After years of simply being a bike geek, it’s nice to know that riding to work year-round can buy a guy a little athletic credibility, even if it’s undeserved.
People in the building where I work have been organizing a summer softball team. After sending a mass e-mail to everyone in the joint, one of the women behind this project called me personally to ask if I planned to play. I politely declined, while withholding my low opinion of a game that progresses at a glacial pace, is excruciatingly boring to watch, and often involves people wearing funny pants. (As a mountain biker, the last thing I need is another sport that’s boring to watch and involves people wearing funny pants.)
I was chatting with this same woman a few days ago when she laughed and informed me that a number of people on the floor below mine had been asking “if the bike guy is going to play.” Given they don’t know my name, and therefore couldn’t be interested in my charming personality, I suspect they believe that someone who rides so much is sufficiently athletic to get past first base. (Which, come to think of it, is sort of the same lie I told myself in high school.)
Unfortunately, I’m about as skilled at any form of baseball as I am at open-heart surgery. Which is to say that if I end up on a team, things are going to get ugly and people are going to regret letting me be involved.
I appreciate the invitation, but I’ll let everyone else spend the summer playing with their balls. We'll all be better off if I simply remain “the bike guy.”