middle-aged men in Lycra.
Bradley Wiggins may be the role model for the army of middle-aged men in Lycra.
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FORGET badgers, hedgehogs and squirrels – England’s roads have another “mamil” to contend with.

In what could be perceived as catastrophic news for travel agents and second-hand sports car dealers, it seems the rise of the “middle-aged man in Lycra” is set to continue.

New research has found that more and more men are opting out of the traditional responses to a mid-life crisis, such as golf trips, to take to two wheels.

The trend has been growing rapidly in recent years, and nowhere more so than in Yorkshire, where this summer’s Tour de France fever brought with it an army of Bradley Wiggins wannabes.

Now the World Travel Market (WTM) has highlighted the growing number of mamils searching for cycling holidays.

In a new report, the WTM says the popularity of golf is declining while the number of cycling enthusiasts is growing.

Tourism boards and travel operators across the world are being encouraged to provide bike-friendly holidays to cater to the increasing number of cycling tourists.

Yorkshire is ahead of the pack, following the success of the Tour’s Grand Départ, which significantly boosted tourism figures.

There are some dangers associated with the rise of the mamil, however. Last month figures revealed that serious bike accidents in Calderdale – where cyclists have either been killed or seriously injured – have soared by 21 per cent in the last two years. Experts warned this could increase further as more cyclists take to road on the Tour route.