New Documentary Explores What It Means to Be a MAMIL



The film shows how “middle-aged men in Lycra” get into cycling, and why they would embrace the label

Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or you’re new to the sport, there’s a good chance you’ve come across MAMILs.

The term, short for “middle-aged men in Lycra,” doesn’t refer to career cyclists; rather, it refers to men of various skill and experience levels who seem like career cyclists. They have all the top gear, the flashiest clothes, and fully loaded bikes. They’re out early in the morning and late at night. Some fly solo while others ride in large groups. And they all tend to don the eye-catching elastic uniform behind the acronym.

Countless films have explored cycling as a professional sport, and the athletes that excel within it. But MAMIL, a new documentary out of Australia, offers a fresh perspective by introducing us to the everyday dads (and other men) who happen to be cycling diehards. In the process, it examines masculinity and male bonding in the context of the sport, and shows why people may come together to proudly embrace the label.

“We know we look bloody stupid,” one interviewee says in the film’s trailer. “We’re just weekend warriors trying to set our own best times and challenge each other.”


Read More

LimeBike raises $50M to further its bike-sharing ambitions


LimeBike, one of several companies competing in the rapidly expanding bike-sharing space, has raised a $50 million B round to continue building out the operation. The company is also looking into ways to differentiate itself from the competition — including the two 900-pound Chinese gorillas in the industry, Ofo and Mobike.

I chatted with LimeBike’s CEO, Toby Sun, about the company’s ambitions and rivals. He felt LimeBike has an advantage over its rich Chinese rivals in that it’s the leading U.S. company in a market that, in the U.S. at least, is still young.

That’s not to say he’s banking on consumers’ patriotism to do the work for him. LimeBike, he explained, is aiming at being a good partner with cities and schools, tailoring their bikes and programs to fit the needs of different locations.

“We take a different approach to every market we enter,” he said. “We talk for weeks, sometimes months, to municipalities and schools, which are the primary markets for us, and customize the deployment and plans for them.”

Operating a floating bike-share service can’t be done surreptitiously, unlike for example soft-launching a service like Uber in a city that may or may not support it. So, Sun said, the better approach is to be a good long-term partner. It certainly adds complexity to the operation to have slightly different rules or abide by different requirements for different locations, but governments and companies will remember this helpful accommodation.

Read More

Bell All-Stars: American Mountain Bike Legend John Tomac

John Tomac and Eli Tomac on racing, family, and the meaning of achievement. The Bell All-Stars campaign focuses on the rich history of the athletic and racing pursuits of some of its “All-Star” athletes who have competed in Bell helmets and inspired generations to pursue greatness. The campaign, consisting of feature videos and accompanying written stories, has profiled some of America’s first and finest champions in road and track cycling, including Craig Schommer, Mike McCarthy and Leonard Harvey Nitz, and now expands from the road into the dirt with a rider who is considered among the greatest mountain bike racers of all time— 1991 World Mountain Bike Champion John Tomac.


“Anyone who followed mountain bike racing through the 1990s likely remembers not only John Tomac’s versatility across a wide number of disciplines, but also that throughout nearly his entire career he competed in a Bell helmet,” said James Hibbard, Marketing Manager for Bell Helmets. “This made John a natural fit for the All-Stars campaign, and after spending some time with him at his ranch I was impressed not only by his results on the bike, but also by who both he and Eli are as people.”


Inside Slipstream’s brush with death



THE PHONE CALL CAME IN ON AUGUST 25, early in the morning. Jonathan Vaughters picked it up, listened for a few minutes, and was sure his team was dead.

Vaughters and Slipstream Sports, the management company behind Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling, had been on the sponsorship prowl for a year. They were already looking, really. Since 2010 the team endured two mergers and added or changed title sponsors five more times (Garmin, Garmin-Transitions, Garmin-Sharp, Garmin-Barracuda, Cannondale). Slipstream kept moving, grasping onto whatever funding it could find because cycling’s sponsorship model punishes idleness with death.

“We’re cockroaches in a nuclear apocalypse,” Vaughters says.

Despite the near-constant financial flux, never before August 25 had the team been so close to collapse. That fateful, early-morning call came from a sponsor the team had courted for months. At the eleventh hour, it pulled the plug. The deal was off. Vaughters has declined to name the company.

Slipstream suddenly needed $7 million to simply meet the UCI’s financial requirements for a WorldTour team. It had just weeks to find it.

ON SATURDAY, August 26, 24 hours later, Slipstream employees — riders and staff — received an email signed by Vaughters and the team’s longtime benefactor, Doug Ellis.

“Ninety-nine times out of 100, this is the end,” Vaughters says of the message. “That should have been the end.”

In fact, by the time the email went out, most of the team already knew of the disaster. In the hours after Vaughters received the first phone call, he told agents and some riders the bad news. Alex Howes, who has ridden with the program for over a decade, was drinking a late-season beer with a friend when his call came in. “It was somber,” Howes recalls. “He started the call with, ‘I’m calling you as a friend.’ I got off the phone and ordered another one.” Michael Rutherford and Robbie Hunter, both rider agents, say they found out shortly after Vaughters received the news. “The info given to us was that things were in dire straights,” Hunter says. “Every agent out there gets on the horn and it becomes a race against time. You know every other agent is doing the same thing.”

Read More

City Cycling Class – Hosted by LACBC

Whether you’ve been riding for a long time but feel unfamiliar with how to ride your bike in traffic, or you’re new to urban bicycle riding and don’t feel confident on the road, this class a great place to start. This free indoor class will review the basic principles of urban bicycling that you need to know.

If you aren’t sure about the answers to the following questions, sign up for this class today:
* What is the most common mistake bicyclists make that can lead to a collision with motor vehicles?
* Which is more important when riding at night: a front light, a rear light, or reflective gear?
* Are bicycle helmets required by law?
* What is the most common driver error that can lead to a collision with bicycle riders?
* Is it okay to ride on the sidewalk?

We’ll cover these questions and more! You don’t need a bike for this in-class workshop.
October 19, 2017 at 7pm – 8:30pm
LACBC HQ – Edison Room
634 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90014
United States


Learn More