Races, Events, & Other
Some may remember a photo project I was posting about earlier this year, were I would photograph NYC bike messengers while they were working. I posted a few (see “messengering” tag for more) and I have more in the vault that are unpublished.
Well, now I’m working on a Travel Channel project and filming NYC bike messengers. Plus, one of the cool things is I’m also taking production stills in between doing the bike-to-bike work.
Above are a couple of shots of the action. One of my photos, and one of me about to follow.
A few months ago Eighthinch sent my team and I a set of their new mallet heads. Zach was the first to build his up. He just said it was too heavy to use. And this was after he cut it down to the shorter length, removed the protruding sleeve and drilled it out with many lightning holes. I know he did give it a couple weeks of play at The Pit but I have not seen him use it in a while.
I built mine up after just trimming it down to the shorter length. I did not have the matching mallet because they were not ready yet so I found a ski pole that fit the opening. Not all ski poles are the same outer diameter but finding one to fit is not that difficult. Making a hole that is aligned with the holes in the head is not that easy. I had a bit of a headache getting the bolt to run through correctly because the hole I made in my ski pole was off just a slight bit. This made it very difficult to make the nut thread onto the included bolt. After I did get it to thread on, it deformed the plastic meant to hold the nut in place. I’m guessing if you were to do this with the pre-drilled Eighthinch mallet shaft these troubles would not be so bad.
After building it I also felt like it was heavy. After just two games one if the caps flew off. There is one big problem with the design. There is a seam caused by the mold having two sides and on a very slim section there is a hole for the screws that keeps the cap attached. Those holes are on the seam and the seam cracked and did not hold the screw. All that equals the caps don’t stay attached.
I ended up not attaching the cap again. It would not be that hard to make my own holes in a thicker section so the screws could hold the cap in place. I just didn’t feel like investing the time.
Also mine cracked in the side near the crest shaped cut out. So the un-capped end was cracked in three places. The top seam, bottom seam, and on the side. This caused the open end to lose it’s shape after a few games. While still playable, definitely not standing strong.
And on my third or fourth week of games it cracked in an unexpected place. Along the sleeve. From the top and almost all the way to the bolt hole. I’m not sure why that happened. I’ve not seen HDPE act like this so I’m really confused.
And as for the wear. I think it wears a fair amount. Not too fast and not something that could last forever. I have no complaints about the wear.
I can’t give this product a good review. I kind of think Eighthinch wants to make things to put their name on. I don’t feel like this was made for the abuse polo puts on the equipment. I think this is an attempt to make way into a growing market.
There have been a number of other players who have expressed their thoughts about this mallet and the company that made it. Not much of that has been positive.
But, on a positive side, Eighthinch has made efforts after the fact to get closer to the bike polo community. They have sponsored a good number of tournaments with product. And have left responses to the feedback on the forum.
In some of those responses, they have said they are making revisions to the design. But those are somewhat limited because of the mold. I think the best thing to do is wait and see if the second version is any better.
click any image to see large
EighthInch Mallet Head Video
Adam, Zach, Matt and I stopped at keirinberlin one of the days after Worlds. This is a famous shop. I got to meet Mo, who Zach and Adam were already friends with. We hung out for a bit, looked at bikes, drank Bionade, talked about the kids today. Matt asked me to get a photo of one of the many old cycling stamps that are framed in the shop. A really impressive collection. I took a close look at them because the art used is really interesting. Kind of reminds me of what some fliers are like for this generation of cyclist. After snapping the one for Matt I noticed a couple of rad ball stamps.
Thanks to everyone who let me get a photo. Very laid back, just shots of anyone with a polo shirt on. I think it shows the mood of the event. Thank you Berlin!
I added a big free wheel for the photos but for game play it will not be there. Instead I’ll be running the front without any cog or freewheel installed. And I’ll carry a spare wheel and a spare freewheel. If I get in a pinch and need to replace the front I’ll throw the spare straight on the front. If I flat the rear or rip out a grip of spokes or destroy the rim or fall victim to any of the many bad things that can happen to wheels on the court, then I’ll spin the spare freewheel to the spare wheel and a quick swap and back in the game. Time outs are becoming more popular in tournaments, would you rather spend a minute looking for some bike to borrow or getting your bike back on the court?
And from MKE:
This fork will accommodate 3 types of brakes; 55-73mm X-Long Reach Caliper, U-Brake and V-brake.
* Bruiser Polo Fork – Aftermarket
* 400mm Axle to Crown
* 4130 Heat Treated Chromoly
* Weight – 1260g w/300mm Steerer
* 1-1/8″ One-Piece Fully CNC’d Steerer
* 990 Brake Mounts with Removable Studs (plugs included when not using studs)
* V-Brake Compatible
* 55-73mm X-Long Reach Caliper Compatible
* Removable Brake Housing Guide
* Headset Compression Plug Included
* 400mm Axle to Crown
* 32mm Rake
* 6mm Dropouts
* Stainless MKE Badge
* Black ED Coated Inside and Out for Full Rust Proofing
* Your Choice of Solid Color (excluding pearl coats or metalflake)
* Lifetime Warranty
More info: Ben’s Cycle
North American Hardcourt, a body of bike polo representatives, held a meeting in Madison the morning after the NAHBPC.
Members in attendance:
Justin Gullickson (Cascadia), Doug Dalrymple (Eastside), Brian Whitmore (Northside), Jonny Hunter (Midwest), Alex “Joker” Dash (Southwest), Ben Schultz (Midwest), Mike Tretter (Southwest), Meg Lee (via-telephone, Cascadia), Ian Dunwiddie (Eastside), Angelo Salazar (Northside), Kevin Walsh (Northside). Also in attendance: Alexis Mills (Ottawa club rep), Britt Willey, Robbie Eccles. Thanks to Just Coffee and Heather of Underground Food Collective.
With just this last image, click to see large.
I’m pretty sure this is Mark Thompson of Bulldog Bikes NYC during the long jump comp. The BFF Street Party on 2nd Street in New York was a blast! I always like the BMX riders taking over when it comes to impressing the crowd.
Chombo – NYC
Johnny Midwest – NYC
Jonny – Ottawa
Ian – RVA
Birdseye – NYC
Javier – Boston
Jen – Ottawa
Gus – Boston
Joe – MKE
Woody – Burlington
Joker – LA
Amanda – FL
Rory – East Van
Leon – Seattle
Cecily – ?
Chris – Lexington
Drew – one of those west coast towns
All Photos © Doug D 2009
Over the years this friend of The Pit has made a few appearances during our polo games and I’ve been lucky enough to have my camera in hand. This past Sunday I think my luck could not have got much better because until this week, I have not shot any photos with my “good” camera with the big lens since the NACCC. For some reason I brought it along and I’m glad I did.