Back in the day, when some men with a bit of disposable income reached a certain age, they did some strange things. The grind of the office and home life convinced some that the answer to an expanding midriff lay in a pair of designer jeans and a flashy but cheap Japanese sports car. Teenage daughters ran away screaming. Sons were deprived of the role models seen in adverts for shaving products.
Gents, our womenfolk were right all along. It wasn't a good look. And did it do anything for the beer belly?
The past three years have seen the rise of the uber-techno, super-flashy, full-carbon fibre, bobby-dazzler road bike. The market for these bikes has expanded faster than a 45-year-old's waistline, partly thanks to the success of the British cycling stars at the Beijing Olympics. Marketing departments have produced smart advertising messages that encourage a bit of freedom, elite performance and memories of teenage derring-do.
When you run the slide rule over all of this, flash road bikes definitely look like a midlife crisis.
There's a look to strive for, expensive kit and excuses for weekends away.
I and my band of hill-climbing brothers disagree. It's about becoming a happier and healthier person rather than sliding towards mediocre oblivion at the bottom of a pint glass.