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The Modern MAMIL: How To Look Pro book review

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Chris McGuire’s guide to cycling is both a hilarious and helpful ride along for every Lycra-loving dad.

Chances are, particularly if your job is located in a citified office somewhere, that you’ve witnessed one up close: the middle-aged-man-in-Lycra, or MAMIL, who’s cycled to work looking like he’s just siphoned himself off from the Tour de France peloton. The rise of this often garish, body-hugging (tires and all) fashion for pedalling is so apparent that a touching documentary was even made about the phenomenon a couple of years ago.

Of course, the dad demographic is ripe for MAMILS and Chris McGuire, aka dad blogger The Out of Depth Dad, has written the perfect book for would-be pro cyclists in need of advice and inspiration.

Easy as 1, 2, 3…

The Modern MAMIL: How To Look Pro is split into three clear sections: Pre-Ride, The Ride and Post-Ride. Tips on cycling lingo, which body parts to shave (and to leave hirsute) and what exactly to wear kick off the opening part. “Don’t buy team replica kits… You risk being labelled a full-kit w*anker,” says McGuire.

In the riding section, you learn how to attain ‘The Look’ – “A very pro thing to do,” – and why investing in a power meter is a wise move. While in the final part, the rules of the post-ride coffee shop visit and how to “communicate the struggle” of your cycle on social media.

Spencer Wilson illustrates the book with a clean, stylish effect. A mix of block-coloured backgrounds and rider figures complement the regular humour of McGuire’s words without ever taking over the text.

While never taking itself too seriously, The Modern MAMIL: How To Look Pro is a beautifully produced book containing a pannier of sound advice and tips for cycle lovers of all levels. Now where are those purple and yellow tessellated shorts of mine?

The Modern MAMIL: How To Look Pro (Ice House Books) is available now in hardback from, RRP £9.99.

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