Seattle Bike Polo video by Garrett

Brooks Saddles and the 2009 Worlds Trophy

Here is the Mandarin Swift LSP Bike Polo World Championships saddle by Brooks
brooks polo saddle
I’ll post the URL if you feel like spending two hundred fifty on a saddle.


Yeah I’m not gonna link that because it’s funny that in the description Brooks misspells “World”.

Width: 152mm
Length: 280mm
Weight: 495g
Frame: Chromium Plated Steel
The Swift London Seattle Philadelphia Bike Polo Wordl Championships is a limited edition of 250 saddles, featuring mandarin orange leather top and the impressed logo of a bike polo player on top of the world.

*170.00 €
151.91 £
250.94 $
*Cost excludes shipping

The reason I think this is funny is because Montana, who made all the decisions about the Philly installment of this trio of tournaments, misspelled “Championships” except Montana’s mess up was ON THE TROPHY! not just some website.

Too late now but if he could get Brooks England, who is really far from Philly, to make a limited edition saddle with an impressed logo matching the tournament poster art

…why is it that his local trophy builder did not get the same art?

Sonadei NAHBPC T-shirts

Sonadei seattle bike polo shirt ad

Sonadei is making the shirts for the North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championship in Seattle.

This is a good company to support because they are very polo friendly and also because they donate to The American Cancer Society and The National Forest Foundation.

2009 N. American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championship

North American Hardcourt Bicycle Polo Championship
Bike Polo Tournament
August 7th – 9th, 2009
Seattle Washington

For more info contact: messengerwerks@hotmail.com

In previous years this championship was held side by side with the North American Cycle Courier Championship. This year the tournament will be a stand alone event. The 2009 NACCC is in Boston the weekend before this event.

1st Team Smile (SEA)
2nd Balls Deep (E. VAN)
3rd Beaver Boys (MKE)
4th DD Booster Club (NYC)
5th Mallets of Mayhem (Ottawa)
6th Ken (E. VAN)
7th Skid and Destroy (PDX)
8th Bob’s Your Uncle (E. VAN)
9th Rampant Murder Cake (CHI)
10th Poloreo (SEA)

More West Coast polo press

This is a repost from Seattlepi.com from November 5, 2008.

This is only slightly better (maybe slightly worse) than some bike polo stories this length. “Urban” I want to smack reporters that use that word. Just because it’s in Wikipedia doesn’t mean that’s what the sport is called. But they do use “hardcourt” just not in the title. But still, the writer isn’t very good with consistency. Sometimes it’s one word “hardcourt” and others it’s “hard-court”.
Amanda, “Dabber” isn’t the worst insult. At least not in New York.
And “grungelegant”?? Perhaps Not. (what the F are they smoking out there?)
There is the first media mention of “The Hardcourt Bike Polo Federation” and even this is being dogged.
And the info link at the bottom of the story is the SeattleBikePolo site, and as I write this, that site has not been updated in 240 days!!

Anyway. Here, read this….

Urban bike polo: A junker, a mallet, a ball and a hard surface


Brad Vest / P-I

Seattle bike polo players are ready to rumble under Interstate 5 at Northeast 65th Street. The hardcourt version of bike polo started in Seattle and has spread around the Northwest.


Bikes circle like sharks — lean, lithe and predatory. “Keep moving, just keep moving,” Matt Messenger urges. Then he weasels his mallet between my wheels and snags the ball. Rookie meat, I jam the brake — yes, just one — smash the cycle into a horizontal skid and bounce out of the wreckage.

“Nice fall!”

The sport is bike polo, the “urban/hardcourt” strain, as opposed to the more sedate variety on grass. All players need is a ball, a mallet — monstered together from a ski pole and PVC pipe, usually — and a

junker bike, often stripped of entangling elements like that pesky second brake and handlebar.

We’re rolling on the basketball court at Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill, where this crew meets twice a week. The rules are pretty simple: three-on-three to five points. Whack the street hockey ball through a bike-length-wide goal between traffic cones. Don’t high-stick (just like it sounds) and don’t dab (put a foot on the ground).

Riders fight for the ball with homemade mallets underneath Interstate 5 at Northeast 65th Street. Matches usually are played here on Thursday evenings around 7.

