Polo goes populist
I've been wanting to post about this little-known sport since I first discovered Pimp My Mallet. It's a group of Oxford University bike polo enthusiasts. Then I recently discovered an article on North American bike polo by Rhiannon Coppin. She's a reporter for The Tyee who recently played a match in VC/BC (Vancouver). Her article, Polo Goes Populist, describes the sport and a bit of its history.
Vancouver-based chopper-cycle builder, bicycle aficionado, and artist RedSara invited this writer to a weekly 11 a.m. bicycle polo match, held every Sunday in good weather on the gravel turf at Vancouver ’s Britannia Community Centre.There's even an International Bicycle Polo Federation based in Jaipur, India and Richland, Washington. It's hosted seven world championships, that last in 2004. Although India dominated most the USA finally won the 7th in VC/BC. Member countries also include Canada, France, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the UK.
Played three or four players per side, cyclists – or rather members of Vancouver ’s cycling community and repair centres – mount their steeds and proceed to whack a street-hockey ball across the field and between one of two hastily-constructed upright goal posts.
The mallets are homemade, constructed from either sawed-off golf clubs or ski poles with hard-plastic tubing or cutting-board cut-outs pinned and duct-taped to the ends. Sometimes frustrating, always challenging, often fun, players finished two games to ten points before they wrapped up another Sunday on the pitch.
Over at the Pimp My Mallet blog, which hasn't been updated since last November, there's a link Mad Bike Polo. It's got a YouTube vid of last year's Midwest Bike Polo Championships held in Madison, WI. Chicago has been slated to host next year. If you want to get a team together my windy citizens, check it out below.