Archive for July, 2010
Bike polo: Jacksonville team adapts a lofty game, takes it to the streets
July 31, 2010
By BRIAN AKEL
Polo, a game once reserved for royalty and gentlemen of fortune, has now found its way into common culture, with an uncommon twist.
At least once a week, the members of the Jacksonville Bike Polo league mount their bicycles to play an urbanized version of polo.
The game consists of six players, three on three, each with a mallet similar to the ones used to play croquet, a plastic street hockey ball, a bike and a competitive sense of fun. Goals are set up at two ends of a parking lot, and the first team to score five goals is the winner.
Thomas Williams, one of the league founders, said it’s all pretty informal. About 10 or 15 people usually show up to play, and league members sometimes travel to tournaments.
“Last year’s tournament in Fort Lauderdale consisted of approximately 20 teams, and we played on pre-made hockey rinks,” Williams said. “Our current group has been together for almost a year and a half, but people come and go, and all are welcome. All you need is a bike and we’ll provide the rest,”
Local games are held at a parking lot adjacent to Zombie Bikes co-op at First and Main streets in Springfield.
The competitive, fast-paced, yet friendly nature of the sport has attracted a range of participants. “Anyone who likes competition and camaraderie is welcome,” said Venus James, a nurse at Shands Jacksonville and a bike polo player.
“People from all ages and walks of life come. Boys, girls, married couples, bicycle enthusiasts and serious players all participate in shoulder-checking and trash talking on the court, but are all friends after the game,” she said.
“It’s cheap to play and growing in popularity. It’s loosely organized, and we try to fit around everyone’s schedule.”
Short and sweet. Be sure to follow the link to see photos and video.
I built up my two St Cago Tournament singles to a couple Fixcraft shafts and played a few games tonight with one. It feels really good so far.
More to come…
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
I added St. Cago Polo Works to the list of polo supporter links in the side bar. Tonight I finished up two new mallets and I think I’m going to like them. Photos soon. Unsolicited review to follow.
In the mean time follow the link to see what Lucky has in stock. St. Cago Polo Works
Previously: St Cago Polo Works online store
From what I understand this tournament will be one day of double elimination book-ended with a day of goldsprints and pick-up and a day of Bench Minor style polo. Very cool!
And I recommended you follow the link to their site. I found some very inspiring photos.
More info: grenoblebikepolo.canalblog.com
This news piece out of Wisconsin does a good job with the 2 min. they give the event. I like Rory and his presence is good. The game play clips are good too, maybe focusing on the “oooh danger” aspect of the sport but what else is someone who does not play gonna focus on?
For bike polo players, the North American Hardcourt Championships are
the zenith of the sport in the U.S. The national championships were
held in Madison last weekend. WISC-TV photojournalist Brian Mesmer
gives a look into the world of bike polo.
Well for starters I’d ask that they, as journalist, focus on the name of the event. Nowhere I found in any of the official info released about this event used the word “national”. Because this was open to all of North America. Despite that, whoever posts WISC-TV YouTube videos still used “National” in the video title, in the video description and in the video tags.
They almost get it right in the description, but the anchor identifies is correctly and of course Eric from Trek gets it right. I guess the person who posts to YouTube just didn’t get the memo.