Dabbing is majorly bad. In fact, “dabber” is bike polo’s worst insult. Alongside “rookie.”

I am both. I’ll own it. However, I’m happy to avoid some of the other jargon, like a “taco-ed wheel.” Collisions are common, as are superhero layouts across the tarmac. But the riders have regained — or preserved — the playground grace of children, the fierce, breathless explosion of activity that sends you sprawling bloodied here, soaring there, well past your limits — and stoked, stoked, stoked, regardless.

In full scrimmage, they weave like alley cats, grind together like monster trucks, freeze into track stands: perfectly balanced on the pedals and as still as the Space Needle. Insanely agile, they’re also street players — all rollies and hoodies on thrashed, chopped, thrift-store cycles.

Urban bike polo. So gritty. So graceful. The mix deserves its own word: grungelegant, perhaps.

“It’s a sport in every sense of the word,” says Jackie Rust, a 25-year-old pedicab driver, “strength, skill, endurance, technique …”

Aaron Grant, 21, observes: “People can ride bikes, but only a few can handle them. Same thing with cars: most people can drive, but only a few make NASCAR.”

Those skills saved Gary TeGantvoort on his cycle commute — twice. “I’ve had to wiggle around cars in traffic to avoid getting hit. It’s second nature now. Polo definitively breeds good bike control,” says the 26-year-old manager of the Montlake Bicycle Shop.

Seattle spawned the modern game, which traces its roots through European servants (too poor for ponies) via colonial India all the way to ancient Persian cavalry exercises. But our city took the game to the streets in 1998.

“Cosmo.com was an online delivery company, right over there,” Messenger says, waving toward East Pike Street. “They hoped the messengers would be in and out every 10, 15 minutes, but business was so slow. We started playing in the underground parking lot, then in the empty warehouse. I must have played hundreds of hours on the clock.”

“That’s probably why Cosmo failed,” someone snarks.

I chip in, “Bike Polo Responsible for Economic Downturn — I can see the headline now.”

One hand steers and brakes, the other wields the mallet.

“Awww. We only ruined the online industry. Give the Republicans some credit.”

And then the discussion fritters into smack talk. But that’s OK. Trash mouth is one of the few rituals in this sport, in which players still scavenge for goal posts. Even in urban polo’s birthplace, the game plan is to “bring an iPod and some beer, ride some bikes.”

All that could change. Philadelphia will host the first hard-court world championship in 2009. Messenger — running his hands through his wild thatch of hair — says, “We need to organize so that corporate America doesn’t steal it all away.”

Christian Bourdrez, a 36-year-old snowboard rep, adds, “Look what happened with the X Games. Who is getting the money there, the boarders …”

“… or the fat cats?” Messenger explodes. The 37-year-old general contractor is something of a guru in the polosphere, the sport’s visionary, its Timothy Leary. But some players remain dubious about the next step.

Grant jokes: “The Hardcourt Bike Polo Federation. C’mon. What has the word ‘federation’ in it that’s still cool?”

Good point. Still — name aside — most riders are excited by the sport’s spread and its second generation. Rust points out: “Down in Oakland, middle schoolers are out playing. And Bike Works in Columbia City has a kids clinic.”

Messenger’s been even more proactive. His wife, Kelly Castle-Messenger, just gave birth to a girl, Viviana Pearl, instant hard-court royalty if she ever takes up the mallet. For now, she naps in a baby sling on the sidelines. Castle-Messenger, rocking the newborn for warmth as much as comfort, explains the fast-swirling skirmish. “The only rule really is no high-sticking,” she says. “Well, and no mallets in spokes. But players can edge each other out and, like hockey, they can check each other into the wall.”

Cycles squeal together in a tight clump. Like atoms, their nuclei avoid collision, even if wheel rims clack and mallets snag each other. But someone drags a foot onto the court. “There!” Castle-Messenger points. “That’s dabbing — touching the ground. He needs to ride a 360 loop before resuming …,” she breaks off and hollers, “Hey, don’t be a ball hog!” Then she grins, shrugs. “It’s a sassy game. Everyone talks a little trash, lets off a little steam.”

In the autumn chill, we watch the game clatter toward the five-point end. As the final scorer swoops around the goalcones, hooting, others — including onlookers — hurl mallets into the center court. The owners of the first six will play the next match.

