By Bernie Legg, Cycling Correspondent
Flabby male cyclists wearing tight lycra clothing have become unlikely sex symbols for women across Britain, a shock new study reveals.
The sight of a Middle-Aged Man in Lycra, dubbed a MAMIL, has become commonplace on Suffolk’s roads as guys of a certain age try to get fit before it’s too late.
But while many women openly joke about the frightful image of a man bulging from all the wrong places in figure-hugging shorts, it transpires this is actually a massive turn-on for them – but they’re simply too bashful to admit it.
And the study discovered that road rage incidents, where drivers seemingly despair about cyclists slowing them up, is actually caused by male drivers becoming seriously jealous of those on two wheels.
Professor Didier Strava, of Suffolk University’s psychology department, which commissioned the research, said men in cars became aggressive when they realised their partners in the passenger seat were ogling male cyclists.
“The women go all-a-quiver when they see a middle-aged man on his road bike, wearing tight lycra shorts that leave little to the imagination, and tight cycling jerseys that show off all the flabby bits.
“To try and cover their emotions up, women we surveyed admitted that when they spoke with their friends they ridiculed how middle-aged male cyclists look, but in fact, they were secretly yearning for their ‘company’ because they were more manly than their husbands ever could be.”
‘Waving their underwear’
One MAMIL from Ipswich, who asked not to be named for fear of attracting too much female interest, said: “We’ve known this for years. As we cycle along the sleepy lanes of Suffolk, women hang out of their cottage bedroom windows cooing and waving their underwear at us.”
The 47-year-old added: “I even had one woman trying to stop me on a quiet road through Tunstall Forest urging me to join her and her friend in the bushes.
“It’s quite shocking – we are only out to have a bit of exercise. But not THAT sort of exercise.”
Suffolk Police confirmed there are a rising number of complaints from male cyclists about unwanted female attention.
A spokesman said: “We respect women’s rights to admire middle-aged men in lycra shorts. But we advise they simply look and don’t try and touch.”