Nearly one in three people believe that cyclists should ditch Lycra before they turn 40, according to a new survey from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) - bad news for so called MAMILs (middle aged men in Lycra). The charity has also launched a partnership with British Cycling aimed at getting more people to ride bikes.
One of the aims of the partnership between the BHF and British Cycling is to help cyclists develop their skills and improve their confidence on the bike, and by joining the organisation via the charity’s website members will gain access to training materials, as well as other benefits. The BHF will receive a £4 donation for each person who joins.
Stewart Kellett, recreation and partnerships director at British Cycling, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the BHF to get more people pedalling, not only to improve their health but also to power research to raise vital funds to tackle the UK’s single biggest killer, coronary heart disease.
“Together with the BHF, we are hoping to inspire people the length and breadth of the country to saddle up to help improve their fitness and overall heart health as well as helping further a truly worthy cause.
“By becoming a British Cycling Member, cyclists will have access to training material to get them in tip-top shape for their upcoming ride. We also have a number of training rides available to BHF supporters to get them ready for any cycling challenge.”
Shoshanna Goodman, cycling project manager at the BHF, added: “Our partnership with British Cycling will provide our supporters with additional guidance and expertise to help them build their confidence and prepare for one of our bike rides.
“Each year around 60,000 cyclists get on their bike for us and challenge themselves on road, off-road, overnight or overseas, raising approximately £5million for life-saving research.
“Cycling is a fantastic way to keep your heart healthy and by taking on a ride for us, not only will you be keeping fit but you will be helping us fund life-saving research.”
The BHF and Santander, which sponsors the charity’s fundraising cycling events, including the London to Brighton Bike Ride, surveyed 2,000 people to find out their views on fitness and cycling.
They found that mechanics are the most physically active profession, exercising on average four days a week, but bankers who are keenest about cycling for leisure, with 87 per cent doing so.
Lycra’s biggest detractors were found in the beauty industry, with workers in that sector saying no-one beyond the age of 27 should wear it – bad news for the likes of Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Teachers turned out to be more MAMIL friendly, although even they said that 44 should be the upper age limit for donning tight fitting gear.
There are more results from the survey in the infographic below.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.