This unfettered spirit remains the Northwest scene’s strength — and weakness, too. TeGantvoort observes, “Skillwise, Portland and Seattle are incredible, but East Vancouver tends to win tournaments. They have their own special court and train as a team.”

A bespoken space is the local players’ goal. Heck, they’d settle for some tarmac set aside a few nights a week. Amid a small huff of controversy, Cal Anderson Park booted them off the adjacent tennis court about two years ago. The riders now bogart the basketballers’ turf — a situation that grows tense in the long twilight hours of summer.

During a break, Dave Wells, a 32-year-old carpenter, explains, “We just need a lit court under cover.”

Sebastien Michel-Hart interjects: “With a retractable roof!”

Grant laughs. “Let’s shoot for the moon and maybe we’ll get something. How about KeyArena?”

“The city’s gonna be like, ‘Here’s a refrigerator box to play in,’ ” Michel-Hart, a 25-year-old bike messenger, shoots back. “I wish they’d give us Pratt Park over at 18th and Yesler. Or just a reservation system.”

As Messenger later notes: “There seems to be some prejudice. We’re not seen as a ‘real sport.’ Maybe the championship and all the kids getting out to play will change that, like the way the city came around to skate parks. We could share a court with dodge-ballers and the roller-hockey players … those are spectator sports, too. And isn’t the point to get people into the parks?

Kicked to the curb for now, urban polo will keep playing off the grid. Grungelegantly.

Seattle Bike Polo start times can vary (“Don’t panic if we’re late”). Bring a helmet, gloves and “a bike you don’t mind getting scratched.” Messenger also recommends “some beer and an iPod with a good polo mix.”

But wheels and goodwill are really all that’s required. Capitol Hill resident Aaron Willinger, 39, wandered onto the scene and wound up playing a full game recently. “I wanna make my own club and come back out here next week,” he enthused.

As TeGantvoort said, “We go easy on rookies. Don’t be intimidated. No one will knock you off your bike until you start knocking other people off.”


  • Catch the hardcourt bike polo crowd Tuesdays (7-8 p.m. start) and Sundays (5-6 p.m. start) on the basketball courts of Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave. E, on Capitol Hill.
  • Thursdays they gather underneath Interstate 5, around Northeast 65th Street and Ravenna Avenue Northeast, 7-8 p.m.-ish.
  • Information — seattlebikepolo.com
  • Amanda Castleman is a freelance writer based in Seattle. She can be reached at amandacastleman@hotmail.com.

    West Side Invite 2009 Seattle


    West Side Invite
    May 22nd – 25th, 2009
    Seattle, WA

    west side invite polo flyer

    Monday May 25th will be the Bike Polo Tournament. See the full schedule of events at westside2009.com

    Polo Bike Stickers

    polo bike sticker

    Ken went to Tour de Polo and brought some back from Seattle, I think he traded some yellow mallet head material for them. I also heard Ken and Fiona won some awesome t-shirts as a furthest traveled prize.

    Cold Balls. Seattle.

    Two minutes of gameplay at the Tour De Polo II. This was between Seattle’s best team (2nd place overall) and one of Portland’s best teams. The balls were chilled to keep them stiff.

    Sonadei Bike Polo T-Shirts

    Go to Sonadei.com and use coupon code: NYBP.
    It is good for a $5.00 discount on any shirt.
    The discount lasts until May 31st.

    Yep, that’s me on a t-shirt… again.

    Visit Sonadei.com for more info.

    Located in Seattle, Sonadei is a good company that does good things.

    A portion of each T-Shirt sale is donated to help fight two unique
    problems that affect us all.

    - Cancer [ The American Cancer Society ]

    - Deforestation [ The National Forest Foundation ]

    We do appreciate your support!

    They have lots more bicycle designs, and others too.

    Tour ‘de Polo

    seattle bike polo

    “Tour ‘de Polo” 2nd Annual
    Hardcourt Bike Polo Tournament
    July 19-20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington

    New site for Tour ‘de Polo II tourdepolo.com

    Contact Dirt Nap aka Jared at jsessions@gmail.com
    or check out the soon to come updates at seattlebikepolo.com


    Winners: “Balls Deep” East Van

    2nd Place: “The Lovely Polonoscopy” Seattle

    3rd Place: “Freewheels” PDX