Bicycle Diaries: Walter Cronkite, biker

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Walter Cronkite, biker


As a boy, he used his bike as a drugstore delivery boy and enjoyed
[t]he usual boyhood/early teen activities...: the Boy Scouts and DeMolay (the junior Masonic order), roller hockey and bicycle polo (except on those hot summer days when our wheels sunk in the goo of Houston's Tarvia streets)...
That got me thinking about Pimp My Mallet, the website for Oxford University bike polo enthusiasts. There's also the article on North American bike polo by Rhiannon Coppin. She's a reporter for The Tyee who played a match in VC/BC (Vancouver) in 2006. 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.

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.
There used to be the International Bicycle Polo Federation based in Jaipur, India and Richland, WA. It hosted seven world championships, the 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.

Over at the Pimp My Mallet blog, which hasn't been updated in a while, there's a link Mad Bike Polo. It's got a YouTube vid of the 2006 Midwest Bike Polo Championships held in Madison, WI. Chicago hosted it the next year.

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Anonymous Frank said...

I appreciate the labor you have put in developing this blog. Nice and informative.

20/7/09 09:52  

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