All Over Albany
Bike polo, anyone?
posted Oct 30, 2008
By Jessica Pasko

Bike polo?

Yep. It’s polo, on bikes, and it’s heading across the river to Albany on Sunday.

Collar City Bike Polo has been going on in Troy for awhile now but now they’re bringing it to the basketball courts in Washington Park. Apparently bike polo has becoming a pretty big thing.

Enthusiasts say the best way to learn about bike polo is to see, and play, it. The sport’s actually been around for decades and was first invented back in 1891, but the modern variant, played on concrete, first became popular in the late 90s in Seattle. Now there are teams across the country and internationally, and they’ve formed a community in which the teams organize frequent national and international tournaments.

Collar City Bike Polo started in Troy at the beginning of this past summer, and pick-up games are held every Sunday in the parking lot at Troy City Hall.

Group member Jesse French says it’s ridiculously fun and addictive, and everybody should give it a shot.

OK, but how do you play? Well, basically, it’s kind of like hockey, except you’re on a bike. Two teams compete using mallets (many people make their own) to score goals with a small ball. It’s rough and tumble, with some rules adapted from equestrian polo. French says that while the ball handling skills take a while to pick up, anyone who can ride a bike can play. Collar City Bike Polo typically plays three on three, with the winner being the first team to score five points. French says the level of play is steadily increasing here, so games among experienced players “can get pretty fast and furious.”

If you’re interested in checking out bike polo, spectators and new players are invited to check out the action Sunday at noon in Washington Park tennis courts. Some spare bikes will be available, but new players are encouraged to bring a bike they’re comfortable on and that they don’t mind beating up a bit. Occasional collisions do happen. You can also check out the action at their regular Sunday afternoon games in Troy.