There are MAMIL in our midst. In fact, in Minnesota, there are a lot of them.
MAMIL is a contrived acronym that means “Middle-Aged Men in Lycra.”
Now, the breed has its own documentary of the same name (the "MAMIL" poster is above).
Cyclist Tim Turnquist of Minnetonka is all MAMIL. He is a graying, 55-year-old who likes nothing better than hitting the road on two wheels. Turnquist appears in the film, which digs into what draws so many middle-age men to cycling — the fellowship, the fitness, the wanderlust — through the stories of several riders around the world. The segment on Turnquist focuses where riding overlaps with his faith. He’d started a Twin Cities chapter of riders in the International Christian Cycling Club.
Turnquist said he was a bit wary when Australian filmmaker Nick Bird first contacted him about involvement in the movie. He was worried how the faith angle would be portrayed. Bird assured him that an overriding sentiment that came up with other cyclists was how the camaraderie of the open road was a spiritual pursuit, too. Bird said Turnquist’s back-story was a natural complement to the script.
“I thought (the documentary film) was a lot of fun. I thought it showed a great cross-section of different groups and different reasons why, especially older men, bike,” said Turnquist. The web developer recalled long but fun days in June 2016 with Bird and his crew in the Twin Cities to document his cycling story. (Turnquist is shown above with one of the many GoPros and gadgets employed.)
The term MAMIL, according to the film’s news release, was coined by a marketing researcher in the United Kingdom in his dealings with bike-makers and retailers who spoke of the strong growth of the middle-aged, male demographic.
Calling MAMIL a phenomenon as the filmmakers do might be a reach. Still, Turnquist buys into his lot as a distinct group.
He was president of the Christian cycling organization for two years, and said the group frequently looked at demographics as it started to add chapters around the country and world. “Everything I saw said men in their 30s, 40s and 50s were rediscovering cycling in unprecedented numbers.”
“MAMIL” premieres at various U.S. theaters Feb. 21, including two in Minnesota. The film will screen at the Regal Eagan Stadium 16 in Eagan and AMC Classic Kandi 6 in Willmar. Buy tickets online at us.demand.film/mamil.
See a trailer of the film online at bit.ly/MAMILview.