I was somewhat bemused on my regular commute to be confronted by a poster advertising the new Vauxhall Mokka as being “M.A.M.I.L. Ready.”
Since when did cycling become so popular that we’re now a legitimate, and by implication lucrative, sub-market in our own right? Then again, surely I’m not the only, ahem, MAMIL who finds the ad just a tad patronising?
Having had my interest piqued I tracked down some blarney about the ad from the creative agency and Vauxhall, which seemed to suggest that wearing cycling kit has grown to such an extent that it’s as common as kids peeing by the roadside, or husbands surreptitiously slipping away to avoid familial strife (two of the random scenarios in an ad that the developers grandiosely assert is: “a saunter through everyday eccentric British family life.”)
I was particularly intrigued by a section which promised to illuminate “in a light-hearted and humerous way, the perils of the M.A.M.I.L.”
Surprisingly this did not feature cyclists bodily hurling themselves into hedges and ditches to avoid homicidally driven, over-sized, petrol-guzzling, and speeding 4 x 4 behemoths, such as the Mokka itself. That’s certainly one of my most common experiences with this type of car, which a higher than average percentage of the RIM’s (Random Indignant Motorists) I have run-ins with seem to favour.
The perils of the M.A.M.I.L. actually features two middle-aged cyclists trailing doggedly on foot up the very first, gentle slopes of the approach to Honister Pass, already reduced to pushing their bikes by the “pig of a hill”. Thankfully, they are saved from further embarrassment when the incredibly perky daughter of one of them drives up (in her shiny new Mokka obviously) and offers them a lift home.
There you have it then in one gloriously overblown cinematic sweep, MAMILS are completely delusional, un-fit, under-prepared quitters and figures of fun to boot. Nice.