What's not to lycra?

CHRIS Hoy, he of the extravagantly-muscled thighs, is in the soup over comments he made in GQ, a men's style magazine. Unsurprisingly, Hoy was writing about cycling, in particular the dos and don'ts of cycling attire. Specifically, he was taking aim at MAMILs and very much emphasising the don'ts.

Now if (just suppose) you were recently given a £1,500 Boardman Elite SLR Endurance 9.0 road bike road bike for your 50th birthday – you know, the one with the carbon frame, "pleasingly stiff chainset" and that oh-so-important "seamless shifting" – then you're probably familiar with the acronym. If not, MAMIL stands for Middle-Aged Men In Lycra. (FYI: you also get MAMINs, often spotted at the beach squeezing themselves into skin-tight neoprene wet suits, and the much rarer MATISAHVVs, who are Tories in suits and high-vis vests grabbing a photo-op somewhere that still has working factories.)

Anyway, back to the world of stiff chainmail and painless shafting (was that how it went? I forget)

“Personally, I feel sorry for Mamils,” Hoy wrote. “When they walk into a café dressed head-to-toe in Lycra, you'll always spot people sniggering at them.”

Wait, there's more: “Lycra isn't the most elegant material you can wear and professional cycling gear generally looks awful on pretty much anyone heavier than eight stone and with more than five per cent body aerodynamic fat.”

I'm told by someone who has no idea what they're talking about that aerodynamic fat is all the stuff that wobbles when you trampoline. Could that be true? Not sure. What is true is that these days the admonition Thou Shalt Not Body Shame apparently extends even to middle-aged men in Lycra, and so in the teeth of a MAMIL-ian backlash, Hoy has taken to Twitter to express remorse for any upset he has caused. That's progress, I suppose. But I still reserve the right to snigger at MAMILs, MAMINs, MATISAHVVs and whatever acronym you want to apply to drunk middle-aged Scottish football fans in brightly-coloured morph suits.

Spin cycle

STILL with cycling – I know, I know. You wait ages and then two come along at once – that venerable publication Cycling Weekly has found itself in a little bit of Lycra-clad bother as well thanks to a three word caption on a photograph accompanying its regular We Ride With … feature, which last week featured Leicester's Hinckley Cycling Race Club. The photograph shows a young female member of the group in a blue helmet and a (fairly sedate) Hinckley cycling top. The caption says: “Token attractive woman.” Oh dear. And on so many different levels.

One of the club's members spotted the offending caption and posted a clipping from the magazine on social media, which did the rest in terms of whipping up a storm. Before you could say seamless shifting – well not quite: it took a few hours – Cycling Weekly had issued a grovelling apology for the “idiotic” caption, calling it “an appalling lack of judgement” which was “neither funny nor representative of the way we feel or approach our work”.

Women's cycling journalist Sarah Connolly was only partially convinced. “Still bad about what it says re CW culture,” she tweeted.

Caesar sauce

SO what do you think of this autumn's TV sensation? No I don't mean The Great British Bake Off, currently cooling on a wire rack over on Channel 4 prior to having its lemon icing applied and its soggy bottom attended to while makers Love Productions think of ways to spend the £75 million C4 paid them to swap channels. No, I mean the actual, bona fide (and I use that term advisedly) TV sensation of the coming season: ITV2's Bromans.

“Modern geezers in the time of Caesar!” is the show's witty tagline, though which Caesar isn't specified. I don't suppose it matters that much, but the classicists amongst us would like to know if they mean Caesar Augustus, who had both a month and a beer named after him, or Caesar Romero, who played The Joker in daft 1960s TV series Batman. “The Romans gave us roads, viaducts and basic sanitation,” says Executive Producer Ben Kelly by way of clarification. “But Bromans may prove to be their greatest legacy.”

Based on the teaser clip released last week, the programme takes eight tattooed, muscle-bound male narcissists (the “bros”, presumably) and catapults them back in time to train as gladiators while their girlfriends, dressed in leather bikinis, shout stuff like “Hit 'im!” from the sidelines.

“Could this be the new Love Island?” chirruped one tabloid. Could it be? I hardly dare hope.

Heel mend them

DONALD Trump in cycling shorts. Five words hitched to a mental image nobody wants serving a four-year term in their subconscious. Hell, the four seconds it took me to dictate that line to my editorial assistant was bad enough.

Luckily there was no sign of a DIL – Donald in Lycra – when the Trump-in-Chief took to the skies to visit flood-ravaged Texas last week. Instead he donned some chinos (beautiful ones, I'm sure), a pair of spotless boots and (his only concession to the weather) a light anorak such as he'd pack into his golf bag if he were out grabbing a few holes somewhere.

Wife Melania, on the other hand, took the safe option. Personally I'd wear wellies if I was visiting a flood disaster zone but she went a step further and decided that what was needed was stilts. But having ransacked her closet(s) and not found any, she picked the next best thing – a pair of five-inch stiletto heels.

Sadly, an army of social media users mistook Mrs T's safety first approach for something else entirely and have been pouring scorn on her attire. “Melania over here looking like Flood Watch Barbie. Pretty sure Loubs aren't waterproof, babes,” wrote one unkind observer. (“Loubs”, for the handful of Sunday Herald readers who don't buy their clothes in Cruise or on Net-a-Porter, is shorthand for Christian Louboutin, a French shoemaker whose high-end heels cost a couple of hundred pounds. Each). Disaster Barbie, or variations on that theme, was another favourite.

By the time the Trumps landed in Texas, however, Melania had changed into a pair of gleaming white trainers, though even that didn't stop the deluge of scorn: one wag noted that while they do need pumps in Texas, they don't need that sort.

Is it OK to say I'm almost starting to feel sorry for her?