Archive for December, 2008

Mark's polo bike

As of 12/13/2008

Mark polo bike 1

Mark polo bike 2

Mark polo bike 3 milwaukee pologuard

All Photos © Doug D 2008

Ken's polo bike

As of 12/13/2008

Ken hardcourt polo bike full

Ken polo bike 2

Ken polo bike 3 milwaukee pologuard

All Photos © Doug D 2008

Jason's polo bike

As of 12/13/2008

Jason hardcourt polo bike full

Jason polo bike 2

Jason polo bike 3

Note: Hollow pin chain

All Photos © Doug D 2008

A Comical Take on Bike Polo in The Pit

A day at the polo grounds

Camera Guy – “How much overlap is there between the bike polo community and the horse polo community?”
Paul Rauen – “None”

A slow week in the hardcourt bike polo news room

Segway Polo in a Wheelchair

Men's Journal bike polo article

Men’s Journal on bike polo

Click to view larger

That’s me Adam and Jarrett in The Pit.

Just one short year ago….

In New York this time last year we had snow to shovel before the games could start.

See you Sunday!
snow hardcourt bike polo nyc snow 1
the pit hardcourt bike polo nyc snow 2
zach brendan chombo ken paul wang birdseye hardcourt bike polo nyc snow 3
shot on goal hardcourt bike polo nyc snow 4
All Photos © Doug D 2007

Just two short years ago….

Only a few of you will remember this or even know what it is.
Los Marcos Polos flyer 2-1

NYC Polo Riders

The Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Sportswear International Magazine just hit the news stands in New York City and in it is a ten page photo shoot of bike polo in The Pit. The shoot is titled NYC Polo Riders with photography by Michael Wong and styling by Carlotta Dell’Oro.

The issue number is #222 and it’s a internationally available fashion magazine so look for it somewhere that’s not a grocery store.

Two of the photos can be seen on their website.

sportswear international mag screen shot

Here is a better look at the cover.
sportswear international magazine on shelf

Schenectady's Polo Story

A bike polo story by Sara Foss, in The Daily Gazette, published November 30, 2008

Group enjoys parking-lot bike polo

TROY — Rita Verga is the only player who has broken a bone.

So far.

Verga, 32, regularly plays the rough-and-tumble sport of bike polo, which arrived in the Capital Region this summer when Troy resident Jesse French decided to bring the game, popular in his hometown of Seattle for about a decade, to the area. The name of the group: Collar City Bike Polo.

“It’s not unusual for somebody to take a spill,” Verga explained. “I fell off my bike, and another person fell on top of me, and I broke my wrist.”

“There’s rough play at times, but there’s a camaraderie that’s present among the players,” said French, 23, who lives in Troy and works as an event technician at the Experimental Media & Performing Arts Center. “We definitely break a sweat. There’s something satisfying about scoring a goal after trying for so long.”

The games, which start on Sundays at noon in the parking lot next to Troy City Hall, typically draw between 15 and 20 people, and on a recent Sunday players dressed warmly in layers and hats and gloves to ward off the bitter chill of late November. They set up orange cones to serve as goal posts and a barrel that served a similar purpose to a penalty box — if a player’s foot touches the ground, which is against the rules, he or she must pedal over to the barrel and tap it with their mallet before resuming play.

equipment, rules

Bike polo requires several basic pieces of equipment: bicycles, mallets, which members of the group make out of ski poles and cut-up pieces of tube, and a street hockey ball. The rules are also pretty basic: players cannot put their feet on the ground or hit the ball with the wider side of the mallet head.

Games are usually three on three. The teams line up at opposite ends of the court and after counting down — “Three, two, one, polo!” — they ride toward the center of the court.

They maneuver and pass the ball using their mallets; Verga excels at tapping the ball between her bike wheels and out of the way of opposing players. Occasionally a small scrum forms as players fight for possession of the ball.

When someone knocks the ball into the goal from half court, someone yells, “Oh, ho, ho!” and the players on the team that scored tap the ends of their mallets against each other.

“It’s 2 to 1,” French announces, and the game continues.

There are two forms of bike polo: hard court bike polo, which is played on asphalt or concrete, and grass polo, which is the older, more established version of the sport.

Grass polo has a plethora of rules and resembles equestrian polo; hard court bike polo is its urban cousin, a grittier game with few rules and a more alternative vibe.

Grass bike polo was invented by Irishman Richard Mecredy in 1891, and was actually a demonstration sport at the 1908 Olympics.

The sport peaked in popularity in the 1930s, but interest fell off considerably during World War II. The 1980s, however, saw a revival of interest in the sport, and in 2000, the first hard court bike polo games were organized.

“Ten years ago, there was something of a resurgence,” French said. “During the dot com boom in Seattle, people played bike polo in a warehouse.”

Today there are urban bike polo groups in most major U.S. cities. French said about 2,000 people throughout the country play bike polo.

“In the past couple years, bike polo has gotten huge,” he said.

sport brought to troy

French said he played bike polo in Seattle, where some of the world’s best bike polo players compete, a couple of years ago and decided to start the Troy group. “I had fun, but I wasn’t very good about it,” he said. “I came here, and I was super stoked about it.”

Right now, the relative inexperience of the members of Collar City Bike Polo is beneficial because it means somebody with no experience can jump into a game and not feel hopelessly out-matched, French said.

“No one who came to our [first] games had ever played before,” French said. “We started from scratch.”

Verga, a lawyer who lives in Troy, had never played bike polo before this summer when she learned about the group through an online posting, but she, like the other players, has been biking for years.

“It’s fun,” she said. “It’s good exercise. It’s a nice group of people.”

Alexey Zinger, 31, of Wynantskill, began playing bike polo a few weeks ago after he learned about the group while volunteering at the Troy Bike Rescue. “That was the first time I’d ever heard of it,” he said. “I thought it was kind of a wacky idea, but it seemed like fun.”

Zinger said he’s an avid biker. “I like bicycles,” he said. “I grew up on them. I went to high school in the Bronx.

Not a lot of people have cars there, and as a kid a bicycle was a great way to get around the city. Biking was something that caught my fancy.”

Bike polo, Zinger said, “is definitely a game that requires a fair amount of skill and a willingness to fall off and go home with a few bruises.”

Many of the members are affiliated with the Troy Bike Rescue, which repairs and recycles bicycles with the goal of getting them back on the road.