Ned Boulting explains why he feels that middle aged men in lycra (Mamils) can sometimes put people off cycling - and also how he ended up crashing into Leeds Castle's moat, in the latest road.cc Drink at Your Desk Friday episode.
Cycling commentator Ned Boulting joined us to discuss why he enjoys cycling slowly and why he would have to be dragged 'screaming' towards a pair of bib shorts.
Ned, who recently covered the Tour of Britain alongside Adam Blythe for ITV, said he had completely stopped cycling before he began commentating on the sport nearly 20 years ago.
He said: "It completely never occurred to me to have a bike but after working in the Tour de France I came back in my rather infantile way and thought 'I’ll buy a bike'.
"It was only a £300 second hand thing, as soon as I did that I thought 'now I’m going to buy lots of lycra and clip in' and that is how I rode around even if I was just riding five miles up into town and back again.
"I felt the need to put all that stuff on for some reason and then bit by bit I thought 'what am I doing?'
"I stepped back and thought 'if you just go a bit slower and chill out a bit actually there is a whole other way of cycling'.
"That is really when my great passion for using the bicycle as a tool in our everyday lives, and what it represents, kicked in.
"Now I have to be dragged screaming towards any kind of bib shorts or aerodynamic clothing whatsoever.
"That is another form of cycling that I admire greatly and commentate on but has nothing to do with how I use a bike."
Ned went onto discuss what he thought about the term MAMIL and its effects on people looking to get into cycling.
He added: "Mamil is a very disparaging term but it represents quite a large cohort of people in this country and I don’t want to decry or put down what they love to do it and how they love to go about their passion.
"It might not be for me, it really isn’t for me, but I think they are part of the landscape that we need to accommodate.
"The problem is the sight of the Mamil, for want of a better word, and we should come up with a better word, can be off putting to others who are maybe looking in from the outside with scant understanding of what it might mean in this day and age to ride a bike and the possibilities it might open up.
"I just want to encourage other avenues of more simple, less expensive and more everyday attitudes of cycling that don’t involve Strava or riding for 100 miles but might involve rolling up a trouser leg and making those critical one and a half or two mile journeys that are clogging up our roads, ruining our built environments and are eminently achievable by large sections of our population on a push bike."
As well as the MAMIL debate, in this weeks' episode Ned tells the tale of his calamitous ride into the moat surrounding Leeds Castle, why he takes his own kettle into the commentary box, and the one thing he would get rid of in grand tour races...